Bodyweight Exercise: Switch Kicks

In addition to switch kicks, you can check out all of my other bodyweight exercises!

Body Areas Worked

  • Core
  • Abs
  • Calves
  • Glutes

Switch Kicks

Switch Kicks are one of my favorite calisthenic cardio bodyweight exercises. There is often some variation of this exercise included in my online workouts and group fitness classes. That’s because it’s easy to modify for different levels of fitness. Also, as you fatigue, you can drop down variations as needed in order to keep pushing through.

Hardest Variation

This variation is also referred to as Level 3.

  1. Perform a full jump kick.
  2. Drive your elbows down to each side of your extended kicking leg. This causes an engagement to your rectus abdominus, essentially doing crunches and jump kicks for cardio at the same time.
  3. Jump and kick with the next foot. The standing leg becomes the kicking leg.
  4. Drive your elbows down to each side of your extended kicking leg.
  5. Continue for duration of time, or for a set number of kicks.

Regular Variation

This variation is also referred to as Level 2, or also sometimes as High Knee Crunch.

  1. Everything is performed the same has Level 3, except that the knees remain bent instead of extending into a full kick.

Easy Variation

This variation is also referred to as Level 1.

  1. Everything is performed the same as Level 2, except that you step from leg to leg instead of jumping from leg to leg.

Switch-Kicks

Exercise Tips

  • All three variations require that you raise your thighs to hip height when you are kicking, or raising your legs.
  • When you drive your elbows to the sides of your thighs, focus on a posterior tilt of your pelvis in order to receive the most crunch and core compaction.
  • The intensity that you can bring to this exercise is a modifying factor as well. Increase or decrease intensity as necessary.

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