Cardio Kickboxing Workout
What’s the most important part of a good cardio kickboxing workout? The pre and post workout stretch. This honestly is the biggest part I seem to ignore. Even if I remember to stretch and roll out (or bust out the Pso Rite) beforehand, the hip flexors get pretty damn tight halfway through. Regular stretching and rolling out will do wonders for your longevity in the sport.
The warm up described inside the pages of Simple and Sinister can also help with the hip flexors if done regularly.
After warm up Cardio Kickboxing Workout
Cardio kickboxing can take place either solo or with a partner. If you’re solo you can either hit a bag (there are a variety of bags / types / shapes) or punch and kick the air (“shadow box.”) If you’ve got a partner they can hold a variety of pads for you or hold the bag for you so it doesn’t move.
Set a timer according to your current fitness level. I’m personally a fan of 3 minutes on 1 minute off for a total of 6 rounds. If I’m working a particular combo I’ll build upon that combo through multiple rounds. So round 1 would start with something like jab, jab, jab straight then round 3 I might add left slip, left uppercut and in round 5 add in right elbow, left elbow, right elbow.
For “cardio” kickboxing I’d do the exact opposite for the even rounds – straight, straight, straight jab in round 2, then right slip, right uppercut, and finally left elbow, right elbow, left elbow. The idea here is to try and “balance” the total number of lefts or right movements to not create a muscle imbalance.
In traditional kickboxing / Muay Thai environments there is no focus on swapping to the degree I’m suggesting. 5 kicks left, 5 right would probably be used or left knee, right knee but your combos aren’t going to alternate as much.
It’s also worth noting that this shift (if you’re a traditionalist) may bring about bizarre behaviors in your actual practice. Or you can swap foot positions to try and work on your south paw / orthodox stances to try and erase any sort of “good side / best side” behaviors.
Partner Cardio kickboxing drills
Padwork can be fun, especially when you know how to do it even pseudo properly. The pad holder can either hold for a particular combo or you can go freestyle where the pad holder freely chooses kicks and punches or even attacks forcing the boxer to react accordingly.
The most important part of padwork is reacting to punches, knees, and kicks correctly so you don’t get hurt. The very first time I held pads for a knee I wound up with a black eye. The knee hit the pad, the pad popped up into my face.
With Thai Pads in particular you want the straps slightly loose. Too tight gives them no bounce. But too loose means you might take a blow to a body part and not the pads.
Keeping the pads tight to the body and pushing slightly into the blow (be it a knee, kick, or punch) lets you move the pads away from you as opposed to towards you.
Heavy Bag Workouts
As with pad holding you can either work specific combos or go freestyle on the bag. The type of bag will also determine the types of moves you should do on the bag. A spar bar workout for example would be more punching and defense than uppercuts on an uppercut bag.
Regardless of the bag, you can get a great workout in a short period of time.
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