One of the hottest trends to hit the gym, aside from aerobics and power spinning, is cardio kickboxing. Classes like these literally help you kick your ass into shape and they pack a mean punch when it comes to getting results (puns are intended, of course).
Many cardio kickboxing enthusiasts credit Billy Blanks, the creator of the popular turned classic Tae Bo videos, into bringing this art form into the limelight and into the routines of many fitness enthusiasts. The martial arts inspired workout that is cardio kickboxing has really motivated a lot of people to get off that couch.
1. Emphasis on Warm-up
Common to all cardio kickboxing routines is the emphasis on a good warm up. Stretches of all muscle groups are incorporated at the start of every session to ensure that these muscles become warm and pliant for all the rapid movements that you are about to partake in. On top of that, jogging in place and jumping jacks are utilized to start up the heart rate. Warming up the muscles and pacing the heart ensure that the entire routine can be finished without any injuries. Moreover, a good warm up session allows you to mentally prepare and get motivated for the entire class. With its precision and intensity, a strong focus is required to get to the finish line. In order to finish strong, you must remember to also start strong. Hence, a good warm-up is essential.
2. Cardiovascular Benefit
A cardio kickboxing class is a hybrid of different types of sports and routines from martial arts, boxing, and even aerobic dance. Majority of the core group classes are set to upbeat music. The heart rate becomes elevated and blood circulation is promoted as you jump and push through punches and kicks. These super fast combinations are done repetitively resulting in sweat drenched participants. That being said, there is no body contact in cardio kickboxing and the punches and kicks merely simulate punching a real person or a punch bag. Nevertheless, the repetitive and continuous movements encourage the heart to work harder, and in turn, this regular cardio activity makes the heart stronger.
3. Burns Calories
A one hour cardio kickboxing class is said to burn 350 to 450 calories. A study conducted by the ACE (or the American Council on Exercise) revealed that the level of movement utilized in cardio kickboxing classes, that use a combination of punches and kicks, has the capacity to burn more than 8 calories per minute. This rate is actually on the high range when it comes to calories burned. The high intensity level of a class also targets fats, helping participants in meeting weight loss gaols.
4. Strength Training
The fat loss in doing cardio kickboxing helps you tone muscles. On top of that, cardio kickboxing is a demanding total body workout, which effectively mixes strength training and cardio. Utilizing your own body weight, some cardio kickboxing moves definitely help strengthen your muscles. These controlled movements of punching and kicking target many muscles groups. In fact, one of the primary regions improved by this type of workout is core strength.
5. Improves balance
The series of punches and kicks performed in cardio kickboxing engage the core muscles. The only way to execute those moves in the right way is if the core area is flexed and utilized. With repetitive movements, the core muscles are always hit; thus, making cardio kickboxing a great source for improving balance and stability. On top of that, frequently kicking one leg, while the other is secured on the ground, is a great activity that stimulates balance.
6. Develops Coordination
The kicking and punching moves of a cardio kickboxing class hone and sharpen the reflexes. This in turn helps improve your coordination. With many muscle groups working at the same time, you become adept at gracefully executing each with precision and style.
7. Increases flexibility
Each class always starts with a warm-up that includes a load of stretches. In the same token, a class ends with stretches to help cool down the muscles. On top of that, during the workout, kicks and punches which lengthen and stretch the legs and arms promote hyper-extension of muscles, which increases flexibility.
Although you don’t really hit anyone with a group cardio kickboxing class, all that repetitive punching and kicking develop your self-defense skills. After all, learning those traditional martial arts moves and strengthening the muscles that these moves target can surely assist you when you need it.
9. Time Saver
A cardio kickboxing routine saves time by combining your workout in one routine from warm up, cardio, strengthening, to cool down. It encompasses all the phases of a complete totally body workout making sure that you use your time efficiently. Building flexibility, endurance, and strength are covered in this one simple workout.
10. Doable for Any Fitness Level
This type of routine is great for any fitness level. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or an advance level fitness enthusiast, you can engage in cardio kickboxing and expect result. You can tailor fit each workout to suit your needs. For beginners, you can opt to kick low and be sure you don’t lock your elbows when you punch. For a more intense workout, kick high, jump higher, and execute the movements as fast as you can.
11. Great for the Older Gen
Throwing a punch is also beneficial for the older generation. Since it is great for all physical levels, even the oldies but goodies are welcome in class. What’s beneficial about cardio kickboxing is that it improves balance, coordination, and flexibility. And these elements are most needed by the older crowd to keep them agile on their toes and to prevent nasty falls.
12. Super Fun
A cardio kickboxing class with music is always revved up and super fun. It is easy to get motivated when you’re in the company of individuals who are also having fun with a workout that doesn’t feel like work but feels more like play.
13. Great for Socialization
If you’re attending classes, this is a great way to meet like minded people who are concerned about their health and well being. Many friendships have been forged through the classes because it is much easier to bond when you have something in common.
14. Stress Reducer
Last but not least, cardio kickboxing as a great stress reliever. You can imagine kicking and punching your source of stressor away. All the aggression and tension could be channeled through those kicks and punches. On top of that, since it is a high-intensity workout, it releases endorphins which is the hormone responsible for making you feel happy.