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Kickboxing Workout Tips For Beginners

The history of kickboxing can be traced back to the early 1900s when a martial art known as “Muay Thai” began to evolve in Thailand. In the 1970s, American karate practitioners who were exposed to Muay Thai started to develop their own variation of the sport, which came to be known as kickboxing.

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Kickboxing has since become a popular workout regimen for people of all ages and fitness levels. It is an excellent way to burn calories, improve cardiovascular health, and increase strength and flexibility.

Compared to other cardio exercises that you may easily grow bored of, like running on a treadmill, kickboxing is more dynamic and engaging. It also gives you the opportunity to release any built-up aggression in a controlled and safe environment.

Here’s everything you need to know about getting started with a kickboxing workout.

What Are The Basic Moves In Kickboxing?

Before you start your kickboxing workout, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basic moves. Once you have a good understanding of the basics, you’ll be better able to follow along with a class or video.

Here are some of the most common kicks and punches used in kickboxing:

  • Jab: A quick, straight punch thrown with the lead hand
  • Cross: A powerful, straight punch thrown with the rear hand
  • Hook: A circular punch thrown with the lead hand
  • Uppercut: An upward punch thrown with the rear hand
  • Roundhouse Kick: A kick that starts from the hip and swings in a wide arc
  • Front Kick: A kick thrown with the lead leg
  • Side Kick: A kick thrown with the rear leg
  • Sweep Squatting Kick: A low kick that sweeps the legs out from under an opponent

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Basic Stance

Starts by standing with feet shoulder-width apart and hands up in front of the face in a boxing stance.

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From this position, you can execute any of the punches or kicks described above. Remember to keep your chin down and shoulders relaxed to help protect your head and upper body.

Read More: Beach Body HIIT Workout For Beginners

How To Put Together A Kickboxing Workout?

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to put together a kickboxing workout. There are endless possibilities when it comes to structuring a kickboxing workout, so feel free to get creative.

Here’s a sample high-intensity interval training (HIIT) kickboxing workout recommended by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) to help you get started (2):

  • Warm-up: 5 to 10 minutes of light cardio to get your heart rate up and muscles loosened

Round 1: (Repeat twice, 50 seconds per exercise)

Jumping jacks + Jabs

  1. Do 4 reps of jumping jacks, followed by 8 reps of jab punches.

Lunge + Front kicks

  1. Start in a split stance with your right leg forward and left leg back.
  2. From here, do 4 reps of lunges, followed by 8 reps of front kicks.

Squat + Sidekicks

  1. Start in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. From here, do 4 reps of squats, followed by 8 reps of sidekicks.

Shuffles + Burpees

  1. Start in a low stance with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands in front of your face.
  2. From here, do 4 reps of shuffles to the right, followed by 4 reps of burpees.

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Round 2: (Repeat twice, 50 seconds per exercise)

Burpee + Jabs

  1. Do one burpee followed by 8 jabs alternating hands.

Push-up + Alternating knees

  1. Do one push-up followed by bringing your right knee to your chest, then your left knee to your chest.

Power Squats

  1. Start in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. From here, jump up and land in the same squat position.

Single-leg deadlift

  1. Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. From here, raise your left leg behind you and hinge forward at the hips until your torso is parallel to the ground.
  3. Return to standing and repeat on the other side.

Mountain climbers

  1. Perform mountain climbers as fast as possible while maintaining good form.

kickboxing workouts

Round 3: (Repeat twice, 50 seconds per exercise)

Round kicks

  1. Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. From here, raise your right knee to your chest and then kick out in a roundhouse motion.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Triceps push-ups

  1. Start in a push-up position with your hands slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart.
  2. From here, lower yourself down until your elbows are in line with your body, then push back up to the starting position.

Jumping jacks

  1. Do as many jumping jacks as possible in the time allotted.

Plie squats + Bicep curls

  1. Start in a low squat position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your elbows by your sides.
  2. From here, do 8 reps of bicep curls.
  • Cool-down: A 5 to 10 minutes of light cardio to help your body recover.

Read More: Steady-State Cardio Vs. HIIT: Which One Is Better And Why?

Is Kickboxing A Good Workout?

Kickboxing is an excellent workout that offers the following benefits:

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Cardiovascular Conditioning 

Kickboxing is a cardio-based workout that gets your heart pumping and can help improve your overall cardiovascular health. In turn, this can help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health conditions (4).

Weight Loss 

Because kickboxing is a high-intensity workout, it can help you burn a lot of calories. This makes it an effective workout for weight loss (3).

Muscle Tone 

Kickboxing works your whole body, including your arms, legs, back, and core. As a result, it can help tone your muscles and improve your overall strength and fitness (4).

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Flexibility 

Kickboxing involves a lot of kicking and punching movements that require a good range of motion. As a result, it can help improve your flexibility (4).

Mental Health 

Kickboxing can also be beneficial for your mental health. Like other exercises, it triggers the release of endorphins, which can help improve your mood and reduce stress. In addition, the focus and concentration required for kickboxing can help improve your cognitive function (5).

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How Many Days A Week Should You Do Kickboxing?

You can do kickboxing as often as you like, but most people do it 2 to 3 times per week. This gives your body time to recover between workouts. If you’re just starting out, you may want to start with two workouts per week and gradually increase to three as you get more comfortable with the movements.

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Is A 30-Minute Kickboxing Enough?

Yes, 30 minutes of kickboxing is enough to get a good workout.

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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week (1). This equates to about 30 minutes of exercise five days per week. So, if you’re doing 30 minutes of kickboxing three times per week, you’re meeting the CDC’s recommendations.

Of course, you can do more than 30 minutes of kickboxing if you want to. If you have the time and energy, feel free to do a longer workout. Just be sure to listen to your body and take breaks as needed.

How Many Calories Does Kickboxing Burn?

The number of calories you burn while kickboxing depends on a few factors, including your weight, intensity level, and duration of the workout.

People who weigh more, tend to burn more calories than those who weigh less. This is because it takes more energy to move a larger body.

In terms of intensity, the harder you work, the more calories you’ll burn. So, if you’re really pushing yourself during your kickboxing workout, you can expect to burn more calories than if you were going at a more moderate pace.

Finally, the longer you work out, the more calories you’ll burn. So, if you do a 60-minute kickboxing workout, you can expect to burn more calories than if you did a 30-minute workout.

kickboxing workouts

Safety Tips For Beginners

Like most exercises, kickboxing poses some risks. However, there are a few safety tips you can follow to minimize your risk of injury,

These are:

Have Appropriate Gear And Clothing

Make sure you have the proper gear and clothing before starting your workout. This includes boxing gloves, hand wraps, mouthguard, and appropriate shoes.

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Warm Up And Cool Down

Before you start kickboxing, be sure to warm up with some light cardio and stretching. This will help prepare your body for the workout and reduce your risk of injury.

After your workout, cool down with some light cardio and stretching. This will help your muscles recover and reduce soreness.

Learn The Proper Technique

When you’re first starting out, it’s important to learn the proper technique for the different punches and kicks. This will help you avoid injury and get the most out of your workout. There are plenty of instructional videos and classes available to help you learn the proper technique.

Start Slow And Progress Gradually

When you’re first starting out, it’s important to take things slow and progress gradually. Don’t try to do too much too soon. Start with a shorter workout and gradually increase the duration and intensity as you get more comfortable with kickboxing.

Take Rest Days 

Your body needs time to recover between workouts. Be sure to take at least 1 to 2 days off per week to give your body a chance to rest and recover.

Nourish Your Body

Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated will help you get the most out of your workout and reduce your risk of injury. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Most importantly, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout.

The Bottom Line 

Kickboxing is a great way to get a full-body workout. It’s also a fun and challenging way to exercise. If you’re just starting out, be sure to take things slow and progress gradually. Furthermore, be sure to listen to your body and take breaks as needed.

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DISCLAIMER:

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!

SOURCES:

  1. How much physical activity do adults need? (2022, cdc.gov) 
  2. Kick Your Way to Fitness Over the Holidays With This High-Intensity Kickboxing Workout (2018, acefitness.org) 
  3. Kickboxing review: anthropometric, psychophysiological and activity profiles and injury epidemiology (2017, nih.gov) 
  4. The effects of five weeks of kickboxing training on physical fitness (2014, nih.gov) 
  5. The Social-Psychological Outcomes of Martial Arts Practise Among Youth: A Review (2010, nih.gov)
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