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Sample Class: Song-Mapping for Kickboxing

Let music simplify the experience.

People in kickboxing class

Kickboxing classes have been enticing, exciting and motivating participants since the late 1990s. However, if there’s too much choreography, kickboxing can feel overwhelming, especially to newcomers. This simple workout is choreographed using song-mapping, which makes it predictable and easy to follow.

Generally speaking, song-mapping assigns movements to the verse(s), chorus and other parts of a song. To keep this kickboxing workout simple to instruct, each song has different patterns for the verse, chorus and bridge. Note: A bridge most commonly falls between the second and third sections of the chorus.

Song-Mapped Kickboxing Details

Format: kickboxing

Total Time: 45 minutes

Goal/emphasis: cardiovascular conditioning and coordination

Equipment needed: none

Music: This class includes 10 tunes that incorporate no more than three kickboxing movement patterns per song (except the warmup), plus an intro move. To avoid copyright infringement and ensure consistent beats per minute, consider using music companies that mix their music professionally. Shoot for 135 bpm or slightly slower for a newer/beginning group. Slow the tempo for the cooldown. If you use 32-count phrasing, rely on that.

Additional tip: Return to “skipping rope” as your go-to move if you forget some choreography or need to reset your thinking.

See also: Kickboxing Safety: Back to Basics

Kickboxing Warmup (8–10 minutes; two songs)

Prepare the body for an increased workload. Introduce cues on form and technique.

Song Suggestion #1: “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley, remix.

  • Intro: skipping rope.
  • Chorus: alternating knee strikes, pulling arms down.
  • Verse one and pre-chorus buildup: alternating punches, 83–163 each: jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts.
  • Chorus: alternating knee strikes, pulling arms down.
  • Bridge: alternating front and side kicks, right/left, 83–163 each side.
  • Chorus: alternating knee strikes, pulling arms down.

Song Suggestion #2: “Senorita” by Shawn Mendes, remix.

  • Intro: skipping rope.
  • Verse one: dynamic stretches (calves and glutes).
  • Chorus: squats (add variations).
  • Verse two: dynamic stretches (hip flexors and hamstrings).
  • Chorus: stationary lunges with trunk rotation, 43; switch lead legs, repeat.
  • Bridge: skipping rope.
  • Chorus: squat 83 (add variations); alternating lunges, 83; repeat until music fades; add punches where appropriate.

Kickboxing Main Workout (approximately 25 minutes; five songs)

Song Suggestion #3: “Get Down on It” by Kool & the Gang, remix.

Movement patterns: speed bag, jab/cross combo, skipping rope.

  • Intro: preview of speed bag.
  • Chorus: jab R + cross L + clap, 13.
  • Verse one: speed bag R, 8 counts; L, 8 counts; repeat.
  • Chorus: jab L + cross R + clap, 13.
  • Verse two: speed bag R, 8 counts; L, 8 counts; repeat.
  • Bridge: skipping rope.
  • Chorus: jab + cross + clap, 43 each lead leg.

Song Suggestion #4: “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne, remix.

Movement patterns: alternating knee strikes, shuffle cross, burpees.

  • Intro: preview of burpee variations.
  • Verse one: alternating knee strikes, 163; double knees each side, 83.
  • Chorus: shuffle R + cross L arm on count 4; shuffle L + cross R arm on count 8.
  • Verse two: alternating knee strikes, 163; double knees each side, 83.
  • Chorus: shuffle R + cross; shuffle L + cross.
  • Bridge: burpees.
  • Chorus: shuffle R + cross; shuffle L + cross.

Song Suggestion #5: “Demons” by Imagine Dragons, remix.

Movement patterns: triple side-flexion knee strike, alternating double low cross.

  • Intro: inhale, exhale, balance on L foot and prepare.
  • Verse one: triple side-flexion knee strike R (elbow pulls down toward R knee, 33); switch standing legs, take 4 counts to set up.
  • Chorus: alternating double low cross.
  • Verse two: triple side-flexion knee strike R, 13; switch standing legs.
  • Chorus: alternating double low cross.
  • Bridge: triple side-flexion knee strike R, 13; switch standing legs. (The bridge sounds very similar to the verse and is assigned the same movement. Repeat if your remix has a fourth bridge.)
  • Chorus: alternating double low cross.

Song Suggestion #6: “GDFR” by Flo Rida, remix.

Movement patterns: alternating jabs then hooks; march 3 roundhouse kick + march 3 knee strike; roundhouse + knee strike.

  • Intro: preview of roundhouse kicks.
  • Verse one: alternating jabs front; change to hooks.
  • Pre-chorus (build up): march 3 roundhouse kick L, march 3 knee strike R.
  • Chorus (remove march): roundhouse L, knee strike R.
  • Verse two: alternating jabs front; change to hooks.
  • Pre-chorus (build up): march 3 roundhouse kick R, march 3 knee strike L.
  • Chorus: (remove march) roundhouse R, knee strike L.
  • Post-chorus continuation: strong finish with skipping rope or running in place.

Song Suggestion #7: “We Are the Champions” by Queen, remix.

Movement patterns: bob and weave, alternating upper cuts, march 3 knee strike.

  • Intro: bob and weave (duck under punch and shift head to side).
  • Verse one: alternating single upper cuts, 163; change to alternating double upper cuts.
  • Chorus: march 3 knee strike, 13, with double-arm pulldown.
  • Verse two: alternating single upper cuts, 163, change to alternating double upper cuts.
  • Chorus: march 3 knee strike, 13.
  • Bridge: bob and weave.
  • Chorus: march 3 knee strike, 13 (option: change directions every 43 with a quarter turn R until you’ve faced all four walls).

See also: Sample Class: Fully Functional Kickboxing

Legs (3–4 minutes; one song)

Song suggestion #8: “One Kiss” by Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa, remix, 120–124 bpm.

Movement patterns: lunges, squats.

  • Intro: preview of lunge stance.
  • Verse one: stationary lunges R.
  • Chorus: squats.
  • Verse two: stationary lunges L.
  • Chorus: squats, adding wide or narrow variation(s).
  • Bridge: walking it off and stretching.
  • Chorus: squats, adding variations.

Core Focus (3–4 minutes; one song)

Song suggestion #9: “I Don’t Care” by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, remix,  100–110 bpm.

Movement patterns: standing side flexion, plank, standing trunk twist.

  • Intro: inhale, exhale, sweeping arms overhead.
  • Verse one: standing side flexion R, 83; side flexion L, 63 (transition to floor, final 8 counts).
  • Chorus: plank with knee drives toward chest (stand up, final 8 counts).
  • Verse two: side flexion L, 83; side flexion R, 63 (transition to floor, final 8 counts).
  • Chorus: plank with knee drives toward opposite shoulder (stand up, final 8 counts).
  • Bridge: standing trunk twist R/center/L/center, hands on-guard (transition to floor, final 8 counts).
  • Chorus: plank with knee drives toward opposite shoulder (stand up, final 8 counts).

Cooldown and Stretch (3–4 minutes; one song)

Song suggestion #10: “You Say” by Lauren Daigle, remix.

Don’t worry about matching movements to the chorus or verse as you lead a full-body stretch. Here’s a sample sequence:

  • forward fold
  • runner’s lunge, arms sweep overhead (alternate)
  • downward-facing dog; walk hands to standing
  • shoulder/triceps stretch
  • figure-four stretch

See also: Kickin’ Cooldown: Post-Kickboxing Stretches

Angela Yochum, MEd

Angela Yochum, MEd, has nearly two decades of experience as both an ACE-certified group fitness instructor and director and an English and physical education teacher. She earned her master’s degree in education from Portland State University and continues to work for higher standards in group fitness. She founded GFIT Education LLC to provide instructors with more live opportunities for continuing education.

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