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Martial arts moves add impact to workout

January 18, 1997

By TERI JOHNSON

Staff Writer

Many aerobics students these days are getting their kicks from martial arts techniques.

Exercise classes can incorporate many variations of aerobic kickboxing, says Dianne Hagan-Moats, a certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor who is an adjunct professor in physical education at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

"It's a fabulous workout," Hagan-Moats says. "Once you've learned it, you can continue to improve speed, coordination and strength."

The version she teaches at Shepherd is called aerobic boxing.

"Students like to learn about martial arts and boxing," Hagan-Moats says. "They've done aerobics, and they want to learn something new."

Alys Reed, an aerobics instructor at Hagerstown Junior College, says the techniques add variety to her step classes.

"People like it better than step aerobics, because it doesn't involve as much choreography," Reed says.

The moves are fairly simple and increase heart rate, she says.

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"People who are not as coordinated appreciate it," she says.

The step movements put stress on hip joints, and kicking helps mobilize the joints, Reed says.

Hagan-Moats says the workouts are exhausting.

"If you have never taken an aerobics class or a class in martial arts, you will want to get your cardiovascular system in better shape," she says. "I'd advise you to watch a class first."

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