Kickboxing Aerobic Workout
"Punch Up" Your Classes!
Although not quite as new and trendy as "Spinning" or "Crew" classes,
both "Boxaerobics" and "Kick-Boxaerobics" offer both the participant and
the instructor some considerable challenges. However, it sometimes
seems as if all the class wants is "Step, Step, and More Step!!".
Here's a way to give 'em what they ask for, while incorporating high-energy,
low-impact movement in kick-boxing fashion.
Begin by getting the class in an alternate-knee-up action on the bench.
Then have them make fists, and go into a "defense" position, with arms
pressed forward, fists at chin level, and elbows together. The rest
of the moves start from there. Make sure your participants know that
they must not put full force into punches or kicks, but to press the arm
or leg forward, and bring it back to rest in a controlled motion.
This is both safe, and much more intense than the usual explosive motion
of a terminated kick or punch. Keep them concentrating on form!
All punches return to the "defense" position.
Move 1: Alternate punches across. Left knee lift, left arm
punches forward. Alternate.
Move 2: Alternate uppercuts. Right knee lift, left arm drops
and lifts in uppercut punch. Note: it is possible for the participant
to strike him/herself in the chin with this one (no kidding! I've
seen one guy literally knock himself off the bench!) Be sure to warn
them to keep their hands away from the face!
Move 3: High single-arm sweeping block. Either alternate or
same-side-as-knee. Elbow rises to level with the shoulder, fist and
forearm point straight up, and the arm swings outward from center at the
Move 4: High double-arm sweeping block (I call this one the "Jackie
Chan"). Same as 3, but with both arms moving to the sides.
Go until you feel the pecs stretch.
Move 5: High double-arm elbow block (I call it "Bruce Lee").
Same as 4, but the fist and forearm rotate down to the level of the shoulder,
and both elbows are pressed back to strike an imaginary pair of opponents
Move 1: Forward kick - dorsiflex the foot and press the heel directly
to the front instead of a knee-up. The height of the kick depends
on the participant's individual abilities and desires. Demo the kick
at knee, waist, and head height. Be sure to warn your class to make
the motion smooth, and to return under control.
Move 2: Side kick - dorsiflex the foot, lean the upper body slightly
to the side opposite the kick, and press the heel out at the desired height.
Demo low, medium, and high. Again, be sure the participants are not
making explosive moves.
Move 3: Stomp (rearward) kick - dorsiflex the foot, and press the
leg straight to the rear as if stomping on the foot of an attacker behind.
The same cautions as 1 and 2 apply.
For all kicks, arms remain in the "defense" position. Remind
your participants that the legs reach farther than the arms, so punches
are wasted motion. Holding the arms and fists up becomes quite an
isometric chore, as well!
Summing it all up --
These moves add intensity and a bit of "martial arts" look to step
classes. They aren't by any means a substitute for real martial arts
or defense training, but some participants will inevitably find them attractive,
and possibly pursue the real thing. Even for those who don't, the
experience is quite intense and rewarding.
You might wish to experiment with light (1 - 3 lb.) weights, once your
participants are no longer likely to "throw" punches, and are observed
to maintain good form. They can add a bit of additional intensity
to the moves. I absolutely forbid hand weights in excess of 5 pounds
in my classes, even for the big guys - just too much chance of joint injury
if they get carried away.
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