Mixed Martial Arts, better known as MMA, has seen a substantial increase in interest over the past few years, thanks in part, to Ronda Rousey and Anderson “The Spider” Silva. This means that different forms of fighting as exercise, like kickboxing, are once more becoming a popular form of fitness.
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Learn self-defence, increase your fitness levels and engage your entire body: the benefits of kickboxing are numerous. From your core arms and shoulder to your legs and glutes, kickboxing also strengthens your muscles while increasing your stamina — and gives you a tough cardio workout to boot.
Here, we highlight just a few of the amazing benefits of kickboxing that will make put on your gloves and get into to the ring.
Gives You Confidence
As with any form of exercise, increased strength and performance increases confidence. This is even more true for kickboxing, since learning a form of self defence proves that you can hold your own, giving you a well-deserved confidence boost. Additionally, a rigorous kickboxing session releases endorphins, a natural mood booster that will also improve your self esteem.
Blasts Fat, Fast
“It’s an incredibly efficient workout. Kickboxing alone burns about 750 calories in an hour,” says Sammie Kennedy, CEO and creator of Femme Fitale, Ontario’s women’s-only kickboxing and mixed martial arts program. “Add in jump rope and conditioning drills, and you could burn anywhere from 750 to 900 calories in an hour.”
While you burn calories, you’ll also be speeding up your metabolism and toning your entire body. The benefit of kickboxing is that it is a high-intensity, full-body cardio workout, which is perfect if your aim is to lose weight and get fit.
Tones Your Entire Body
A typical MMA-inspired class combines classic kickboxing movements with drills, circuit training and core exercises for a total-body workout that will leave you feeling sore for days afterwards.
“There’s a large toning component to kickboxing because it forces you to engage all the muscle groups in your body,” says Kennedy.
Front, side and roundhouse kicks work your legs and glutes, while punching and jabbing tones the upper arms, shoulders and chest. Meanwhile, all of these movements, as well as shuffling, ducking and side bends, will engage your core for the entire workout. Engaging your abs will also ultimately improve co-ordination, while the constant movement in kickboxing improves flexibility and reflexes.
Improves Your Co-Ordination
People who suffer from poor hand and eye co-ordination and general movement stability should certainly practice kickboxing. By strengthening your core and improving your reflexes, you’ll drastically improve your balance and sense of stability. The quick kicks and punches in the routine make you focus your energy with precision in each movement.
Boosts Energy Levels
Performing a high-intensity kicking boxing routine might seem like something that would tire you out, but many people find that the opposite is true. Kickboxing often gives people an energy boost, not just because of the natural endorphins (though that of course plays a role!) but also due to the empowering nature of the workout.
This gives your physical and mental energy levels a boost. After your workout and rest period your body will feel refreshed and full of energy.
Prevents Gym Boredom
For people who exercise regularly, one of the biggest problems they face is gym boredom. Running on a treadmill or using an elliptical day in and day out can get very monotonous. Kickboxing has the added benefit of including an exciting and unusual cross-training element to your normal workouts.
Helps You Stand Tall
Most of us sit hunched over our computers for hours every day, and naturally, our posture suffers. A fundamental benefit of kickboxing is that it challenges a variety of muscle groups that are not utilized in every day chores. Once you begin to develop your core, lower back and abdominal muscles your posture and balance will automatically improve.
A great way to relieve mental stress is using the benefits of kicking boxing by releasing all those pent up frustrations with a high-energy routine. Also, considering the high intensity of the sport you will also see that your concentration levels will gradually improving enabling you to focus on stressing less!
Within the benefits of kickboxing lie the fundamentals of every martial art which is discipline. Following instructions, mastering a set movements and learning specific stances and positions requires determination and discipline. As you excel in the routine, you’ll begin to subconsciously apply the elements of discipline to your daily life and manage your every day tasks with greater ease.
The benefits for kickboxing are numerous; it works your body and your mind, while delivering cardio and strength-training results for a total-body workout. Check out some local classes in your area and find out if kickboxing is right for you.