Shape up with kickboxing

Ever felt the urge to kick and punch someone? Why not do it as a workout?

The origins of kickboxing

Kickboxing was originally a stand up combat sport, influenced highly by the martial arts. The true roots of the sport date back a couple of thousand years; although today the training routine and workout has been adopted by fitness lovers everywhere. As the name suggests, this routine emphasises on kicking and punching and leads to enhanced discipline.

Kickboxing has been growing in popularity since the 1970s and has evolved into an offshoot of aerobic or cardio exercise. It usually begins with a generic warm up of stretches, push-ups and the like. This is followed by movements like knee strikes, kicks and punches. Some instructors use punching bags and skipping ropes as well. A cool down ends the session.

This workout is comprehensive and contributes to muscle tone and physical conditioning while building self-defence instincts. A series of instructional videos are also available and most gyms and fitness studios offer kickboxing routines.

Benefits of kickboxing

Participating in a kickboxing class can be beneficial to you in many ways:

  • Kickboxing is an excellent way of burning calories.
  • It greatly enhances flexibility, muscle tone and strength.
  • Training in kickboxing equips an individual with self-defence tactics that might come in handy in the future.
  • Adopting a work out that involves kickboxing helps a person imbibe a self-assurance and alertness that could be beneficial in an adverse scenario.
  • Most kickboxing instructors like to follow different variations from time to time. This helps in keeping the workout varied, fun and interesting.
  • This exercise is a great way of improving your heart rate performance and breathing capacity.

Points to remember

If you’re planning to take up kickboxing as a form of exercise, it’s important to keep in mind a few points first.

  • This program involves high energy levels and is a high impact, fast calorie-burning workout which could cause injury if not done right or if one’s fitness level is really low.
  • This work out is rigorous and must be executed with sincerity and under appropriate guidance. Throwing lazy punches or not doing enough repetitions will not have the desired effect.
  • It is advisable to ensure at least basic fitness before jumping into a kickboxing class.
  • Observing a class before joining not only enlightens the prospective student of the work out, but also of the instructor and his/her level of proficiency.
  • A certified instructor is recommended and it‘s a good idea to consult a physician before joining to ensure complete health and to avoid any complications at a later stage.

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