Lately, kickboxing has turned into a popular trend. That's not surprising considering that we have models like Gigi Hadid, Giselle Bundchen, Adriana Lima, and many others taking boxing classes.
Kickboxing, or any form of boxing for that matter, is a great way to give your entire body a workout and improve coordination, flexibility, endurance, and even balance. This workout is also great at letting go of any frustrations you might be facing in life at that point.
Kickboxing is not just a great way to be a kickass person but also a highly effective way to boost your strength and confidence. Once you get a taste of all the benefits this physical workout has to offer, you will find yourself coming back for more.
That explains why kickboxing has become so popular today.
As you probably already know, kickboxing improves many things about your physique, including cardio conditioning and your self-defense abilities. If you are really into it, you can even participate in competitions as kickboxing is pretty much a form of martial arts.
How Do You Get Started?
Before you can start throwing punches and kicks, there are a few things you should know. First of all, kickboxing goes by a number of names.
For instance, in Thailand, they call it Muay Thai, while in the Philippines, they refer to it as Yaw-Yan. In both of these fighting styles, elbows and knees can be used during the bouts.
However, in the U.S., kickboxing tends to blend karate and boxing, and the strikes can only be done with the hands and the feet. This form of kickboxing also prohibits attacks on the groin, back, and legs.
Benefits Of Kickboxing
First of all, kickboxing will give your core, arms, legs, glutes, and back a great workout.
Besides teaching you a few things, you can do when in a physical fight, kickboxing has plenty of other health benefits. For instance, it can help you build muscle and lose calories.
It is estimated that kickboxing can burn between 350 to 450 calories in an hour.
When done as a cardio workout, kickboxing can also strengthen the muscles and alleviate conditions like osteoporosis. However, most people get into kickboxing because they are curious about learning a new skill.
It's Important To Have Goals
As with any other workout challenge, you should start kickboxing with an end goal in mind. So, before you get started, understand if you are trying to improve your cardiovascular health or condition your body.
You could also be doing it to improve your fighting skills.
Having a goal will help you determine what kind of kickboxing class you should be getting into. For instance, if all you want is to improve your fitness level, getting into a class where you might get hit might not be appealing to you.
Choose The Right Class
If you are trying to be a better fighter, getting into a class where you have to face opponents might be inevitable. Additionally, when using kickboxing as a way to enhance your fighting skills, you might have to book an appointment with a trainer who will help you fine-tune your skills.
Another important thing to remember is that not all kickboxing classes will deliver on the goals you are trying to achieve. So, do your homework, and check out what online review sites have to say about these classes while at it.
You can also attend a class and have a feel of what it can offer you and whether that's what you want to get out of a kickboxing class.
Ideally, your kickboxing teacher should be a former professional kickboxer with certifications from organizations like the International Kickboxing Federation.
It is also important to find out if you are required to have your own gear as you join the class. Some classes might ask you to bring ankle supports, boxing gloves, and even headgear.
In other cases, you might not have to bring any gear with you, especially when there are no one-on-one encounters with other learners.
Accept Your Limits
Having unrealistic expectations as you set out to learn kickboxing will only make the entire undertaking more frustrating.
In fact, you should see your doctor first and get an opinion about how far you should push yourself, particularly if you have issues like asthma, diabetes, or obesity.
In general, kickboxing can get quite intense, and the toll on your body can be quite significant.
Eat And Drink Properly
Needless to say, you should pay close attention to your diet regardless of the kinds of workouts you are doing. Typically, as a kickboxer, you should probably focus on a Mediterranean diet.
Studies have discovered that this diet, which mainly focuses on fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains, is great for the performance you need to reach your kickboxing goals faster.
Experts recommend that you consume enough carbs about 30 minutes to an hour before the workouts. It is also important to focus on foods that are digested slowly, such as beans, brown rice, sweet potatoes.
You can also take a limited amount of fast-digesting foods like fruits or juice.
Ideally, you should eat about 6 to 10 grams of carbs for every pound of body weight to maintain your blood sugar levels.
Hydration is also critical since this can be a very draining workout. You should take about a cup of water every 15 minutes.
Meditation Might Help
I'm sure you have noticed that a lot of martial arts movies feature some form of meditation. That is not just a stereotype.
Meditating can boost your focus, and that will give you an edge as a kickboxing student, especially when doing it for the fighting skills.
You don't have to meditate for hours. Five minutes of mindfulness can put you in the right state of mind to become a good kickboxer.
How You Can Learn Kickboxing Without Going To The Gym
You can learn kickboxing without having to spend any money on gym memberships. In fact, you can do it without having to spend any money on equipment.
You should spend 30 seconds on each workout listed below and take 1-minute breaks in between.
1. Criss-cross jumping jacks
3. Split squat jumps
4. Front kicks or jump front kicks
6. Mountain climbers
7. Spiderman pushups
On average, a kickboxing session lasts for about 45 to 60 minutes. That means you should repeat the above circuit about 4 to 6 times.
In addition to the above, you will also have to familiarize yourself with jabs, speedbag, hooks, front punches, crosses, a boxer's stance, roundhouse kicks, sidekicks, boxer slide, bob & weave, and front kicks.
A Few Handy Kickboxing Tips
When kickboxing, it's easy to get carried away, which can result in injury. For instance, you should position your thumb properly to avoid injury.
You should also keep your wrists straight and ensure that as you throw kicks, you don't hit your target with your toes. Additionally, you should avoid overextending your legs or arms when throwing them.
While attending the class, you should also wear shoes suitable for cross-training. The shoes should offer support, protection, and comfort.
Also, you should wear comfortable clothing you can move around with. If the clothing is too tight or too loose, you might have problems.
You should also never forget to warm up. That will loosen your limbs and lower the risk of injury once you start the intense workout moves.
A lot of beginners like to move as fast as possible, as that is one of the most impressive things you can see on seasoned kickboxers. However, the first focus should be the form.
Ready To Give Kickboxing A Try?
If you think it's time to give kickboxing a try, go for it. It's important to remember that a kickboxing class is essentially a workout class, not a fighting tournament.
The whole point of this workout is to get in shape, learn a few cool skills, and enjoy yourself in the process.
Also, remember that you are under no obligation to go against opponents. See it as a learning experience that also helps you get in shape and you will be fine.
Note that, after taking a kickboxing class, you might feel a little sore the next day. However, taking plenty of water and doing stretches can help reduce the soreness.
Finally, don't go into kickboxing thinking you are taking self-defense classes. The focus will be on the workout, not your ability to deal with self-defense situations.
You will certainly learn a thing or two you can use when confronted by someone on the street, but there is more to self-defense than learning to punch and kick.