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Magic in the Moment

Don't be afraid to add mindfulness to your kickboxing warm-up.

By Linda Freeman
Aug 31, 2007

When approaching the warm-up for a
kickboxing class, many instructors think
of it only as a way to physically prepare the
body. But what about warming up the
mind? You can also get your students
mentally prepared and in the moment.
This helps them benefit maximally from
the workout and is an essential ingredient
in the recipe for kickboxing success. By
taking the time to set the mood and add
a little motivation, you empower students.
The end result: you create a little
warm-up magic that sets your class apart
and keeps students smiling as they sweat.

The secret is to start with very simple
physical movements that require minimal
cuing. This lets you verbalize other key
points that will mentally engage students
in the workout. Intersperse the following
ideas while you cue simple, basic warm-up
movements:

Set the Mood. This is kickboxing,
folks! Time to get tough and mean—no
backing down today, no ‘nice guy’ attitudes!
Who’s in?"

Motivate With a Specific Purpose. We’re focusing on upper-body combos
today, and we’ll be using our strikes and
blocks. Remember, your power comes
from the core, and today you’re strong!

Show a Little Magic. Demonstrate an
important safety tip and/or proper form
for a movement you will use in class.
Show students you care about their bodies,
and tell them how to prevent injury.
Be sure to lift your left heel and rotate
the left knee and hip inward to execute a
safe left cross.

Empower With Options. You are in
charge of your workout today! Pick the
level that works best for you. I will show
low-impact options for all high-impact
moves, and you choose!

Warm-Up (8-10 minutes)


Begin in easy stance, feet shoulder width
apart, knees and pelvis neutral, shoulders
down and back, arms at sides.


Do slow shoulder shrugs, emphasizing
downward movement (2 counts [cts]
up, 2 cts down); 8x, 32 cts.


Perform alternating shoulder rolls
(start small, then make bigger by leading
with elbows); 16x, 32 cts.


Open arms to side, palms forward,
and do chest/shoulder stretch (2 cts to
stretch open, 2 cts to release forward
and flex spine); 8x, 32 cts.


Pull arms into "boxer ready" position,
stand tall and begin side-to-side rotation
(right [R] on 1, center on 2, left [L]
on 3, center on 4); 8x per side, 32 cts.


Step feet into narrow stance and continue
rotation as above, emphasizing
core; 8x per side, 32 cts.


R lead: step-touch, adding easy front
jabs L, R; 8x, 16 cts. Perform step-
touch knee lifts, pulling arms to knees
(emphasize rotation); 8x, 16 cts.


(a) Repeat step-touch with front jabs;
4x, 8 cts. (b) Repeat step-touch knee
lifts; 4x, 8 cts. Repeat (a) and (b); 16 cts.


R lead: double step-touch moving R,
L (arms start in boxer position); 2x, 16
cts. Repeat; add jab on count 4 (add
step-touch on end); 2x, 16 cts.
(Double step-touch R, single step-
touch L, R; 2x, 32 cts.)
(Add hook on ct 6, uppercut on ct 8;
4x, 64 cts.)

Transition (repeat as needed):


bob and weave 4x, 8 cts


squat 4x, 8 cts


rotate side to side
(as described above) 4x, 8 cts


step narrow, rotate
side to side 4x, 8 cts


alternating front
knee lifts 8x, 16 cts


alternating front kicks 8x, 16 cts


jumping jacks 8x, 16 cts


power jacks 4x, 16 cts

Option: Break down to 4/4/4/2 of each.

You are now ready to rock-and-roll
right into your first combination. Remember,
put your smile, energy, enthusiasm
and passion into your warm-up and
you will shine—and your students will
keep coming back for more!


Linda L. Freeman is a master trainer for
Resist-a-Ball®, EFI Sports Medicine, BOSU®
Balance Trainer and other companies, as well
as an IDEA presenter, author and Master
Personal Fitness Trainer.

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