I have always liked practicing kickboxing because of the amazing full body workout, the camaraderie between participants, and the stress relief of being able to strike something without having limitations on speed or power!
Here are 5 more reasons you should try a class:
When you think about it, boxing and kickboxing were the first form of High Intensity Interval Training, because you are almost always going at 100%, and then resting for a short while before doing it again-over and over again. It doesn’t take long for the sweat to fall when you are doing pad work, and it’s hard to give less than 100% when striking, because the harder you hit the better you feel.
Learn the Importance of Proper Form
In kickboxing, (or any martial art) form is of the utmost importance. In most martial arts classes, perfection of technique is the main goal, and before you can learn any new movement, or strikes, you usually have to first master the one you are currently perfecting. That translates well to other areas of life, especially the weight room, where the better your form is, the more you reduce injuries (and maximize any workout), and also it teaches you to not go outside of your ability level when trying something new.
Flexibility and balance are so important, yet both are rarely practiced in the gym, unless it happens by chance with a wobble here and there during an exercise. When you are doing kickboxing you are always practicing balance, even if only on a small scale, because you are always trying to find your center for maximum balance, power, speed, etc. Also, every time you throw a kick, you are forced to balance on one foot, and each kick is refining your balance a little more.
Discover Dynamic Movements
Usually in day-to-day life we are moving in one direction—forward. During a typical kickboxing class you are moving forward, backward, laterally, circularly, and learning to move with equal comfort from multiple angles and planes of movement, that you wouldn’t normally engage. And you are also spinning, jumping, and redirecting your body often, all while trying to maintain focus on the task at hand-whether that task is roundhouse kicking the focus pads into outer space, or simply practicing moving more fluidly from one position to the next, while reducing the rigidness and one direction favoritism that day to day walking develops.
I truly believe there is nothing better for hand/eye and foot/eye coordination development than by practicing martial arts. What better way to hone reaction time, than when something is flying at you at a great rate of speed (and power) and you are forced to move out of the way, or redirect to avoid being hurt. On a less intense level, simply practicing hitting the focus pads with hand and foot strikes, (and going for dead center on the pads when striking) will greatly enhance your coordination for other sports skills, like when it comes to hitting a volleyball with accuracy, hitting the sweet spot on a baseball, catching a football, or just throwing a wad of paper into the recycling bin.
Kickboxing is a fun way to get your workout in and relieve stress. Next time someone offers a class up, take them up on it!
Image via Flickr
8/2/2012 at 11:30 AM