A combination of martial arts and boxing with a few mixed dance moves is one of the most popular exercise methods ever created. Developed by martial artist Billy Blanks in 1976, Tae Bo promises to tone your body while doing a good cardiovascular workout. It is designed to burn fat, help with weight loss and teach some self-defense techniques.

Construction and Toning

Tae Bo was titled based on the Korean word “Tae” – which means foot or leg – to represent kicks and lower body movements, and “Bo” – short for boxing – to represent strikes and defense in the upper body. Blanks says that Tae Bo works not only on the upper body (arms, chest, shoulders) and on the lower body (thighs, loaves), but also on the core muscles (abdominals, spinal erectors, obliques). One of Tae Bo’s goals was to increase a functional strength, which Blanks decipher as the type of strength used daily.

Cardiovascular training

One of Tae Bo’s biggest selling points is his cardiovascular training, which Blanks designs the result of the dance moves added to training already with a lot of energy. The benefit of good cardiovascular training was the first thing Blanks noticed when he inadvertently created Tae Bo in 1976. Blanks, a dedicated exerciser, quickly became tired of combining dance moves with his martial arts and boxing exercises.

Weight loss

Due to the high energy aerobic nature of Tae Bo, the exercise program will burn calories during a routine, which will result in weight loss translation on a healthy low calorie diet to maintain. In a study by the American Council on Exercise, it is estimated that an average person burns 350 to 450 calories per hour in a kickboxing class like Tae Bo.


Kicks and punches made during a Tae Bo workout lead to a better understanding of self-defense methods. It is important to note that Tae Bo is a self-defense course and you should not try to use it as a technique outside of training. Blanks says he hopes that Tae Bo users will never be placed in a location where they need self-defense training, but believes that Tae Bo can give them confidence in a dangerous situation. If you are interested in self-defense, look for a qualified professional to teach you appropriate techniques. Body Combat is a cardiovascular training program that incorporates martial arts and kickboxing moves to burn 600 or more calories per hour. According to the book “Physiology of exercise: energy, nutrition and human performance”, the number of calories you will burn is based on your height, weight and fitness level.


Movements of karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai are changed with high energy music to allow you to do a customized aerobic workout to burn fat and calories. According to the BodyCombat website, each class presents an introduction to the movements, followed by sequences and combinations of struggles with focus on speed, power and resistance. Since BodyCombat classes end strength training and stretching, they can burn from 600 to 1,000 calories per class, depending on the individual.


On the BodyCombat website, the list of program benefits includes the melody of cardiac and pulmonary function and the reduction of heart failure risk. BodyCombat also claims “tones and shapes major muscle groups, burns calories for a leaner body, improves coordination and agility, improves bone density and improves core position and strength and stability”.


As with the physical fitness program, consult your doctor before starting the BodyCombat program. Those with injuries to the knee, ankle, hip or shoulder should be careful when taking BodyCombat, as well as those with high blood pressure, heart problems and free women.

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