Kickboxers have to train hard if they’re going to stand a fighting chance in competitive combat sports. That’s why practitioners of Muay Thai, Savate, Sanda, and other kickboxing styles tend to be in really good shape.
Do you too want to enjoy peak physical fitness but without the prospect of being punched or kicked in the face? Well, have you considered cardio kickboxing classes?
It’s Not Just Kicks and Punches
Take the high intensity and strength training of Muay Thai classes, the skills and technique training you’d get from a martial arts gym, and swap out the sensei in exchange for an enthusiastic group fitness instructor, and that’s cardio kickboxing in a nutshell.
Cardio kickboxing is a type of group fitness class where participants follow an instructor’s lead, performing a combination of punches, kicks, callisthenic movements, and even strength exercises with little to no rest.
The result is a highly effective workout that provides both strength and conditioning, unlocking a world of fitness benefits in a relatively short period of time.
Cardio Kickboxing Works Out Your Entire Body
A 2014 study published in Muscle, Ligaments, Tendons Journal examined the effects of kickboxing training on physical fitness after a 5-week period.
Researchers observed a “significant improvement in upper-body muscle power, aerobic power, anaerobic fitness, flexibility, speed and agility after training;” and, if you’ve ever participated in classes at a cardio kickboxing gym, it makes total sense. One minute, you’ll be doing jumping jacks in place, the next you’re hitting a heavy bag, then you’re dropping to the mat and banging out push-ups.
The stimulus is constantly varied, keeping your heart rate elevated, torching calories, and pushing you to the absolute brink in order to build you up into a stronger version of yourself!
Top 5 Reasons You Should Try Cardio Kickboxing Classes
Still not sold on the benefits of cardio kickboxing exercise?
Here are our picks for the top 5 reasons you should give it a try:
- Lose Weight
Everyone has their own personal reasons to work out, but one of the most common goals is to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. And, when it comes to losing weight, cardio kickboxing is one of the best ways to do it.
According to a study performed by the American Council on Exercise, cardio kickboxing burns approximately 350 to 450 calories per hour.
Combined with a healthy diet and adequate sleep, cardio kickboxing workouts will contribute to weight loss efforts, helping practitioners lose extra pounds and keep them off.
- Empower Yourself
Cardio kickboxing yields a number of tangible physical benefits, from increases in muscle size, strength, and endurance, to improved cardio and lung function, but there are intangible benefits that are arguably just as important.
We’re talking specifically about the boost in self-confidence that goes hand-in-hand with learning kickboxing self-defense strategies in class.
Simply practicing punches and kicks helps build familiarity with the movements, so you’ll be well-acquainted with the most common martial arts strikes and techniques in the event you need to use them for self-defense purposes.
A 2017 review published in Biology of Sport found that cardio kickboxing fitness practitioners reported “high levels of self-confidence, motivation, dispositional hope and optimism, mental toughness/resiliency, and adaptive perfectionism.”
This self-empowerment may not be as readily apparent as a lean physique of bulging muscles, but it’s important nonetheless.
- Get Stronger
We all know that grabbing a barbell and banging out the biceps curls is one way to get stronger, but doesn’t that just sound dull compared to strapping on your heavy bag gloves and going wild during a boxing bag workout?
Because cardio kickboxing requires strength and power in both your upper and lower body, you’re bound to build muscle strength, size, and endurance through consistent training.
In fact, a study published in Muscle, Ligaments, Tendons Journal found that, after five weeks, study participants showed substantial increases in peak and mean power in both their upper bodies and lower body limbs. That’s because even kickboxing for beginners involves a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercises, ranging from calisthenics, punches and kicks, and strength exercises using resistance bands or your own bodyweight as resistance.
Because cardio kickboxing includes strength exercises and keeps things constantly varied, you should get stronger as a result of regular training; and the studies support that you will!
- Get Faster
All that fancy footwork and striking practice should improve your speed and agility as well.
A 2021 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that “there exists a correlation between efficiency, activeness and effectiveness of attacks and the speed of upper limbs, explosive strength, static strength of a hand, agility, VO2max and abdominal muscle strength” with regular cardio kickboxing training.
Since kickboxing fitness classes have you hitting the bag, shadowboxing, and keeping on your toes at all times, you’re constantly improving your speed, mobility, and flexibility so that, when it’s time to throw a punch or kick, you’re going to execute the movement quickly, with precision, and with power.
So, whether you’re doing kickboxing at home and hitting your doorway punching bag, or fending off a would-be mugger on your walk home from work, you can count on being able to move with speed and power, thanks to your cardio kickboxing training!
- Mix It Up
Cardio kickboxing is an incredibly effective training modality for building strength and cardio, improving your speed, burning calories, and boosting self-confidence. That’s not the only reason, however, fitness enthusiasts rotate between regular sessions at the commercial gym and martial arts classes that incorporate cardio kickboxing; at the end of the day, people love it because it’s something different!
We know we’ll get fit from logging miles on the treadmill and banging out the bench press reps, but that gets monotonous over time. We also know, however, that if your routine gets too redundant, it’s only a matter of time before motivation wanes and you start missing training days out of sheer boredom.
Don’t let that happen to you!
Type “cardio kickboxing near me” into the search bar and find your local kickboxing classes for beginners now. Find out firsthand about the benefits, and start living your best, healthiest life today!
Wrapping it Up
Cardio kickboxing has emerged as a popular exercise regimen that combines the intensity of cardio workouts with the technique and power of martial arts. This article highlights the numerous benefits of incorporating cardio kickboxing into one’s fitness routine. From enhanced cardiovascular health and weight loss to improved coordination and stress reduction, the high-energy nature of cardio kickboxing engages the entire body, toning muscles, boosting endurance, and burning calories. Moreover, it promotes mental well-being by releasing endorphins and providing a cathartic outlet for stress and aggression. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or a beginner, cardio kickboxing offers an exhilarating and empowering path to achieving optimal fitness and overall wellness.
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