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Kick your way to fitness

Imagine you find a fitness mantra that not only keeps you fit, but also boosts your confidence by teaching you self-defence techniques. Sounds exciting? Then cardio-kickboxing is surely meant for you.

health and fitness Updated: Jan 11, 2012 13:33 IST
Charu Sharma

Imagine you find a fitness mantra that not only keeps you fit, but also boosts your confidence by teaching you self-defence techniques. Sounds exciting? Then cardio-kickboxing is surely meant for you.

A modified version of Thai boxing, it combines aerobics with martial arts and boxing. Prince Singh, a fitness trainer with Fitness First gym, says, “It is a martial arts-based easy-to-follow workout that can burn up to 600-700 calories in a hour-long session.”

The technique comprises a series of punches and kicks synchronised in a rhythmic way. The kicks are an effective way to strengthen the legs, especially thigh and hamstring muscles. With a combination of dance, hand and kicking moves, it is a great way to tone your lower body hip, thigh and waist.

Although cardio-kickboxing largely concentrates on the lower part of body, the punches and jabs, which are an intrinsic part of the workout, can strengthen and tone your shoulder and back muscles.

The technique also involves a lot of jumping, twists and turns. This ensures that the whole body is put through a rigorous workout. Also, the knee moves involved in this workout can help firm abdominal muscles.

Since cardio-kickboxing speeds up the blood circulation, it can make your internal system stronger too. The most important thing about cardio-kickboxing is that it can be a great method of self-defence.

Anuradha Sharma, who has been doing cardio-kickboxing for the last six months says, “Apart from my fitness level, my self-confidence has gone up manifold. Now, if land up in a tricky situation, I know I will be able to handle it.”

Right start
Necessary training:
Before you begin a cardio-kickboxing routine, get trained by a qualified trainer, or learn the right moves from a self-help DVD. Else, you might injure yourself.

Right gear: Don’t wear too tight-fitting or too loose clothes. They can restrict your movement. Wear comfortable shoes to reduce the impact on your knees and joints while kicking and jumping. Avoid kickboxing on bare feet, especially on hard floors.

Slow start: If you are a beginner, be careful with your kicks and punches. Start with a low intensity workout to avoid unnecessary strain on your joints and muscles.

Accurate posture: Maintain right balance and proper foot position while kicking and punching to avoid excess strain.