Find out how you can benefit from doing kickboxing, and how you can begin kickboxing classes.
What is Kickboxing?
Kickboxing is a hybrid martial art that combines karate kicks with boxing punches. In terms of modern competition, kickboxing began in the 1960s in Japan, and in the 1970s in America. Many kickboxing enthusiasts engage in competitive kickboxing, while others enjoy doing kickboxing as an aerobic workout, commonly known as cardio kickboxing. The techniques learned in kickboxing are also useful for self-defense. Kickboxing has grown in popularity over the past several decades, with several different governing bodies that have varying rules for matches.
What are the Benefits of Kickboxing?
There are many reasons why kickboxing has become so popular in recent years. It’s a total-body exercise – you get an aerobic and anaerobic workout, plus you get to build muscles all over your body. It’s an ideal workout since it gets the heart pumping, allowing you to improve coordination, strengthen and tone muscles as well as reduce fat all at the same time. Most of these programs are designed to allow people to work at their own pace and skill level so you need not feel discouraged right off the bat thinking that you are not fit enough to start kickboxing.
Taking kickboxing classes also help to increase your energy levels, allowing you to become more alert, efficient and productive outside of the gym. In addition, as with other exercises, kickboxing workouts helps make you feel better physically and mentally. As you become more proficient over time, you gain confidence in your abilities.
Engaging in kickboxing exercises is also a positive and effective way to relieve stress, rather than turning to destructive habits such as drinking, doing drugs or overeating.
Moreover, kickboxing can be practical for self-defense, especially if the instructor focuses not only on teaching students the kicks, knee-ups, bobbing and weaving, but more importantly, how to gauge distance and land punches and kicks with the help of bags or a target.
Is Kickboxing Right for Me?
Kickboxing is a high-intensity, high-impact activity, and most kickboxing classes involve a lot of jumping and quick movements. While a kickboxing aerobics workout can certainly be beneficial, it isn’t for everyone. You know yourself better than anyone so it’s important to take an honest look at your health, and fitness and comfort level before you plunge in. And as with any type of exercise program, it’s always a good idea to see your doctor before you begin, especially if you have any chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or are overweight.
Before You Start Kickboxing
Even after your doctor has given you the green light, there are a few things you need to do in preparation for your first kickboxing class. First of all, if you have been leading a sedentary lifestyle up to this point, it might be a good idea to engage in low-impact aerobics workouts and then gradually increase the frequency, level of intensity and duration of these workouts before moving on to kickboxing.
Check out local kickboxing classes offered by gyms and sports clubs and observe or do a trial before you actually sign up. Talk to the kickboxing instructor and see if he or she will be willing to modify the routine to accommodate each student’s different fitness and skill levels. As a rule, you should avoid a kickboxing class that seems to move too fast and is too complicated for you, and doesn’t seem to provide any chance for individual instruction. Find out if the instructor has been certified as a fitness kickboxing instructor.