Kickboxing For Weight Loss
These days we’re flooded with weight loss tips and fitness tricks. It doesn’t matter whether you have years of dieting and fitness under your belt or have just started your weight loss journey, you can always find an approach that caters to your goals and needs. It is also great, when you can achieve a healthier weight and obtain new skills simultaneously. Luckily, there is such an opportunity. Kickboxing is a perfect way to tone your body, make it stronger, slim down and learn how to protect yourself. There’s no need to jump the gun, especially when your well-being is at stake, so it’s highly recommended to sort out all the possible benefits and risks before making adjustments in your workout routine. This article will tell your everything about kickboxing for weight loss and provide you with a couple of helpful tips. Let’s take a look!
Benefits of kickboxing
Supports your heart health
Exercises in general are crucial for your heart health. By exercising on a regular basis you can lower your blood pressure, strengthen your heart muscle and maintain healthy weight, which is vital for your cardiovascular system as well (2).
Kickboxing is not an exception. According to the study, a 1-hour training session, 3 times a week increases maximum oxygen uptake. This is the measurement of the highest possible amount of oxygen your body is able to use during working out. The higher this indicator is, the more efficiently you get and use oxygen. Simply put, maximum oxygen uptake is an indicator of your cardiovascular endurance, and you can improve it by participating in kickboxing (10).
Strengthens and tones your muscles
The mentioned above study also proves that kickboxing improves muscle strength in the entire body. This workout requires a lot of movement during a short period of time and can be classified as a full-body workout. You have to perform high intensity movements with your arms and legs and your core muscles are constantly working. By practicing kickboxing, you also rev up your metabolism, which promotes weight loss.
Improves your coordination
Kickboxing training sessions require you to perform complex moves, oftentimes at a high rate. That’s why this workout will definitely boost your coordination, as well as mobility and flexibility (1).
Improves your mental health
Kickboxing includes both aerobic and anaerobic elements that improve your mood. Workouts increase the levels of endorphins in your body and cause changes in the part of your brain that can lower your depression, anxiety and stress levels.
Improves the quality of your sleep
According to the study, when performed on a regular basis, exercising has a positive influence on the quality and duration of your sleep. The same goes for kickboxing – this intensive full-body workout will definitely help you sleep better (8).
How effective are kickboxing classes for weight loss?
You already know that by exercising on a regular basis you can lose unwanted pounds in a safe and healthy way. The same goes for kickboxing for weight loss.
As it was mentioned before, kickboxing revs up your metabolism, which as a result promotes weight loss. This workout is a perfect way to get rid of love handles and belly fat which are one of the most common ‘trouble spots’ for both men and women.
According to the research, kickboxers have lower body fat percentage and higher levels of muscle mass (9). This is also a moderate to high intensity workout, that is the best for getting in shape.
As for the calories, keep in mind that the amounts of calories you burn during your training sessions depend on a number of factors. Your body composition, age and sex have their impact on this indicator (5). For instance, during a 30-minute kickboxing training session a 125-pound person will burn about 300 calories, a 155-pound person – 372 calories, and a 185-pound person – 444 calories (4).
According to the study, a 1-hour kickboxing training session can burn about 350-450 calories. The study involved 4 types of this workout that target different muscle groups. 15 women with an average weight of 135 pounds took part in this research (3).
Tips for your success
This tip is especially useful when you start your kickboxing training at home. You should start with simple exercises and do them carefully in order not to get injured. It is important to understand that your fitness level won’t magically improve overnight and you won’t turn into Bruce Lee after two training sessions. You should start with short sessions and work on your technique (6).
Breathing is important for every workout, and this case is not an exception. Without a proper breathing technique you won’t be able to punch and kick as strong as you need. Kickboxing belongs to cardio exercises, so breathing will help you last longer. Basically, you have to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, when you are punching or kicking. You cannot breathe however you want, it is important to focus on your breathing and do it correctly. It might be hard at first, but later you’ll get used to this technique (6).
Always warm up
You already know about the importance of warm-up before working out. It will prepare your body for an intense training session and will help you avoid injuries.
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Remember about safety
Your health and safety are your number one priority. This workout is safe for most people. The only issue is that as kickboxing belongs to high intensity and full-body workouts, there is a risk of getting injured. According to the study, the most widespread injuries among people who practice kickboxing are strains of ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and back (7). If you already have had injuries in these areas, it is critical to consult your health professional before starting this workout (6).
Get proper fuel
You already know that a proper diet is an integral part of your weight loss and muscle gain success. That’s why you should stick to a standard plan. Your meal plan should include lean meats, poultry, fish and seafood, fruits and vegetables, low-fat or fat-free dairy, eggs, nuts and seeds. Avoid high-fat, high-sugar processed foods and sugary beverages. Lean meats (especially chicken and turkey), fish, eggs, leafy greens, avocados, bananas, brown rice and beans will become the perfect fuel for you.
Don’t forget about proper hydration during training sessions and throughout the day. An adequate intake of fluid for men is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters), and for women – 11.5 cups (2.7 liters). Note that this amount includes fluids from all foods and drinks you consume (11).
Find a class
If you are a beginner, it is better to find a class and work with a professional instructor. This step will allow you to develop proper techniques, increase your fitness level and avoid injuries. Find a suitable gym, talk to a licensed fitness trainer, explain your goals, and figure out a plan that’ll work for you.
Are there any kickboxing variations?
There are various types of kickboxing you can choose from. For instance, the followers of muay thai style are allowed to use knees and elbows to make contact, and those who practice American kickboxing, use only hands and feet. There are also cardio and noncontact types of kickboxing. Fitness enthusiasts, who practice these styles, have no workout partner. Insteads, they throw punches at a weight bag.
Do I need any equipment?
If you are a beginner and are going to practice classic kickboxing, you’ll definitely need equipment to protect yourself. Headgear, hand wraps, ankle wraps, shin guards, a mouthguard and gloves will help you not to get injured during your training sessions.
In conclusion, practicing kickboxing for weight loss is a perfect way to tone your entire body and get desired results. This lung-bursting workout will make you slimmer, stronger and much more confident. The benefits of kickboxing are definitely worth your time and efforts. Remember to consult a healthcare professional before starting this type of workout to avoid harming your health. Make it a rule to nourish your body with healthy foods, keep up with hydration, and get enough high quality sleep. This is a sure-fire way to lose weight without undermining your health. Take care of yourself and stay healthy!
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 6 Impressive Health Benefits of Cardio Kickboxing (2019, livestrong.com)
- 10 Ways Exercise Helps to Protect Your Heart (2017, acefitness.org)
- ACE Research Team Counts Calories, Confirms Benefits of Cardio Kickboxing (1999, acefitness.org)
- Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights (2004, health.harvard.edu)
- Calories Burned in a Kickboxing Class (2018, livestrong.com)
- How to Maximize Your At-Home Kickboxing Workouts (2019, livestrong.com)
- Incidence of injury in kickboxing participation (2003, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Interrelationship between Sleep and Exercise: A Systematic Review (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Kickboxing review: anthropometric, psychophysiological and activity profiles and injury epidemiology (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The effects of five weeks of kickboxing training on physical fitness (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Water: How much should you drink every day? (2017, mayoclinic.org)