The intense nature of kickboxing requires dedication to a high level of training. Whether you participate just for the health benefits or you are planning to step into the ring, working out regularly in a well-equipped gym is the best way to immerse yourself in the sport. When your schedule gets complicated and you can't make it to training, you can stretch, work your conditioning and practice fighting principles at home to keep your game up and stay in fighting shape.
Stretch for Prevention and Accuracy
Whenever you train for kickboxing, it is crucial that you stretch thoroughly. Perform dynamic stretches after a light five to 10-minute cardio warm-up. These stretches are done as leg raises to the front, the side and the rear with increasing height and intensity. Start with sets of 12 leg lifts to knee height at 25-percent velocity. Ramp things up in the next set, raising your legs to waist height at 50-percent velocity. Work your way up to chest, shoulder and head height if possible, ending at 100-percent velocity. After your workout, perform static stretches by holding straddle splits and front splits as close to the floor as you can get them comfortably. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds each.
Cardio Conditioning for Fighting Endurance
There's an old saying in combat sports circles: "It's not how good you can fight; it's how long you can fight good." This means that when you run out of gas too early you lose. Kickboxing rounds last from two to three minutes depending on gender and a match can last for up to 10 rounds. Put yourself through a home workout that mimics a fight. Do 20 knee raises, 10 on each side, and 10 squat thrusts and then shadow box for 30 seconds in a continuous three-minute loop. Rest for one minute and repeat the cycle 10 times.
Simple Habits for Good Defense
Deflecting blows and avoiding them altogether is a key strategy in minimizing damage and lasting in a fight. When you work out at home, place emphasis on your guard, your foot work and blocking low kicks with your shins. Practice shuffling forward, backward and side to side, keeping your hands up in a guard position and your elbows in to cover your midsection. Every time you complete a shuffle, perform a high block with your front leg. Do this drill with both sides leading -- switching back and forth for three minutes. Rest for one minute and repeat.
Keep a Solid Foundation With Striking Drills
Reinforcing muscle memory through repetition is an excellent way to maintain effective strikes. Drill yourself on all of the essential kicks used in a match. Sets of 10 reps per kick on each side is a good format. Include front kicks, side kicks and round kicks off both legs -- aiming at low, medium and high targets. Hand drills should include jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts. Punch at 80 percent in odd-numbered combinations such as jab, cross and uppercut or jab, cross, hook, cross and uppercut. Lastly, shadow box at a medium pace in three-minute increments, mixing kicks and punches into usable combinations. Don't forget to keep your guard up.