Cardio Kickboxing vs. Kickboxing

Cardio Kickboxing vs. Kickboxing

Welcome our guest blog writer, Carie Fisher, as she tells us the difference between Cardio Kickboxing vs. Kickboxing.

When I set out to write this post for your readers, I thought I’d just shoot from the hip. I quickly realized that I’m quite biased on the subject so I looked for some assistance in laying out the differences between Cardio Kickboxing vs. Kickboxing. I found some great help at I definitely could not have said this better myself and as someone who helped start up the most successful Mixed Martial Arts gym in Sacramento I can say that this is definitely accurate information.

What is the difference between cardio kickboxing vs. kickboxing? Find out the benefits of these two great workouts!
Cardio Kickboxing vs. Kickboxing

Here is the scoop on Cardio Kickboxing vs. Kickboxing. You can consider both workouts if you are looking for a fun way to get in shape.


Kickboxing is typically less formal than a ritualized karate class, so it is often more accessible for beginners. Similarities remain, such as the emphasis on drilling techniques by performing them as a class en masse, standing and striking into thin air in unison. In kickboxing, this would then be followed by practicing the strikes against a pad or a bag to get used to contact, before attempting the technique in live drills or sparring.

Cardio Kickboxing

In cardio kickboxing, such as tae bo, the emphasis is not on fighting. In fact, tae bo or cardio kickboxing has no practical benefit on your ability to fight or to defend yourself. The classes are essentially aerobics classes that use kickboxing influenced movements that add fun and variety. Participants usually line up as they would for an aerobics class before performing a series of stylized kicks and punches into the air along with a series of calisthenics and other aerobics moves. These classes do not involve physical contact or practice the strikes against pads or bags.

Kickboxing for Fitness

Kickboxing training is geared towards sparring and competition in a ring. However, the majority of practitioners do not fight competitively and often do not spar either. Even so, they practice the same techniques and movements. This involves learning to strike with full power against a bag or a pad held by a partner. The difference between training in this manner and cardio kickboxing is that there remains an emphasis on learning proper technique and striking at full power. Cardio kickboxing usually features no technical instruction at all, instead focusing on a fun and friendly, low impact workout.


Both kickboxing and cardio kickboxing can help you lose weight and reach your exercise requirements. However, the two types of classes feel very different due to the different aims of those teaching and participating. If you want a martial arts workout with practical applications, look to a kickboxing class. Even if you are just looking for a workout, consider the kickboxing class. There is greater emphasis on resistance training, generally pushing you harder. Cardio kickboxing classes might be more suited to you if you are looking for a friendly and fun theme that is different from your normal aerobics routine or cardiovascular training.

Now that I have given you the basic information without my personal input I have to put in my two cents. Kickboxing of any kind, cardio or other is an excellent workout. It’s so much fun that even folks who hate fitness can get through these workouts without wanting to jump off a building. They are not boring and you can learn some good moves in a real kickboxing class. Kickboxing can help you lose weight, burn calories, burn fat, and keep your heart strong. Not to mention the stress relief! One can burn 500 to 600 calories in an hour long kickboxing session.

After my first session with a trainer, I drove straight to my traditional gym and canceled my 12-year membership and I haven’t been on a treadmill since. There is something so fun and satisfying about beating up a heavy bag. Plus, the body conditioning is amazing. My arms are super toned and I haven’t lifted weights since 2006! I personally love real kickboxing in an MMA gym taught by real MMA fighters. I think the techniques could help me out of a bad situation should I ever find myself in one. Any kickboxing is fantastic exercise and if you have even the slightest interest you should try it at least once! Happy high kicking!!!!!

Share with me your favorite workouts in the comment section below!

3 Responses to Cardio Kickboxing vs. Kickboxing

  1. Love this! I tell people I take kickboxing… but always clarify that it’s not the bouncey, dancey kickboxing… actual kickboxing with gloves, bags, pads,etc. Now know the difference! 🙂

  2. The other important aspect which really differentiates a great workout is the mind-body connection. When we are totally focused and immersed in what we are doing, we get the maximum physical and mental benefits.

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