Muscle Sport Magazine

Over 40 & Fit With Kickboxing By Martina Farnham

By Martina Farnham – Many women don’t like to make changes in their lives. They use their same workout routines  for long periods of time  and then they are surprised when they don’t see any changes in their physique and they don’t lose any weight. So let’s be very clear – unless you change not only your core from weak to strong, unless you are willing to make “lifestyle” changes, regardless of how much you want to change, the changes won’t happen and your belly will remain just as it was before you began your workout routines.  You will not lose the fat in this part of your body!!! A BIG “NO”!

The point is this: you can be in overall good shape but  your belly may  still not be in the shape like you would like to see it. This is the “lifestyle” issue and this comes down to DIET!! With circuit training and workouts or a full body workout, you can shrink your belly and get toned in a way that is both better (healthy) and safe (sustainable).

One of my favorite workouts is kickboxing. These powerful movements improve your balance, full body strength and core strength.img_2059

Let’s talk about how beginners should  attempt to kick properly. At first, do stretching exercises at least for 5-to-10 minutes so that your body’s muscles warm up and are ready for “stress.” Pay particular attention to your ligaments, the connective tissue between muscles and bones.

The first type of kick to learn is the front kick. This kick is executed from a forward facing stance (more about stances later) and the ball of the foot is used to strike the target. Keeping the other knees slightly bent, bring the kicking leg up so that the knee is pointing at the target and the ball of the foot points to the floor. Now extend the lower leg quickly, as in a “snap.” Be certain the toes are pulled back and the ball of the foot makes the impact. After the “snap” is complete, the kicking knee is again bent and the foot is again pointing to the floor. Front kicks are great for core strength, especially lower back.

The second type of kick to learn is the side kick.  The kick can be executed from a forward facing stance and the outside edge of the kicking foot will be striking the target. Keep the other knee slightly bent and again bring the the kicking leg up so that the knee is bent and the kicking foot is pointed towards the floor. The knee can be pointed forward or back across the body. Regardless of where the knee begins, it will twist and follow the foot to the target. The position of the foot is important. The small toes should point down and the large toe points up. This applies tension to the outside edge of foot and that should be the surface that strikes the target. The kick is not a “push.” It gains its power from the hips, which rotate during the kick simulating a sideways rocking motion. Once the foot has impacted on the target, return it to the knee bent foot downward position.img_2109

Regardless of which kick you perform, you will feel it in your glutes and lower abs. Look at the tension in the photo and see the tension in the quads as well. If you are interested in doing this for martial arts training, the hands should be up near the face, clenched into fists and the elbows against the sides of the body. In any case, do not let the flop around without purpose.

The third exercise is “clinch knee strike.” The clinch is a defensive move that brings you very close to your opponent, almost like a hug. It is defensive because your opponent cannot throw any powerful hand techniques while you are in the clinch. Watch a boxer and you will see what I mean.

The “clinch knee strike” is executed from the clinch. Thai kickboxers use this technique frequently. They will take their hands and place them behind their opponent’s head. Using the pulling motion of the arms in conjunction with the rapid knee strike to the diaphragm or chin, great power is developed and it can frequently result in a knockout. For our exercise, we will hold or “tie up” the grappling bag with our arms and then deliver the knee strike just as if it were a human opponent.

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Consider using a grappling bag or cage fitness dummy. (No, that’s not your boss, husband or boyfriend!) There are specific classes devoted to the proper use of cage fitness or grappling dummies. If you decide to take the cage fitness class, expect that the class is 30 minutes, which consists of 5 – 5-minute rounds with a minute rest in between. This is the same format used in a championship MMA match. Each 5-minute round incorporates both aerobic and anaerobic exercises that will help maximize burning fat while also gaining muscle. This system of training allows the participant to burn more calories while increasing their metabolism.


If you are using a grappling bag and have placed it in front of you, you will find it will help you to  keep your balance and build strength and power into the your knee strike. I recommend that all women should consider the use of grappling bags as an optional way to  practice their knee strikes kicks. For front kicks and side kicks, a heavy bag – similar to those used by boxers – has great benefits. It is a heavy bag in the photo for the side kick and a grappling bag for the photo showing the knee strike.img_2096

More of cage fitness to come soon.

Remember, enjoy being over 40 and in the best shape of your life!!! I am!!

Martina Farnham was born in 1975 in the Czech Republic.  Her maiden name is Martina Urbancova and she came to the USA in 2005. She is married with two young sons and lives and bases her work out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Martina began her modeling career at the age of 18 in the Czech Republic where she also studied Business Economics.  Since that time, she has worked with many photographers as a fashion, lingerie and swimsuit model.

Martina’s passion was and is fitness! That’s why she decided to study at the National Personal Training Institute (NPTI) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and to obtain her NASM certification.  In addition to her NASM, she is a certified Spinning Instructor and a TRX group certified instructor.  Her passion goes beyond just looking good.  It has its foundation in her determination to be helpful to all women desiring a “Fit” lifestyle. Her happiness, beyond the joy of her family, draws on the happiness she sees in the eyes of her trainees as  they reach their fitness goals. Their success is her success and her happiness.

Martina has a 20 year career in modeling and fitness.  She has been published in Europe and worked professionally there for ten years.  While she is currently based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , she has traveled throughout Europe and the United States; including location shoots in New York City, Baroda, Michigan,  San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego California, Las Vegas, Nevada Toronto, Canada, Frankfort, Germany, and London, England.

She  specializes in being versatile and creative, excellent at moving in front of the camera and enjoy doing a variety of work, from fashion, swimwear, to non nude glamour photography. She has done fashion shows, and ad campaigns. She has had coverage in the sports media and been featured on US and European television including: Eurosport TV, ESPN and Speed Channel.


Some highlights of her career include:

2005 September –  chosen as the New Face of 2006 for Wilhelmina Model Agency in Tennessee.

2005 October – Fashion show broadcast on Channel 5 in Nashville,TN

2005 November – BAJA BOAT video with Jay Nevans – Bill Armstrong Photography Studio

2006 January – Winner of the Red Hot Girls contest for 2006

2006 May – Contracted with Red Sky Comics to be their featured  super-spy, Angel-V.

2006 June – Speaking role in feature film Dorm of the Dead.

2006 November –  Second Place in the Ms Bikini World 2006 Contest.

2007 January – Featured in the February issue of  Soak Magazine 

2007 July- Featured in Road Rash Magazine – Cover

2007 November – Girl of the Month for March 2008 Gentworld Calendar

2007 December – Featured in the December issue of Tearsheet Bachelor Magazine

2008 – Superbike Race in Salt Lake City – Superbike Umbrella Girl, Grid Girl for Ducati, a model chosen to appear           with Number 1 – Troy Bayliss


Martina Farnham


NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness and Health Professional

Jeff Jox

Head Instructor/Owner

Kang’s Black Belt Academy



Mark Brosius

Brosius Photographics

cell: 412-206-9412

Makeup artist:



Pinterest: Isaac Chavira


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