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.