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Essential Moves in a Kickboxing Class

Shanie Rusth

UFC GYM’s Kickboxing Conditioning class is a high intensity, strategic workout that is always evolving and never gets old. I can’t think of a better way to burn 750 to 1000 calories in an hour while simultaneously get aggression out (without getting punched in the face). The class starts off with a ten-minute dynamic warm up, leads into seven three minute rounds of kickboxing combinations with active rest in between, and finishes off with a 10-minute cool down consisting of ab exercises and static stretching.

Here are four essential kickboxing moves that will help you maximize your outcome in class:

1. Stance

To throw correct punches and kicks, you need to first make sure you are in a proper stance. Separate your feet about shoulder width apart. Pull your dominant leg back and out into a staggered stance at about a 45 degree angle. Distribute your weight evenly between your feet, keep your heels off the ground, knees slightly bent, and stay light on your toes. Keep your hands up to protect your chin and elbows in to protect your body, while keeping your chin down. Every movement should begin and end in your stance.

2. Punch

The six basic punches you will need to know are called in the following numbers:

1- Jab

2- Cross

3- Lead hook

4- Rear hook

5- Lead uppercut

6- Rear uppercut

Jab- The jab is used to find your range and set up other punches. Starting from your stance, slightly lift your lead foot. As the weight comes back down, throw your lead fist straight out in front of you, rotating your palm so that it faces the ground upon extension. Snap it back to your face the same way it came out, quickly.

Cross- The cross can be used as a power punch, to counter punch a jab, or to set up another punch. Starting in your stance, throw your rear hand from your chin across the body and towards your target in a straight line. Your shoulders should rotate 180 degrees and torso and hips should rotate counter clockwise. Keep your lead hand retracted and tucked against your face to protect your precious face! Transfer your weight from your rear foot to your lead foot, turning your rear heel outwards and causing the foot to end on its toes. Retract your cross quickly, along the same path it came back into your stance.

Hooks- If used properly, the hook can be one of the most powerful punches. Since it approaches from the side, it’s hard for your opponent to see it coming. Rotate your whole body by pivoting your hips in the same direction as the hook you are throwing. Have your elbow come up, bent at a 90-degree angle as you throw your fist towards your target, and keep it high as you follow through. Keep your fist is in a thumbs-up position to protect from injury and always keep your other hand up by your face. Retract by rotating your body back into the same position it came from, into your fight stance.

Uppercuts- Uppercuts are usually thrown when you are in close range to your target. They can be sneaky and are usually aimed at the body or chin. From your stance, start the punch from your jaw and make an upwards scooping motion, aiming for your target. Throw your hip forward to add more power. Retract your punch along the same path that you threw it out, ending up back in your stance.

3. Kick

Kicking is my all-time favorite move! While kicking, keep in mind that kicking power comes from your hip and body rotation, not your leg. To throw a rear kick start in your fight stance. Pivot your lead leg onto the ball of the foot and open up the rear hip. As your hip opens, swing your rear leg and point the rear knee toward your target as you pivot. Your right hip should fully rotate over the left hip while you swing your body, leaving your kicking leg’s hip in a parallel position over the hip of your base leg. Connect with your shin (not foot!) to prevent injury. Once you’ve made contact, quickly bring your leg back into your stance.

4. Knee

Knees are great to throw when in close proximity to your opponent. They can be devastating. Bring the knee up while simultaneously thrusting your hips forward, extending your knee directly penetrating the target. You may grab either side of the bag or onto the back of your opponent’s neck and skull in a clinch to gain momentum and pull them into your knee strike.

If you want to blast fat, destress, get a full body workout, and learn a new skill, try a UFC GYM Kickboxing Conditioning class today!

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