Monday, January 2, 2012

Tips & Benefits of Kickboxing Classes

Utilizing hooks, uppercuts, jabs, strikes, side kicks, front kicks and back kicks, a kickboxing class packs a powerful fitness punch. Often performed in a group format, these high-intensity classes deliver a full-body workout and plenty of cardiovascular benefits. Before taking kickboxing classes, consult your physician to determine whether your body is physically able to handle the workout. Since kickboxing is rather intense, it may be dangerous for people with certain health or medical conditions.
Kickboxing classes combine various elements of boxing, aerobics and martial arts to create a full-body fitness routine. After a brief episode of stretching, students typically warm up their bodies through jumping rope, jumping jacks, push-ups and running in place. After the warm-up, students are generally led through an intense kickboxing session that involves blocking, moving, punching, kicking, jabbing and striking. It is often recommended that students wear gloves or hand wraps to protect their hands. Depending on the specific class, students might interact with punching bags, shields or mitts. From warm-up to cool-down, the entire kickboxing class generally lasts about 60 minutes.
There are two main types of kickboxing fitness classes. A cardio kickboxing class typically involves intense aerobic workouts and very little contact with other students or equipment. Occasionally referred to as aerobic kickboxing or "turbo kick," cardio kickboxing classes are generally choreographed to fast-paced music. A traditional kickboxing class, on the other hand, might involve plenty of direct contact with other students or equipment, yet utilize very few cardiovascular elements. This type of kickboxing class often focuses on learning proper technique, gaining power with each movement and using the moves in a self-defense situation.
With its various types of punches, kicks, arm strikes and torso twists, kickboxing classes provide an effective workout for the entire body. While punching tones the shoulders and arms, kicking proves to be an effective workout for the legs and buttock. Since you must keep your core muscles pulled in tight throughout the workout, you also keep your abdominal and back muscles toned. According to the Calories Per Hour website, 60 minutes of kickboxing can burn up to 590 calories for a 130-lb. person, 680 calories for a 150-lb. person and 816 calories for a 180-lb. person. As an added benefit, kickboxing classes can also help you relieve stress and learn simple self-defense techniques.
During a kickboxing class, wear comfortable clothes that allow your legs and arms to move freely. If possible, wear athletic shoes that are made specifically for cross-training activities and side-to-side movements. As a beginner, do not overexert yourself during a kickboxing class. Take frequent breaks and aim low when kicking. Kickboxing fitness classes are extremely intense and can easily lead to injury if you are not cautious. During the movements, avoid locking your elbows or knees. Stay hydrated throughout the class by taking small drinks of water every 5 to 10 minutes.

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