How to Teach Cardio Kickboxing Classes

Cardio kickboxing is one of many popular group-fitness classes, combining martial arts movements with the energy of an aerobics class. To teach it, you need energetic music and a workout plan consisting of four parts: warmup, rhythm, peaking and cooldown. A good cardio kickboxing class should run for 45 to 50 minutes.

Many gyms and health clubs require certification for group fitness instructors, including instructors in cardio kickboxing. Depending on your goals, you may want to pursue certification through a local school.

Prepare the Area

Scan your workout area to make certain it is clean, safe and large enough to accommodate your class.

Choose your workout music. The songs should be high energy and driving, like salsa or dance music. Avoid fast, dark music like industrial or some techno. If you have time, prepare a mix CD of tunes appropriate for each stage of the workout.

Test your sound system. The music should be ready to play when you hit the button. If you plan to use a microphone, set that system up as well.

The Warmup

Run a warmup for the first 10 minutes of class.

Begin with stretches. Do basic stretches and range-of-motion exercises for all parts of the body you intend to work out.

Finish with light exercise for each muscle group. Consider yoga poses, basic calisthenics or slow repetitions of punches, kicks, and stances.


Run the rhythm section of class for 30 minutes.

Lead the class through six to eight complex combinations. Start with the first motion of the combination for four or eight repetitions. Add a second motion for four or eight more repetitions. Continue until the combination is complete. This allows each student to successfully perform each combination.

Include at least one combination each of: punches (for arms), bobbing and weaving (for coordination), kicks (for legs), crunches (for core) and combinations including two or more elements.

Monitor your class to see if the pace is too fast or too slow. Adjust your pace accordingly.


Run the peak section for 10 minutes, or two five-minute sections with a brief rest in between.

Maintain maximum effort during the peak section.

Choose one or two muscle groups to focus on for this class. Run the class through a complex or physically-challenging combination for five minutes. Keep your energy up and encourage students as they begin to tire.

Alternatively, use this section to work on highly complex combinations, pushing student coordination rather than endurance.

If possible, transition to the most energetic music in your collection during this part of the workout.


Run the cooldown for 10 minutes.

Start with slow repetitions of basic movement and combinations. This can be an excellent time to help students work on form.

Finish with stretching. With muscles looser and fatigued, this can be a good time to hold stretches longer and work on flexibility. One popular technique is to 'walk out the way you came in', repeating the stretches from the warm up more slowly and in reverse order.