Try This At-Home Kickboxing Workout When You're Craving a Cardio Burn

Nancy Chen Kickboxing
Photo: Anthony Cunanan / Design: Mehroz Kapadia

Thanks to this kickboxing workout, you can channel your inner fighter and develop fierce skills without leaving your house.

01 of 09

The Ultimate Home Kickboxing Workout

Nancy Chen Kickboxing
Anthony Cunanan

Kickboxing workouts may be known as a fun and effective cardio option, but they offer plenty of other perks. In fact, this workout method also builds strength, stability, and bodily awareness, says Nancy Chen, a certified personal trainer and kickboxing instructor. "[Kickboxing] forces you to engage your core and work on your balance while you're kicking," she explains. Plus, it challenges your mobility, she adds. (That's just the beginning. Here, more reasons you need to try boxing.)

So, the next time the treadmill feels like a total drag, try these drills provided by Jessica Smith, a fitness expert and certified kickboxing instructor, and demonstrated by Chen, to break a sweat. Just remember to do a proper warm-up before you get started, says Chen. "Kickboxing involves mobility and balance, so you want to ensure your muscles are warm so you can safely perform the moves without pulling or straining anything," she explains. And remember: These kickboxing workout moves are meant to challenge you both physically and mentally, so don't get too frustrated if you slip up on your first try, says Chen. "Just have fun with it!"

How it works: Perform each kickboxing workout drill, demonstrated by Chen, back to back without rest. When you've finished the last move, rest for 1 to 2 minutes then repeat the full circuit one more time.

What you'll need: Enough free space to punch and kick the air safely.

02 of 09

Jab, Cross, Duck, and Switch

Attack and avoid an imaginary opponent with this kickboxing workout's punch combo.

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, left foot forward, and arms in "on guard" position (elbows bent, hands in fists on either side of chin).

B. Throw a left jab (punch left arm forward, rotating fist down, without locking out elbow), a right cross (punch right arm forward, rotating right hip into the punch and lifting right heel off the floor), and then bring arms back to on guard position.

C. Quickly push hips back and lower into a squat, jump up, and switch leg positions in the air, landing with left foot forward.

D. Immediately repeat the entire sequence on the opposite side.

Continue, alternating sides, for 1 minute.

03 of 09

Speedbag Shuffle

Stay quick and light on the feet with this kickboxing workout drill.

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms raised in front of chest, with hands in fists and elbows out to sides.

B. Alternate hopping on one foot at a time, tapping opposite foot on the floor in front of body, while circling arms rapidly around in each other (as if hitting a speed bag).

Continue, hopping and circling arms as quickly as possible, for 30 seconds.

04 of 09

Boxer's Shuffle

Improve agility and speed with this quick-switch kickboxing workout move.

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, left foot forward, and arms on guard.

B. Shuffle in place for 2 counts, shifting weight from front foot to back foot. Then quickly jump and switch to the other side, landing with right foot forward.

C. Shuffle in place for 2 counts and switch back.

Continue for 30 seconds.

05 of 09

Back Kick and Knee Strike

Power up the lower body and core with this killer kick combo. (Before you try this kickboxing workout move, learn how to master the four fundamental kicks.)

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, left foot forward, and arms on guard.

B. Bend right knee in toward chest, and then extend right leg behind, pushing out through right heel, foot flexed.

C. Bend right knee slightly and place right foot to the floor.

D. Immediately bend right knee and drive it up in front of chest, pressing hips forward.

Repeat for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.

06 of 09

Jumping Rope

Jumping rope is a great cardio challenge that also improves coordination and bone density, which is why it's a staple in any kickboxing workout. If you don't have a jump rope, don't stress: Just mimic the movement by circling your arms and hopping in place.

A. Stand with arms at sides, holding a jump rope handle in each hand, feet together, and the rope on the floor behind heels.

B. Press into toes to jump up and quickly swing rope up over head. Hop in place while circling arms to swing rope under feet and above head.

Continue for 30 seconds.

07 of 09

Wide-Stance Squat Thrust with Push-Up

Challenge your entire body and get your heart pumping with this cardio-conditioning kickboxing workout drill, which is a twist on a traditional burpee.

A. Stand in with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and toes turned out about 45 degrees. Bring arms to on guard, keeping hips under shoulders.

B. Bend from hips and place hands on the floor below shoulders.

C. Jump both feet back into a high plank, keeping core engaged.

D. Slowly bend at elbows to lower body and perform a push-up, stopping about 3 inches above the floor.

E. Push away from the floor to return to the high plank, then jump feet up to hands. Then, stand back up to return to the starting position.

Do as many reps as possible for 1 minute.

08 of 09

Jab, Cross, Uppercut, Duck

Keep the mind and body engaged with this eight-count kickboxing workout combination.

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, left foot forward, and arms on guard.

B. Throw a left jab, a right cross, and a left uppercut (bend elbow into body and imagine punching up and under an opponent's chin), then quickly duck (squat down).

C. Immediately return to standing.

Do as many reps as possible for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.

09 of 09

Switching Roundhouse

You'll target the hips and thighs with this switch-kicking combo.

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, left foot forward, and arms on guard.

B. Bend left knee and transfer weight into left foot, pivoting right heel forward, and then quickly "whip" right leg out to the side (imagine striking a target with shin and top of foot) extending leg with foot pointed.

C. Bend knee back in and step down to switch legs and repeat on the opposite side.

Continue, alternating sides, for 30 seconds.

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