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Kickboxing is probably my absolute favorite workout. I have tried several different instructors, and my favorite, far and away, is Ilaria Montagnani. She is very no-nonsense but not at all grumpy. Her Powerstrike series is a full-body kickboxing workout, whereas the Bodystrikes series utilizes kickboxing moves to focus entirely on legs and glutes.
If you want to try Powerstrike, I highly recommend that you go through the introduction where she describes the proper form and technique for different kicks, blocks, and punches. You want to be sure you are working from your core and not just moving your arms and legs. I own all the Powerstrike DVDs except #7 -- #6 is my favorite (preview #6). I don’t plan to purchase #7, her newest release (preview #7): the workout is good, but the music is way too overpowering & off-rhythm with the combinations, and the location changed from a pretty, airy workout room to a cheesy, brick-walled set. I won’t be purchasing the recently released BodyStrikes #3 for the same reason, though it’s a great workout. #1 and #2 are fantastic (preview #1; preview #2).
My other favorite kickboxing DVD is The Kung Fu Kickboxing Workout by Chinese martial arts champions -- and siblings -- Tiffany and Max Chen. This one is incredibly enjoyable; the workouts are only 20 minutes, versus 50 minutes. I would recommend getting accustomed to kickboxing through Ilaria Montagnani’s videos before attempting this one; it is not a beginner workout even if you start with The Basics. Incredibly effective, you can choose from three different workouts or do all of them in a row if you are feeling really strong and ambitious. Workout 1: The Basics consists of five, three-minute rounds of combat-oriented exercises. Workout 2: The Kicker is a series of 30-second standing and floor calisthenics. Workout 3: The Killer consists of multiple exercises in repeating cycles: an exercise in the cycle is done for 10 reps and then you proceed to the next exercise for 10 reps, etc., until all the exercises are done. You then repeat the whole cycle again, this time for 8 reps each, then the whole thing with 6 reps each, 4 reps each, 2 reps each, and finally 1 rep of each exercise in the cycle (this preview contains parts of The Killer at the 4 rep stage, whereas this preview contains combinations from all three of the workouts).
If you enjoy a tough workout without instructor-perkiness, kickboxing DVDs from the Library might be for you, too. If you are just getting started with kickboxing, a good starter video is Kickbox: Core Cross Train with Patricia Moreno (preview). This is a lightweight but good introduction to kickboxing with a lot of rest time built in to help you get through it. She talks a lot throughout the workout, but only to give good direction and keep you going.
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