The temperature has been rising lately, and soon summer will be upon us. Regardless of whether or not you’ve kept up with your New Year’s resolution to get healthier, now is the perfect time to sign up for a new class. Not sure what one to try? My recommendation is kickboxing. Yes, you read right. Kickboxing might be just what you need to help bust through your latest fitness plateau.
Before you break out your old boxing gloves and high-top sneakers, let’s review the facts: Kickboxing is a sport which combines cardio and resistance training. Not only are you using your arms and legs to master quick boxing combos, but also using core muscles to generate power behind those strikes. Kickboxing is a combination of Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Muy Thai, and boxing, requiring both speed and agility. If you think you will just be standing in one spot and swinging at the air, you have another thing coming!
The Typical Kickboxing Class
That being said, here is what you should expect in a usual kickboxing class: Warm-ups tend to be dynamic exercises, such as jumping rope and lunges, in order to prepare the body for the workout ahead. Next, you’re taken through a combination of kicks and punches sometimes choreographed to music. Sometimes the instructor may call out numbers assigned to specific moves and create a variety of new combos. This practice encourages students to learn how to think and react quickly. Sparring (with pads and gloves) will occur at the instructor’s discretion, but it often depends on the level of experience in the class. The class wraps up with a section that focuses on core muscles, followed by a proper cool-down with plenty of stretches to ease your body out of workout mode.
The Benefits Of Kickboxing
Here’s a quick list of all the benefits of taking Kickboxing:
- Working out your entire body means muscle toning all over
- Waistlines can slim down thanks to all the hip-twists
- Fast-paced drills and jump rope improves your cardiovascular health
- Improved coordination, strength, and flexibility
- Boosted confidence, of course!
Before You Sign Up
One thing to keep in mind is that kickboxing classes are not self-defense classes. Kickboxing has protective equipment and rules. Self-defense classes train you to deal with situations where neither exist and the focus is on training to fight for your life. It’s much more intense (at least in significance) and definitely not your YMCA kickboxing class!
But if all you want to do is get fit and maybe shed a few pounds, kickboxing might just be the class for you! As with any new fitness-related endeavor, run your idea by your physician before signing up and do your research to find the best deal with an instructor that suits you. Don’t forget to invest in proper equipment, either! Having the right gloves, footwear, and workout clothes will make your experience all the more efficient and successful. Happy kicking!
Photo Credit: Tiffany Bagwell Photography