What The Sport Of Kickboxing Is All About

by : Gabriel Adams

Kickboxing is a modern martial art that combines the powerful kicks of Taekwondo and Muay Thai with the basic techniques and hand movements of boxing. It is a rigorous, total body workout comprised of controlled kicking, punching and jabbing movements carried out to the accompaniment of lively music. Kickboxing helps enhance strength, stamina, coordination and flexibility and helps lower anger, stress and frustration.

What Kickboxing Classes are Like

Though kickboxing classes vary depending on the gym as well as the instructor, most kickboxing classes start with 2-3 rounds of jumping rope to warm up and end with a series of stretches to cool down. In between the warm up and cool down sessions are a series of drills set to music including various types of kicks, punch/kick combinations, shadow boxing, jumping jacks, shuffling, calisthenics, abs and push ups.

Whereas in some classes instructors use a variety of props including speed bags, gloves and jump ropes, in other classes most props are simulated. The biggest difference between kickboxing classes and aerobic classes is that there are no intricate routines or complicated choreography to grasp and commit to memory. Moreover, most instructors vary their kickboxing routines from one week to the next so you are always challenged and there's no room for boredom.

Necessary Equipment for Kickboxing

At it most basic all you need is a sweat suit or a pair of shorts and a T-shirt or a vest. You could choose to work out barefoot or you could wear special wrestling or martial arts shoes. However, to be fully equipped you would require gloves and hand wraps and a jump rope.

The Basics of Kickboxing

Here are a few guidelines that you should keep in mind before you sign up for any kickboxing class:

Determine your current fitness level - It is definitely not a good idea to dive headlong into this high-impact, high-intensity sport; especially if you have not engaged in any form of physical activity for a long time. Before taking up kickboxing it is a good idea to prepare yourself by taking up a less strenuous, low-impact form of exercise and working up to a higher endurance level.

Sign up for an appropriate class - Observe a few classes and see which one suits you in terms of skill level. When you are starting out it may be a good idea to avoid classes that are too complicated, with too many fast moves. Try and sign up for a class that offers you an appropriate level with the opportunity to progress slowly to a more intense and fast-paced level in your own time. If possible, give preference to a class that provides individual instruction after class if necessary.

Don't over do it - It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the art and attempt maneuvers that are overly complex. The key to doing it right in kickboxing is to start with low kicks and only advance to a higher level when you have learned the proper technique. Extending yourself too much too soon could result in pulled tendons and muscles and sprained knee and ankle joints.

Wear appropriate clothing - Loose, comfortable clothing that offer maximum mobility in all directions are ideal for kickboxing. Hand wraps and gloves are often used but these are optional. The best shoes are cross-trainers as they allow optimum side-to-side movement.