Wednesday Workout: My Favorite Cardio Kickboxing Combos (including videos)

As you probably know, I teach 1-2 cardio kickboxing classes a week and it is by far my favorite form of cardio. I used to have a heart rate monitor (ugh, it died and I haven’t had a chance to replace it yet) and I would burn more calories kickboxing in my kitchen in 30 minutes than I would running, which is crazy! And for me, kickboxing is way more fun than running!

My friend Athena has been requesting a “kickboxing combo” Wednesday Workout post for quite some time. You’d think I would’ve posted it by now, right? I like to please my readers, but posts like this take a lot of time to write and develop, especially when I add in videos, so they tend to get pushed to the back of my “to post” list. I know, it’s sad and I want to start changing that going forward because the harder posts to prepare and write are the ones that usually have more substance and value.

Before I get to the combos, here’s a short description and video for the different basic punches and kicks:


Start with your “guard up” with your hands in a tight fist. Extend the arm either out straight to the front, or at a bit of an angle (cross jab), to 99%. You never want to fully extend the arm and lock out your elbow. Once it’s extended, you actively retract the arm back in, squeezing your bicep as you do it.


Your arm stays bent at a 90 degree angle throughout the punch. It comes up and around, almost like your clearing off a cabinet and stops at the midline of your body. Your punching leg pivots as you punch.

Upper Cut

You start with your fists up and you drop your shoulder/crunch your oblique as you bring your elbow down and back. This is the one punch where you hyperextend your shoulder in order to get the full motion. You punch your fist up towards your chin, with your fingers facing your face. Again, you pivot off of your punching leg as you punch.

Front Kick

Bring your knee up and keep your foot flexed. From there, extend the foot towards the front of the room, still keeping your foot flexed (I always say you should be able to see the sole of your shoe in the mirror) and making sure you don’t extend to 100%. Retract the foot back in and then extend the foot to the ground. Most people forget this part and just bring their leg straight down to the ground from the kick and that is really dangerous. You need to make sure you bring the foot in first and then down.

With that said, here are some of my favorite kickboxing combos. I teach a choreographed kickboxing class, which differs from other types of kickboxing classes because I choreograph to the beat (32 count) and we do {usually} 3 “combos” on the right lead and then we repeat those on the left lead. I prefer this style of kickboxing to drills and intervals because I like the way it flows from one move to the next and gives people something to think about while they workout (it’s hard to remember the moves, so when you have to focus on that, the class tends to go by faster!).

Jab, cross, jab, knee

We do this combo facing the side of the room. From there, you jab your left arm towards the front of the room, do a cross jab with your right arm, jab again with your left and then lift your left knee up to your chest while engaging your abs. Make sure you pivot off of your right foot and turn your hips from the side wall to the front wall when you do the cross jab. I usually run through this combo for 3 sets of 8 counts and then add on. Last week, after doing 2 jab-cross-jab-knee combs, we did 4 corner to corner left jabs, 4 shuffles up to the front of the room with fast left jabs and then repeat that back (4 shuffles back). Finally, we did 2 right knees and 2 left knees. Then you start from the top again!

video blooper- Note that I forgot the shuffle up and back one time! Whoops!

3 Hooks & an Upper

Start with 3 right hooks, and then do 1 left upper cut. From there, you break it down to 1 hook and 1 upper and do that twice. From this combo, I like to just do something simple like 2 right knees and 2 left knees and then 2 squat jumps. So it would be: right hook, right hook, right hook, left upper- right hook, left upper, right hook left upper- 2 right knees, 2 left knees- 2 squat jumps.

Kicks forward, jacks back, hi/lo right & left, burpee

My members love to hate when I throw in burpees into the mix, hence why I keep doing it!  For this combo, you do 4 front kicks while moving up, 4 jumping jacks back to your original spot, 4 hi/lo punches to the right and left and then 1 burpee. With the hi/lo punches, make sure you get low with the legs and add in the pulsing motion!

Speed bag, knees, speed bag, cross punch, squat & kick

I do this combo facing the side of the room. Start out with 4 speed bag punches up to the right and then do 2 left knee crunches. Go back to 4 right speed bag punches, but instead of doing 2 left knees, you do 2 right cross jabs/punches. Next, do a squat and right kick, squat and left kick, squat and right kick, squat and left kick. Start from the top: 4 speed bags right, 2 left knees, 4 speed bags right, 2 right cross jabs, squat right kick, squat left kick, squat right kick, squat left kick.

Jab, Cross, Hook, Upper, squat, squat jump, fast jabs, cross punch, front knee, back kick

Phew. How’s that for a mouthful?! Jab, cross, hook, upper is one of the most common kickboxing combination. I always do this facing the side and always start with the left side of the body facing the front mirror first. Start with a left jab, right cross, left hook, right upper. Do this twice before doing 1 squat and 1 squat jump. From there, get low in the legs and do 4 fast left jabs and 2 right cross punches. Your last move is a left knee and right back kick (twice). So it’s: jab, cross, hook, upper, jab, cross, hook, upper, squat, squat jump, 4 fast left jabs, 2 right cross jabs, left knee, right back kick X 2.

And, that about sums it up. Pardon my awkwardness and fumble mouth in some of the videos… and the shirt I decided to wear. Note to self for next time: don’t wear stripped shirts when making videos, haha

Edited to add: If you’re looking for other combos, check out these 2 posts:

My Favorite Kickboxing Combos {Take 2}
My Favorite Kickboxing Combos {Take 3}

Questions for you: Do you like cardio kickboxing classes? What’s your favorite group ex. class? Do you like these posts with videos?