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Cardio Kickboxing

Burn 1,000 calories with a workout that'll leave you gasping for air (and begging for mercy)

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What It Is
A fat-burning, muscle-building workout that blends striking with interval training. "You'll punch with jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts, and perform front kicks and roundhouse kicks," says Joe Andreula, owner of Club KO Kickboxing in New Jersey. Students can expect to be exhausted afterward. "The average guy will burn between 800 and 1,200 calories in a one-hour class," says Andreula, "and his metabolism will be 10% to 15% higher for the next eighteen hours."

Your First Class
Wear loose-fitting workout clothing and make sure you have the right sneakers. "Since you'll be moving side to side, cross trainers are the best," says Andreula. Also, bring a towel and a jump rope. You'll warm up with a few minutes of light calisthenics, do some stretching and bodyweight exercises, then progress right into the kickboxing. "We switch from a high-intensity exercise to a low-intensity exercise, similar to sprinting," he says.

Try This at Home
Improve your jab. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. "Bring your weaker hand up near your ear, like you're talking on an old telephone, and keep your other hand by your chin," says Andreula. Rotate your body slightly and bring that side's leg straight back about 18 inches. Step forward and touch the floor with the ball of your foot as you finish the punch. "The key is to push off the rear foot, because that's where the power is," he says. Throw a jab every second for 30 seconds, and then take a 30-second break. Do six rounds of this. "Inhale as you pull back and exhale as you punch," says Andreula. "And make sure to keep your abs tight."

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