Ready to learn about the INCREDIBLE benefits kickboxing has?
So maybe you have heard of kickboxing before. But what exactly is kickboxing and what are the benefits to this type of workout?!
I’ll be telling you the top 7 kickboxing benefits as well as what even IS kickboxing?!
Let’s just go ahead and dive right in, shall we?
What Is Kickboxing?
Kickboxing is a form of martial artthat involves both hands and feet as points of contact. It combines multiple types of martial arts such as full-contact karate, Muay Thai, cardio kickboxing, and boxing!
Wait, boxing? Aren’t kickboxing and boxing the same thing?
Don’t worry, many people are on the same boat and think kickboxing and boxing are the same things. While they are closely related, they do entail different things.
Boxing involves ONLY punching and blocks (this is typically what you see on TV) while kickboxing utilizes BOTH punches and kicks.
So, try to let go of the image in your head of massive dudes knocking each other out since we will be focusing on kickboxing, rather than boxing!
Kickboxing Reduces Stress
Have you ever been so mad or stressed that you wanted to punch or kick something? So you decide to punch your pillow and scream to let out all of your frustrations you’re having.
Don’t worry, I’m sure we have all been there before too.
But what if you could use this type of physical aggression someplace else?
That place is in the form of kickboxing, my friend.
All of your worries, stress, anger, fears, and everything in between can be let out with each punch and kick you do during this high-intensity workout.
Nothing beats relieving some stress and anger by throwing some punches and kicks, right? 😉
When you make that first punch, you’ll feel a sense of empowerment. There are no limits as to how many punches you do or how hard you do them.
Nothing is stopping you!
Now, let me explain this from a science perspective.
Our brains produce two important neurotransmitters that are in charge of relieving feelings such as stress, depression, and anxiety. These two neurochemicals are called dopamine and serotonin.
Exercise is, in fact, a NATURAL way for your brain to produce these neurochemicals.
So, when we workout at such high-intensities, like during kickboxing, we can produce an abundance of these two neurotransmitters. This aids in reducing our levels of stress and anger!
Not only are you fighting to release your stress or pain or anger you might be feeling, but you’re also fighting to feel that sense of happiness you are longing to feel.
You fight to feel better and if that isn’t a major health benefit, then I don’t know what is.
It Improves Your Coordination
A really common misconception about kickboxing is that it is only an upper-body workout. This could not be more false.
Kickboxing uses the full-body simultaneously.
What does this mean exactly?
Well, when you are punching, you aren’t just using your arm. The power in the punch comes from your legs!
Not only that, but your core is also engaged for your body to twist and turn the way you want it to when you throw the punch.
So naturally, practicing these types of techniques will improve your overall bodily coordination.
A typical kickboxing session or class works both on your left and right side. Now, most people have a naturally stronger side (for me it’s the right side).
But as you continue with kickboxing, the lagging side will become better coordinated. This will create a better overall balance in your body and you will find other areas in your life to improve!
You Learn Self-Defense Skills
One of the biggest kickboxing benefits is learning self-defense skills at the same time as you are working out!
It’s no surprise that when you begin to practice the techniques of kickboxing, you are also learning the basics of self-defense.
The very basics in martial arts teach you the fundamentals of self-defense, especially when you learn to strike with your hands and feet.
You can take your knowledge outside of your kickboxing training and into real life.
Knowing how to properly punch and kick can be to your advantage when an attacker or even bully tries to lay a hand on you. Having the ability to protect yourself in a dangerous situation can become a very valuable asset to you and give you a major confidence boost.
Now, I would never endorse violence here, BUT, when it comes to self-defense, it may be necessary.
It Aides In Weight Loss
In a study done in 2014, researchers found that kickboxing greatly improved upper-body and aerobic power, anaerobic fitness, speed, and agility. All of these kickboxing benefits also aide in WEIGHT LOSS!
How, you might ask?
Well, kickboxing isn’t just kickboxing. There’s lots of resistance training, weight lifting, and isometric exercises you need to do to train and be able to build strength to execute the kicks and punches properly.
Often, kickboxing training includes “active recoveries” where you take a break from the punches and kicks and instead, do exercises such as burpees, sit-ups, push-ups, jumping rope, planks, and so much more.
All of this training combined in addition to the cardio-conditioning element allows you to lose weight and burn fat throughout your whole body!
Not only will all of this exercise help you to lose weight, but it also is great for cardiovascular health. Both your heart and your lungs will strengthen just as your muscles will. The more you work them, the stronger and more efficient they will become!
Kickboxing Builds Strong Muscle
More often than not, I hear the question “does kickboxing build muscle?”
Heck yeah it does!
In one study, researchers found that elite and amateur kickboxers have more muscle mass and lower body fat percentages compared to non-kickboxers.
Kickboxing might seem to be only an arm workout, BUT, it is a full-body workout that builds muscle everywhere!
Your arms are used to execute the punches. But to get power in each punch you throw, you have to use your legs and core. Your arm simply translates that power and movement.
The same goes for kicking. You engage your core to maintain your center of gravity and your arms to protect and hold the upper-body while kicking.
Now, if you are using heavy bags or hand pads to kickbox, that’s going to require some serious strength. You will be using all of your muscles to kick and punch, and not just a little bit either.
Over time, you will start to notice a transformation in your overall strength and muscle growth in your arms and your legs.
Your Brain Also Gets A Workout
One of the best kickboxing benefits there could be is the ability for your brain to get a workout in too.
It’s no secret that kickboxing requires major focus, concentration, and dedication. Without these two things, kickboxing would be very difficult, if not impossible, to do.
Because of the nature of this, your brain gets a workout too, meaning, you are also exercising your brain to become stronger AND healthier!
Your brain will think quicker and solve problems faster when you begin to master the techniques and combinations of kickboxing.
This aspect of kickboxing helps improve your daily and academic life and sets it apart from many other sports!
You also start to gain more confidence and motivation to do things you haven’t been able to do before kickboxing. This is something no one could EVER take away from you.
Kickboxing Increases Flexibility
Flexibility is typically not a hot topic in the fitness world but it is SO important for our overall health.
Let’s say you are casually walking around your local mall running some errands. Someone accidentally spills their drink on the floor and you walk right into the puddle.
But you can catch yourself because there is a rail next to you, however, chances are, your leg muscles still got a bit of stretch in them from catching your fall.
Now, if your muscles were flexible, no damage would probably be done. But if you were inflexible, you run the risk of pulling or straining a muscle since it was placed under such sudden and extreme stress.
See why flexibility is important?
When we talk about flexibility in kickboxing, it’s not necessarily the sport or workout itself that is giving you the flexibility, rather, its what you do before and after each session.
When you go into your kickboxing training session, you will most likely start with a warm-up that includes stretches for things such as your shoulders and hips.
Doing this before every kickboxing workout can show great improvements to your overall flexibility and balance. Your range of motion in your day-to-day life will improve simply from being more flexible.
Not only does the warm-up help to increase your flexibility, but the nature of the high kicks from all directions can aide in this as well!
How many times a week should I do kickboxing?
If you are doing kickboxing training as a beginner, I recommend training 2-3 times a week and focus your efforts on the proper techniques and commands.
Of course, this is totally up to you! You can do kickboxing to as many as 5 times per week or as little as 1-2 times per week.
I will say that the great thing about this workout is that you technically don’t need kickboxing training equipment. You can start by simply doing cardio-kickboxing where you punch and kick the air to focus on your technique.
As you advance, you can buy your own kickboxing training equipment such as gloves, wraps, hand pads, and heavy bags.
Or you could always join kickboxing studios near you!
Here are some kickboxing studios I have personally tried or heard great things about in the Southern California Region: