A few years ago, myself and a few of my girlfriends were looking for a way that we could spend some time exercising together. Anyone who has tried to organize something like this knows it’s easier said than done. Different people will have different interests, and practical considerations like jobs and families also pose roadblocks to organizing fun sessions like this.
Fortunately, one of the girls in the group had just started a kickboxing class with her husband after receiving a 2-for-1 promotional deal. While the husband did say it was a worthwhile experience for him, and that he would definitely recommend it, a changing schedule made it difficult for him to keep it up. Moreover, about 85% of the class was composed of women, making it difficult for him to gain the same social traction that his wife experienced. This is where we came in!
After a quick discussion, we all decided “Let’s do it”! With 4 of us in total, we figured it wouldn’t be a problem squeezing us in, and we all have experience with either crossfit, running, or other sports, so why not? All we needed to buy were a good pair of kickboxing gloves and we were ready to go! For those who are unfamiliar, lots of normal boxing gloves are more than fine for kickboxing, it’s more so about personal preference. If you’re looking for something good and cheap just to get started, I found that Title boxing gloves were a great place to start.
Fitness Benefits of Kickboxing
After our first class, we had become well aware of how physically demanding kickboxing actually is. Our instructors were great and allowed us to ease into the program, but working different muscle groups in a completely unfamiliar fashion certainly led to some soreness the next few days!
Back to the point – Kickboxing is great for fitness because it follows a circuit training style regime; however, in this case, there is much more emphasis on aerobic work than resistance training, but elements of both are always involved. I was really surprised at how hard the upper body work was, for example, 3 rounds on the heavy bag without any kicking still took a lot out of me. Then, once you factor in all the different leg work, you have a perfect recipe for a trim body.
Kickboxing and boxing are very similar in terms of the effects it will have on your body, as they are very similar workouts. The round system keeps you moving from one exercise to the next, ultimately hitting every muscle group in the body. There are hardly any weights involved at all (more advanced boxers will incorporate more weights, but even then it’s limited), and this allows you drop a lot of fat mass, increase lean mass, become more coordinated, and of course, practice your self-defense! Please note, when I mention increase lean mass, this doesn’t mean you will become big and bulky. Rather, you’re toning your muscles in a way that is similar to endurance exercises with high repetition and low weight. Overall, most women will experience a net loss in weight after participating in a kickboxing training program.
Kickboxing is a great way for anyone, male or female, to get in shape in a social setting. It’s an incredible workout that will definitely challenge you, but the reward of seeing your progression is priceless. I highly encourage anyone interested in this form of exercise to browse around online and find any kickboxing gyms or classes in their area. Most trainers are even happy to chat with you in person first, give you a tour, and even let you try a class before you commit. Good luck!