This article originally appeared on DailyBurn.com.
It’s time to give your cardio routine a kick in the you-know-what. Just like other cardio workouts, kickboxing offers all the benefits of a high-intensity routine, including better coordination, mobility and strength. You’ll not only knock your muscles into high gear, but you’ll squash the stress of the day.
RELATED: Undefeated: Kickboxing Workouts to Get You Strong
Anja Garcia, one of the lead instructors for Daily Burn’s new Undefeated kickboxing program (available now), guarantees this is one workout you can’t fake. “The choreography combinations force you to stay connected throughout the entire workout. And let’s be honest, punching and kicking helps get out any aggression, fear or sadness.”
Although these kickboxing moves will knock out major calories, they don’t skimp on strength either. “The punching and kicking helps to strengthen everything from your shoulders and back to your abs and legs,” Garcia says. “As with all your punches, it isn’t just about the upper body. So much of the punch also comes from your legs. You are working your abs and lower body, too.”
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5 Kickboxing Moves to Squash Calories and Build Strength
Before you jump in the ring, take a few minutes to review proper boxer’s stance. “Your foot positioning is super important as the power of the punch actually originates from the glutes,” Garcia explains. The traditional boxer’s stance is with your left foot forward, feet shoulder-distance apart. “Your feet should be in a staggered fighting stance with your back foot slightly out to the side so that you’re able to use your hips through the punch,” Garcia says. Next, bring your fists up to your cheekbones and keep your elbows in by your sides — also known as guard position. Your fists should be close enough to your cheekbones that your thumbs can touch them.
Guess what? You’re ready to rumble. For the kickboxing workout below, perform eight reps of each exercise and repeat for as many rounds as possible in 30 minutes.
1. Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut
Throughout the Undefeated program, you’ll do different variations of this classic combo. But to help you maintain form, here are a few pro pointers: “In the jab, the punch comes straight out from the shoulder. Imagine the point of contact being someone’s nose,” Garcia says. For the cross, utilize power from your back hip to strengthen your punch, and for the hook, keep your arm at 90 degrees, Garcia adds.
How to: Get into guard position (a). Jab: Extend your left fist straight with your thumb pointed toward the floor. Pop it back to guard position (b). Cross: Turn your right foot inward and bring your right hip and shoulder forward. Keep your elbow in as you punch your right fist straight out with your thumb pointed to the floor. Pop it back up to guard position (c). Hook: Lift your left heel off the ground to shift your weight to your right side. Bring your left elbow up to shoulder height, forming a 90-degree angle, with your thumb facing up. Pop it back up to guard position (d). Uppercut: Turn your right hip and shoulder forward. Punch upward with your thumb facing you. Pop it back up to guard position (e). This is one rep.
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