In this article, we will look at kickboxing for fitness, the benefits of kickboxing for women, and the negatives.
Until relatively recently, kickboxing for fitness was undertaken almost solely by males.
This began to change when several female celebrities announced that regular kickboxing workouts helped them to stay healthy and in shape.
While men are still the main participants, nowadays, kickboxing workout benefits are also appreciated by women who are looking for an exciting and intense low-impact fitness activity that will enable them to transform their bodies quickly.
With its focus on martial arts techniques and cardio, when undertaken as exercise, the benefits of kickboxing for fitness are indisputable.
Keep reading to find out what they are and the equipment you will need to get started.
What equipment will I need?
As when undertaking boxing for fitness, you will usually require some equipment to do kickboxing workouts. If, however, you will only be shadowboxing – kicking and punching into the air – you will need nothing more than comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely.
Shoes are optional. If you prefer to wear them when exercising, cross-training shoes are a good choice as they provide support and stability, and they are light and flexible.
If you will be using a punching bag, you will also need a pair of 14 oz or 16 oz boxing gloves, shin guards, ankle support wraps, and wrist wraps. People who plan on sparring with a partner will also require the appropriate protective headgear and a mouthguard.
23-minute kickboxing workout
Kickboxing for Fitness Benefits
Suitable for all fitness levels
Kickboxing workouts are perfect for people of all shapes and sizes and any fitness level. While fast-paced and intense, the moves can be modified, and you can go at your own pace. This makes the benefits of kickboxing available to all, including beginners.
NB: Consult with your physician before undertaking any new fitness regimen, including kickboxing.
Burns calories and body fat
One hour of kickboxing can burn up to 750 calories, which is the equivalent of 0.2 lbs. Add conditioning and jump rope sessions, and you could burn up to 900 calories every 60 minutes.
The exact number of calories will vary depending on factors, including your weight and how much effort you put in.
One of the most significant kickboxing workout benefits is that it helps to burn belly fat fast. Also known as visceral fat, this is not just unsightly; it is unhealthy too.
Unlike excess thigh and buttocks fat, a fat belly increases the risk for some serious medical conditions including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, regular aerobic sessions, including kickboxing, reduce visceral fat more efficiently than resistance training. This is because kickboxing burns approximately 67% more calories than resistance training when undertaken for the same duration.
- Boosts cardio health, stamina, and endurance
As previously referenced, kickboxing requires you to continuously and rapidly move multiple areas of your body simultaneously.
This constant movement boosts blood flow and circulation and increases the heart rate to provide an excellent cardiovascular workout. Over time, this will positively impact your energy, endurance, and stamina.
Tones the entire body
Offering a total body toning workout, kickboxing engages all of the body’s muscles. Regular participation will strengthen your core, chest, shoulders, and back, define your abs, and give you a smaller waist, and toned arms, legs, and buttocks.
The first areas that will become stronger and more toned are the abs and the core. The reason for this is that to stay balanced during workouts; these muscles will be continuously engaged.
Improves balance, coordination, and flexibility
Another of the benefits of kickboxing you will notice comes about because it requires that you perform multiple movements simultaneously, often standing on one leg. Over time, this stance will improve your balance and stability.
As you kick and punch, you will need to coordinate your arm and leg movements to stay upright. This will hone your coordination.
To block, dodge, kick, punch, and perform the other movements this type of workout requires, you will need to bend and extend your body fully. As a result of this, you will become more flexible.
And, being fast-paced and highly intense, regular kickboxing workouts will improve your stamina and endurance.
Workouts are energizing, varied, and fun
There’s nothing monotonous about kickboxing workouts. A combination of boxing, martial arts, and aerobic moves, sessions are fast-paced, dynamic, diverse, and fun.
No two sessions are the same, so each is fresh and enjoyable.
Sharpens reaction time
When kickboxing against an opponent, you will continuously be blocking, dodging, and weaving in response to their actions as you plan your own moves.
Your movements will be similar when using a punching bag, with it acting as your opponent.
Over time, this continuous movement will sharpen your reaction time and help you to anticipate and, more precisely, counter-attack.
Relieves stress & releases endorphins
Another of the kickboxing workout benefits is that it can reduce stress levels due to the martial arts and cardio aspect of the sport, providing an opportunity to kick and punch anxieties away.
The exercise also stimulates the production of endorphins in the body. These chemicals boost the mood and help us to relax. They also make us feel happy and positive, with this feeling lasting for several hours after the workouts finish.
The world today can be dangerous, and kickboxing for women (and men) provides a means for us to defend and protect ourselves should the need arise.
Bobbing, weaving, punching, kicking, and Knee-Ups, are all moves that can be used in real-life situations to defend yourself.
Additionally, through kickboxing, you can learn to gauge distance as you jab and weave and throw kicks and punches. This skill will make it easier to defend yourself with power and accuracy without getting too close to your attacker and therefore putting yourself at risk.
If you are working out alone, the moves will be practiced on a punching bag. This will teach you how to make contact with your attacker without hesitation.
Knowing that you will be able to defend yourself physically should the situation require it, will help you to have confidence in yourself and your abilities.
The sense of accomplishment gained from mastering a new skill will also build confidence.
Next, we will look at the negatives of kickboxing.
Negatives of Kickboxing
As you can see, the benefits of kickboxing for women are numerous. However, before you undertake it, it’s also important to know the negatives of kickboxing to give you the full picture.
Kickboxing workouts are high-impact. This means that they are not the best exercise option if you suffer from back pain or you have problems with your knees.
High risk of injury
Workouts present a higher injury risk than a lot of other workouts. Injury most often occurs when participants use the incorrect form or a pace that is too fast or intense.
Exercising over four times a week can result in joint strain caused by repetitive high-intensity movements.
Final Thoughts on Kickboxing for Fitness
Kickboxing has taken the fitness world by storm in recent years, and its popularity continues to increase.
Offering numerous health and fitness benefits, regular sessions will enable you to become stronger and see visible improvement in your muscle tone within a few weeks of starting a kickboxing training program.
Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or just starting to work out, this fast-paced sport can help you to reach your fitness goals. Just remember to proceed with caution if you suffer from joint problems.