Monday, January 2, 2012

Yoga & Kickboxing Workouts

Yoga and kickboxing are two great forms of exercise. Although they may seem very different on the surface, the two share some fundamental principles and can even be combined in some workouts. The high-intensity, fast-paced nature of a kickboxing workout can also be balanced out with a slow, calming yoga session.
Although yoga and kickboxing may seem like polar opposites, they do have some similarities, according to a "Yoga Journal" article. Both involve a great level of concentration, flexibility and a full-body approach to wellness. You need all your body parts to work together for many poses, just as you do to complete many kickboxing moves; either workout rarely involves working just one part at a time. Yoga and kickboxing are also both ideal for relieving stress.
Yoga for Kickboxers
According to "Yoga Journal," select poses are great cross-training exercises for kickboxers. These poses include hanumanasana, or the splits; savasana, or corpse pose; urdhva dhanurasana, or upward bow pose; utthita hasta padangusthasana, or extended hand-to-big-toe pose; and purvottanasana, or the intense front-body stretch. Savasana challenges boxers to relax and embrace tranquility, while the other poses help strengthen and stretch the arms and legs. Yogis can also mimic the intensity of kickboxing by performing repeated sun salutations with increasing speed.
One workout form has combined yoga and kickboxing into a routine called "koga." Available in some fitness centers and on DVD programs, koga combines the mind-body mindset of yoga with the intense isometric and plyometric movements of boxing into one workout. Proponents of koga say it increases your flexibility as well as burns fat and tones muscles.
In addition to the stress relief and increased flexibility that yoga provides, kickboxing offers a high-intensity workout that can increase your stamina. A kickboxing class usually begins with 10 to 15 minutes of warm-up, followed by a 30-minute kickboxing session with moves such as kicks, punches and knee strikes. You might use a punching bag or jump rope as a workout aid. After you're done, you should spend at least five minutes cooling down and 10 minutes stretching to prevent injury.

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