Finding new forms of exercise is an excellent way to stay healthy, try new things and, most importantly, to have fun! If you have yet to give kickboxing a go, you might want to check it out. Not only will kickboxing add variety to your routine, but it also offers a ton of benefits. Find out what they are -- and what you need to do to get started -- in this guide.
What is kickboxing?
Kickboxing is a form of martial arts. It features a combination of karate moves and high-intensity cardio moves for the ultimate workout experience. It’s called kickboxing, but you’ll use both your hands and legs, as well as other parts of your body, for an intense full-body workout.
Boxing gloves are worn so that you’re protected when you punch, hook and jab. If you want added protection, hand wraps can be used. Many people also choose to wear a mouth guard while kickboxing.
Whether you're trying to lose weight, stay in shape or build muscle, kickboxing is ideal. It's great cardio exercise. It's great for building overall strength (especially in your core). It also helps to increase flexibility and improve balance and coordination.
According to a Harvard Health Letter article, kickboxing additionally improves certain brain functions, such as eye-hand coordination. It also can help you feel more attentive and alert in your daily life.
As with other forms of exercise, if you kickbox regularly, you may even experienced reduced stress. Boosted confidence is another bonus many people enjoy.
How to get started
As a beginner, it's a good idea to get some professional guidance as you explore kickboxing. Consider enrolling in a group class at a gym or fitness studio for starters. Prefer to exercise alone? Try to find a gym that offers one-on-one training sessions.
Of course, you can learn the basics at home by watching kickboxing instructional videos online. The most important thing is to get some education and training before diving into it.
If you do injure yourself or feel off after a workout, consult with your coach or a medical professional. Muscle soreness is not uncommon. If you feel a lot of discomfort, try taking an Epsom salt bath or applying some homeopathic arnica pain relief cream. Stretching with a foam roller also provides relief.
Don't forget to hydrate -- before, during and after your kickboxing workouts!
Mistakes to avoid
Knowing what mistakes to avoid can help you keep safe and will make the exercise more enjoyable for you. Here are a few things to watch out for:
Rushing: You should never rush into a kickboxing workout. Take your time and learn the moves before getting started. This will help you to avoid injury, and you’ll get better results.
Forgetting to warm up: Always take plenty of time to warm up and stretch before your kickboxing workout. This will warm up your muscles and get you ready for intense exercise. When you get forget to warm up, it’s easier to pull a muscle or have pain and discomfort throughout your workout.
Not paying attention to form or proper kickboxing moves: It’s essential that you fully understand the movements and have proper form and positioning before beginning. It can be easy to injure your leg, for example, if you’re not kicking the right way. As you continue to train, your form and moves will only get better.
Ignoring your fitness level and doing too much: It’s best to be honest about where your current fitness level stands. It’s OK to be a beginner! When you work out too much or too intensely, it can have a negative impact on your health. Listen to your body as you explore this workout.