If you’re craving an all-in-one workout that doesn’t feel like a chore, consider a kickboxing or cardio kickboxing class. Kickboxing is a contact sport that’s part martial arts and part boxing; cardio kickboxing is an aerobic exercise class that incorporates choreographed kickboxing moves performed either in air or against a stationary punching bag. Classes vary widely, but, across the board, you can expect to burn calories, tone muscles, have fun and zap stress (jabbing a punching bag may be the ultimate way to blow off some steam).
- Wear comfortable clothing that allows for full range of movement.
- Call ahead to ask about equipment. You may need boxing gloves and/or shin guards. If gear is required, studios often rent it.
- Bring water. People typically burn at least 350 calories per hour in a cardio kickboxing class; traditional kickboxers can burn even more (like up to 700, research shows).
- Exhale through your mouth as you kick or punch; doing so will increase the power you exert. Inhale through your nose between strikes.
MAKE IT COUNT:
- Do your research. To find a kickboxing class that incorporates bag work and/or sparring with others, your best bet is to look at local martial arts studios (in addition, 9Round is a franchised kickboxing gym with studios in Summerville, West Ashley, downtown and Mount Pleasant). Cardio kickboxing classes with or without punching bags can be found at most gyms.
- Arrive early. If it’s your first class, get there early and let the instructor know
so he or she can run through the jargon with you (for example, upper-body moves include jabs, upper-cuts and hooks, while lower-body exercises range from knee strikes to roundhouse kicks).
- Bring your patience. Both cardio kickboxing and traditional kickboxing classes include choreographed circuits. Expect to flounder some and remember that the challenge is a boon to your cognitive health.
- Looking to learn self-defense? Most cardio kickboxing classes aren’t aimed at teaching self-defense tactics. For that, try a martial arts or Tai chi class (turn to page 14 for information on a local senior self defense class.)
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