As a young teen, I first tried kickboxing in a group fitness class with my mom. I loved it so much that I eventually got my own punching bag to use at home after school so that I could release my stress from the school day.
Fast forward to being an adult, I realised that I haven't done kickboxing since those teen years. So when Hit House invited me to take class, I was excited to get back to what was once my favourite way to work out and relieve stress.
Hit House is a Muay Thai cardio kickboxing studio in downtown New York. Muay Thai is a martial art from Thailand where boxers use their fists, elbows, knees, and feet. I've seen videos of Muay Thai in the past and can feel the energy through the screen. Knowing that this cardio kickboxing class is based on Muay Thai principles, I knew I was in for a full-body energized workout that would require the support of my inhaler and a cold brew coffee.
Keep reading to find out what the 45-minute Muay Thai cardio kickboxing class entails at Hit House.
Hit House Muay Thai Cardio Kickboxing Class
Entering the studio I walked down the stairs, past the clever "Be A Lover & A Fighter" wall to check in. Then after putting my stuff away, I walked into the studio space. Initially walking in, I was surprised by the cushiony, yet supportive flooring. As I walked in, I noticed all of the punching bags around the space.
At Hit House, the bags are called bishops. Created by Tyler Scott, the owner of Hit House, the bishop is a punching bag that has a silhouette that mimics a fight dummy. The instructor, Bri, let me know that each of the bishops were spaced seven feet apart in the studio so I could pick any one I'd like and not hit anyone.
I chose one closer to the centre of the room, which had a little extra room around it because even with the ample spacing I was still a little nervous about kicking a person. Bri then helped me adjust the bishop to my height using the stopper beneath the bishop to secure it at my height.
At my bishop with boxing gloves and a water bottle, I was ready for class. We began with a warmup that was similar to that of a HIIT class. Alternating between jumping jacks, squats, and high knee kicks, we were dripping in sweat by the time we were ready to put our boxing gloves on. Putting on the gloves was easy to do by myself since the gloves I used did not require any hand wraps underneath.
Once my gloves were secured, I was ready to learn the first combo of class. During class, Bri demonstrated a combination a few times slow to give details on how to do each strike, then at speed, doing all of the strikes in a row.
Going through the combinations, we learned a variety of moves and strikes. A few of my favourites included moves like the tease (tapping the ball of our foot on the bishop), uppercut, downward elbow strike, and lead kick.
In the middle of class, we took off our gloves to grab crescent-shaped sand bags for a strength section. Holding the sandbags from the edges, we were able to do moves like side lunge. Other times, we cradled the bag around our heads for our squats. Fishing this section we placed the sandbags on the ground with the opening of the crescent facing us. We then got down to a plank and walked our hands on and off the sandbag. Doing that motion I felt parts of my core that had been in hibernation for years wake up.
Once the struggle bus left the station, we finished class with a few more combinations and a freestyle section. During the freestyle, we got to do any combination of moves we wanted for the entirety of the song. Bri put on a rock song, and I felt like I was a teen back at Warped Tour in a mosh pit.
After the freestyle, we closed class and were instructed to stay in the space for a bit to cool ourselves down. I did a forward fold, low lunge twist, and cross arm stretch.
Overall, the Hit House Muay Thai cardio kickboxing class was a great way to get in both a cardio and strength workout in 45 minutes while working on coordination. I got to strike the bishop is so many ways I didn't know I could, and I didn't feel like it beat me up. But my butt was definitely kicked!
The class definitely helped me keep my energy up as it ranged from hip-hop to rock, which was also cool because the songs were in an array of languages as well — including one of my favourite genres, Korean hip-hop. If you'd like to try a class for yourself, you can check out Hit House's website.