20-Min Kickboxing Workout to Punch Monday in Face

Jennifer thefitfork handstand in kickboxing class Sometimes it can be a real fight to get daily exercise accomplished. No joke. Ready to get it done and get on with the day? This 20 minute, high-intensity (HIIT-style) workout gives you heart-pounding cardio combined with working every muscle in the body. It’s a real calorie-torcher and productive way to relieve stress before your day begins or as it ends.  There are NO handstands as the above picture implies, I’m just flipping out and having fun after finishing my workout! 20 Minute Full Body Kickboxing Workout engages every muscle in the body and kicks up the cardio too! What you need: In addition to 20 minutes, you’ll need a visible clock with a second hand to keep track of the intervals / rounds. Also, you’ll need access to a free-standing punching bag or one that hangs low enough that you can throw punches from a seated, sit-up position.  Don’t forget to gear up with a pair of kickboxing, sparring or boxing gloves. Explanation of Rounds

  • Jab & Cross Punch:  Throw straight punch from front hand followed quickly by straight punch from back hand.
  • Round House Kick: Step forward with front leg and foot rotated outward as far as possible. Rotate hips and kick leg to shoulder height while lowering torso.
  • Upper Cut Punch: Throw a rising punch that moves upward with palms facing chest, alternate arms.
  • Sit Up with Hook Punch:  Sit with legs wrapped around bag base, lean back into prone position and then sit up quickly delivering a rounded punch to the bag with an arching motion with one arm, quickly followed by the other arm.

I hate wearing the sweaty, stinky kickboxing gloves from the gym . . . so I just got these!

Do you like to kickbox? What is your alternative cardio workout on days you don’t want to run? Did you have a race or run this weekend, please share in comments – XOXO, Jennifer 

When You Can’t Run, Then Row Workout

If I can’t run (or don’t feel like it), the rowing machine is my cardio butt-kicker of choice.  Plus, I love it when a CrossFit WOD has rowing as one of the elements; I know I’ll have a chance of making up time lost on dead lifts, cleans, jerks and other such “more muscle, less hustle” maneuvers.

If you’re exclusively a runner, it’s a smart idea to mix up your cardio routine every once in a while. Take a break from running at least one or two days per week!  It’s beneficial to your overall fitness to use some new muscle groups in endurance training, it actually can make you faster . . . so, let me introduce the rower!  This mainstay of the gym is well worth your attention. A rowing workout gives you one of the best cardio workouts around, requiring effort from both your upper and lower body. I also feel it working my core! Plus, rowing doesn’t put as much impact on your joints which means you have higher odds of remaining injury-free.

So if your knees (or your mind) need a break from the daily pavement pounding, try out this rowing workout. It should take about 30 minutes, give or take. The three progressively challenging bursts of rowing for two kilometers each feature “active” breaks in between. Enjoy and row like the wind!

If you don’t have access to a rowing machine, but want to get some of the same muscle strengthening benefits, you can try this rowing band exercise at home.  I like to call it the “faux-row”!

Faux-Row Band Exercise

Step 1:  Lay out a mat, this exercise needs a little padding on the rear. Sit with your legs partially bent out in front of you.  Wrap a resistance band around each hand and stretch it around the balls of your feet, move legs out to create tension in band.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - row drive

Step 2: (above) Drive backward, first with the legs, then lean back with the core, and finally follow through by pulling arms back to chest (like boat rowing) all while keeping back straight.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - row recovery

Step 3:  (above) While bracing your legs with the band, recover by bringing the arms forward first, followed by leaning the core up, and then bending the knees upward a little bit. Repeat steps 2 and 3 seamlessly for 20 – 40 combined reps. Aim for 3 to 6 sets.