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Workout Wednesday: Cardio kickboxing HIIT express

Working out at home can be fun, easy and extremely effective! A HIIT workout hits every muscle group and increases your cardiovascular strength.

DENVER — Being stuck in your house does not mean you still can't complete a full-body workout.

As a certified personal trainer, I've redesigned all of my workouts for my clients and members to fit within a small room of their homes, using nearly 100% body-weight, resistance bands and/or small hand weights.

Every day must start with a warm-up. I always encourage dynamic stretching, which is moving while you stretch. 

Use a double-pull for each of your lower body parts. For example, pull your knee to your chest twice, your ankles back twice and your feet toward your chest in a pigeon twice. That allows your muscles to activate and then elongate. A short jog in place or mock jump-rope is also encouraged.

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Today's workout is a cardio kickboxing class, using proper form for punches and kicks. I will introduce you to the four major punches: jab, cross, hook, uppercut, as well as two kicks: side kick and front kick. We'll put them together into combinations for a high intensity interval training (HIIT) tabata.

This HIIT strategy alternates short periods of anaerobic workouts with shorter periods of rest. I typically use the "tabata" timer, which incorporates periods of 20 seconds of high-intensity work and 10 seconds of rest for eight reps. This lasts for four minutes per set. 

The benefits of HIIT workouts are huge! The short periods of anaerobic workouts help you to improve your cardiovascular capacity (VO2 max), significantly lower your insulin resistance over a period of time — and burn more fat.

WEEKLY WORKOUT: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Kickboxing


Introduction to punches through ladder building

  • Jab 20 seconds
    • Place your right foot forward and lift both hands up by your face. Using only your right hand, extend it straight out from your shoulder. This is a setup punch.
  • Jab-Cross 20 seconds
    • Perform the same jab, but add a cross afterward. Using your back hand, punch straight out from your shoulder. This is your power punch, so you will need to pivot your back foot and knee to gather strength from your legs.
  • Jab-Cross-Hook 20 seconds
    • We're adding a hook to the previous two punches. The hook comes from the front hand. Bend your elbow out by your chest and punch horizontally from the chest toward your chin.
  • Jab-Cross-Hook-Uppercut 20 seconds
    • We're adding an uppercut here for the full combination. The uppercut comes from your back hand and back leg. Use your whole body to get behind this punch, using a lot of force from your glutes and legs. This will look a lot like a bicep curl into the gut of the opponent or bag.
  • Repeat this entire ladder combination on the left side.


Side kick 20 seconds

  • Begin with your hips square. Hinge at the hips, lift your right knee up and extend it out by kicking through your laces. By squeezing your obliques, you'll be able to lift your leg even higher.

Lunge switch kick 20 seconds

  • Lunge back with your right leg, return to center, kick through the left heel.

Repeat twice on each leg for a total of 8 sets.


Jab, Cross, Weave 20 seconds

  • Stand with your right foot forward. Perform a right jab, left cross, and then shift your weight back onto your left back leg to "duck out of the way" of an incoming punch. Tighten your abs and weave the weight from the front foot to the back.

Three hooks 20 seconds

  • Stand with your hips square. Perform a hook with your right arm high, squat slightly and hook to the middle, squat slightly, and hook to the bottom.

Repeat twice on each side for a total of 8 sets.


Hook, Uppercut, Knee Slam 20 seconds

  • Stand with your right foot forward. Perform a hook with the right, uppercut with the left, and then bring the back left knee up toward your chest for a crunch/slam.

Jab, Cross, Step back kick 20 seconds

  • Stand with your right foot forward. Perform a right jab and a left cross. Then, step your feet together until they are directly underneath of you. Using your back left foot, kick sideways through your left heel (over your back shoulder).

Repeat twice on each side for a total of eight sets.

The most important part of every workout is the cool-down or stretch. Spend roughly 10 minutes on your stretch session, and no less than 15 seconds per stretch. 

Start from the bottom and work your way up, stretch your hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, hips, lower back and quads, before moving to your upper body. Then stretch your shoulders, triceps, back and finish with chest.

Drink plenty of water, especially after your stretch. Once your muscles have been stretched out, they need to be replenished with fluids.

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