From Tae Bo to Turbo Jam: the best kickboxing DVD

For many years, video workouts were made up of movements that were only found in dance classes. But towards the end of the 1990s, a new trend emerged. Martial arts-style kicks and punches were integrated into cardiovascular workouts, making exercising at home even more fun and challenging than before.

Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo videos were the first to bring kickboxing into the mainstream. Since its launch, they have followed dozens of other workouts ranging from smooth, easy-to-learn kickboxing moves to intense exercises not suitable for the faint of heart.

Getting into kickboxing

Do you want to familiarize yourself with kickboxing workouts or slowly get back to the moves? There are two DVDs to help you. Quick Fix: Cardio Kick and 10-Minute Solution: KickBox Bootcamp includes four 10-minute workouts. Leslie Sansone offers an easy workout on her Walk and Kick DVD.

Nothing beats Tae Bo’s original workouts. The “Basic” workout from the original series is ideal for beginners. Also, if you still have a VCR and can find copies of “Tae Bo Live!” series either in a bargain bin or on eBay, the basic workouts in this series are also exceptional workouts. (They have not yet been released on DVD.)

New to the training scene is a popular series called Turbo Jam. The makers of Turbo Jam included an instructional workout (called “Learn”) as well as a slower pace workout (“Burn”) to help beginners get used to the movements.

Other great introductions to kickboxing include “Jillian Michaels’s Biggest Winner Cardio Kickbox” and “Caribbean Workout: Kickboxing.”

Do you want a challenge?

Once you’ve learned to do a round kick perfectly and your punches are strong and powerful, it’s time to step it up.

There are over a dozen Tae Bo workouts designed for the intermediate user. There are “Cardio Circuit”, “Rounds” and “Internal Power”.

Turbo Jam also has more challenging workouts including “Cardio Party 1, 2 & 3”, “Fat Blaster” and “Lower Body Jam”.

There are also many lesser known gems. One of the best kickboxing workouts ever produced is Kathy Smith’s Kickboxing Workout. It is a complete and intelligent kickboxing experience. Also be sure to check out the Powerstrike series, as well as Guillermo Gomez’s Kickbox Underground and Sharon Mann’s Shape Up With Sharon: Kickboxing.

DVD that an advanced kickboxer might appreciate

Yes, Billy Blanks also caters to those who have worked their way up to becoming an advanced kickboxer. His “Bootcamp” series is way beyond his original series, as is his “Extreme” DVD.

But if you are looking for an intense workout, look for instructors who are known for their intense workouts.

Janis Saffell (who specializes in kickboxing) has her Hardcore Kickbox Circuit, Kickbox Express, and Kick It workouts that are well done and will push you beyond your limit.

Box-N-Flow by Kimberly Spreen, Kick, Punch and Crunch by Cathe Friedrich, and KickButt Combat by Kelli Robert are worthy of your collection and are workouts any kickboxer would want to do.

Final suggestion:

Kickboxing workouts are often criticized for not sticking to traditional kickboxing moves. Katalin Rodriguez-Ogren, a personal trainer known as “GI Jabb”, has a strong background in martial arts training. His expertise and mindfulness is reflected in the traditionally inspired workouts he offers for all fitness levels.

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