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What is Aerobic Boxing?

By B. Miller
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Aerobic boxing, or aerobic kickboxing, is a type of physical fitness activity that incorporates principles of aerobics in with boxing moves. Aerobic boxing is a popular class at fitness centers because it engages muscles throughout the entire body and increases the heart rate simultaneously, making it a great aerobic and strength training exercise. DVDs are also available with programs for doing this type of aerobic kickboxing workout at home.

In general, aerobic boxing is an independent sport, and does not involve contact with other people. This is an important difference from regular boxing, which is a contact sport. Boxing for aerobics may involve punching a punching bag, but usually it just involves making the boxing movements without actually making contact with anyone or anything. This makes it safe for people of different ages and activity levels.

Aerobic boxing programs may consist of a series of punches, kicks, and knee raises, as well as stepping and side-stepping, squats, and lunges to incorporate the aerobic moves into the routine. An instructor will generally lead a fairly fast-paced class, often with loud music playing to get participants feeling pumped up and energetic. The instructor should also provide instructions regarding safety, so that no one accidentally gets an injury from being punched or kicked, or from overextending a joint.

As a general rule in aerobic boxing, never extend the arm or the leg so that the elbow or knee is straight and locked. This is a form of over-extension. Instead, when punching or kicking, stop when there is still a slight bend in the arm or the leg. This will prevent injury to the joints. It is also important to warm up before an aerobic boxing program, and to cool down with stretching afterward.

Do not do aerobic boxing barefoot, even in the home. Put on a pair of supportive sneakers to give the feet, legs, and back more of a supported cushion. There are no special clothes needed for aerobic boxing classes, but it is best to choose something that is relatively form-fitting and easy to move in. Form-fitting clothes will allow the instructor to be sure that everyone is performing the moves properly and safely. For those people in poor shape, or who are just starting to exercise, boxing is probably not the best aerobics class to start with; choose a gentler aerobics class first, then as physical fitness improves, one can choose a more challenging boxing class.

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Discussion Comments

By angelBraids — On Aug 04, 2011

As the mother and major care giver of small children I'm rarely able to get to the local YMCA fitness classes.

Thank goodness for technology, which saved my sanity and my waistline! After watching a few videos on the Internet my sister bought me a game player with an aerobic boxing option.

I find it quite easy to motivate myself and do a full workout about three or four times a week. I'm much happier bouncing around my own home with unlimited air conditioning, than sweating it out at the gym!

By Valencia — On Aug 04, 2011

@animegal - You are so right to advise people against jumping straight into a mid or higher level aerobic boxing class. I used to train five times a week and take several classes, but had to start this one at the lowest level.

What I especially like about aerobic boxing is that I am toning my arms and legs at the same time as increasing my heart rate. Most classes just do one or the other.

By popcorn — On Aug 03, 2011

You don't have to go to a gym if you want to try out aerobic boxing, as there are lots of free instructional videos available online. You can also pick up some videos to try from your local library.

I think aerobic boxing is one of the cardio workouts you really have to try before you commit to it. I would say that aerobic boxing is more challenging than doing straight cardio on an elliptical and really demands you give a lot of yourself.

As for equipment when you are starting out, you don't really need any for the basic motions. Later on though, getting a punching bag can be a lot of fun and help you get more from your workout.

By animegal — On Aug 03, 2011

Aerobic boxing is one of the best workouts you can do, but be warned it is really intense. My first time trying aerobic boxing didn't end well, as I nearly passed out from over exerting myself trying to keep up with the class around me.

Before you start aerobic boxing I think you need to be really honest with yourself about your fitness level and it may help to have your capabilities tested by a trainer. If someone suggests you try the beginner class you should listen to them. Over confidence with aerobic boxing can lead to injury and some pretty embarrassing time outs.

I was so red during my first intermediate aerobic boxing class that the instructor actually made me sit out because she thought I was going to die on her. I wish I had just listened to everyone in the first place and tried it out as a beginner.

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