Be a Brawler: 20-Minute Kickboxing Workout

Combine kickboxing with isometrics to forge functional strength, clear your head and rev your metabolism —in just 18 minutes.

Lara McGlashan MFA CPT | February 14, 2017

Lifting weights is great; sprinting on the treadmill — fab. But sometimes you just want to kick the s—t out of something. Numerous studies support the idea that boxing — and kick- boxing-style workouts — have a positive effect on mood, helping relieve stress and anxiety while working your entire body from toes to fingertips, making them some of the most calorie-consuming programs around.

Vent your frustrations and torch fat with this no-bag-needed workout modeled after the Brawl class from The Barre Code. “This combines HIIT cardio, functional strength and isometric holds to challenge your mind and stoke your metabolic engine,” says Lina Midla, the chief training officer for The Barre Code in Chicago. “In less than 20 minutes, you can train total-body coordination and agility, burn fat and let your spirits soar.”

REACHING KNEE

Assume a fighting stance with your left foot behind, heel lifted. Reach your arms overhead and grab your imaginary opponent’s head. Forcefully pull the opponent down while simultaneously lifting your left knee to hip height, cracking some skulls on your kneecap.

Intensifier: Add a hop to your knee drive.

ROUNDHOUSE KICK

Lift your fists in front of your face, elbows down. Turn your right foot outward and lift your left leg up to hip height, knee bent, heel by your glutes, toe pointed. Hold your balance as you whip your toe out and in as fast as you can, aiming high for your opponent’s face.

CROUCH HOLD

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out, palms pressed together at your chest. Kick your hips back and drop into a low squat, coming to parallel

or just below, chest lifted, weight in your heels. Hold.

Intensifier: Pulse slowly up and down in a 1-inch range of motion.

HIGH/LOW PUNCH

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out, fists guarding your face, elbows down. Rise up onto your toes and punch high with one hand, recoiling quickly. Immediately drop down into a low squat and punch low with the same arm to complete one rep. Start slowly, and as you get the hang of it, increase speed.

Intensifier: As you punch high, add a jump.

SIDE BODY BLOCK

Assume your fighting stance with your left leg forward, right leg back, and extend your right arm toward the sky, left hand on your hip. Lift your right leg up to the side and slightly behind you as you drive your right elbow down to your waist, keeping your hips square and your chest lifted. For round one, move slowly, taking four counts to lift and four to lower. Each round, get a little faster and accrue more repetitions.

About the Author

Lara McGlashan MFA CPT

Oxygen Fitness Editor Lara McGlashan has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and editor, who specializes in health, fitness, and nutrition. 

Lara is an ACE-certified personal trainer and fitness consultant. Her sports background includes skiing, snowboarding, flying trapeze, yoga, competitive beach volleyball, dance, mountain biking, hiking and running, to name a few endeavors. She is currently exploring the world of CrossFit in her home base of Connecticut, where she lives with her 2-year-old son, Alex.

You can follow her on Facebook at LaraFitnessEditor.