Like all combat sports, kickboxing demands superior conditioning. The moment fatigue sets in, a kickboxer becomes vulnerable, risking not only defeat but injury as well. The harder a kickboxer trains, the easier the fight will be. Performing a few conditioning drills will ensure enough strength and stamina to overcome the toughest opponents.
Kickboxers need to spar several times a week to keep their skills sharp. However, if no opponents are available, kickboxers can work their combinations on a heavy bag or in front of a mirror to hone proper striking techniques. A five-punch combination, including a left jab, right cross to the head, left hook to the ribs, left hook to the jaw, and a right cross to the head, provides a perfect striking drill. Try to fire all five punches in less than two seconds. As the workout progresses, mix in roundhouse kicks and leg strikes to increase the intensity.
The dependable heavy bag provides kickboxers with countless conditioning opportunities. Working the bag with kicks and punches tests cardio and builds endurance along with proper striking techniques. A sample drill would be to work the bag in three-minute segments to simulate rounds. Each training round can be dedicated to a specific skill, with one round featuring nothing but roundhouse kicks and the next round only punches.
Little more than a large stuffed ball, medicine balls weigh between 2 and 50 lb. and can be used in several exercises to strengthen muscles and build endurance. Kickboxers need a partner to get the most out of medicine ball training. A common drill has one training partner throwing the medicine ball into his partner’s abdomen, who lets the ball hit and then catches it. This action encourages proper breathing and toughens the core muscles, preparing them to absorb kicks and punches. The kickboxer can also perform sit-ups, holding the medicine ball over his head and throwing it up to his standing partner. The partner then drops the ball on the kickboxer’s abdomen to repeat the motion. This exercise will again strengthen the core muscles while also building the arms and shoulders for improved punching power.
Even when conditioning for kickboxing, no substitute exists for old fashioned road work. Running provides the body a full aerobic workout and enhances stamina, ensuring enough energy for grueling matches. Aim to run 3 miles, alternating between sprints and easy running every quarter of a mile. Varying speeds in such fashion not only keeps the workout fresh but also helps the body prepare for performing at its highest levels.