Kickboxing Basics: Why You Should Kick a Heavy Bag
As kickboxing has gained popularity over the last several years, people are starting to understand how great kicking a heavy bag can be (vs. just kicking the air). Here are six fantastic benefits that you will achieve by kicking a heavy bag, whether you are just beginning your kickboxing training or you are an advanced kickboxer.
6 Benefits of Kicking a Heavy Bag
1 - Torches calories
Kickboxing is a high-intensity, full-body workout. Pair that with a heavy bag, and it is no joke. Because you are using your full body to kick, you are burning more calories than if you were just punching. In addition, you are working on many of the major muscle groups in the body, such as your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and your core. Increased muscle mass makes your body a fat-burning machine.
2 - Increases Cardio Stamina
Have you ever tried to kick a bag ten times in a row? It sounds easy but the force of the kick and the resistance you feel when you strike the bag elevates your heart rate. Over time, this builds your cardio endurance and stamina helping you to finish those workouts strong.
3 - Improves Balance and Coordination
Did you try to kick the bag ten times yet? Did you feel your balance and coordination skills kick in?? To be able to land a strike where you want and not fall over, kicking requires balance and coordination, especially when you’re aiming for a specific target on the bag, whether it be a low, middle, or high kick.
4 - Mental Workout
Kickboxing is one of the only workouts that completely clears my head when I am doing it. If you have ever heard the reference “getting in the zone,” that is what I am referring to. Being “in the zone” means that your mind is completely free from any outside thoughts and you are zeroed in on the present. Kickboxing is more than just a physical workout like running or biking (which don’t require much thought) because, in kickboxing, you need to focus on technique, body mechanics, and putting combinations, head movement, and footwork together in order to properly execute on your punches and kicks.
5 - Stress Reliever
You know that feeling when you just want to punch something? Well, guess what! Kicking something is effective too! One of my favorite ways to deal with stress is to SMASH something! Kicking a heavy bag is a big stress release for me. You can literally kick away your stress and get a great workout in return. In times of frustration or disappointment, I turn to a kickboxing workout to recenter my energy in a positive way. I also have my kiddos wail on the bag, and it has the same positive effect for them!
6 - Self Defense
If you want to gain confidence and learn self-defense, take some kickboxing classes from trained professionals, like the FightCamp Trainers. Learning kicking and self-defense skills is one of the most empowering things a person can do to gain confidence. If anything, the cardio aspect gained from training kickboxing could be enough to give you the extra push you need to escape from an assailant.
There are many more benefits of kicking a heavy bag, but these are just six of my favorites. Take a look at the list again. What other modality of fitness can teach you self-defense, lower your stress levels, build muscle, sharpen your brain, and burn fat? Check out the FightCamp YouTube channel for some kickboxing workouts you can do from home, and tag us @fightcamp once you start to see and feel the benefits--let us know which ones are your favorites!
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The Author: Shanie "Smash" Rusth is an undefeated professional mixed martial artist, FightCamp Trainer, and mother of two. She began training MMA in 2011 as a way to get in shape, learn a new skill, channel aggression, and feel empowered after becoming a young single mom. Outside of practicing martial arts and being a trainer, Shanie loves spending time in the gym and being active in the sunshine with her kids by going to the beach, running in the soft sand, and riding skateboards. Shanie is also USA Boxing Coach certified.