Knockout body? Check. Massive endorphin release and high-intensity intervals? Double check. Do you really need another reason to pick up your gloves? If you do, kickboxing delivers a fresh, fun and thrilling workout where throwing punches and using the impact of your foot are the focal points of each session. The sport that capitalizes on preparing you for danger is now all the rage for getting you in insane shape.
In addition to these benefits, shadow boxing and kickboxing have become the phenomena du jour in the boutique fitness market. And everyone from the everyday fitness enthusiast to the elite fashion model can't get enough of this butt-kicking workout. If you're catching the kickboxing fever too, we have some advice on how you can get more from each session.
Maximize each of your kickboxing workouts with these five tips:
Hydrate before and after class
Just like any other high-intensity workout, make sure that you're consuming enough water to stay hydrated before, during and after each session. But how much water do you really need? Before each workout, you should be consuming approximately 20 ounces of water 2–3 hours before you exercise. While taking a break during class takes you away from burning calories, sometimes stopping for a cool drink is absolutely necessary. Aim for 7–10 ounces. Now that you have worked up a sweat, it is time to rehydrate. Shoot for approximately 8 ounces immediately after your workout. Just remember that these are guidelines, and the amount of water you consume may depend on your age, weight, environment and how hard you're working.
Add a warm up
Kickboxing has high impact on your body, so it's very important that you spend at least 5–10 minutes warming up your body before each workout. A dynamic warmup such as jump-roping or a doing a sequence of lunges, squats and pushups will prepare your muscles for an intense session and alleviate your risk for injury.
Your legs, core and hands should all be engaged. When you engage your core, you will improve the power of your kick and your punch. When you keep your hands up and engaged, you will build strength in your shoulders—and ultimately both forms of engagement will help you to blast more calories.
While you never want to do too much too soon, remember to focus on using as much explosive energy as possible to maximize each workout and improve your form.
Create the best workout environment
It doesn't matter if you're the most successful, fit trainer in the world, sometimes you just want to give up and call it quits. But you're not alone. According to health expert Gretchen Reynolds in a contribution to The New York Times: "Intense, highly demanding exercise has many health benefits and one signal drawback. It can be physically unpleasant, which deters many people from beginning or sticking with an intense exercise program."
If you're looking for a boost, Reynolds has one: "An encouraging new study ... suggests that listening to music makes strenuous workouts feel easier and may nudge people into pushing themselves harder than they had thought possible." Create a heart-pumping playlist of your favorite upbeat tunes to keep your mind and body going all session long. Another way to create a better workout environment is to work out in front of a mirror or train with another trainer to stay on top of your form and performance. Better yet, incorporate kickboxing into your client's routine and improve both of your forms together.
What you do after each workout is paramount
What you do after each workout may be just as important as how you treat your body before and during your session. Post-workout activities such as stretching are highly beneficial to your training schedule because they keep your muscles flexible, which will prevent injury and help you recover faster after each kickboxing workout. Don't forget to hydrate and eat healthy too.
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