Trainer Kendra                            
🇨🇦​ Canada's Top Fitness Trainer



Cardio Workout

Get your FREE Abs Workout video NOW!


Get regular information on fitness and general self-improvement, starting with your FREE Abs Workout today.

Cardio

Cardio is an excellent calorie and fat burner.  When combined with strength exercises, you can expect to get toned and in shape fast.  Cardio helps you to live a longer and happier life and allows you to move about in a way that helps you go the distance.  For a full body workout that you can do from home, check out my Exercise Program that is easy to follow and will help you stay in fantastic shape.

Here is a video demonstrating cardio exercise in the form of Punching and Kicking.

Front Kick

I'm going to explain the basic front kick.  The front kick is very effective because it's one of the most basic ways to learn to use your legs to protect yourself.  Kicking allows you to keep people away from you at a legs length while keeping yourself protected. Kicking is ALSO a fantastic workout. In fact it is a full body cardio workout that when done correctly engages your core, focuses balance and stability as well as promotes blood circulation and creates dynamic flexibility.


To explain, the Basic Front Kick is as follows:

- Place your feet shoulder width apart at a 45 degree angle.  (Toes facing 45 degree angle).

- Place arms out in front (arm that is extended the furthest is the same leg that is kicking).

- Step up and kick with the lead leg (leg in front) and then step back into the original position.

- This time, step up and kick 5 kicks before stepping back into original position.

- Do this for 5 repetitions (total of 25 kicks) then switch legs.

You will begin to notice your heart rate increasing, and your lungs working the cardiovascular system. Make sure you're keeping your arms out in front for balance and remember - the same leg that is kicking will be the same arm that is extended out.

front kick

Front Kick

  1. Keep your feet shoulder width apart in a 45 degree angle. (Toes facing at a 45 degree angle)

  2. Place the arms out in front (arm that is extended the furthest is the same leg that is kicking)

  3. Step up and kick with the lead leg (leg in front) then step back into original position

  4. This time, step up and kick 5 kicks before stepping back into original position.

  5. Do this for 5 repetitions (total of 25 kicks) then switch legs.

Basic Straight Punch

The second cardio exercise (and basic self defense skill) I'm going to teach you is the Basic Straight Punch. Punching is a fantastic a full body workout and teaches you to use your arms and hands in self defense form.

I am going to explain proper punching form:

- Start by making a fist. (thumb is going to be on the outside of your fist).

- Tuck your fingers in for protection. Do that with both hands. 

- Place both arms together with your elbows in. Have your right fist in front of the left fist.

- Keep your legs shoulder width apart, a slight induction in the knees so you're balanced.

- Punch with the right hand and then with the left hand. Hand over hand. Fist over fist.

- Punch a little faster now and make sure you're breathing is in control.


Count 50 punches out loud. This makes the workout more effective  because you're having to breathe and keep control of your breath. It also makes you do more than one thing at one time - which also increases the workout and help stimulates the mind and promotes coordination. Ensure you stretch the arm out as far as you can on the extension, visualizing it penetrating through the target, this helps to build length in the arms and lengthen the muscles in the forearm.  Once you've completed 50 punches, speed it up slightly.  Speeding up the workout brings it to a cardio workout. 

straight punch

Basic Straight Punch

  1. Make a fist. (Your thumb will be on the outside of your fingers)

  2. Tuck your fingers in for protection.

  3. Place both arms together with your elbows in and have your right fist in front of the left fist.

  4. Keep your legs shoulder width apart, a slight induction in the knees so you're comfortable and balanced.

  5. Punch with the right hand and then with the left hand. Hand over hand. Fist over fist.

  6. Punch a little faster now and make sure your breath is in control.

Punching and Kicking

Punching and kicking skills and important for many reasons.  Incorporating them into the cardio workout helps you to burn calories and therefore fat while learning basic self defense skills.  Having basic punching and kicking skills will not only give you a fantastic workout, but it will also provide you real life self defense skills (unlike being in the gym and lifting weights etc). Yes, unlike the gym, you are developing skills that can be used to protect yourself.  It's very important in life to have some sense of security within yourself and to know how to use your hands, your arms and your feet and legs as a source of self defense. As I've said before, "Fighting for your life is one of the best and most intense workouts". Feel your heart rate increasing and you will begin to sweat. Having control of the breath will help you have control of your body and is vital to stay alive,therfore control of the breath will give you control of your life. Having body control is the most important part of punching and kicking and it's very important to be conscious of your body and your movements.

Combined Punches and Kicks

Now that you have learned the punches and kicks, we are going to incorporate them both together.

Do this by stepping up and kicking 5 times with the right leg and move into 50 punches.  

Switch legs and step up and kick with the left leg and follow it up with 50 punches.  Do this 5 times all together which will be a total of 500 punches and 500 kicks.  This creates an amazing full body workout and gets the heart rate up to burn fat and maintain good cardio.  Combining the cardio with the abs workout and push ups will help you to apply strength to the cardio workout. 


What I recommend for the combined cardio workout is:
5 kicks with one leg, 50 punches and down to the floor for 50 crunches and then on to the palms for 5 push ups. If you can, try hopping up to your feet.  Much like a burpee.  If you can't, simply get back up using your hands and continue to do that same combination on the other side: 5 kicks with one leg, 50 punches, down to the floor for 50 crunches and on to the palms and feet for 5 push ups. If you repeat this 5 times on each side you will have completed a combined full body workout. 

Cardio Benefits

Cardio in general is great for weight loss. One of the important reasons why people start a cardio exercising routine is because it can help you lose weight, strengthen the heart muscle, reduce the risk of disease and improve lung capacity. Furthermore, cardio will help you naturally boost energy, it's great for mental health, will help you better sleep and helps keep the immune system stay strong and healthy. When done on a regular basis, not only can regular cardio exercise lead to improved resting blood pressure and heart rate but will contribute to longevity in your life. The benefits of cardio go beyond just your heart, it affects your entire body:

1. Brain and Joints

Cardio exercise can benefit brain and joint health. Other benefits include:
- Increases blood flow and decreases overall chances of stroke and heartattack.
- Improves ability to think and memory.
- Combats age related decline in brain functioning.
- Helps protect against developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Fights osteoporosis and reduces chances for a hip fracture and possible bone issues.
- Helps manage discomfort from arthritis and maintains joint range of motion.


2. Skin, Muscles and Weight

No matter how you choose to exercise, being active helps increase blood circulation, which leads to clearer, healthier glowing skin. Further health benefits can go much deeper than just your skin. When you work your muscles there is an increases oxygen supply - therefore allowing muscles to work harder. With time, regular cardio exercise allows your muscles to adapt to an increased workload, making regular activities seem easier and when combined with healthy nutrition and diet, safe weight loss comes with doing regular cardio exercise. Not only are you less likely to develop diseases like diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease, but your body can more easily circulate blood.


3. Pancreas, Lungs and Blood Circulation

Your pancreas is an organ that helps convert food into energy while also helping aid in digestion. Staying active helps improves blood sugar levels and decreases stress on the pancreas organ and therefore decreses your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. It also helps improves good cholesterol levels while decreasing blood fats. Your lungs are also positively affected by physical activity. Cardio exercise helps decrease how frequently you have to breathe as exercise ability improves and can lead to reductions in fatigue and shortness of breath in chronic lung issues.


4. Sexual Function

Did you know that cardio exercise can help sexual function? It’s true — cardio exercise decreases the chances of erectile dysfunction in men and leads to enhanced arousal for women. Studies show that staying active improves erectile function and proved to be a protective factor against erectile problems and found that positive body image and psychological health due to exercise increased sexual well-being in women.


5. Mood

It's normal for our moods to fluctuate on a daily basis however staying active is actually proven to help boost your mood, especially after a stressful day. Next time you are feeling stressed or you’re having a "bad day", engage in cardio exercise. Cardio also helps combat depression, improves your self-esteem and releases tension-fighting hormones like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.


6. Sleep and Energy

Do you ever wonder why you feel so good after a workout? Physical exercise helps your energy by releasing endorphins, providing you lasting energy throughout the day. When it comes to going to sleep, cardio exercise in your day will help you sleep better, longer and deeper while promoting REM sleep activity. Keep in mind that you should avoid rigorous exercise near bed time or you may be too energized to fall asleep. With that said, it's important to remember that cardio exercise increases energy and vitality as opposed to wearing you out. I like to think of cardio as an altenator to a battery, essential for the battery to charge and run optimally.


Cardio is not complete without proper cooldown and stretching as it allows the body to begin to prepare itself for the final workout.


Get your FREE Abs Workout video NOW!


Get regular information on fitness and general self-improvement, starting with your FREE Abs Workout today.