Why it might be time to consider giving kickboxing a try
The health benefits of physical exercise are well reported, and we all know that we should be doing more physical exercise but doing the same old workout routing day-in and day-out can become a bit boring. Perhaps it’s time you tried something different?
Have you considered kickboxing?
If not, then why not? The fun exercise might once have had a reputation of being only for the boys, and only for the super fit, or the lovers of martial arts films, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that almost anyone can enjoy kickboxing, whatever their age, gender and current level of fitness.
What exactly is kickboxing?
As the name suggests, kickboxing is based on a combination of kicking and boxing moves, using both your hands and feet. It originated in the last 1950s in Japan, with American kickboxing following in the 1970s. The rules for each vary slightly, with American kickboxing being limited to kicks and punches only above the belt and essentially being a mix or western boxing and traditional karate.
Physical benefits of kickboxing:
Improved physical fitness
Perhaps the most obvious physical benefit of kickboxing is that it is sure to increase your physical fitness. As kickboxing is a combat sport you will need to be in good condition to beat your opponent. This doesn’t mean that you can’t start if you are not as fit as you would like to be currently though, as you will be matched with opponents who have a similar skillset and ability. As you progress though, you will become fitter, and you will be able to take on more skilled opponents. Studies have shown that just five weeks of kickboxing training can lead to a significant improvement in upper-body muscle power, aerobic power, anaerobic fitness, flexibility, speed and agility.1
Exercise has been shown to increase energy expenditure and assist with weight loss and maintenance. As kickboxing is an intense exercise you will burn a lot of calories, which will lead to a better metabolism and a greater ability to lose fat and build lean muscle. Alongside losing body fat, kickboxing will help tone your muscles and get you in great physical shape.2
Balance, coordination and posture
Kickboxing is a fast-paced activity that requires you to read what your opponent is doing and react with the perfect coordination of movements, while keeping balanced in defence to remain on your feet. As kickboxing will also strengthen your core muscles, it’s great for improving posture. Bad posture can lead to back pain, lordosis, scoliosis and hyperextended knees, but exercise has been shown in studies to help with many posture-related problems ranging from relieving pain and muscular tension to restoring range of movement and muscular balance and retaining control of normal alignment.3
Mental benefits of kickboxing:
Self-discipline and stress relief
While kickboxing is a great form of physical exercise for your body, it’s also great for your mind. Kicking and punching in a controlled manner teaches you self-discipline and can provide a safe channel to funnel stress. If you are feeling anxious or frustrated, taking it out on a punchbag is an excellent way to unwind.
Socialisation and confidence boosting
While you can practice your skills with a punchbag, kickboxing isn’t something you can do alone. It requires socialisation and working loosely with others. Learning and improving your skills with other is an excellent way to boost your confidence levels. As you progress, you may find yourself competing in a kickboxing match. Even friendly matches require courage to put yourself out there.
Finally, it can’t be forgotten that kickboxing, like other martial arts, is a great form of self-defence. Kickboxing teaches you to read your opponent, or potential attacker, and respond quickly and precisely with the proper strike technique that will fend off an attacker while keeping your limbs protected. It also teaches you how to receive a shot, which is vital for defending yourself.
Fancy giving kickboxing a try?
We’ve got a fun kickboxing class available for you to try. Everyone is welcome, whether you are a complete beginner or have tried kickboxing in the past. Simply put on your workout gear, grab a large glass of water to keep you hydrated, click the link below and enjoy! Watch the video here