What’s a Kickboxing Workout ? Well, it’s drilling in your Kickboxing skills and techniques, usually with a punching bag ( rather than sparing with a partner ).

Kickboxing is as its name suggests, a martial art that’s based on throwing punches and kicks.  It doesn’t involve as many complicated forms of offense and defense as a lot of other martial arts, and it can be a much faster training route to become proficient in the basics, from a self-defense point of view.  But I’m mainly looking at it from a fitness viewpoint for this article.

As a workout, Kickboxing is great for cardio and building up muscles and increasing bone density.  While working out with weights can help with these things too, the functional exercise provided by training in this will also strengthen the supporting muscles so that there’s less chance of these being hurt when the larger ones are put to use.  And while running and cycling are great, they don’t do too much for the upper body.

Cross training, as in triathlon will do a lot to give you an all-round physical workout, with different muscle groups being used on different days/training legs, but drilling in your kickboxing skills can get you a lot of the same benefits.

Forms of Kickboxing

There are a number of forms of kickboxing and different opinions as to the source of the art and where it developed.  There’s definitely a Westernized version of the Asian styles, but there have been separate classes of fighting that use hands and feet around in France and the rest of Europe as well as the Orient.  Most often though it’s the South-Eastern Asian styles of fighting ( or Westernized forms of these ) that are being referred to by the name kick-boxing .

Muay Thai ?

Muay Thai has been getting a lot of notice as a form of kickboxing.  It’s different in that it uses knees and elbows, making 8 striking surfaces that can be used even if you’re over on the ground with your opponent. Elbows and knees have a shorter range and can be used in close quarters on the ground or in tight confinement, where a full armed strike or leg-kick is impossible.  Muay Thai is also know as Thai Boxing. Practicing Muay Thai works out a bunch of other muscles as well, as there’s a lot of repetitive knee and elbow striking.

The Workout

Although the group-training aspect of a martial art is great, treating Kickboxing from a workout viewpoint, it’s something that can be done at home quite easily and will really keep you in shape. Fighting a punching bag is a great workout, and as with most exercise, if you get this in on a regular basis, it can do a lot for health and feeling good.  A bag can be hung from the ceiling in a garage or somewhere out of the way. My advice is to avoid the really heavy bags, as the repetitive striking can have a detrimental effect on joints if it’s too heavy.  A lighter bag is also good to help develop timing and coordination, because it swings back at you a lot more.