Health and Fitness Benefits of Kickboxing

Liz Durning - Kickin it in AthletaWhen I tell women that I teach kickboxing, I often hear, “I’d love to get into that.” Now that MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is so hot, more and more women want to participate. And why not, kickboxing is a fantastic workout. Mastering the art of a punch or kick is as beautiful as any yoga pose. My question to any female who wants to kickbox is, “Do you want to get hit?” If you want to train in true kickboxing, then you hit your sparring partner, and they hit you. After I ask this question, the answer is overwhelmingly “No.” You don’t have to get hit to enjoy the benefits of this adrenaline pumping workout. When most women say they kickbox, they usually mean they take an aerobic kickboxing class, which is kicking and punching set to music. Most instructors who teach these classes are fitness instructors, certified in aerobic kickboxing. This is a fine and fun workout. I teach these classes as well. But most aerobic kickboxing classes are not taught by trained martial artists. If you are serious about really learning to kick and punch properly, and/or want to hit heavy bags, focus mitts, or do partner drills, then you need a trainer who has martial arts/boxing “cred.”

Research an instructor’s background. Make sure he or she is not a “weekend-certified” kickboxing instructor. Anyone with a little practice can hold a pad, but that doesn’t mean they are holding it properly. They need to know proper striking angles, to avoid injury to you (and themselves). You must protect your wrists, elbows, knees, etc., and only a trained martial artist or boxer can correct your form, or explain why a move might be painful. On that note, it is your responsibility to tell an instructor before any type of kickboxing workout, aerobic or not, about you old/current injuries or weaknesses. I can’t tell you how many classes I’ve taught where the participant tells me AFTER class that they’ve had knee surgery!

So now that you know what to look for in a trainer, the type of program you’d like to do, or how to improve your current program, let’s talk about those incredible kickboxing benefits:

  • Kickboxing that includes bag work burns a ton of calories, up to 750 an hour, and maintains a higher calorie burn for several hours after your workout.
  • It provides resistance training benefits just like weightlifting and improves muscular strength and endurance.
  • As a full body workout, it combines cardio training with resistance training.
  • It works red and white muscle fibers and fast and slow twitch muscles.
  • Kickboxing builds core muscle strength and improves posture.
  • It is an awesome ab workout.
  • Kicking is a killer glute workout.
  • Increases energy levels.
  • Since kickboxing requires repeated bursts of explosive movements, it results in a stronger and more efficient heart.
  • A regular kickboxing program will improve flexibility and decrease muscle tension.
  • Hitting a heavy bag is an unbeatable stress reducer… cheaper than any therapist!
  • Seeing your improvement in your skill and conditioning level definitely boosts self-confidence.
  • Kickboxing teaches you how to relax and contract your muscles optimally for functional results you will see and feel.
  • Kickboxing saves time, since it’s a total body workout that improves strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, cardiovascular, stress reduction, and self defense skills.
  • Kickboxing is interval training. Explosive movement followed by reduced intensity followed by more explosive movement is great for burning fat.
  • You have an arsenal of defense weapons, should you ever need them.
  • There is nothing cooler or sexier than a woman who can kick butt!
  • Bonus benefit: It helps stave off osteoporosis!


September 30, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Well I’m still not keen on being punched or kicked by anyone, you’ve listed some pretty compelling reasons to give it a try. Bruises fade but empowerment is forever, right?

Liz Durning

October 02, 2013 at 8:57 am

Thanks for the comments! If you have a skilled instructor, you can learn to throw punches and kicks at each other. I started doing that with my aerobic kickboxing class. They only kicked and punched me, and I just blocked. I won’t put two women together who haven’t had a lot of training, and ALL the sparring equipment on…and signed releases! I can put some video on of what we do, if you’d like.

joy Brooki

October 22, 2013 at 5:28 am

A good can understand all facts of kickboxing as you have mentioned here in the post. i found it very compelling and looks like you are working very hard to teach your students.


January 20, 2014 at 3:36 am

Kickboxing!! Seems like a martial art.I am a fitness conscious person.and I love to learn new techniques.Our fitness center named fitness freak follow all old and modern techniques as well.they keep upgrading us with new kind of exercise.Few days ago they also going to add kickboxing for women and I am very excited to do this.hopefully it will be beneficial for us.Very informative post.

Raquel Goncalves

April 28, 2014 at 9:29 pm

I would love to get more information ole what time are ur classes how many days a week and how much does it cost..

liz Durning

May 16, 2014 at 9:19 am

Hi Raquel! I’d love to have you take a class. We’re right outside of Philly. Let me know where you are. Classes can be $10 on up. Let me know how far you can travel. Happy to bring a class to your location if you’ve got the gals! Our location is at Club La Maison in Wayne You don’have to be a member to participate. My husband teaches PINKarate parents on Tursday Nights at 6:30. You just pay by the class and where confortable clothes/sneakers…20.00 a class
Call my cell: 610-574-6640

Ellie Smith

October 13, 2015 at 3:46 am

As you mention many benefits about kickboxing, all are very good for our health. we can learn it for our fitness purpose also. I enjoy being in kickboxing classes.. looking for more information from you.. keep sharing


November 12, 2015 at 2:59 am

No idea what they have in mind when they want to do kickboxing but do not want to get hit. It just doesn’t work.

Richard Friesen

January 20, 2016 at 12:03 pm

As you mention many benefits about kickboxing, all are very good for our health. we can learn it for our fitness purpose also. I enjoy being in kickboxing classes.. looking for more information from you.. keep sharing

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