Kick It Up
Cardiokickboxing is a unique blend of martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, a total body workout and some heavy duty cross training. It is an intense and high powered workout that has demonstrated maximum calorie burning capacity. Besides good cardiovascular conditioning and overall strength you'll need balance, coordination and flexibility. Here's some tips before you take your first cardiokickboxing class:
* Assess your current fitness level. Many clubs do not offer progressive cardiokickboxing classes. All they offer is the intense version. You may want to set your goal at doing half the class rather than the entire class. Another way to ease into kickboxing is to do half time training which means doing everything at half pace.
* Observe a class first. There are basically two types of classes. One is taught a mile a minute and another is taught at a more reasonable pace allowing students to perform movements through the full range of motion. If possible, avoid the fast paced classes as they do not provide greater results and cause more injuries.
* A warmup for cardio kickboxing is lengthy and should involve every muscle group in the body.
* Never lock out a joint when punching or kicking.
* Check out the experience of your instructor. It is valuable to have a teacher with a good background in martial arts as well as group fitness instruction. Purely group fitness instructors are often the one's who teach those mile a minute classes and their form is not always up to par.
* It's difficult to learn proper technique in a group setting. Take a few private kickboxing lessons so you know you are performing the moves correctly and safely.
* Don't worry about how high you kick. Kicking high before you are ready can lead to muscle tears and other injuries.
* There are only a few basic moves to learn in kickboxing. If you attend a class with complicated choreography that is not a cardiokickboxing class. See if another class is available.
The various kicks and punches in a kickboxing class may seem a bit foriegn at first but patience and perserverence will win. I strongly recommend a few of those private lessons to truly master technique. For the intensity and mastery of all the fitness components nothing beats a well taught kickboxing class.
About the Author: Dr Lanny Schaffer is an Exercise Physiologist and the President of The International Fitness Academy. For more cutting edge fitness and health information go to http://www.aerobic-exercise-coach.com