Kick boxing is a great stress busting and fun way of keeping fit and conditioning your body at the same time. You don’t have to actually fight to benefit from it, simply go through the motions with an imaginary opponent and you’ll see results. The punching and kicking will help to tone out the muscles hidden by flab after weight loss, burning about 500 calories in an hour on an average as a bonus. If you follow a set of exercises that target your abs, thighs, shoulders, arms and butt all in one go, you may be able to start wearing your bikini with confidence within a week. Just make sure to do a good warming up to avoid injuries.
Stand in fighting stance with right foot forward. (Fighting stance means standing with slightly bent knees, staggered feet and the heels raised. Bring your fists to your chin, hold your elbows near your ribs and make sure your palms are facing each other.) Aim at your opponent’s nose. Rotate your right hip forward and stretch out your right arm. Making sure that your arm is in line with your shoulder, twist your forearm, keeping your fist parallel to the floor. Immediately recoil. Change sides and punch to the left. Repeat these jabs as quickly as possible for maximum benefit. Complete a two-minute round.
The jab is a surprise punch. It’s a quick forward punch aimed at an imaginary foe’s nose. It’s important to know where to aim your fists and controlled movement will keep the right muscles engaged.
Stand in fighting stance with your right foot forward. Aim at your opponent’s nose, turn your left foot, hip and knee simultaneously to the right, and then follow it up with your left shoulder and arm. Be sure not to lock your elbow. Twist your left forearm so that the fist is horizontal when extended fully. Recoil and return immediately to fighting stance. Repeat with the other side, alternating sides for a two minute round.
The force of the cross is at your hip, so make sure that you focus on your core for a punch that is more powerful. Just as with the jab, the cross works a combination of your deltoids, biceps and triceps.
The hook is a circular punch that targets your opponent’s cheek or ear. Start in fighting stance with left foot forward. Raise yourself on the ball of your left foot, pivot on it and turn your left knee. Also simultaneously turn your hip, left shoulder and left arm to punch from the left to the right. Make sure to keep your left forearm parallel to the floor, left thumb up and fists near your face. Immediately return to fighting stance.
The hook is another powerful move that can tone your biceps, triceps and deltoids effectively. Combine the hook and the jab for a very effective workout of your chest, upper arms and shoulders.
Start in fighting stance with left foot forward. Aim at your opponent’s chin. Slightly drop your right hand and bend both knees. Twist your hip to your left and punch with your right fist straight up at the ceiling. Your fist should be slightly forward, knuckles facing the ceiling and palms facing the body. Keep your left fist near your face. Return to fighting stance immediately. For greater force, draw your punch from your legs and keep your punch controlled. Don’t punch beyond the tip of your nose. Repeat with other side for 2-5 minutes span.
Each aspect of a kickboxing routine works the major muscles of the body. The combination of using muscles quickly can tone them and develop endurance as well as speed up the metabolism for quick results. Even though you are not directly targeting your abs, a kickboxing punch done right can give the abs and the lower back muscles a workout unintentionally.
The front kick
Start with a fighting stance with your left foot forward, your fists by your face, and then shift your body’s weight to your right foot. Raise your left leg, bringing your knee up to chest level, keep your foot flexed and keep your heel close to your glutes. Keep your fists up during the movement and kick out from your hip focusing the punch at your left heel. Pull back immediately and take fighting stance. Complete a round of a minute with each leg. Slowly work your way up to a total of five minutes with both legs.
The front kick aims at the knee, the chest or the groin. The extent of the front kick can be improved with stretching, so it’s good and safe practice to combine some stretching with your warming-up cardio. Initially, you can start by kicking in the air, and then gradually work up to kicking a bag or punching dummy.
The roundhouse kick
Stand in fighting stance with your right foot forward. Aim at your opponent’s knee, head or obliques. Bend your right knee, bring your heel towards your glutes and turn your hips to the left using your left foot as a pivot. Strike with your right foot from right to left in an arc, and extend the kick from the knee, with the toes of the foot pointed. Return to fighting stance.
It’s recommended that you do this with your front leg since it will place less stress on the other knee. Using the front leg for the kick also makes the movement faster and more intense, since it has to travel a shorter distance to the (imaginary) target. This circular leg movement will make you use your entire leg in order to keep your balance as you perform a set of multiple powerful kicks, toning the entire leg as a result.
The side kick
Start in fighting stance with your left foot forward. Turn your hips to your right and slightly pivot your right toes outward. Keeping your left foot flexed, bring your left knee up to your chest. For the kick, force kick your left leg out to your left side and push through your heel. Counterbalance the kick by leaning your upper body to your right. Keep your fists near your face. Recoil and return to a fighting stance. Kick for a minute with your right leg and then repeat for another minute with your left leg.
The side kick is the strongest kick since it draws power from your glutes. Make sure that your foot is flexed out as you kick. This is an outward kick made with speed and power.
Shuffle side kick
Start at fighting stance with your right leg forward. This kick targets the ribs or the head. Slide your rear foot (left foot) up to your front leg. At the same time hop or shuffle forward and execute a quick side kick off with your right leg (or lead leg).
The shuffle side kick is usually a way of closing the distance between you and your opponent, and is a variation of the shuffle kick. However, it has some added power with respect to the side kick and therefore is more effective in toning muscles. You can also practice the shuffle side kick with a pad. It’s important to keep your elbows close to your ribs and your gravity centered to maintain a good balance during the kick, as with all kickboxing movements.
Cardio knee strike
Start in a lunge position, with your right foot forward to a greater extent than a fighting stance. Aim at your opponent’s head/chest and bring it down to make contact with your knees.
Stretch your arms up and forward, place your palms facing down, on top of each other. Shift your weight on your front knee. At the same time, bring your left knee forward and up, swing on your left heel, pull your palms down together and slap your knees. Bring your knee up to chest height. Keep your feet flexed. Quickly retract and return to lunge position. Repeat with other side for two minutes.
The cardio knee strike is very effective in exercising the back and leg muscles and developing lower body strength and muscle tone in addition to upper body workout. As always, be sure to keep your center of gravity close to your body by keeping your movements controlled and your arms close to your shoulders.
An upper arm routine
Now that you know your kick boxing movements, you can start combining them into sets of quick jabs, punches and kicks to target the fitness of your entire body. Here’s a simple routine that will get rid of your flabby arms by defining the muscle under the flab.
Start in fighting stance. Face slightly to your left with your right foot forward. Start out with four jabs in the front. Follow with 4 jabs in the front and shuffle. Speed up your jabs (double jabs) and repeat 8 times. Execute 8 high jabs followed by low jabs. Carry out a routine of high and low jabs followed by a squat 8 times. Turning body side and side (you should face left side first and jump to face the other side, so, you jump in left side and right, left and right). When you have done this on your left side, repeat with your right side.
10 Minute combination routine
Begin this 10 minute routine slowly and then gradually increase your speed as you become more familiar with the routine. Do it twice to burn about 170 calories.
Start with a combination of 30 seconds each of jab, cross, hook and uppercut with your left for a total of 2 minutes. Repeat with the other side. Execute front kicks for 30 seconds with each leg. Follow similarly with roundhouse kicks and side kicks, for a total of 2 minutes. For the next 30 seconds, start with your left foot forward and jab with your left, uppercut with your right, front kick with your left. For another 30 seconds, start with your right foot forward and jab with your right, uppercut with your left, front kick with your right. Then start with your left foot forward and combine a left jab with a right cross and a left roundhouse for a total of 30 seconds. For the last 30 seconds, start with your right foot forward and combine a right jab with a left cross and a right roundhouse.