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Health and Fitness News

Jab, Cross, Kick

A quick primer on the perks and purpose of kickboxing.

Maybe you’re tired of your monotonous treadmill workout and are looking to kick things up a notch. If you’re ready to try a non-stop, heart-pumping, full-body workout that may be the perfect path to fitness and stress relief, give kickboxing a try.

Filled with punches and kicks, bobbing and weaving, kickboxing is sure to torch calories, increase endurance, and improve fitness. With the potential for you to burn up to 450 calories in an hour, kickboxing is a high-intensity full-body workout.

Wonder if you should find time for kickboxing? Keep reading to learn more about this full-throttle exercise that combines the punching of boxing with the kicking of karate.

Targeted Muscles

When starting a new type of exercise, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be sore afterward. Following your first kickboxing class, you may feel soreness in muscles you didn’t know existed.

As a full-body workout, kickboxing targets muscles all over. Your arms get worked through jabs and uppercuts and your legs are constantly kicking and moving. At the same time, your core, shoulders, and back get in on the action as you stay on the move and balance your body.

A Unique Workout

A balanced workout routine includes cardio, strength training, and flexibility. With kickboxing, you get all three. As your heart rate pumps and your breathing increases, you enjoy the perks of a cardio workout. You feel your strength and flexibility improve as you kick and punch.

Because the workout includes jarring movements of kicking, punching, and bouncing, kickboxing is considered a high-impact workout. As such, it’s not recommended for those with joint pain or weakness. Due to the physically demanding nature of the workout, those with health conditions should seek a doctor’s approval before beginning a class.

Take a Class

In most cases, kickboxing is enjoyed in a class setting, led by an in-person instructor. However, you can get a good kickboxing workout with an online instructor or video. The classes are upbeat, fast-paced, and done with music that matches the pace. Each class begins with a warm-up and ends with a cool-down and period of stretching. Most classes last between half an hour and an hour.

Ready to get started? Find a class that meets your fitness level. Beginners have a hard time keeping up with an advanced workout. To avoid injury, go at your own pace and gradually increase the intensity of your workout. Even when following the guidance of an instructor, make the workout your own by modifying the movements if desired. For extra help, check with your trainer to ensure you get the best workout at the least risk for injury.

Equipment such as punching bags, boxing gloves, headgear, ankle supports, and jump ropes are often part of the workout, though not always necessary. Depending on your desire, you can choose a non-contact class or one designed to teach self-defense. Really want to test yourself? Sign up for a program that incorporates competitive fighting in the ring.

Health and Fitness Benefits

A kickboxing workout is known to provide health and fitness benefits. It strengthens your heart, muscles, and joints, while improving your balance, coordination, and endurance and increasing strength, speed, and agility.

It’s also a form of exercise that’s great for managing stress and improving mental health. As with karate or heavy weight lifting, kickboxing requires intense mental concentration as you focus on form and proper technique. Kickboxing advocates find this concentration carries over into their daily lives. This enables them to focus on whatever task is at hand and find relief from stress. So if things are weighing you down, kickboxing let’s you fight back in a figurative sense, with literal benefits.

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