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Kick-boxing -- throw punches and kicks to get toned

Kick-boxing -- throw punches and kicks to get toned

Try this workout to stay in shape and get stronger.

Written by Neeraj Mehta |Updated : March 27, 2014 3:27 PM IST

kick boxingWe all would have wanted to kick or punch someone at some point. Though going ahead with that could get you arrested, you can safely pack a punch whilst getting fitter with kick-boxing. It not only involves physical stamina but also mental alertness and hand-eye coordination in short, a total mind and body workout. Neeraj Mehta, a fitness professional, nutritionist and director of GFFI fitness academy, writes on why kick-boxing is a fun and complete physical exercise.

Kick-boxing is an intense and fun workout for fitness and as a sport, it's a relatively modern martial arts system derived by combining several fighting techniques from a variety of the more traditional disciplines including kung fu, kyokushinkai, karate, Krav Maga, Thai boxing and Taekwondo. It is a great physical power workout with emphasis placed on specialised techniques of kicks, punches and blocks delivered with full force.

If you get bored with jogging or regular visits to the gym, the solution is kick-boxing. This high intensity workout is offered by many gyms and health clubs these days. You can burn good amount of calories, enhance your health, improve posture and increase endurance.

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There are numerous benefits of kick-boxing. These include:

  • Develops strength and flexibility
  • Improves mental agility and stamina
  • Increases confidence
  • Promotes fitness and well-being
  • Reduces stress
  • Assists with self-defence skills - see 15 self-defence exercises for women
  • Increases blood circulation and oxygen flow in the body
  • Kick-boxing burns up to 800 to 1,200 calories in an hour

There is a popular form of kick-boxing known as cardio kick-boxing which combines elements of kicks, punches and aerobics to provide overall physical toning. Cardio kick-boxing does not involve physical contact between competitors but is a cardiovascular workout that is done because of its overall benefits to the entire body. Try these tips to get the most out of your cardio workout.

Tips for kick-boxing beginners

Firstly, get a medical clearance from your physician before starting with kick-boxing classes. This is very important if you have any chronic ailments like asthma, diabetes or if you are overweight. Here's what you need to do before starting any fitness regimen.

Warm-up and stretching is most important for this high intensity physical workout. One common mistake people make is stretching before their muscles are actually warmed-up. It is important to stretch after your muscles are warm (after blood has circulated through them). Try these stretching exercises to improve flexibility.

A warm-up should be done for at least 5-10 minutes without jerky movements. Usually, warm-up involves doing the same activity as the cardiovascular or aerobic workout but at an intensity of 50-60% of your actual workout pace.

To prevent injury and to improve your performance, you should stretch the primary muscles used in the warm-up before proceeding with your workout.

Go gradually and slowly increase your workout, don't try to overstretch yourself. Talk to your instructor about the clothing and the gear you will need beforehand.

You also need to understand how to use the muscle to the maximum when punching or kicking. Hydration is the key to success don't forget to drink water before and after your workout. Read these 10 tips to get better hydration during exercise.

Ideas for people at an advanced level

As performing one exercise for long time can get boring, keep switching between different hand and leg movements.

Make a team and participate in inter kick-boxing events to meet other enthusiasts.

Challenge your opponents with no-touch fight rounds where the person who completes the round with more hits within a given time wins.

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