Mixed Martial Arts, better known by its abbreviation MMA, has seen a substantial increase in interest over the past few years, thanks in part, to Ronda Rousey. This means that different forms of fighting as exercise, like kickboxing, are once more becoming popular.
From your core arms and shoulder to your legs and glutes, kickboxing also strengthens your muscles while increasing your stamina — and gives you a tough cardio workout to boot. And believe me, it does.
The week I am writing this post, I started taking kickboxing lessons, and boy oh boy has it been an experience. Barely recovered from the first session, I went for my second one. And I can still feel the soreness of both!
Gives You Confidence
As with any exercise, increased strength and performance increases confidence. This is even more true for kickboxing, since learning a type of self defence proves that you can hold your own, giving you a well-deserved boost. Furthermore, an intense kickboxing session releases endorphins, a natural mood booster that will also improve your self esteem.
Blasts Fat, & Quite Fast
Kickboxing alone burns about 750 calories in an hour. Add in jump rope and conditioning drills, and you could burn anywhere from 750 to 900 calories in an hour. WOW! That’s more than I used to burn in a week probably!
While you burn calories, you’ll also be speeding up your metabolism and toning your entire body. The benefit of kickboxing is that it is a high-intensity, full-body cardio workout, which is perfect if your aim is to lose weight and get fit.
Tones Your Entire Body
A typical MMA-inspired class combines classic kickboxing movements with drills, circuit training and core exercises for a total-body workout that will leave you feeling sore for days afterwards. There’s a large toning component to kickboxing, as it forces you to engage all muscle groups in your body.
All kicks work your legs and glutes, while punching and jabbing tones the upper arms, shoulders and chest. Meanwhile, all of these movements, alongside shuffling, ducking and side bends, will engage your core for the entire workout. Engaging your abs will also improve your coordination (more on that later), while the constant movement in kickboxing improves flexibility and reflexes.
My flexibility still need some work, but I have improved a lot, even after just two sessions!
Improves Your Coordination
People who suffer from poor hand and eye coordination (like myself!) and general movement stability should certainly practise kickboxing. By strengthening your core and improving your reflexes, you’ll drastically improve your balance and stability. The quick kicks and punches in the routine make you focus your energy with precision.
Boosts Energy Levels
Performing a high-intensity kicking boxing routine might seem like it would tire you out, but many people find that the opposite is true. Kickboxing often gives people an energy boost, because of the natural endorphins (though that plays a big role!) and the empowering nature of the workout. This gives your physical and mental energy levels a boost.
Prevents Gym Boredom
For people who exercise regularly, one of the biggest problems they face is gym boredom. Running on a treadmill day in and day out can get very monotonous. Kickboxing is the opposite, as it has the added benefit of including an exciting and unusual cross-training element to your normal workouts.
Helps You Stand Tall
Most of us – myself included – sit hunched over our computers for hours every day, and naturally, our posture suffers. I have a bad habit of walking hunched, after years and years of being that way. A fundamental benefit of kickboxing is that it challenges a variety of muscle groups that are not used daily. Once you begin to develop your core, lower back and abdominal muscles your posture and balance will automatically improve.
A great way to relieve mental stress is using kickboxing by releasing all those bottled-up frustrations with a high-energy routine. You will also see that your concentration levels will gradually improving enabling you to focus on stressing less!
Within all the benefits of kickboxing lies the fundamental of every martial art: discipline. Following instructions, mastering a set movements and learning specific stances and positions requires determination and discipline. As you excel, you’ll begin to subconsciously apply the elements of discipline to your daily life and manage your everyday tasks with more ease.