Back To Blog

10 Fundamental Kickboxing Techniques for Beginners

Our 9Round workouts draw inspiration from the dynamic world of kickboxing, a full-contact sport where fighters employ a blend of punches and kicks to gain an edge over their opponents. These very kickboxing techniques are the same ones you'll encounter at our studios. However, instead of sparring with another person, you'll perform each move on a kickboxing bag or a striking target under the guidance of a skilled trainer. That means you get to enjoy the benefits of kickboxing and skip the getting hit part—it’s a win-win!

Exploring the nuances of different punches and kicks that kickboxers employ can be both educational and entertaining. With that in mind, we're delighted to introduce you to 10 fundamental kickboxing techniques designed for beginners. These techniques are not only commonly seen in the ring but also integral components of the exhilarating workouts you'll experience at your local 9Round studio. So, let's dive into the exciting world of kickboxing!


1. The Jab

The jab is a fundamental punch in kickboxing that’s executed with the lead hand. For an orthodox fighter, this would be the left hand for a southpaw fighter, this would be the right hand. It’s not only a versatile offensive tool but also serves as a means of measuring distance, disrupting an opponent's focus, and setting up more powerful combinations

The key to a powerful jab is speed and precision. Start in your kickboxing fighter stance and begin the motion by extending the lead arm rapidly and rotating the shoulder to rotate the hand. The top of your fist should be completely flat as you make contact, and your other hand should remain in a guarded position protecting the face.


2. The Cross

The cross punch is a critical element in a kickboxer's arsenal, capable of inflicting substantial damage and often used in combinations to exploit an opponent's weaknesses and secure victory in the ring. Opposite the jab, the cross is executed with your rear hand, which would be the right hand for orthodox fighters.

To harness your full power, you’ll want to practice excellent form with a cross punch. As you pivot on the rear foot, you’ll rotate the hips and shoulders in unison while keeping your lead hand up to protect your face. At the same time, extend your rear arm forward and rotate your fist to make contact with your target.


3. Hook Punch

A hook punch is a dynamic and versatile move in kickboxing that allows you to come at your target from multiple angles. To execute a hook punch effectively, start in a strong fighter stance, rotating your hips and shoulders while keeping the elbow bent at a 90-degree angle. Then, swing your punch horizontally in the signature hooking motion, making contact with your target.

The hook punch can be a game-changer in the middle of a fight by surprising your opponent and cutting through their defense. Its adaptability in close-quarters combat and its potential to set up combinations make the hook punch a valuable move for kickboxer.


4. Uppercut

In kickboxing, the uppercut is renowned for the element of surprise it can bring to a bout. This punch is uniquely tailored to strike upwards, often aiming for the opponent’s chin or body. What sets the uppercut apart from other punches is its ability to exploit openings in defense, especially when in close proximity.

For explosive power, you’ll want to start off in a slightly lower stance, almost crouched. To generate the force behind the uppercut, you want to drive your first upward toward your opponent and use your body to follow through for increased power.


5. Elbow

The elbow is executed by thrusting your elbow toward your target to create an impactful blow. To generate max power, you’ll want to pivot your hips, rotate your shoulders, and bring your elbow swiftly and forcefully toward your opponent.

This handy move can be used from various angles and directions, making it an effective option for both defense and offense. It’s especially useful in close combat situations where a fighter can utilize the elbow’s sharp bone structure to deliver massive damage.  However, keep in mind that in some combat leagues, the elbow is considered illegal.


6. Round Kick

The round kick, also known as a roundhouse kick, is the poster child of the kickboxing industry, and it’s probably the move you’ve seen most in photographs or movies. This move is hard to see coming in the middle of combat, and it can be used to aim low or high to surprise your opponent.

To perform a round kick with proper form, start by lifting your knee and rotating your body and foot in a semicircular motion. Then, fully extend your leg aiming at your target to hit with the lower part of your shin or the instep of your foot. It’s important to note that proper rotation of the planted foot is key to protect and open up the hips to help prevent injury.



7. Side Kick

The side kick is another essential kickboxing move that can be used to control distance between you and your opponent, or it can serve as a knockout blow to dismantle your competition. Its lateral movement allows you to come at your opponents from the side, offering a tactical advantage.

To perform a successful side kick, you want to start in your fighter stance, but turn your body more to the side. Then, pivot on your supporting foot while extending your kicking leg outward. You want to strike your target with the heel or the blade of the foot. This kick can be executed with both speed and power, making it ideal for various situations in the ring.


8. Front Kick

From the name, you probably can assume that a front kick involves the straight-ahead thrust of the kicking leg, which typically targets the opponent’s midsection or upper body. While this kick is often thrown with the lead leg, it can also be thrown from the rear leg for an element of surprise.

 Starting in your fighter stance again, you’ll want to lift or chamber the leg, aiming at your target with your knee. Then extend your leg with speed and power, hitting the target with the ball of your foot or your heel. The front kick is most often used to maintain a safe distance from your opponent, as it’s great for disrupting an attacker’s advance. 


9. Knee

In the heat of a close-range fight, the knee strike can be an incredible tool to have in your kickboxing repertoire. This technique boasts remarkable power and versatility, rendering it a formidable and highly effective move in combat. 

To perform a knee strike successfully, you’ll want to engage your core and hip muscles while trying to pull your target toward you. Then, thrust your knee upward and strike your target using the hard, bony part that sits just above your kneecap. When done well, this move can cause a devastating blow to your competition and even lead to a knockout.


10. Shin Kick

The shin kick is a great tool for disrupting an opponent’s mobility while inflicting massive damage. It’s versatility in a fight makes it a go-to move for controlling the pace, wearing down defenses, and creating an opportunity for more game-changing strikes.

To perform a shin kick, you’ll want lift or chamber the leg, and then swing the lower half of your leg upward with the intent of landing your shin bone on your target. The shin kick is most frequently aimed at the lower body, around the thighs or shin of your opponent.


Ready to unleash your inner fighter in a safe and fun environment? Visit 9Round for your free introductory workout to start learning the fundamental kickboxing techniques above while getting in the best shape of your life. Just one workout can burn anywhere from 300-500 calories in only 30 minutes, so what are you waiting for? Sign up today and let’s get kickin’!

Find your inner hero

Give 9Round a try

Book Your First Session