Cardio-boxing and Kick-boxing for Super Fitness

Article by Gary Matthews

cardio boxing
cardio boxing. Getty Images

Cardio-boxing and kickboxing are two great ways to use martial arts techniques to condition the whole body because it builds muscle strength, endurance, balance, agility and coordination all at the same time.

Cardio-boxing has also been shown to promote well-being because it builds confidence and discipline. Most cardio-box programs consist of variable heart rate work and actual boxing techniques. 

A good way to determine exercise intensity during cardio-boxing is by taking your heart rate or use the rating of perceived exertion. For this workout, your heart rate range is 50% - 70% of your max heart rate. To determine this number, subtract your age from 220 and multiply this by .5 and .7 to get the top and bottom heart rates. If you are 40, this number is 220-40= 180. 180 x 0.5= 90, and 180 x 0.7= 126. So your heart rate range is 90-126 bpm.

To get a more precise reading of your heart rate you can use a heart rate monitor.

Start with a good warm up and gradually increase your heart rate. Your first workout session should be no more than 10 minutes. Over time you will work up to 20 minutes. Once you’re comfortable with working out for 20 minutes at 70% then try to increase the heart rate up to 80%.

Boxing Technique

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your left foot in front of your right foot. Your right heel should be slightly raised with your left foot flat on the floor and toes pointing ahead.
  • Bend your knees a little and balance your weight comfortably and evenly.
  • Place your elbows close to your body with your left fist held at head height and in a position that corresponds to your left foot.
  • The right fist should be at head height also and guarding the chin, with both elbows protecting your body and both fists protecting your chin.
  • This is your defensive and offensive position after throwing punches, so please practice this before going any further.
  • When moving forward in this boxing stance the left foot moves forward first and then the right follows.
  • When moving back, the right moves back and then the left follows.
  • When moving sideward to the right, the right foot moves first followed by the left.
  • When moving sideward to the left, the left foot moves first followed by the right.
  • Practice this moving forward, back and sideward in the boxer’s stance until it is done smoothly and quickly.
  • Remember to keep your guard up and elbows tucked into your sides.
  • Keep your head at eye level with your upper body leaning forward slightly.
  • In boxing, it is important that punches are thrown quickly and then bought back quickly to assume a defensive posture.

A left jab has many uses, it can be used for both offensive and Defensive actions. From the set stance, the left arm is pushed quickly and forcefully forward, the weight is shifted to the front foot.

The fist moves in a straight line and straight back again for defense.

At the moment of impact, the back of the hand and the lower arm are in a straight line. Keep the right fist in the defensive position and elbow tucked into the body during the movement.

The straight right is also known as the punching hand and can be thrown with considerable force. The arm moves straightforward from the chin, the body weight is shifted to the front foot with the ball of the foot of the back leg pushing into the floor for more power.

The back of the hand is straight and pointing up at the moment of impact. The arm is then immediately pulled back for protection after the hit.

The left hook to the head and body is an effective punch for closer range work. From the set, stance turn your left shoulder quickly and move your elbow up to shoulder height. The fist moves in a circular motion to the target, with the elbow bent.

Rotate your hip and body whilst pressing your front left down keeping the back of your fist pointing up and in a straight line with the lower arm. The left hook to the body is similar to the above but increases the rotation of the body

The right uppercut is also carried out at close range. Drop the lower part of your punching arm until the lower and upper arm is at right angles to each other. The back of your hand should be pointing away from you, now thrust your arm forward and upward to your target.

Shift your body weight to your front leg and rotate your hip and shoulder on the same side. Remember to keep your left fist guarding your chin during the entire movement. Now practice all your punches until they are done quickly and smoothly.

To develop speed and endurance, try punching straight left and right combinations into the heavy bag. The duration of the exercise period is the same as the rest period i.e. 10 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds exercise, 20 seconds rest, and so on. Move up higher as your condition improves.

About the Author
Gary Matthews is a strength and fitness trainer and writer who maintains the Maximum Fitness web site.

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