10 Kickboxing Drills For Beginners

Gladys T. Black
kickboxing workout

Want a workout you can really get a kick out of and do anywhere? Consider kickboxing. The supercharged cardio and strength sweat challenges your whole body by moving in all directions.

“We often don’t rely on our legs in our daily lives for more than walking, sitting, and squatting, so when you’re starting to kickbox, you’re teaching your legs a new way of moving,” says fight pro Hali Englert.

Meet the expert: Hali Englert is a Hit House trainer and Muay Thai practitioner.

And every single kick gets your heart pumping. “Throwing leg strikes while shadowboxing requires your toes, ankles, knees, hips, and core on one leg to rotate, contract, and lengthen all in tandem without a surface like a heavy bag to lean on at the end of the strike if you’re off balance,” says Englert. You’ll notice the benefits of kickboxing (cardio, coordination, rhythm, mobility, and stability) in and out of the gym.

All you need for this beginner friendly kickboxing workout created by Englert is a workout ‘fit and a high-impact sports bra. Yup, skip the sneaks! “This is an exercise that does not require footwear,” she says. “In fact, shoes or sneakers can limit your rotation and create stress on your knees.” Ready? Let’s get after it.


10 Beginner Kickboxing Drills

Instructions: After the warm-up, complete each combination for 2 minutes and rest for 30 seconds in between for a 25-minute workout. This workout is for all levels. All drills can be done at your own speed with or without hand weights.

First, practice your boxing stance:

1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, one slightly in front of the other, knees slightly bent. Your rear arm and leg should be your dominant side (so whichever arm you write and/or throw with!).2. Bring fists up, one slightly in front of the other (as if you were protecting your face and head from an opponent), palms facing each other and elbows close to body.


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Start warming up with nonstop jumping jacks for 20 seconds.

Continue warming up with nonstop seal jacks for 20 seconds.

Continue warming up with nonstop crossovers for 20 seconds.

Rotate arms out to your sides in circles for 20 seconds.

Rotate arms out to your sides in circles the opposite direction for 20 seconds.

For the warm-up, complete nonstop extensions for 20 seconds.

How to:

1. Start with feet hips width distance apart, hands in boxing position near your chin.

2. Punch left arm forward while right leg moves forward and left leg jumps back (like a vertical jumping jack).

3. Punch right arm forward and switch legs so left leg moves forward.

4. Continue alternating for 20 seconds.

How to:

1. Start in boxing stance and lift your left fist to your left temple.

2. Lift and bend left leg just inside of left elbow, so knee is near elbow.

3. Tap left foot to ground and lift left knee outside left elbow.

4. Return to start and repeat on right side.

5. Continue alternating for 20 seconds.

How to:

1. Stand in boxing stance, fists at cheekbone level and elbows close to body. Palms should be turned toward face.

2. Squat down a few inches and tuck lead elbow to hip bone on same side.

3. Drive through the legs and rotate core and lead shoulder forward while driving lead hand up into an invisible punching bag.

4. Quickly pull punching arm back to face.

5. Squat down a few inches and tucking your rear elbow to same side hip bone.

6. Repeat the same strike with rear fist.

7. Continue alternating as fast as you can without stopping.

Jab, Cross, Hook, Body Kick

How to:

1. Stand in boxing stance, fists at cheekbone level and elbows close to body.

2. Punch lead fist straight in front of you at head level, rotating torso and fully extending arm.

3. Bring fist back close to you quickly, holding it in front of your face with elbow close to the body.

4. Repeat the motion using rear fist.

5. Pivot lead arm so elbow is in line with shoulder and thumb is pointing up.

6. Punch across and imagine hitting a target on the side of the face.

7. Bring fist back close to you quickly.

8. Keep weight in the balls of your feet, lead hand up in front of face.

9. Lift rear leg and swing it across your body, foot landing on opposite side of your body.

10. Use your core to slow down your leg, maintain your balance, and reverse the motion to set the foot back on the ground in starting position.

11. Repeat the four-strike combo as fast as you can without stopping.

Jab, Rear Knee, Cross, Lead Push Kick

How to:

1. Stand in boxing stance, fists at cheekbone level and elbows close to body.

2. Punch lead fist straight in front of you at head level, rotating torso and fully extending arm.

3. Bring fist back close to you quickly, holding it in front of your face with elbow close to the body.

4. Rise up on the ball of lead foot, while bending rear leg so heel is as close to butt as possible.

5. Drive rear knee forward, initiating the motion with the hip.

6. Use your core to bring leg back to the ground behind you.

7. Punch rear fist straight in front of you at head level, rotating your torso and fully extending arm.

8. Bring fist back close to you quickly.

9. Pivot rear foot out slightly for stability and lift lead knee and extend leg forward with front foot flexed. (Imagine making contact on a target with the ball of your foot.)

10. Bring lead foot back to the ground in boxing stance.

11. Repeat the four-strike combo as fast as you can without stopping.

Form tip: Imagine the knee strike is a punch with your knee, says Englert.

Check Into Front Push Kick, Check Into Rear Push Kick

How to:

1. Start in boxing stance and bring lead fist to temple on same side.

2. Lift lead leg to tap lead elbow.

3. Return leg to ground.

4. Lift lead knee and extend leg forward with front foot flexed. (Imagine kicking an opponent’s stomach with the ball of your foot.)

5. Bring lead foot back to ground in boxing stance and rear fist to temple on same side.

6. Lift rear leg to tap rear elbow.

7. Return leg to ground.

8. Lift rear knee and extend leg forward with foot flexed.

9. Bring rear foot back to the ground in boxing stance.

10. Repeat the four-strike combination as fast as you can without stopping.

Alternating Knees / Skip Knees

How to:

1. Stand in boxing stance, fists at cheekbone level and elbows close to body.

2. Lift lead knee and bend so foot is close to butt.

3. Push forward with your hip and drive lead knee as if you’re striking an opponent’s stomach.

4. Return foot to ground.

5. Lift rear knee and bend so foot is close to butt.

6. Push with your hip and drive rear knee forward.

7. Return foot to ground.

8. Continue alternating knees as fast as you can without stopping.

Lead Head Hook, Lead Body Hook, Rear Knee, Rear Elbow

How to:

1. Stand in boxing stance, fists at cheekbone level and elbows close to body.

2. Raise lead elbow so it is in line with shoulder and thumb is pointing up.

3. Punch across, imagining you’re hitting a target on the side of the face.

4. Bring fist back close to you quickly.

5. Squat and rotate torso slightly, raising rear elbow in line with rear shoulder. Thumb is pointing up.

6. Punch across, imagining you’re hitting a target on the side of the face.

7. Bring fist back close to you quickly.

8. Bend and lift rear knee so foot is close to butt.

9. Push hip forward and drive knee into imaginary opponent’s stomach.

10. Return foot to ground.

11. Step on lead leg and rotate in order to strike with rear elbow. (Pretend you’re aiming for an opponent’s cheek, nose, or forehead.)

12. Reset in boxing stance.

13. Repeat the four-strike combination as fast as you can without stopping.

Squat Alternating Punch Extensions

How to:

1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.

2. Lower into a squat.

3. Stand and rotate entire right side (toes, knees, and hips) toward left, while simultaneously extending right arm in a punch.

4. Return to center and lower into a squat.

5. Stand and rotate entire left side to the right, while extending left arm into a punch.

6. Continue alternating as fast as you can without stopping.

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