One of the biggest advantages of a punch-wielding kickboxing workout is that it strikes a balance between strength and cardio. You fight with your full body to drive force through your fists — keeping your core engaged for control and using your lower body to power each punch. But it also gets your heart racing to knock out more calories. (Not to mention it’s a pretty perfect way to squash stress!)
To mix it up with more muscle-building, though, you can even hone in on a specific muscle group. That’s what we do in this strength-focused arm workout. Not only will you work your chest, back, biceps and triceps with the routine, but you’ll also hit more muscles from head to toe by moving with speed and precision. So follow the moves below, borrowed from Daily Burn’s Undefeated kickboxing program, to give your fitness the strength-meets-cardio one-two punch.
RELATED: Undefeated: Kickboxing Workouts to Get You Strong
6 Arm Exercises for a Kickboxing-Inspired Workout
You’ll alternate between punches sequences and strength exercises in this HIIT arm workout. Make sure to put some power behind each jab, cross, hook and uppercut. And grab some dumbbells for the strength moves to up the muscle-building benefits. Go through each move, in order, for the designated reps, and repeat the entire circuit at least once — twice if you’re really ready to fight. You want to be breathless by the end. Go get ’em!
RELATED: 5 moves, 30 Minutes: Your Ultimate Kickboxing Workout
1. Jab Cross
How to: Start in your boxer’s stance, feet staggered on a diagonal and placed about hip-width apart with your dominant foot toward the back. Hands should be in fists up by your face (a). Punch your front arm straight out in front of you for a jab, quickly returning your fist to your face (b). Then punch your back arm straight forward, pivoting on your back foot and using your hips for extra force, for a cross. Quickly return your fist to your face (c). Continue alternating between jabs and crosses for 45 seconds.
2. Triceps Push-Up
How to: Start in a modified plank position, with knees on the ground and shoulders directly over your wrists, toes tucked under (a). Keeping your elbows in close to your sides, lower your chest down to the ground (b). Push yourself back up to the starting position (c). Repeat for 8-12 reps. If you have the strength, come up to an extended arm plank position, off your knees.
RELATED: Get Sculpted Shoulders with These 5 Exercises
How to: Start in your boxer’s stance, feet staggered on a diagonal, about hip-width apart with your dominant foot toward the back. Hands should be in fists up by your face (a). Pivot on your back foot and use your hips for extra force to drive your back hand upward for an uppercut punch, then quickly reset in your starting position (b). Driving off your front toe and twisting your hips for extra force, punch your front arm upward for an uppercut, then quickly reset in your starting position (c). Continue alternating back and front uppercuts for 45 seconds.
4. Kneeling High Pull
How to: Start in a low lunge position, and bend forward at the waist, keeping your back flat (a). Pull your right elbow up so the dumbbell reaches your shoulder, then straighten your arm back out (b). Repeat on the other side, pulling your left arm up to your chest, elbow high (c). Continue alternating arms for 8-12 reps, then switch legs and repeat.
RELATED: 3 Quick Triceps Exercises for Sculpted Arms
How to: Start in your boxer’s stance, feet staggered on a diagonal, about hip-width apart with your dominant foot toward the back. Hands should be in fists up by your face (a). To perform this power punch, pivot off your back foot, using your hips for extra force, and lifting your back elbow so your arm is parallel to the floor. Punch to the side, with fist facing downward. Then quickly return to your starting position (b). Repeat the motion with your front leg and arm, pivoting off your front foot, using your hips for extra force, and lifting your front elbow so your arm is parallel to the floor. Punch to the side, then quickly return to your starting position (c). Continue alternating back and front hooks for 45 seconds.
6. Renegade Row
How to: Start in a high plank position, wrists directly under shoulders and both hands on dumbbells. Your body should be in one straight line from shoulders to heels (a). Gripping a dumbbell in your right hand, pull your arm upward, elbow close to your body and bringing the dumbbell to chest height, palm facing your body (b). Place your hand back down, returning to your plank (c). Repeat the row on the left side, bringing the dumbbell to your chest, elbow in close to your body (d). Place your hand back down to the plank position and then continue alternating rows for 8-12 reps per side.
Want more kickboxing workouts? Check out Daily Burn’s Undefeated program right HERE. Start your free 30-day trial today!
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