Kickboxing is one of the most effective forms of exercise available because it works the entire body, and builds strength and flexibility simultaneously. Not only is it a great calorie-burning cardio workout, it also works deep into the core muscles (a.k.a. abs) while developing muscular power, speed, and endurance.
If you are ready to try kickboxing, here are a few tips to help you get started safely.
1. Learn the basics first In kickboxing, form is crucial for getting great results and avoiding injury—especially if you hope to add in contact by hitting a target, like a boxing bag, or sparring with a partner. Find a great instructor, trainer, or DVD that can help you master the four basic punches—jab, cross, hook and uppercut, and proper kicking techniques, before jumping into a class or full workout. (My Kickboxing Cardio Power DVD features a tutorial to help you master these essential moves.)
2. Find a great class or instructor Kickboxing classes at gyms and health clubs can give you a taste of kickboxing, and often offer awesome cardio benefits—they’ll get your heart pumping. But if you want to master the true art of kickboxing, consider finding a specialized center or studio near your. Search online using the term “kickboxing classes” and your zip code. If possible, try to observe a class first, to get to know the instructor’s style and level of the class and make sure it’s a good fit for you prior to jumping in.
3. Avoid common mistakes Even when you know the basics it’s easy to make some common kickboxing mistakes, such as locking out the elbow joints, not using the entire body to power your movements, and rounding your spine during punches and kicks. Jessica Smith and I put together a video to help you avoid the 5 most common kickboxing mistakes—watch and learn!
4. Breathe! While you may be focusing intensely on learning the movements and technique, it’s important to remember your breath! Exhaling on your punches and kicks can provide more power to your moves and help you sustain the high level of energy needed during the workout. Think of breathing in when you “protect” (drawing arms back in towards body), and breathing out when you “attack” (throw a punch or kick).
Ready to get started? Try this 7-Minute Kickboxing video and let me know your thoughts in the comments below! (And if you want to keep training at home, check out my Kickboxing Cardio Workouts 3-DVD Power Pack!)