Get the lowdown on basic punches, gear, and shadowboxing.Read article
We know that improving your strength and performance requires persistence and dedication. Progress doesn’t happen overnight but with proper nutrition, training and cross-training you can accelerate your results. It’s important to balance your workouts with strength training and cardio, but incorporating a cross-training routine that’s both effective and enjoyable can be hard to come by. I know the hours I spend on the stair climber seem to drag on FOREVER, even with a TV. Luckily for us both, kickboxing is one of those high intensity workouts that keeps your mind off the time so you can actually look forward to what you’re doing and not feel like a hamster on a wheel. Here are my top five reasons to get your butt into a kickboxing class tomorrow:
Kickboxing will get your heart pounding, sweat pouring, and muscles working. If you find yourself panting and begging for a water break, you’re doing it right. It’s okay if you have trouble keeping up the first time, I sure did! This high-intensity cardio cross training option takes a lot of endurance and stamina, so be sure to bring water and snack for recovery after. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bar is a great post-kickboxing snack option. It tastes like sneaking a spoonful of cookie dough straight from the bowl, but has all the essentials to aid in recovery!
Sometimes my work day gets me so tightly wound, I wish I could just scream…or punch something (No judgments). On days like this, finding motivation to cross-train, or train at all, seems impossible. I have some great news: while you can’t punch your obnoxious colleague who asks the same question one hundred times, there is little to no chance you’re finishing a kickboxing session with an ounce of stress left in your system. A series of swift punching combinations works wonders to relieve the fallout from a bad day! Heck, even if I’m having a good day, I end up feeling even better than when I started.
Kickboxing is demanding on the entire body. Classes include punching, kicking, jump rope and some circuit training. The combination is a killer full body workout that engages numerous muscle groups! Kickboxing regularly helps “discover” muscles I didn’t know I had. (Soreness. Everywhere.) Whether you’re hitting against a bag, pads, or even just the air, the core stabilization required and power exerted throwing punches and kicks will leave you stiff (in a good way). Kickboxing mixes strength training with cardio very efficiently. If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s an excellent, proven option to do so. Studies show an hour-long kickboxing class can torch calories, which is sure to trim your waistline in combination with a healthy diet and a regular routine.
If a friend asked me to take a formal self-defense class I’d politely decline and say “maybe another time” because that sounds like a snooze fest. If someone said, “let’s go try a kickboxing class” I would volunteer to drive! With kickboxing, you get the added benefit of self-defense training, but in a more fun, high-energy environment. Who doesn’t want to learn how to kick some booty (should the need arise!) and simultaneously tone up? In class, you will learn how to throw a variety of punches and kicks that drive maximum force for the least amount of effort and the heavy hitting moves. These easily translate in real life situations and there won’t be a quiz at the end! Music blasting and a mix of individual and partner work will make your time in class fly by.
Perhaps the best reason to add kickboxing to your cross training routine: confidence. Scientifically speaking, throwing punches and kicks increases the release of mood elevating endorphins. This relieves muscle tension and you’ll find your focus and concentration are improved. Psychologically speaking, you can channel your energy to relieve aggression or even insecurity. I have a tendency to punch harder and faster when I think about the people who’ve told me I can’t achieve something or am not good enough. By the end of the session my body is wiped, but I feel stronger, more powerful and self-assured. Hell, I even feel sexier. The return energy from a kickboxing session will hook even the shyest of women, leaving them feeling unstoppable. After a session, I dare you to tell me I can’t do something!
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