Kickboxing has roots in Asia dating almost 2,000 years ago. In the more recent past it became more popular in the US during the 1970s when experts arranged for karate competitions which allowed full contact. Because of safety concerns competitors were allowed to wear protective gear. Kickboxing is a significant portion of mixed martial arts sport which is a great workout but can be brutal for the athletes.

During this time period athletes recognized the cardiovascular and muscle development that was attained training and created a kickboxing venue that was designed for people who were interested in the fitness part of the program and not in contact or fighting.

Today, sometimes called cardio kickboxing, these moves are incorporated into other aerobic programs, along with moves involved in martial arts, plyometrics and step aerobics to give a more well rounded program.

There are a couple of things that you can do during your program that will help increase calorie burn, muscle development and day long calorie burn (not jus during the program). First, you should stay on the balls of your feet and keep shifting your weight from side to side, much like an athlete who is using full contact kickboxing for fighting or competition.

Because your hands and feet are not making contact with anything you should never fully extend your joints. At the speed and force you are throwing punches you can inadvertently hyperextend a joint and increase your risk of injury. Instead, keep the joint slightly flexed and land a softer punch or kick to the air where your opponent may have stood.

During the movements of kicking and punching you should be keeping your abs and glutes tight and controlling your punches and kicks by not only contracting muscles but also extending them purposefully. That means you should be actively punching and actively pulling the foot or hand back into position. The harder you keep your abs and faster you move, the more calories you burn and the more muscle you develop.

Kickboxing is a great way of getting in a strong workout at home using DVDs. This type of cardiovascular activity can also reduce your stress and improve your self-confidence. Although the program is intended as an aerobic fitness activity, the movements are designed from a competitive sport. Although most aerobic classes or DVDs do not teach you self-defense moves, having knowledge of the movements from your fitness program will help you to learn self-defense moves from other classes.

While it can burn up to 500 calories per hour and continue to burn calories throughout the day, it is not for everyone. The activity is high-impact and can’t be used in people who suffer from arthritis or other joint diseases.

Fitness Blender: Cardio Kickboxing Workout

Arizona Central: What are the benefits of kickboxing aerobics
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