what is cardio kickboxing

what is cardio kickboxing

Cardio Kickboxing is a group fitness class that combines martial arts with high intensity interval training, also known as HIIT.  It is more of a fitness workout and not competition as some would think.

Regardless if you are a beginner or a kickboxer elite, this workout will make sure to get your heart pumping and blood flowing every second of class.

Not only do you get an awesome cardio workout, but you also build lean muscles in the process. With every punch and kick on the bags, you will no doubt enjoy this fun and intense workout.

What To Expect

You should expect to be lead by an experienced instructor who’s job is not only to guide you through the workout, but also get you pumped up as you get ready to work your entire body with this exercise.

The classes are usually an hour long, but I doubt you will even notice since you will be too busy trying to wipe the sweat off your forehead.  Each class usually starts off with a 15 minute warm-up where you will do a series of upper and lower body exercises.

This usually is the toughest part for most members since there are very few moments to rest during each exercise. Keep in mind that you are allowed to rest, but the less rest the better the workout. Although make sure to use caution and go at your own pace.

The warmup is followed by stretching and then 25 minutes of heavy bag work. YES! The fun part. There is usually 6 rounds with 3 minutes for each round. You will go through a different set of combinations as you progress through each round.

Each round the volume of combos will increase testing both coordination and endurance. Some of the combos you will learn during your workout is:

Upper Body combos include:

  • Jabs
  • Cross
  • Uppercut
  • Hooks
  • Spinning Back Fists
  • Superman Punch

Lower Body combos include:

  • Front Kicks
  • Side Kicks
  • Roundhouse Kicks

The Instructor’s job is to make sure to teach you proper technique with each combo learned.  After the heavy bag round, you will then partner up with a friend or any member available and instead of combos on the bag, you will be doing combos on your partner’s glove.

Keep in mind that this is a non-contact workout, so you are not allowed to hit your partner…on purpose that is. So doing partner drills is a great way to have fun and focus on accuracy and coordination.

Partner drills is then followed by cooperative conditioning and then the cool down. This workout is a great way to focus on challenging yourself both mentally and physically.

Who Should Try It

If you are someone looking to burn fat, build muscle and lose weight, then cardio kickboxing is for you. Especially if you are someone that has grown bored with their regular stationary cardio equipment like treadmills, ellipticals and stairmasters.

Regardless of skill level, you can try out cardio kickboxing. What makes taking a cardio kickboxing class so fun is that you don’t have to have any previous martial arts experience. If you are new, make sure you start off slow and that you are patient with yourself as you try learning the movements.

It’s easy to get frustrated as you learn these new techniques, but as long as you don’t give up on yourself. you will develop more confidence as you put in more reps. If you are someone that is experienced and looking for a workout that will keep you from being bored, then cardio kickboxing will make sure to keep you active and engaged.

How Many Calories Can You Burn?

Depending on how much effort you put into each class, you can burn anywhere from 500-900 calories. It is advised that if it is your first class, that you go about 50% and go at your own pace.

Than as you get comfortable and know what to expect, then you can increase the intensity with each class. Also if you are someone that is serious about getting real results, then it is recommended that you go at least 3 times a week. When it comes to getting results, you have to put in the time and effort.

If you want to learn how often you should exercise to lose weight, then I recommend you click here to learn more about losing weight.

How to Start

Look for any martial art studio near you. Gyms also may offer cardio kickboxing classes well, so make sure to check your local gyms.  A couple of things you may want to take note of before you find a studio that offers cardio kickboxing classes are:

  • Be prepared to workout in barefoot or socks as some studios do not allow any shoes on the mats. So Make sure to ask the studio what their policy regarding this matter.
  • Make sure to wear comfortable clothing that you would wear at the gym. You will sweat so I would def leave the sweater at home.
  • Bring a towel and a bottle of water since you will most likely sweat a lot and will find yourself needing to hydrate.
  • If it’s your first class, be prepared to show up about 30 minutes before class starts to go over paperwork.
  • Last but not least, bring your smile and awesome attitude, because the people there are
  • usually there to help you and make you feel apart of the community within their studio.


When it comes to fitness, finding something you will like is very important as motivation is usually a struggle for most people working on taking care of their health.  For some people, the gym can be boring, and cardio kickboxing for some is a great way to relieve some stress and frustration and have fun all at the same time.

So if you can find a studio near you that offers classes, it’s definitely worth it to give it a try and you never know, you may come to really like it.

So please share below your thoughts on cardio kickboxing and let us know if you have ever taken a class.

Related Topics:

About the Author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. Hey Ralph,

    Nice article. I’ve been looking for cardio-based training for a while. I used to take Taekwondo seriously a number of years ago but since then I’ve taken lifting weights way more seriously and weigh a lot more than I did back in the day. I have no trouble building muscle and getting bigger but when I want to trim down I find ‘standard’ cardio like running or using a cross trainer so god-damn boring.

    I reckon something like this would be right up my street. it would help with my endurance well. My build now lends itself to short burst of power with not a lot of reserve.

    1. Hey Ed! Yea I have always had trouble gaining weight, and working as a kickboxing instructor, it sure didn’t help. I will admit though, I was able to burn a lot of fat and was pretty darn cut, so it can definitely help get you nice and ripped.

  2. I have tried cardio kickboxing and I agree with you- it is an amazing workout! I am not a huge fan of working out indoors, but cardio kickboxing is a great way to burn serious calories. I like how you emphasize the importance of warming up. With all the kicking, I’m sure it would be easy to tear a muscle, or get hurt another way. I have also found my confidence level to be higher after attending cardio kickboxing classes. I feel strong and fit afterwards!

    1. Hey Misty! It is definitely a great workout and with all the different movements you do during the workout, the warming up part is very important

  3. Great information here.

    I have one friend who actually competes at kickboxing and I have to say he is pretty good too. In his younger days he was quite well known for his ability but these days he has taken to training the youngsters.

    I am not sure he knows of the techniques you are talking about here as I have never heard him mention them.

    i will direct him to your information here as I am sure there is always something to learn, especially this HIIT workout you are talking about!

    Thanks for the information!


    1. Hi Chris! Most of the terms are pretty standard, but other terms may be used in other circles like the superman punch. Terms like jab, cross are pretty standard even in boxing, but definitely have you friend stop by and share his input. Thanks!

  4. Im dinging the layout of the site. I’ve been in martial arts for a very long time, and cardio is a key factor. you have differently hit the high points. Please don’t forget about the Spinning back kicks. Just to add a curve to the work out. Great topics n the blog. I’m diffidently going to be coming back and checking out some future posts. Great job on the site. It is very captivating.

  5. Hey Ralph, I actually have though about this – cardio with boxing (not with kickboxing) but actually kickboxing makes more sense as you move your lower body more. The problem I have is that at the gyms no one would teach you how to kick properly without hurting yourself. And when I go to a gym they always tend to presume I’m there to be a part of the boxing team and I’m not. What kind of lessons would you suggest? Youtube videos, tutorials? Thank you in advance for your advise.

    1. Hey Sam! Youtube videos can definitely help. But joining a local studio would probably be best since they would be able to give you answers to any questions you may have.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Learn more about [your subject]. Start Now!