In recent years the popularity of utilizing kickboxing as a means of getting fit has truly skyrocketed, and with good reason. Part of this recent popularity boost may be attributed to the sudden rise of popularity in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). UFC fighters such as Benson Henderson, Georges St. Pierre, and Urijah Faber all display incredibly strong and ripped bodies. While recreational kickboxing alone will not make you an ultimate fighter, it can sure help you get a physique like one!
The many benefits of kickboxing
Unlike some workout programs kickboxing involves a lot of compound movements, meaning that it utilizes multiple muscle groups at a time, which can really challenge the entire body and increase caloric expenditure. The compound movements used in kickboxing will test your body from head-to-toe in matters of both strength and cardio. Hitting a heavy bag, mitt work, or even just shadow boxing with weighted gloves can truly challenge your muscular strength and endurance. The quick foot work, striking, and overall endurance needed to complete a kickboxing workout will push your cardio to a whole new level. Many people starting kickboxing for the first time often have trouble completing the first workout due mostly to the cardio demands it places on the body. Since it is a full-body workout, kickboxing will tax any unconditioned body in a short amount of time, thus making it an ideal full-body conditioning workout.
The average 145 pound adult can burn around 700 calories in a single hour of kickboxing, although not all kickboxing sessions have to be that long. Some kickboxing workouts involve no more than 5, 5 minute rounds with a minute of rest in between. Move over boring treadmill workouts, there’s a better, more efficient way of doing cardio! If that’s not enough to get your heart racing, consider the fact that even after your kickboxing workout you may continue to burn additional calories, mostly from fat. You can accomplish a similar effect from resistance training and interval training as well, but kickboxing still has that fun, full-body challenge element to it that not all other workouts have.
If burning a ton of calories and conditioning your entire body in a single workout isn’t enough for you, then how about increasing flexibility, improving your speed and agility, and learning how to be one serious bad ass? Kickboxing can help increase your range of motion allowing you to fully develop the long, lean muscles you want. It can also improve your reaction time and foot work which are both key to any sport. What’s even better is the benefit of learning many self-defense techniques. After all, who’s going to want to get in the striking path of an avid kickboxer?