Cardio kickboxing provides alternative workout

Anjali Shrestha
Features Editor

“Jab, punch, double time and ski, five, four, three, two, one,” the instructor yelled over the music in an upbeat and perky voice.” The class followed the instructor’s example by jumping up and down, punching the air and occasionally adding in a leg-kick.

The cardio kickboxing class I attended began this way. Initially I was confused by the instructor’s term of “skiing” that had nothing to do with going down a snowy slope and surprised this class was more like cheerleading then martial arts. In kickboxing I quickly realized the key to success was constant movement. Even between sets the class was instructed to run or jump rope in place.

“The whole body gets a good workout in cardio kickboxing,” said chiropractor Ted Fratto, who practices kickboxing several times a week. “First and foremost, your cardiovascular system is working during the entire class, making your heart stronger.”

Working the cardiovascular system strengthens the heart, more oxygen throughout the body and increasing the number of red blood cells.

“The benefits of cardio is keeping your heart strong and increasing endurance,” said Fratto. “As we age, cardiovascular health is one of the — if not the — most important aspect of physical health.”

Cardio kickboxing exercises the entire body, from working the arms with punches and jabs to legs with high kicks.

“Your core, the area between your ribcage and pelvis, gets a great workout because it is the base from which we generate the power to kick and punch,” said Fratto. “Your shoulders and arms as well as your hips and legs are worked with all the kicking and punching. In other words, your whole body gets a great workout.”

Cardio kickboxing is the culmination of aerobics, martial arts and the constant energy of boxing. It is considered an ideal way to stay fit because it is a whole body workout that builds stamina.

“I like doing cardio kickboxing to workout because although it is very tiring at the time I feel like I am getting a great workout,” said junior Sophie De Lancie. “It was enjoyable because of the music and the teacher and made working out a fun activity.”

Although at first I felt thrown into a routine that everybody knew except me, it was surprising how fast I could pick up the steps. The upbeat music and energy of the rooms got my adrenaline pumping which made this high-intensive workout fun.

Half an hour of cardio three-times-a-week is the suggested starting point.

“As your cardiovascular conditioning improves, you increase the frequency and duration of your workout,” said Fratto.

During the class I was staring at the clock and waiting for the music to end, hoping the overly-perky teacher would tell us class was over. The constant movement and unfamiliar steps made the class initially challenging.

After getting the first few combinations down and mastering the ski-step combination, the class became fun and upbeat rather than a chore.

“I felt like I got a really good workout because in the class we worked different parts of the body,” said De Lancie. “The punching exercises and working out my arms felt good cause I felt like I was building strength even though I was a little sore the next day.”

Junior Sima Daniel practices a move from cardio kickboxing
Junior Sima Daniel practices a move from cardio kickboxing