By Christina | July 21, 2008
Although my Tuesday and Thursday boot campers are now fairly conditioned, some more than others, they still lack flexibility and coordination. This is in part my own fault as we have not worked on flexibility or coordination thus far. After a year of exercises like running, sprinting, push ups, dumbbell curls and walking lunges, it is time to challenge them on other fronts. A good workout routine should include flexibility, cardio, strength and endurance so it’s time we start to incorporate those elements into the routine.
Tomorrow I will challenge them with a basic cardio kickboxing routine. It is a high-impact cardiovascular workout that blends elements of boxing, martial arts and traditional aerobics into a 30-to 60-minute exercise routine. We will do 30 minutes tomorrow of cardio kickbox followed by abdominal exercises and stretches. Typical routines include a series of repetitive punches, hands strikes, kicks and other self-defense moves, interspersed with a bouncing ‘shuffle’ move, to good thumping music.
According to a study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), cardio kickboxing burns an average of 350 to 450 calories per hour. Although it may seem like a great workout there there are some important factors to consider before taking that first jab. Cardio kickboxing can be effective and fun but you need to be careful. Here are some tips for anyone embarking on this type of exercise program:
Consider your current level of fitness. Don’t make your first class an attempt to kick over your head or punch as hard as you can as those can both lead to hyperextensions. If you have arthritis, tight hamstrings, an inflexible back or other physical limitations, you might not be a good candidate for aerobic kickboxing.
Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
Make sure when you set out to try a kickbox class you find a qualified and certified instructor.
Among the basic moves are proper stance and how to punch and kick to avoid injury.
Working out in a room with a mirror can help you see whether you are doing the moves correctly.
Beginners especially should avoid high kicks until they get used to the routine and become more flexible.
Do not lock your joints when throwing kicks or punches.
Do not overextend kicks. Kicks only as high as you can raise your leg while maintaining proper body alignment. Wear lightweight athletic shoes designed for pivots and lateral movements.
Do not wear weights or hold dumbbells when throwing punches, it puts too much stress on your joints.
As always, before taking a cardio kickboxing class discuss your plan with your doctor and obtain medical clearance.