Kickboxing for Beginners: What You Need to Know

Kickboxing for Beginners: What You Need to Know

If you want a kickass cardio workout that can burn a massive amount of calories, build endurance or help you stay fit, you ought to give kickboxing a try.  In Southeast Asia, it can refer to several things such as the Philippines’ Yaw Yan, Thailand’s Muay Thai, Burma’s Lethwei, or Cambodia’s Pradal Serey. In the United States, kickboxing is a mix of karate and boxing. It prohibits strikes with anything except the feet and hands, and you also can’t attack your opponent’s legs, back or groin. The great thing about kickboxing is that it not only burns calories and builds muscle, but it also helps with flexibility, coordination and balance.

Before you join a kickboxing class, here are a few things you should do:

1. Set a personal goal

When undertaking a new exercise routine, you should always take time to set goals and know your current fitness level. What do you want to achieve? Is it overall conditioning or cardiovascular health? Are you planning to get into competition sparring? Or perhaps learn real-world fighting?

2. Choose the right class.

Ideally, the kickboxing teacher is a former professional fighter.  They should be certified by a reputable organization like the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, American Council on Exercise, the International Sport Karate Association, and others. Some gyms like CKO Kickboxing can help you learn and develop your skills through group fitness classes.

3. Know your limitations.

If you have a chronic health issue like diabetes or asthma, you should consult your doctor before signing up for a class. Keep in mind that kickboxing is more intense than a regular exercise program

4. Get in gear.

Search online for essential kickboxing gear such as ankle supports, headgear and boxing gloves. Mouth guards may also be needed if you want to try actual sparring. As for clothing, most active gear is acceptable, although you may want to stay away from baggy clothing. You’ll also need a towel and a water bottle.

5. Fuel up before your workout

You should consume carbs 1 hour before your workout so you can have much needed energy. A diet filled with fruits, veggies, protein and whole grains also help improve performance and enable you to lose weight faster. Don’t forget to hydrate yourself properly before, during and after your class.

Improving Your Kicking Speed

Speed is very important in combat sports and martial arts. A quick reaction could lead to a win. Here are some tips to help you kick faster.

  • Start slowly – If you want to achieve an effective shot, master your technique, ensuring it’s flawless from the moment you raise your foot until you bend your knee. With slow, patient moves you will eventually perfect your form and this in turn helps you improve your speed.
  • Strengthen your core – Your core needs to be firm and strong, in order to have the needed balance and posture to produce a fast and strong kick.
  • Use ankle weights – These are very handy in improving speed and power.

Improving Your Kicking Power

Being fast is great but it’s not enough. You need kicks that pack a punch too. Here are some ways you can achieve this:

Master the technique – In order to have a powerful kick, your technique needs to be perfect.

Improve your core and balance – Core posture is essential if you want to improve not only your kicking speed but also power.

Breathing – Breathing is necessary in producing a strong kick. You need to control your breathing so you can maneuver and move more efficiently.

Leg muscles – Powerful legs are needed to create powerful kicks. Work on leg exercises that strengthen the muscles in your legs.

Here’s a 30 minute cardio kickboxing workout for you:

30-Minute No-Equipment Cardio Kickboxing Workout

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