Posts Tagged ‘Kickboxing’

All About Kickboxing

Since I post so much about loving my kickboxing classes I thought it might be nice if I did a little breakdown of what exactly a kickboxing class entails. Please note that I am not a kickboxing, or any type of fitness, instructor and this is just my opinion/description based on taking kickboxing classes at one kickboxing gym for a while.

Unlike kickboxing classes that are offered at traditional gyms (which I’ve also taken), my classes involve working with a heavy bag. At my gym there are about 30 bags upstairs and 12 bags downstairs. In most classes every other bag is left empty so you’re not too squished.

The owner of my gym actually did a little video testimonial for Groupon that they filmed at the gym and it gives you a good idea of what it all looks like:

Building Your Business with Groupon: CKO Kickboxing from Groupon on Vimeo.

Classes all start with three minutes of jump roping (note how I say jump roping instead of jumping rope, I know it’s wrong and I don’t know why I do this, but it sounds weird to me the other way). When I first started jump roping was so hard! It absolutely killed my calves, but now I can do three minutes no problem! The only issue I have is if I’m in a spot where the mats on the floor are uneven and the rope snags the mat, sad, but true.

After jump roping we go into stretching, different instructors stretch for different amounts of time, but I always appreciate the ones who do a thorough stretch. Stretches that are often included are downward dog, runner’s lunge, cris crossing your arms, pulling your arm across your chest, bending your arm over your head, arm circles, neck rotations, and touching your toes.

Once the stretching is over we go into a more dynamic warmup. That usually includes some combination of jumping jacks, high knees, squats, squat jumps, squat thrusts, burpees, mountain climbers, holding up the bag and running in place, forearms and toes, and push-ups. I often find that these few minutes are some of the hardest of the workout.

Following that we take a brief break to get our gloves on (I use fingerless gloves I bought at my gym, I think they’re these) and take a sip of water and towel off. Once everyone has their gloves on we start working on the bag. We do all different combinations of punches (jab, cross, hook, uppercut, elbow, backhand) and kicks (front kick, roundhouse, sidekick, knee)¬†interspersed with the activities we did in the dynamic warmup.

For example we might do a double jab/cross, rear leg roundhouse, switch our feet three times and do it on the other side. Or we might do a jab/cross/jab/cross, squat thrust and repeat over and over. There are also more complicated combinations involving all the punches and lately they’ve really been loving punch-outs, rapidly doing the same punches over and over. Sometimes certain instructors will have us side shuffle around the room, run around the room, or do lunges around the room between punching combinations.

Depending on the instructor we’ll stick to one combination or activity for 10 seconds or a minute. I tend to prefer the shorter intervals as it keeps me more alert. All of the combinations are combined to make up rounds; some instructors do 4-5 shorter rounds for a class while others do two rounds a class. At the end of each round we attack the bag, meaning we go all out doing whatever we want. I think I’m supposed to really like attacking the bag, but I hate it. I go to class to be told what to do, having to come up with 10, 20, or 30 seconds of my own combinations is annoying. But from talking to other people and judging the energy in the room I think I’m in the minority on that.

After each round we get a water and toweling off break. In most classes after we finish working on the bag the instructor tells us to take off our gloves and we go into abs. A few instructors intersperse abs in with the rest of the workout, but most do it at the end. We’ll do some combination of bicycle crunches, scissor kicks, leg raises, sitting with the bag between our feet and sitting up and punching the bag, sitting with the bag between our feet and sitting up and climbing up the bag, side planks, side planks with leg raises, side planks with twists, forearms and toes, forearms and toes with twists, and spidermans.

Sometimes after taking off our gloves we’ll incorporate the medicine ball, both for a full-body workout (ie. throwing it down or working with a partner to throw it back and forth while doing squat thrusts) and for abs.

After abs we do a cool down stretch, mostly using the same stretches we used at the beginning of the class.

All of the classes are challenging and it’s definitely a full body workout. There are certain instructors whose classes I prefer and I try to go to them, but there’s no one that I’m disappointed to have to take a class with.


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Back to Kicking Ass


Not really. Well, I kicked a heavy bag’s ass.


I haven’t been since the first week of February and I’m not going to lie, I was expecting it to kill me. BUT IT DIDN’T!!!

I haven’t been that diligent about working out. I’ve tried to run three times/week, during the few weeks where I knew I didn’t have a muscle or tendon tear I tried to do weights, but really I pretty much took it easy on the workouts.

Earlier this week I tried to do a pushup (on my toes) and it was like I was lifting a million pounds. So I didn’t have much hope for the high intensity pushup/squat thrust/burpee-filled kickboxing class.

The physical therapist said I could go to kickboxing as long as I didn’t actually punch the bag, I did any pushup-like movement on my fists, and if anything hurt I stopped. I had originally planned to go to the downstairs area of the gym since it’s usually emptier and I figured I could go more at my own speed. But I ended up staying upstairs. Which was fine, but I definitely felt competitive with the people around me.

Every class starts with three minutes of jumping rope, which I got through pretty easily although I felt like I was going at a bit of a slower speed than I used to do. The stretching was fine (felt great actually); we did some pushups, which I did on my fists and my knees which were actually good; then we did a squat thrust and the movement really hurt my wrist so I tried it on my fist and that was better.

Once we started working on the bag I realized I could punch with my left hand and just shadow box with my right, which worked well throughout the class. A few times I misjudged my distance and ended up lightly punching the bag, which was uncomfortable, but not painful. Hooks and uppercuts were more painful than jabs and crosses.

Eventually the pushups and squat thrusts started to bother my wrist so when the class did them I would just hold a plank (not painful) or do some jumping jacks.

Overall I felt really good. I held forearms and toes planks for the prescribed times, I did the tough ab set at the end, and I didn’t want to die at the end. I could definitely feel the intense workout in my legs walking home, but it’s obviously so worth it.

I had originally hoped to go tomorrow morning too, but I think it’s best to take the weekend off and head back Monday night. No need to overdo it, the last thing I want is another injury.

But I’m back, woooo!!!!!!!!!

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