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Killer Kickboxing Workout

Kick-Butt Cardio

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Kickboxing is a fun and effective cardio workout that engages almost every muscle in your body. So instead of plodding along on the treadmill, try these drills from fitness expert and certified kickboxing instructor Jessica Smith to torch calories and tone your arms, abs, shoulders, back, and legs at the same time.

How it works: Perform each drill back to back without rest. When you've finished the last drill, rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat the full circuit one more time.

Jab, Cross, Squat, Jump, and Switch

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Attack and avoid an imaginary opponent with this punch combo.

Stand with your right foot forward, arms in 'on guard' position (elbows bent, hands in fists on either side of your chin). Throw a right jab (punch your right arm forward, rotating your fist down, without locking out your elbow), a left cross (punch your left arm forward, rotating your left hip into the punch and lifting your left heel off the floor), and then bring your arms back to on guard position. Quickly push your hips back and lower into a squat, jump up, and rotate 180 degrees in the air, landing with your left foot forward.

Immediately repeat the entire sequence on the left side. Continue alternating sides for 1 minute.

Speedbag and Shuffle

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Stay quick and light on your feet with this boxing training drill.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bring your arms up in front of your chest, hands in fists, elbows out to the sides. Shuffle side to side and circle your arms rapidly around in each other (as if hitting a speed bag).

To make it harder, reverse the direction of your circles without losing speed. Do this as quickly as you can for 30 seconds.

Boxer's Shuffle and Switch

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Work on your agility and speed with this quick switch drill.

With your right foot forward and arms on guard, shuffle in place for 1 count, then quickly jump and switch to the other side, landing with your left foot forward. Shuffle in place for 1 count and switch back. Do this as quickly as you can for 30 seconds.

Back Kick and Knee Strike

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Power up your lower body and core with this killer kick combo.

Stand with your feet together, arms on guard. Bend your left knee in towards your chest, and then extend your left leg behind you, pushing out through your left heel, foot flexed. Quickly bend your knee back in and step down.

Immediately bend your right knee in front of your chest, pressing your hips forward. Repeat for 30 seconds with the left leg, and then 30 seconds with the right.

If you want to make this more challenging, add a hop as you transition from the kick to the knee strike.

Jump Rope Combo

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Jumping rope is a great calorie burner, but you don't even need an actual rope to get your heart rate up!

Hold an imaginary 'rope' and skip in place, alternating a front heel tap while circling your arms. Do this as quickly as you can for 30 seconds.

Horse Stance to Pushup, Pop Up

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Tone your entire body and spike your heart rate up with this cardio-conditioning move!

Begin in horse stance with your feet wider than hip-width apart, knees bent, and toes turned out about 45 degrees. Bring your arms to on guard, keeping your hips under your shoulders. Bend from your hips to place your hands on the ground below your shoulders. Jump both feet back into a full plank (keeping your abs in tight). Do a pushup and then jump your feet back into your hands and stand back up into horse stance. Repeat as many times as you can for 1 minute.

Jab, Cross, Upper, Duck

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Keep your mind and body engaged with this 8-count combination.

Stand with your right foot forward, arms on guard. Throw a right jab, a left cross, a right uppercut (bend your elbow into your body and imagine punching up and under your opponent's chin), a left uppercut, and then quickly duck (squat down). Immediately stand back up and duck again. Repeat the full combo as many times as you can for 30 seconds on the right, then switch and repeat for 30 seconds on the left side.

Switching Roundhouse

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Target your hips and thighs and keep your heart pumping with this switch-kicking combo.

Stand with your feet together, arms on guard. Bend your left knee and draw your heel into your body, pivoting your right heel forward, and then quickly 'whip' your left leg out to the side (imagine you are striking a target with your shin and the top of your foot) extending your leg with your foot pointed. Bend your knee back in and step down to switch legs and repeat on the right. Alternate legs as quickly as you can for 30 seconds.