There's nothing like a good old-fashioned kickboxing session to get your heart rate up and blow off some steam! Whether you're into music-driven cardio kickboxing classes or have a one-on-one date with the heavy punching bag, there are many kickboxing benefits for females and males alike.
Kickboxing can most definitely help you lose weight. This full-body, intense form of exercise provides a great calorie burn while toning your arms, legs and abs. Just make sure you pair your workouts with a healthy diet for optimal weight loss success.
Kickboxing for Weight Loss
Kickboxing is a great choice for those looking to lose weight. Why? Because throwing a jab, cross, hook or uppercut requires work from your entire body, from your legs and glutes to your core and shoulders. The same holds true for kicks — from a roundhouse kick to a front or back kick, these explosive movements, when done with power, both elevate your heart rate and work to tone your entire body. For this reason, you can think of kickboxing as a great multitasking exercise.
According to the American Heart Association, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight. If that's the baseline, imagine what a couple of 60-minute intense kickboxing sessions each week can do for your waistline! This is why so many people report positive cardio kickboxing results after one month.
A study published in July 2014 in the Muscle, Ligaments and Tendons Journal tracked a small group of 30 subjects randomized into a kickboxing group and control group to determine the effect of kickboxing on physical fitness. After just five weeks, the kickboxing group showed significant improvement in upper-body muscle power, aerobic power, anaerobic fitness, flexibility, speed and agility after training.
Kickboxing alone, however, isn't always recommended. The same study also noted that while kickboxing is useful for enhancing physical fitness, complementary activities and nutritional interventions are also necessary.
Positives and Negatives of Kickboxing
There are so many positives when it comes to kickboxing. For starters, it can be a great method of switching up your routine if you typically find cardio exercise to be boring. Try taking a cardio kickboxing class at your local gym — the rhythmic music paired with your movements can be addicting in a good way. If taking a local class isn't an option, or if you prefer to exercise in the comfort of your own home, there are many wonderful kickboxing workout DVDs available that will guide you through an effective workout at home.
While there are many benefits of kickboxing, there may also be some setbacks. The most important, perhaps, is that you can easily get injured if you are practicing kickboxing with poor form. That's why working with a professional trainer until you get your form down correctly is a good option for beginners. Common injuries associated with kickboxing include injuries to the head, arms and low back, many of which occur when you aren't staying light on your feet, pivoting correctly or practicing good form.
- Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: “2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans”
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: “The Effects of Five Weeks of Kickboxing Training on Physical Fitness”
- American Heart Association: “American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids”
- American Council on Exercise: “Kick Your Way to Fitness Over the Holidays With This High-Intensity Kickboxing Workout”
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Punch up Your Exercise Routine with Fitness Boxing"
- Active & Safe Central: "Boxing and Kickboxing"