Health and Fitness Benefits of Kickboxing
When 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!