Is martial arts a good fit for you? Here’s what you need to know about getting fit with kickboxing.
Tracing its history back to 13th century Thailand, kickboxing began as a way for warriors to practice their skills. Since then it has evolved into a form of self-defense, recreation, physical exercise, and competitive sport. Kickboxing is now known as a martial arts combination of full-contact karate and boxing that’s practiced around the world.
Maybe you’ve heard of kickboxing and have wondered if it’s something you should try. Wonder no longer. Here’s what you need to know.
Taking a kickboxing class is known to increase your strength, balance, coordination, and confidence. The classes will give you a challenging full-body cardio workout that’ll get you fit and torch calories. How many calories? An hour of kickboxing can help you burn up to 450 of them. Not to mention the kicking and punching work wonders at relieving stress. Depending on which type of class you take, you’ll learn self-defense methods, dance moves, and healthy competition.
What is Kickboxing?
The rules of kickboxing vary around the world, but the sport usually involves controlled movements of punching, kicking, blocking, and evading. Most forms of kickboxing prohibit striking with any part of the body but the hands and feet, and the legs, back, and groin are completely off limits from strikes. But some forms of kickboxing include elbow strikes, knee strikes, head-butting, throws, and takedowns. Protective clothing, a padded ring, and safety rules are key parts of kickboxing practice and competitions.
A popular type of kickboxing is cardio kickboxing. This workout combines aspects of boxing, aerobics, and martial arts into a routine that includes a warm-up, kicks, punches, knee strikes, and a cool-down, but doesn’t involve physical contact with competitors.
How Can I Find a Class?
The calorie-burn potential, the confidence building, and the stress management all sound enticing, but before signing up for a kickboxing class, make sure it’s a right fit for you. You want to look for an instructor who’s certified by a reputable fitness organization and has achieved a high-level belt in martial arts. A good idea would be to observe a class or two before committing to see if it’s something you’d enjoy and be able to do.
Because kickboxing is high-impact and high-intensity, it’s not for the lazy, out of shape, or those with joint problems. Make sure you’re in relatively good shape before taking a class and look for an instructor who’s willing to work with your skill and fitness level. Even if you’re in shape, it’s smart to start as a beginner to learn the basic movements and work your way up to a more intense class.
Always move at a pace slow enough to avoid overexerting yourself or suffering injury (pulled muscles, sprained knees, and sprained ankles) but fast enough to challenge yourself.
What Gear Do I Need?
First, you’ll want comfortable workout clothes that are easy to move around in. Second, wear cross-trainer shoes that support your feet during side-to-side movements. Ask your instructor or personal trainer about any other gear you may need. Some classes require ankle supports, headgear, hand wraps, or boxing gloves. Finally, be sure to keep a water bottle close by to ensure you stay hydrated.
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If you live in the Gilbert area, treat yourself right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise program that will change your life for the best.