My guesses were wrong when I reviewed Body Combat 56 with the matrix kick being adapted into this release. Instead we have a different type of kick.

The thunder kick.  Being “a variation of the front kick, dropping front kick”  I would expect instructors and participants to take several attempts before doing it right but from what I have seen in the classes I have covered, oh my, It has injury written all over it.  If a new person is in my class or I don’t think participants are performing technique as they should I will happily demo it before doing the track and at the very end. Am I the only one?




I am disappointed that at current time of writing Les Mills haven’t posted up a video to YouTube outlining the thunder kick.  The above screen shots are taken from the education part of an instructors dvd. If you’re in doubt of your technique or you’re feeling something you’re unsure about please speak to an instructor, other than that find a mirror and practice, practice, practice.

Thoughts on tracks

Track 1a – Upper body warmup – TroubleMaker (Clubwaver club mix) – Ocean

What a great track to start of this release, very uplifting with lots of lyrics to hook into. Simple and fun warm up that allows you to seamlessly connect to participants and to the choreography. I am a a big fan of the various blocks as it can help immerse participants into the essence of  Karate which is complimented with some boxing.

Track 1b – Lower body warmup – Dead or alive (Live Mix) – Nick Skitz

It’s been many releases since we had a static start to the lower body warm up. Nice block combination followed by a nice stretch before throwing us into kick boxing, TKD and Karate. I do like the knee, front kick mixture. Nothing complicated here just choreography that flows really well to an energetic rock track.

Track 2 – Combat 1 – Lets Go (Yelawolf, Twista, Busta Rhymes & Lil Job Ricky Luna Remix)

Our first round of the fight and it brings the thunder literally. Nothing beats a bit of capoeira and straight off we’re pushed into a huge leg track. We’ve done the evasive side kick and gingas before, but as mentioned at the beginning of this post we have the thunder kick.  This is quite a massive track and really feels like it’s harder than T4 and T6.

Track 3 – Power training 1 – I’m Alive (Hardcore Mix) – Mickey Modelle & Breeze feat. Molly

We’re thrown into the land of boxing where we’re inspired to take the workout to another level.  Simplicity is the focus here. Concentration on technique here will give new and old participants a foundation to work on in any body combat class.  This inspiring track has fantastic lyrics to hook into giving the opportunity to drive to a new level. As an instructor or participant, when pushing to a new level please be sure to check yourself in the mirror for technique.

Track 4 – Combat 2 – The Phoenix – Fall Out Boy

Drama is written over this track. The music heightens the choreography allowing build up from start to finish mixing upper and lower combos that want to make you work hard. I like the initial combo of the jab,cross, elbow, side kick, progressing to add on the front kick step. Is combinations like this that keeps you on your toes. Mental sweat as well as a physical one.

Track 5 – Power training 2 – Roll over Beethoven – Hale Stone

The fun is back. It’s been a while since we had a track 5 like this. We no speak no Americano from Body Combat 55 was probably the closest we had to some fun.  “Around the world” with jabs followed up with some fast sharp upper cuts setting the half way mark.  It has been a while since we have seen the speedball but it’s back with a vengeance.  Boxing, agility, simple, effective, cardio, doesn’t stop, what a track.

Track 6 – Combat 3 – This is Love (Basslouder remix edit) – Sounda blasterz

Diving into the depths of Karate and kick boxing for our final leg track. Not the hardest track 6 but executed properly with great technique will challenge you. The double karate punch, back kick, knee combo flows before some agility is thrown in with a bit of kick boxing with the jab,cross,hook,roundhouse.  Really do like the music and choreography :).

Track 7 – Muay Thai – Stand up for rock ‘n’ roll – Airbourne

From the word go we’re off on a journey to increase the heart rate and push everything beyond our comfort zone. Cardio here we come. Elbows, knees, more elbows and more knees with the option to do the jump knee if you want that little bit more.  You may find this a little repetitive but it’s about options and level progression. Push yourself harder each iteration. You should be blowing air out of places you never thought possible….

Track 8 – Power training 3 – Feel alive / roll over Beethoven – Klubfiller

What can I say about this finisher? This feels like the last two track 8’s from Body Combat 56 and Body Combat 55. Certainly a good tune to end on. Combination will leave you exhausted if you give all.

Track 9 – Conditioning – I love it – Age Jam

Ah, back to basics.  Nothing beats a conditioning track that has a good number of pressups in it. From chest and shoulders to the core.  Simple, short and sweet.

Track 10 – Cool down – My songs know what you did in the dark (Light em up) – Fall Out Boy

A nice cool down to another fantastic release. However, I feel that all the focus is on the lower body and nothing has really been put in place to stretch from all the pressups, boxing and muay thai which is quite disappointing.   The releases are going from strength to strength but cool downs aren’t reflecting this. What do you think?

What Next?

One of the UK master trainers Dave Cross was involved in the filming of Body Combat 58. Having been to many a workshop with Dave he will no doubt bring his A game as always. Will we see another new kick? Will we see the matrix kick or some sort of variation I have mentioned before?

Give Feedback

If you have any thoughts about Body Combat 57 and you’d like to share then please feel free to comment or get in touch. If you didn’t already know you can also give feedback to Les Mills in relation to any programme/release. Are you an instructor? Heard of the BLAH (be loud and heard)? Are you a participant? You can let Les Mills know about your experiences with after class.


  • Nicki
    Posted October 13, 2013 10:25 am 0Likes

    loving Combat 57. and the Thunder kick is probably one of my favorite moves. I did see that someone posted what looks like the instructor video on you tube. its actually helped me cos i was doing it slightly wrong.

    • Simon Philp
      Posted October 13, 2013 11:00 am 0Likes

      I prefer the matrix kick to the thunder kick. It’s great to see that Dan and Rach are thinking out the box to make body combat a more dynamic group exercise class. What do you think of the cool downs? Do you think they should be longer and cover more of the body? This cool down seems to focus mainly on the lower body…

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  • Michelle
    Posted October 16, 2013 7:18 pm 0Likes

    I agree with what you’re saying Simon, I love Body Combat 57, what an outstanding release. I do think that track 2 and track 6 should of been swapped. It’s weird that you mention the cool downs. I was talking about this to another instructor a couple of weeks ago and we’re glad we’re not the only ones who think this.

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