Get Fit With Kickboxing

One popular form of exercise being practised these days is known as aerobic or cardio kickboxing. This method combines elements of boxing, martial arts and aerobics in order to provide an overall physical toning and workout. Unlike other variations of kickboxing, cardio kickboxing has no physical contact between participants. It’s simply a cardiovascular workout done for the many benefits it provides.

Cardio kickboxing classes normally begin with a period of 10-15 minutes of warm-up exercises. These may include stretching and traditional exercises such as push-ups or jumping jacks, followed by a 30-minute kickboxing session including such movements as kicks, knee strikes and punches. There are some instructors who may use various pieces of equipment such as punching bags or jump ropes to change things up.

After this intense period of the workout, a period lasting at least 5 minutes should be devoted to cooling down, and then followed by at least 10 minutes of stretching and muscle conditioning. Stretching is a very important step, especially for beginners. The chances of straining or pulling muscles with this type of workout are high. Proper stretching helps relax muscles and prevent potentially serious injuries.

For people who prefer to work out at home, there are ample DVDs and videos available for in-home instruction. Here are a few moves that you can try at home:

* Roundhouse kick: Stand with the right side of your body facing an imaginary target. With knees bent and feet shoulder width apart, lift your right knee, pointing it just slightly to the right of the target. Pivot your body toward the same direction. Kick with your right leg as if you were aiming at the target. Repeat with your other leg.

* Front kick: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly, pulling your right knee up toward your chest. Point your knee in the direction of the imaginary target. Kick out with the ball of your foot. Repeat with your other leg.

* Side kick: Start with the right side of your body facing the target. Pull your right knee up toward your left shoulder, bending your knees slightly as you kick in the direction of the target. The outside of your foot or heel should be the part that would hit the target. Repeat with your other leg.

Besides keeping your body fit, kickboxing has many other benefits. According to a study by the ACE, it’s possible for you to burn anywhere from 300 to 450 calories an hour with kickboxing!

Kickboxing is also a fantastic method for reducing and relieving stress. Its rigorous workout of controlled punching and kicking movements, carried out with the amount of discipline and skill demanded for any martial arts training, can do wonders for alleviating feelings of frustration and anger. Practising kickboxing moves may also provide assistance in the improvement of balance, flexibility, co-ordination, and endurance.

With the added benefit of learning self-defense moves, kickboxing is an all-inclusive routine all in one package. Many kickboxing fans are known to have said the sport not only makes them feel healthier, but more empowered and confident as well.

So get out there and jab, punch, and kick your way to safety and physical fitness. As always, never begin a new exercise regimen without first obtaining the approval of your family physician.