Discover splashy thrills with a kickboxing-inspired cardio jam. This pool workout features kick combinations that move the legs in all directions to target all of the major muscle groups of the lower body. Also included are drills that challenge the core with an intense circuit of feet-up vs feet-down exercises.
Kickboxing has been a popular class in fitness studios ever since Billy Blanks launched Tae Bo in the early 90’s. By the end of the 90’s, kickboxing was becoming all the rage in water exercise classes as well. Kickboxing is ideal in the pool because every kick and every punch is resisted by the water’s viscosity and drag properties. We even decided to fancy up this video with some graphics that highlight the resisted muscles during the kicks & drills, as well as the muscles being prepped and stretched in the warm-up and cool down.
Why Only Lower Body?
The original intention for this workout was to feature punch & kick combinations. Playing around in the pool with various punch and kick combinations, my first couple attempts at a routine were simply too complex to film as a follow-along workout. Therefore, I decided to focus on just the kicks. In the next couple months, I will film a video that focuses more on punches and upper body muscle groups.
KICKS, DRILLS & THRILLS: POOL WORKOUT-AT-A-GLANCE
This 50-minute pool workout features four kick combinations that target different muscle groups, followed by four drills that target the same muscle group as the kicks. Also included are a warm-up, two Finale rounds and a final stretch.
The kick combinations are performed with four intensity progressions.
- Karate kick – the kick combination begins with a half-water tempo karate kick. The cadence is slower and serves as recovery after the power (single) kicks. The arms are held neutral during the karate kicks to introduce a little more balance and core activation
- Repeater 4 – the arms become involved and the intensity is progressed with a repeater 4 variation of the karate kick.
- Doubles – the intensity increases again as the kick is reduced to a double variation of the karate kick.
- Singles – the power gets turned up to full max as these power kicks are meant to be performed explosively with bounding and aggressive arm movements.
Up and Down Drills
The 2-minute drills feature two exercises, one performed with feet ON the pool floor and the other performed with feet OFF the pool floor. The two exercises are alternated with repetition reduction. As the time spent with feet up and down is reduced, the core challenge increases. Going between up and down in a shorter time frame is nearly impossible and most participants will not be able to keep up. However, the effort of trying to get feet up and down at an increased pace is an intense core challenge. These drills are very intense and they are meant to be.
IMPORTANT! If participants do not have swim skills or they simply do not want to bring their feet off the pool floor, they can modify the suspended exercise or just perform the exercise that is performed with feet ON the pool floor.
SEGMENT 1: LOWER BODY FOCUSED WARM-UP
This lower body focused warm-up features a blend of active and passive stretching. Watch the entire 4-minute warm-up.
SEGMENT 2: FRONT KARATE KICKS
Kicking to the front puts more of a focus on the muscles in the front of the leg - the quadriceps and hip flexors. The posterior muscles are also recruited but the focus is on the front muscles with a more powerful thrust upwards.
SEGMENT 3: SIDE KARATE KICKS
Kicking to the side puts more of a focus on the outer thigh or hip abductors. The inner thigh also gets worked but the concentration is more on a forceful kick to the side.
SEGMENT 4: REAR KARATE KICKS
Kicking to the rear puts more of a focus on the hamstrings and glutes. The Aqualogix ankle blades are introduced in this segment for added resistance.
SEGMENT 5: CRESCENT KICKS
The crescent kick is more complex, requiring participants to lift their hip and knee inward and then sweep outward. The internally rotated hip puts more of a focus on the inner thigh. The move is really a crescent KNEE lift rather than kick as the cadence is too fast to extend the leg in that short of time.
SEGMENT 6: FINALE 1
The action will feature first all four slower karate kicks, then all four repeater kicks, then all four doubles and finally all four power singles. The second round will have reduced repetitions.
SEGMENT 7: FINALE 2
In this special edition bonus round, the action features all front Karate kicks, then side, then rear and then crescent.
SEGMENT 8: LOWER BODY FOCUSED STRETCH
This lower body focused stretch features graphics that indicate the muscle being stretched. Watch the entire 5-minute stretch.
The Aqualogix Ankle blades were used in the second half of the video to demonstrate that you can increase the water’s resistance and the overall intensity of the workout with drag equipment. Watch a video that was originally posted for Dynamic Water Yoga, explaining the addition of drag equipment to your workout.
Stay tuned, a separate workout of punches, drills and thrills will post in the next couple months.