Cardio Kickboxing Is A Great Option For Fitness
Kickboxing is becoming increasingly popular as a cardio workout partly because of its increased media exposure, typically via MMA and UFC. But obviously not everybody will be training in kickboxing with the goal of entering the steel cage for hand-to-hand combat. The kickboxing cardio workouts are then designed as high-intensity interval training workouts – and, for this reason, you have to be prepared for an intense one-hour workout unlike any other workouts you have experienced!
Here are a few important things that you should know about cardio kickboxing before engaging in it. Be sure to pay attention to them because kickboxing is a high-risk, high-reward cardio workout – the rewards in the form of greater stamina and strength are also associated with the risks of injuries, such as sprains and strains.
Kickboxing as a Cardio Workout
Cardio kickboxing mixes the movements from two fitness disciplines, namely, traditional kickboxing and aerobic dance. These movements can include kicks and punches, which are derived from traditional kickboxing, as well as the latest dance steps. These are high-impact in nature and performed at a fast pace, thus, the intense cardio workout.
Emphasis must be made that there are several differences between kickboxing and cardio kickboxing. These differences must be highlighted as many people shy away from the latter due to their misconception that it’s the same as the former.
On one hand, kickboxing is a martial art form usually used for self-defense in and out of the steel cage. This is the sport of the UFC and MMA fighters who are as strong and skilled as they appear on screen. The emphasis is, indeed, on minimizing injuries in yourself and maximizing injuries on your opponent, when necessary.
For this reason, the kickboxing training sessions focus on repetitive drills, technique perfection, and sparring against others, as well as practicing the martial arts techniques on dummies. Such focus is intended to acquire advanced skills in offensive (i.e., striking) and defensive (i.e., blocking) techniques during matches.
On the other hand, cardio kickboxing doesn’t emphasize proper fighting techniques in and out of the steel cage. You will not likely gain self-defense benefits since the movements are geared toward an intense cardiovascular workout, not on offensive and defensive moves. You will also not practice with dummies, on pads, and with sparring partners.
Kickboxing practices aren’t also big on speed, variety, and intensity of movements so these aren’t considered as effective cardio workouts. You can only get a fun, high-tempo, and high-intensity cardio workouts from classes offered in the likes of CKO Kickboxing gyms.
Private or Group Classes
There are pros and cons in participating in private and group cardio kickboxing classes. Most of them will depend on your age, fitness goals, and personal preferences, such as when you prefer group classes because of the camaraderie developed between the participants.
Group classes are your better choice when you want to enjoy cardio kickboxing with other people, such as your family and friends. You may also like them because of the set schedules, usually lasting for a few months at time, as well as the slower pace and the cheaper prices.
Private classes are best when you want individual attention to your personal fitness goals, such as when you’re cross-training for an athletic event. You may also prefer it since the schedules can be adjusted based on your own personal schedule – you can book each session as you see it fit. You don’t have to follow the pace of the others since the workout can be customized to your own needs although you will likely pay higher fees for the privilege.
Safety Is Always a Priority
We cannot overemphasize the fact that cardio kickboxing is a high-impact, high-intensity workout. You may or may not be suitable for it so you may want to consult with your doctor first. You may not be suitable for it, for example, when you have issues with your joints, heart, or balance.
But even when you’re deemed relatively fit to participate in cardio kickboxing classes, you must always be conscious about your safety. Here are a few tips to think about.
- Start slowly and build up gradually. You have to be aware of your body’s current capacity instead of overextending yourself.
- Choose a class led by a qualified cardio kickboxing instructor or hire a certified trainer.
- Warm up before each class (i.e., don’t be late since the instructor will take the class through the warm-up paces).
- Drink plenty of water during the class since you will be sweating so much dehydration can be a problem later on.
- Stop immediately when you feel dizzy, or you’re in pain, or you experience shortness of breath.
You must also avoid using the movements you learned in cardio kickboxing classes on persons and objects since these aren’t designed for self-defense purposes. The best benefit you can gain from cardio kickboxing classes is your increased strength and stamina, which can be useful in fight-or-flight situations.