It’s no secret that kickboxing is one of the best full-body workouts you can get. The martial arts sport contains both strength training and cardio while improving balance, coordination, and flexibility. Not to mention stress relief and a confidence boost that your mind will thank you for.

And, unlike the hamster-wheel feeling cardio machines can put off, kickboxing is one of the most fun ways to sweat!

The experience of joining a kickboxing class can also ward off a lack of motivation in fitness, and the awkward feeling some may experience when exercising in a gym setting solo.

“Traditional gym workouts may be intimidating, and or, it may be hard for individuals to motivate themselves to go. Joining a good kickboxing class with an experienced and welcoming instructor, can provide a healthy outlet for stress and build a routine of exercise into their daily lives,” says Lian Gentle, a third-degree black belt, and certified personal trainer, who has been practicing martial arts since the age of 7, who has also programmed and taught various style kickboxing classes.

With that, the third-degree black belt gives an up close and personal look at why kickboxing has a unique way of upgrading your fitness level and mental health.

Kickboxing promo
Per Bernal

These Benefits Will Make You want to Kick and Punch the Bag Right ASAP

“Martial Arts is a full body exercise and requires the use of just about all muscle groups, equally depending on the style,” explains Gentle, and notes, that it is equally cognitive in having to remember forms, self-defense, various kicks, and punches. Here are some powerful benefits of kickboxing (and martial arts) for all who engage.

  • Mental Health Benefits:
  • Relieves stress
  • Boosts self-confidence
  • Lessens the symptoms of ADHD
  • Helps relieve anxiety and depression
  • Builds self-esteem

Benefits for Children, Teens, and College Students:

Gentle expresses she would not be the same person she is today if she hadn’t been active in martial arts as a kid as it not only built her physical strength but her mental and emotional health as well. For kids, teens, and college students ages, here’s what to expect:

  • Character builder
  • Self-discipline
  • Teaches and builds respect
  • Development of leadership traits
  • Refines Listening skills
  • Sharpens Teaching skills
  • Boosts Communication skills
  • Boosts Mental Focus

The Physical Benefits of Kickboxing for All Ages

  • Increased physical strength
  • Improved strength and conditioning
  • Better Balance
  • Better Body Control
  • Stronger Motor control
  • Improved Coordination
  • Encourages Spatial awareness
  • Superior Cardiovascular fitness
  • Builds a stronger core

Kickboxing Is a Must-Do Sport for Those Who Want to Protect Themselves

Beyond total body conditioning, the sport of kickboxing is a great way for both women (and men) to learn how to protect themselves. “Kickboxing is especially beneficial and important for women of all ages to feel confident in their ability to protect themselves, ’says Gentle. So, while getting your sweat on and improving your mental health, you’ll also reap the benefits of self-defense. Win-win!

Kickboxing class
Shannon Warf

Pro Tips for Becoming a Better Kickboxer

In a group fitness level setting, Gentle explains the classes are more focused on the fitness aspect of it versus the traditional form, leaving a lot of variability in how each trainer or instructor chooses to run a fitness-style boxing class. However, the third-degree blackbelt holder does stress the importance of wanting to learn more about the sport as this will help you be the best you can be in the sport.

The best way to do that is to get involved. Here’s how:

Find a Reputable Kickboxing School and Instructor: Although there are endless benefits to joining fitness-style kickboxing classes, if you’re looking to take it up a notch and get serious about the sport, a school would be the best choice. When it comes to gym-style kickboxing classes, “Instructors may only know the sport on a fitness level, so they may only know the basic punches or kicks but not necessarily the minute details of how to execute those punches and kicks. She explains. However, it’s a great place to start!

Karina roundhouse kick 1109
Per Bernal

Just Keep Kicking

Practice makes perfect! Gentle stresses that practicing the moves over and over, as well as additional training in the gym, for example, weight training, plyometrics, and exercises that will help you to physically improve, are fantastic ways to build your kickboxing character; Especially if you stick to it.

Rhonda Vetere warming up with high kicks

Focus on Mobility and Flexibility

Yes, these are benefits that come naturally with kickboxing, however, to better your game, putting in the work to increase mobility and flexibility will go a long way for you in the sport of kickboxing.

If you’re unsure how to grow in these areas, hiring a personal trainer or fitness professional will get you started on the right foot.

EmirMemedovski / Getty

Kick the Winter Blues (and Stress) Aside this Coming Winter

The days are still bright, but soon they will be shortened and darker, making kickboxing the perfect sport to take up. “Kickboxing is a bit unique in comparison to other physical activities and sports, where you don’t need to always have someone else there to practice, you don’t necessarily need a lot of gear, and it doesn’t need to be practiced outside,’ says Gentle, which is perfect for ‘beating’ those winter blues. There’s no off-season. “Kickboxing requires minimal equipment, making it an ideal activity to do during the colder months,’ she says.

With that, if you’re who tend to feel down during the colder months, need to level up your conditioning, try something new, or even beat stress, kickboxing just might be the muscle-building, stamina-strengthening, and confidence boosting activity you may be missing in your current training program.