Kickboxing is one of the best all-around workouts available, and it’s growing increasingly popular these days. Just scrolling through your favorite celeb social feeds and you'll see some Hollywood stars including Jason Statham, Nick Jonas, and Idris Elba (who is 1-0 professionally), a plethora of Victoria’s Secret supermodels, and the boxing queen herself, Adriana Lima, who all swear by its benefits. Not only is it one of the best total body workouts, but it challenges your endurance, builds strength, power, mental toughness, and flexibility all in one heart-pumping, action-packed, fun-filled workout. With its numerous health benefits and different level workout routines, beginners can feel comfortable starting kickboxing at home. FightCamp offers at-home boxing equipment and workout packages for you to begin your kickboxing training today. Plus, our trainers and online workouts give beginners and seasoned fighters drills and tips for boxing and kickboxing performance. So, what exactly is kickboxing and why the recent hype?
What Is Kickboxing?
While the history of kickboxing is one that only recently dates back to the late 20th century, its principles can be traced back to other combat sports like karate and boxing. Kickboxing is a combination of the two martial arts which are steeped in tradition. The earliest evidence of boxing is from Egypt around 3000 BC, while karate was first systemized in Okinawa, Japan during the 17th century.
Kickboxing had a trial and error period when it came stateside in the 1970s. Fighters realized that the energy required to compete at a high level needed improving. They also wanted to incorporate striking (either a target or opponent). Kickboxers started modeling their training after the modern boxers: they increased the number of rounds and took up full-contact sparring as a means of getting in better physical shape. As kickboxers became fitter athletes, the sport of kickboxing slowly transitioned into the action-packed version that it is today. Kickboxing showcases a fighter's ability, stamina, strength, and skill, which is why it is becoming even more of a global phenomenon.
7 Benefits of a Kickboxing Workout
Here are the top 7 benefits of kickboxing and why you need to try it.
1. Fights Heart Disease
If there's one thing COVID has taught us, it's that our health should be our first priority. Studies have shown that high-intensity workouts are effective for combating heart disease and illness. Proper functioning of the cardiovascular system is the basis of the physical fitness of a kickboxer. A recent 2021 study cited that “technical and tactical training show a strong correlation to the level of maximum oxygen intake VO2max.” VO2max is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen a person can utilize during intense exercise, or more simply, a person’s exercise capacity. Kickboxing increases a person's VO2max, which in turn lowers the likelihood of developing heart disease and coronary artery disease.
2. Relieves Stress
Life happens. Rough day at work? Kids not happy about what you made for dinner? Your partner forgets your anniversary? Take out that stress and frustration on a punching bag! The striking and kicking movements of kickboxing, combined with intense aerobic fitness, cause a chain reaction that signals the brain to release neurotransmitters called endorphins. This is the phenomenon experienced by runners known as a “runner’s high.” Intense exercise, like a kickboxing workout, can decrease anxiety, stress, and depression.
3. Tones The Body
One of the main reasons why kickboxing is so popular is because it incorporates the whole body, toning every muscle. Throughout the entire workout, you are striking, moving, kicking, and twisting every muscle, resulting in a high calorie, fat-burning workout, while simultaneously strengthening and toning your muscles.
4. Improves Balance and Coordination
Kickboxing utilizes muscles in the upper body, lower body, and especially the core. To be able to do a front or roundhouse kick, you need balance and single-leg strength. Improved balance leads to a greater sense of stability. Better balance and stability also lead to improved coordination. To be able to punch and kick at a target while moving, you need solid hand-eye coordination. Each strike requires both skill and focus so you can accurately hit your target.
5. Leads To Better Recovery
Exercise has a direct correlation with the quality of sleep an individual experiences. The greater the stress placed on the body during exercise, the more recovery the body will need. High-intensity workouts like kickboxing training place “good” stress on the body which will lead to better rest and sleep. Additional benefits of "non-combat" kickboxing are better mental health and a boosted immune system. Better sleep + better mental well-being + better immunity = better recovery.
6. Teaches Discipline
The art of mastery of any form of martial arts requires time, commitment, and control. To be able to successfully execute any type of strike, stance, or movement, you need determination and discipline. Like most martial arts: to know how is good, to know how and when is better. This takes time, practice, and more importantly, discipline. The discipline learned through kickboxing can translate into discipline in everyday habits and routines.
7. Makes Working Out Fun!
The majority of cardio workouts can become mundane when repeated over and over again. Our bodies (and muscles) need variation, especially in our workouts. Your body is like a machine that quickly becomes accustomed to certain stressors. Kickboxing workouts are a great way to change up your exercise routine, and there are so many different kinds of kickboxing training.
These are just some of the many reasons and benefits of kickboxing. Don't let the fear of the unknown hold you back from one of the best workouts on the planet. If you’re a kickboxing beginner, start with the basics. Check out our guide to three kickboxing techniques, and then check out FightCamp Trainer Shanie Smash’s 10-minute kickboxing workout. Once you have a foundation, try more kickboxing workouts on our app, blog, and YouTube channel.
The 3 Types of Kicks In Kickboxing
Add Some Kick To Your Workout With Kickboxing
Five (5) Best Kicks In Kickboxing
Three (3) Kickboxing Techniques Using Strikes and Kicks
Get Toned Fast With Kickboxing At-Home