The Art of Kickboxing
Kickboxing is one of our favorite workouts and can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages and fitness levels. If you have recently started kickboxing or are thinking about giving it a go, keep reading as we share with you our top tips and tricks for getting started and making the most of your training sessions.
What is Kickboxing?
If you aren’t familiar with kickboxing, it’s a striking style that uses punches and kicks. It can be used to describe a wide range of martial arts and combat styles, but it’s always a stand-up fighting style. No ground fighting is involved, but the techniques that are used may vary depending on the type of kickboxing you are doing. You’ll find there are many great kickboxing classes on offer in gyms in Mobile, AL, and these are the perfect way to get yourself acquainted with the workout and learn the basic techniques that you’ll need to know to get started. People start kickboxing for a whole host of reasons, including weight loss, overall fitness, or self-defense.
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There are a few main techniques that you’ll use when you are kickboxing, which you’ll want to try and master in order to make the most of this workout:
- Punches – The punch technique is very similar to classic boxing and will include the jab, cross, hook, and uppercut. As you progress with different types of trainers, you might also learn the superman punch and spinning back fist, which are two of the more advanced punch techniques. It’s important to note that it’s illegal to punch the back of the head or the throat when kickboxing.
- Kicks – There are many different variations of kicks, depending on the style of kickboxing you are doing. Expect to use the roundhouse body kick, low kick, and high kick most often. For more advanced kickboxers, you might want to try out the flying kick, jump kick, spinning back kick, or cartwheel kick, which can give you more of a challenge. Kicks are generally an offensive move and can be thrown to the arms, head, neck, ribcage, legs, and back.
- Knees – Your kneecap and the surrounding area can be used for knee strikes, which are effective at short, mid, and long-range. Straight knee kicks and diagonal knee kicks are the most common options, but you can also work towards learning the flying knee kick, which will have a greater impact on your opponent.
Top Tips for Getting Started with Kickboxing
For anyone who is just getting started with kickboxing, keep these top tips in mind at all times to keep improving your technique and fitness levels.
Pivot the Hips When Punching
When punching, it’s easy to think that you only need to use your arms and shoulders. However, any good kickboxer knows that you need to pivot the hips in order to throw the best punch. By lifting the hell, you can shift your hips without putting any stress on your knees or ankles. As there is less resistance in this area, you can hit much harder thanks to the added momentum from your hips.
Relax Your Arm and Fist
A common mistake that new kickboxers make is tensing up their arm and fist before throwing a punch. Stay relaxed throughout your session, and only tighten up your fist at the point of contact. This will allow you to move much faster, and speed is essential in kickboxing to increase your power. The same rule can also be applied to your kicking technique, where you’ll want to tighten your core during impact to protect your spine and then relax as you return to your starting position.
Relax the Shoulders
While our team of trainers absolutely love kickboxing, we unfortunately see some neck strain injuries due to poor technique. For that reason, always relax your shoulders when you are training to avoid neck strain. When your arms are feeling tired after a long training session at our gym in Mobile, AL, you’ll find that your shoulders want to get involved. This can really impact your workout and your body, so make sure you shake out your arms to keep things loose up there. Especially in fitness kickboxing classes, remember that no one is going to hit you if you relax for a moment, so take things slowly to avoid an injury.
Choose the Right Gear
As with any workout you might do at a gym, set yourself up for success with the right kickboxing gear. Find out ahead of your class whether certain pieces of equipment are required, but you’ll generally find that most gyms provide you with everything you need. You might need to bring ankle supports, boxing gloves, and headgear, so get these in advance if necessary. Make sure the clothing you wear to train is loose and doesn’t restrict your movement, and always pack a water bottle and towel for your session.
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Before a kickboxing class, you’ll want to make sure you are well energized to make the most of the training session. Consume a good amount of carbohydrates which will slowly release, such as brown rice or beans. Eat at least an hour before training at Gilbert Fitness to avoid any discomfort during the training session, and make sure you keep hydrated throughout your kickboxing lesson. After training, keep yourself hydrated still and refuel with a post-workout snack.
Kickboxing is an excellent option for anyone who is looking to mix up their workout routine this year. If you are looking for a new challenge that will offer you both physical and mental health benefits, we highly recommend trying out a kickboxing class. You’ll find classes on offer for all fitness levels and abilities, and you’ll notice that you quickly learn new skills when working with different types of trainers. They’ll be happy to support you on your journey, and you’ll find that kickboxing is something you’ll enjoy returning to each and every week to improve your fitness and self-defence skills.