For a fun way to amp up your workout and burn mega-calories, incorporate cardio kickbox circuit training into your weekly fitness routine. If you've never done circuit training before, expect to huff and puff your way through your first workout-circuit training incorporates high volume, low weight strength moves that target your entire body and provide you with little opportunity for rest between stations.
Benefits of Circuit Training
- You don't have to choose between doing cardio or lifting weights. Circuit training moves you through strengthening exercises fast enough to get your heart pumping, burning more calories and effectively providing both types of exercise at once.
- You won't get bored. You can set up a circuit routine with exercises you enjoy, and because you have to move so quickly from station to station, you won't have time to dwell on how many sets or reps you have left.
- You can easily target trouble zones. If you want to give your butt an extra lift, add an exercise every three or four stations that specifically targets your rear end.
- You don't have to mess with bulky weight equipment. Traditional plate-loaded equipment doesn't facilitate the fast-moving station changes that circuit training requires. Set up stations with dumbbells, jump ropes, aerobic steps and bands for a more effective circuit.
- Anyone can do anything for a minute. For instance, you may not be able to jump rope for five or ten minutes straight, but you'll probably have no problem incorporating a minute of jump roping here and there throughout your circuit. This will improve your jump roping ability and take advantage of the fat-blasting benefits of the jump rope. This same theory applies across the board. Maybe you cringe at the thought of lunges, but if you time yourself for 30 seconds per leg, you'll probably find the exercise more digestible.
- You can use your creativity. If you've always wanted to try squat jumps or up-downs, set up a single station for the exercise. Add stair running or wall-jumping, or anything else to keep you engaged and excited about your workout routine. The sky's the limit when it comes to the types of exercises you could include.
Cardio kickboxing has become a group exercise staple ever since Billy Blanks introduced Tae Bo in the 1990s. The punching, kicking and bodyweight training moves all enhance strength and cardiovascular endurance, making them a natural for fun circuit training add-ins.
Cardio Kickbox Circuit Training Workout
If you want to include cardio kickboxing into your next circuit routine, test out this 10 minute cardio kickbox circuit training workout:
Minute 1: Jog in place
Minute 2: Squat and jive
Lower yourself to half-squat, your legs slightly wider than shoulder width, your fist held in front of your face and your forearms protecting your belly. Shift your body weight to your left leg and stand while leaning slightly to the left, straighten your right leg and tap it to the side. Reverse the movement and repeat on the opposite side.
Minute 3: Squat and jab, 30 seconds each arm
Turn your body sideways, and angle your torso so that you're facing one of your legs. Hold your fists in front of your face, shielding your torso with your forearms. Squat down, and as you rise from the squat, punch with the arm that's on the same side of the body as the leg you are facing. Continue squatting and jabbing until it's time to switch sides.
Minute 4: Squat and uppercut, alternating arms
With your legs and torso facing forward, lower yourself into a wide squat, your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing outward. Turn your torso to the right as you tighten your abs and perform an upward angled punch across your body with your left arm. As you punch, raise yourself up slightly from the squat. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
Minute 5: Boxer jump
Turn your body and torso to the side, holding your hands in front of your face, your forearms shielding your torso. Hop forward and backward, shifting your weight slightly from your front foot to your back foot. Try to stay on your toes throughout the exercise.
Minute 6: Wall squat 30 seconds; wall push-ups 30 seconds
Minute 7: Boxer jump and jab, 30 seconds each side Perform the boxer jump, and as you hop forward, jab out with your leading arm. Continue on one side for 30 seconds before switching.
Minute 8: Lunges, 15 seconds each side; bench dips 30 seconds
Minute 9: Jump rope
Minute 10: Squat and backward kick
Start in a half squat, your feet should be a shoulder-width apart and your fists are in front of your face. Lower yourself into a full squat and as you begin to rise, shift your weight to one leg and lift the other leg from the ground. Keeping your torso straight, lean forward and kick your lifted leg backward, extending your knee. Return the foot to the ground and continue squatting and kicking, alternating from one foot to the other.
If you want a longer workout, repeat the circuit two or three times.
Even if you aren't sold on the idea of circuit training, try a cardio kickbox circuit on those day when you're short on time or can't make it to the gym. You'll be glad you made the effort and you just might get hooked.