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How to Teach Cardio Boxing Skills & Activities to Teens

by Jake Wayne, studioD

Cardio boxing, like its predecessor, cardio kickboxing, applies martial arts moves and concepts in a group fitness environment. Rather than training for time in the ring, participating teens get a high-calorie, high-impact workout using motions many find more exciting than classic group fitness routines. Teaching these skills to teens will challenge you, but the fitness habits they develop can reward them for the rest of their lives.

Develop a routine. Though you can vary some specifics, your teen will internalize the skills if you stick to the same general workout each time. Cycle through periods of moderate exertion punctuated by bursts of a minute or two of extreme exertion. Typical cardio boxing sessions run between 20 and 40 minutes, plus some time for warmup and cool-down, but you can tailor the length of your routine to meet the needs of your students.

Focus on the basic skills inherent in each exercise in your routing. A well-thrown punch is easier on the body and burns more calories than a weak punch. Good footwork engages the core, glutes and calves in a way that weak footwork won't. Any given combination consists of different arrangements of those basic skills, which means that a teen who has mastered those skills can learn an infinite variety of routines.

Stick to the aerobic and strength-building aspects of the workout while teaching. Although the combative nature of boxing is part of the fun, this is not an appropriate environment for teaching self-defense or fighting skills. Teens should never leave a cardio boxing class thinking they know how to box.

Add partner drills and punching bag exercises to the routine once your teens demonstrate proficiency with the basics. These drills can make the workout more fun, while adding coordination and timing to the benefits of the class.


  • Music selection is another important part of making a group fitness class attractive to teens. Different styles work better for different groups, but in general go for high-energy music with a consistent beat. Techno and hip-hop are two popular examples.


  • Only somebody familiar with boxing basics and group fitness best practices should teach teens -- or anyone else -- cardio kickboxing skills. If you're not familiar, find a professional to teach the skills. You can still interact with the teen while practicing those skills together.


About the Author

Jake Wayne has written professionally for more than 12 years, including assignments in business writing, national magazines and book-length projects. He has a psychology degree from the University of Oregon and black belts in three martial arts.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images