Are you looking for an activity that is both fun and good for you? If so, kickboxing may be the perfect choice for you. Kickboxing can help improve your overall fitness, and it's a great way to release stress. It can also be a lot of fun! However, if you're new to kickboxing, it's important to take precautions to avoid injury. We'll discuss some of the best ways to get started with kickboxing in this post. We'll also share some tips on how to stay safe while you're learning this new skill. So if you're ready to give kickboxing a try, read on!
Dirty boxing is a term used to describe a group of unorthodox boxing techniques/tactics fighters use in combat sports. Some of these moves are legal while some others are on the borderline of being illegal. It's called “dirty boxing” as fighters can often land an illegal strike and get away with it.
Hook — a semi-circular punch thrown with the lead hand to the side of the opponent's head.
Boxing was also enjoyed by the ancient gods. The patron god of the sport was Apollo, the son of Zeus and Leto. It was said that he defeated Ares, the god of War, in a boxing match during the first Olympics. Apollo had also beat Hermes in a footrace, so we know he had quick feet.
The first square ring was introduced by the Pugilistic Society in 1838. That ring was specified as 24 feet (7.3 m) square and bound by two ropes. For these and other reasons, the boxing ring is commonly referred to as the "squared circle". The term "ringside seat" dates as far back as the 1860s.
As a result, while it looks like a hug from the outside, it's actually a tactical maneuver in boxing. Clinching is typically used for three reasons, which can be to break up an opponent's rhythm, to take a bit of a break because you're hurting, or to rest when you're desperately waiting for the bell to ring.
Know Before You Go: Kickboxing
Whether you’re looking to increase strength, confidence, coordination, or just after a kickass cardio workout, kickboxing will keep you coming back for more. The flexibility of the term has contributed to the sport’s tremendous popularity.
You’ll find kickboxing classes focusing on everything from cardio conditioning and elements of dance to self-defence, martial arts, and one-on-one competition.
But deciding which kind of class to attend is just the first step in preparing to raise those fists for the first time.
Kickboxing For Beginners
“Kickboxing” is something of a catchall term. The word can refer to Cambodia’s Pradal Serey, Lethwei from Burma, the Filipino Yaw-Yan, or the tremendously popular Muay Thai in Southeast Asia alone. All of these kickboxing styles allow the use of elbows and knees during fights.
However, in the U.S., kickboxing is more of a blend of boxing and karate. It strictly prohibits strikes with anything but the hands and feet. Attacking an opponent’s groin, legs, or back is also off-limits.
Kickboxing isn’t just a good way to shred calories and build muscles. It also improves balance, coordination, and flexibility. And research suggests cardio kickboxing might help strengthen bones to ward off osteoporosis. Trusted Source
Think you’re up for the challenge? Get ready to come out swinging with these tips:
Set A Personal Goal
Determining your own goals, abilities, and aptitudes is an important first step before any undertaking. It’s especially important before beginning a new exercise regime.
Do you want to improve cardiovascular health or overall conditioning? Do you want to learn real-world fighting and competition sparring, or are you more interested in a non-combat class?
Some gyms incorporate dance, but most offer cardiovascular or fight classes, where you’re getting hit. Some people don’t like a personal trainer at Lifetime Fitness in Atlanta.
Research different styles and decide what you’re after. If you’re especially interested in becoming combat-ready, it might be good to schedule a one-on-one session with a trainer who can help with your technique.
Find The Right Class
Once you know what sort of class you want, speak to a few different teachers. Then, read some Yelp reviews and even observe a class before signing up.
Watching a class is the easiest way to determine what their lessons consist of if the gender and age mix is appropriate for you, and what qualifications the teacher holds.
Ideally, the teacher is a former professional fighter or is certified by an organization such as the Council on Exercise, the Aerobics and Fitness Association, the International Kickboxing Federation, or the International Sport Karate Association.
Be Honest About Your Limits
If you’re concerned about your fitness level, consult your doctor before beginning a new sport, particularly if you have a chronic condition like asthma, diabetes, or obesity.
Kickboxing can be more intense than a regular exercise program. In addition, classes may challenge your body in ways it’s not yet used to.
Everybody’s welcome, but they need to be brutally honest with themselves and their teacher about their faults and limits.
Get In Gear
When selecting a gym, find out if you need to buy any kickboxing gear. Though unlikely, some classes may ask their students to purchase ankle supports, boxing gloves, or headgear.
Protecting your head and face is important if you plan to engage in actual sparring. Injuries to the teeth, jaw, lips, and cheekbones are common in contact sports like kickboxing. Trusted Source
Clothing shouldn’t be too loose or too restrictive. Most active gear is fine; just leave the baggy sweatshirts at home. A water bottle and towel will also come in handy.
Eating well is always a good idea, no matter your sport of choice. But one study of kickboxers and runners finds that a Mediterranean diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish — might improve your workout performance and help you trim down faster if that’s your goal.
Ortiz recommends plenty of carbohydrates30 minutes to an hour before the workout. Choose foods that digest slowly, like beans, brown rice, or sweet potato, and a small amount of fast-absorbing carbs, like fruit or juice.
Carbohydrates are a great source of energy. Fueling up before a workout by eating 6 to 10 grams of carbs per pound of body weight will maintain your blood sugar levels and keep up your muscles’ energy stores.
Of course, it’s also critically important to be completely hydrated before any tough workout. Dehydration can reduce your mental and physical performance.
Drink water before, during, and after your workout — about 1 cup every 15 minutes.
Lead With Meditation
There’s a reason martial artists are stereotyped as spending a lot of time sitting cross-legged in monasteries. However, just a few minutes of meditation can help improve your attention and focus, giving you an edge when sparring.
Mindfulness and martial arts are complementary. China’s Shaolin monks, who practice kung fu, might be the best-known example.
But there are Buddhist monks across Thailand who consider kickboxing an integral part of mastering their focus and presence of mind. So even if it’s just 5 minutes, give meditation a try before you arrive at the gym.
Kick-Butt Kickboxing Workout
Want to give kickboxing a try but not quite ready to hit the gym for a class? Give Miguel Ortiz’s kick-butt kickboxing circuit a shot right at home — no equipment required.
Repeat the circuit below four times, with a 1-minute rest between each circuit.
- criss-cross jumping jacks for 30 seconds
- knee-ups for 30 seconds
- split squat jumps for 30 seconds
- squats into front kicks or jump front kicks for 30 seconds
- burpees for 30 seconds
- mountain climbers for 30 seconds
- Spider-Man pushups for 30 seconds
So generally authentic kickboxing is practiced barefoot, like most martial arts, but some gyms allow you to wear just socks. The problem is that socks don't provide traction and it's easy to slip and fall.
When you feel the urge to relieve some stress, kicking a punching bag is perfect for taking out your frustrations — while getting in a solid workout.
Punches are faster and leave you in a position of better balance. Kicks have a longer range and are generally more powerful.
All forms of MMA require athletes to be flexible, and kickboxing is no exception. Due to the heavy involvement of leg strikes and leg blocks, it is important for anyone looking to participate in kickboxing classes or competitions to develop and maintain proper flexibility.
How Many Days a Week Should I Do Kickboxing? As many as you want to as long as your body is holding up to the stress and demand you're placing on it. A slow technical session is going to put a lot different demand on your body than a HIIT style heavy bag workout.
Beginner’s Guide To Kickboxing
If you want to get stronger, feel empowered, or burn many calories, you might want to consider a kickboxing workout. Kickboxing is an effective cardiovascular workout that blends martial arts techniques with dance elements and basic callisthenics to leave you sweating and feeling like you could take on the world all at once. This high-energy cardio format is a great workout for beginners and elite athletes alike. It’s all about getting started with the basics and working your way up to more complex moves. So let’s learn how to get started with kickboxing to start jabbing, punching, and kicking your way to a fun new workout.
How Does Cardio Kickboxing Work?
One of the great things about the format of cardio kickboxing is that you show up and follow along! Some people use weighted gloves to enhance their workout, but this isn’t recommended for beginners. If you choose to use weighted gloves, they weigh between half a pound and a pound each. You will also see some people hold dumbbells instead; however, if your class is moving fast, we don’t recommend holding three or five-pound weights. You don’t want to throw out your shoulder or cause too much stress on your joints. You will also want to choose the right shoes. While you can probably show up in any sneakers and do fine, it is recommended to wear cross-training or studio shoes. Running shoes will prevent you from proper lateral movement (side shuffles, etc.).
At the beginning of class, the instructor will take you through a warm-up that mimics some of what you will do in class. Think of it as a rehearsal not only for your memory but for your muscles. Slower squats and kicks will be introduced, as will the various punch motions you will use: jab, cross, hook, and uppercut, each having a unique motion. This is an important time during class. You’ll want to listen and watch how these warm-ups look and execute with good form. Once the class is going full speed, you’ll want this good form to carry over. After you are warmed up, you begin a series of drill-oriented movements.
Though you use powerful, strong moves, don’t let kickboxing intimidate you. It’s an extremely empowering workout that can help you build confidence while having fun. Most kickboxing workouts are about repetition instead of complicated choreography, so you don’t have to feel intimidated that it will take you forever to catch on as a beginner. Typically the instructor will lead the class through drills involving the entire body. As with any new exercise, listen to your body, pay attention to your heart rate (because it will get up there as you punch and kick), and consult your doctor if you have any physical concerns or limitations.
Benefits Of Cardio Kickboxing
There are many benefits to finding a cardio workout that you enjoy. Kickboxing is a great way to mix up your normal workout routine and have a little fun while burning calories and fat. It can also improve your cardiovascular fitness, boost your confidence, and build lean muscle.
How To Find The Right Kickboxing Class
Most cardio kickboxing classes in a group setting or at a gym won’t make you contact anyone or a bag, so you don’t have to worry about “sparring” with anyone. You will be hitting the air and encouraged to work at your own pace. However, you can seek out specialty gyms that offer contact drills with a heavy bag—it all depends on what you are looking for. Ensure your kickboxing instructor is certified by an organization like the Council on Exercise, the International Kickboxing Federation, or the International Sport Karate Association.
Who Is Kickboxing For?
Everyone. Yes, everyone! Beginners might need a few classes to catch on to everything, but it won’t take long. In the meantime, you’ll be moving and burning calories while you learn. Those of you already in good shape will love the challenge! Plus, you can always enhance your workout by squatting deeper, punching with more power, or adding weighted gloves. Low-impact lovers, rejoice! Most things done in cardio kickboxing are low-impact in nature or easily modified. Athletes and fitness fanatics love the cardio intensity this workout provides. Most people new to this kind of workout feel that a natural “high” comes from an intense workout, combined with the added feeling of strength and confidence only found in cardio kickboxing.
Cardio kickboxing is an aerobic workout with the benefit of muscle endurance drills. There are no limits to how often you can do this exercise. However, keep in mind it is always good to cross-train. This format would be great a few times a week and mixed with some strength training workouts and High-Intensity Interval Training (“HIIT”). And even though you can do it two days in a row, this doesn’t mean you won’t be sore! You will feel muscles in places you didn’t know you had the day after your first kickboxing class. The motions and techniques of kickboxing activate so many muscles in your body that you never use; you will feel it. This is good! Enjoy the sore- it means you worked hard.
Proper Kickboxing Techniques
Kickboxing moves need to be properly executed to get the most out of your workout and prevent injury. Keep the following in mind:
When performing jabs, uppercuts, hooks and other upper body moves, ensure the punch comes from your body, not your arm. In other words, every upper body move starts from the ground up. Put your body weight into it and throw the jab using your core, shoulder, and back muscles, not just from the elbow to the wrist. If your wrists and forearms hurt after your workout, you need to work on your form. If your upper back is sore, congratulations!
First and foremost, stay light on your feet. You’ll be moving forward, back, side to side, and up and down. It would help if you were in a “ready position” at all times. So stay on the balls of your feet with your heels available to pivot and turn. When it comes to kicks, think about power, not height. These kicks are not for dancing; they are for striking. It’s not about how high; it’s about how intense and with the correct muscles. It helps always to imagine an opponent. Visualize something or someone that you are kicking against. This will help you kick as you should.
Both upper and lower body kickboxing moves will require you to contact your core muscles. When done properly, cardio kickboxing cane a great core body strengthener, keeping those abs engaged in reaping the most core benefits. Pull our belly button toward your spine and lock that muscle in deep. It should feel tight, like you are always prepared for someone to kick or punch you in the gut. Not only will you strengthen your core with this isometric work, but you’ll have better form overall.
Why Cardio Kickboxing Is An Awesome Workout
Cardio kickboxing is a group fitness class that combines martial arts techniques with fast-paced cardio. This high-energy workout challenges beginner and elite athletes alike.
Build stamina, improve coordination and flexibility, and burn calories as you build lean muscle with this fun and challenging workout.
What Is It?
An experienced instructor leads a cardio kickboxing class by demonstrating choreographed movements of punches, kicks, and knee strikes to fast-paced music. Cardio kickboxing combinations are a mix of punches like:
Lower body movements include:
- knee strikes
- front kicks
- roundhouse kicks
- back kicks
Classes also incorporate a warmup and cool down and both dynamic and static stretching. Often, there is a brief segment specifically for core exercises like crunches and planking. Typical cardio kickboxing classes run from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the gym or studio.
Despite the name, cardio kickboxing is a non-contact workout. All punches and kicks are thrown into the air or onto pads. According to the American Council on Exercise, it’s a high-energy workout that can burn between 350 and 450 calories an hour.
Your elevated heart rate moves into an intense zone in which cardiovascular conditioning occurs. This has a positive impact on your heart.
Cardio conditioning can help you have a daily calorie deficit, allowing for fat loss. This loss may include belly fat that can be difficult to lose. Excess belly fat has been associated with a higher risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and diabetes.
A cardio kickboxing class challenges your technique, endurance, and concentration. Half the battle is mental — you need to focus on the individual movements that make up a combination.
Who Should Do It?
Cardio kickboxing is a good fitness choice for those looking to burn calories for weight loss or improve stamina and heart health. People who become easily bored with stationary cardio equipment like treadmills and stair steppers will enjoy the fast pace and new movements in a cardio kickboxing class.
You don’t need any martial arts or boxing experience to take a cardio kickboxing class. Everyone is welcome.
Cardio kickboxing is considered a low- or high-impact, high-intensity workout. Beginners are advised to begin slowly. Listen to your body and take water breaks when you need them. Then, work your way up to exercising at full intensity.
It’s normal to become frustrated if you’re having trouble keeping up. But don’t quit. Even if you cannot follow the instructor’s movements exactly, keep moving to enjoy the benefits of this physical activity. With practice and patience, you will improve.
What Can I Expect?
At a cardio kickboxing class, you can expect a full-body workout that engages every muscle group in your body, with a strong focus on your core. The rapid movements in cardio kickboxing also improve flexibility, balance, and coordination and help you build faster reflexes.
Cardio kickboxing can burn between 350 and 450 calories per hour.
Cardio kickboxing is also an effective way to relieve stress and frustration. This is because it releases hormones (endorphins) that improve your mood and block feelings of pain.
According to a study conducted by researchers at Oxford University’s Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, group exercise enhances the effects of endorphins. In addition, working out with a group has an accountability factor and fosters a healthy sense of competition.
Regularly attending cardio kickboxing classes increases your energy levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular physical activity has been shown to boost energy because your heart and lungs perform more efficiently.
Regular exercise like cardio kickboxing also improves your mood, helps you fall asleep faster, and helps you get better quality sleep.
How Should I Begin?
Look for cardio kickboxing classes at a martial arts studio in your area. Many gyms also offer cardio kickboxing classes.
For your first class, make sure to do the following:
- Wear comfortable workout clothing and athletic shoes. Some gyms give you the option of taking a class in bare feet.
- Bring water and a small towel.
- Arrive a few minutes early to sign any necessary paperwork before class.
- Try to find a spot in the middle, near the back. Instructors often move around during class, and different combinations may have you turning in different directions. You’ll want someone in front of you at all times so you can follow along.
To enjoy the ongoing health benefits of a group fitness class like cardio kickboxing, look for a 30- to the 60-minute class that you can attend consistently, three times every week.
So, is kickboxing good for beginners? Yes! But there are a few things you should know before you go. We’ve put together a beginner’s guide to kickboxing to help get you started on the right foot. And if you decide that this sport is for you, be sure to check out our list of the best kickboxing gloves for beginners. Then, with the right gear and some basic knowledge, you’re ready to start punching your way to better health and fitness.