Though the art of kickboxing has been around for centuries it has gained steadily in popularity in the U.S. since the 1970’s. Fitness gurus have taken the ancient art form of kickboxing and transformed it into a popular way to get fit!
Coined “cardio kickboxing”, this form of exercise not only provides you with an overall physical conditioning and toning program, it can increase your endurance, balance, stamina, flexibility and coordination while providing a healthy way to reduce stress.
According to the American Council of Exercise cardio kickboxing can burn over 500 calories per hour! But is cardio kickboxing safeÃ¢Â?Â¦and does it really provide you with the necessary skills to defend yourself?
Because of the range and planes of motion utilized in kickboxing, cardio kickboxing is a complicated form of exercise. With its explosive movements (knee strikes, kicks and punches) and high intensity, cardio kickboxing is not for the beginner exerciser.
Even seasoned athletes can experience difficulties! Muscle pulls and joint pain is commonplace because it is too easy to overextend the joints, especially when the rest of the class is more experienced. Overdoing it or going beyond your fitness level is a frequent problem too.
Cardio kickboxing takes time to master. The key is controlled movements. Start out slow and easy getting a feel for the moves even if you fall behind the rest of the class. If the moves are not done properly not only do you increase the risk of injury, you may give up and never attain those fitness goals!
To avoid potential injuries you should join a class with certified instructors. Each routine should have all the ingredients of a regular aerobic exercise routine such as warm-up’s and cool-down’s. Because of its high intensity heart rates should be monitored for your safety. And as with any exercise routine, you should consult with your physician to assure you are healthy enough for moderate exercise.
Cardio kickboxing is a great overall fitness program but should not be performed more than three times per week. Cross train by adding strength training and no impact or low impact routines such as stationary cycling and walking on off days to increase conditioning expected from the high intensity cardio kickboxing routine.
Cardio Kickboxing vs. Self Defense
I have heard many people, especially women say that cardio kickboxing not only provides them with a great overall workout routine, it boosts their confidence and makes them feel “empowered”. And though these things are a great plus, cardio kickboxing may give you a false sense of confidence.
Cardio kickboxing is not a self defense or fighter-training course!
Self defense means doing everything possible to avoid a confrontation. Self defense classes teach you how to size up a situation and concentrates on things like how to break an attacker’s grasp and how to get away. Yes they do teach you how to fight to defend yourself, but these techniques concentrate on “vital” areas, such as the groin, throat, knees and eyes. Kickboxing avoids those areas.
Cardio kickboxing, though it teaches you proper kicking, jabbing and punching techniques, does not teach you how to use them in a dangerous situation. The first rule of self defense is if you don’t think you can stop them, don’t do it! In other words, you know if you kick a man in the groin it can cause some serious pain, but an ill-placed kick may just anger him placing you in an even more dangerous situation than if you just cooperate!
Want to know that your mastery of cardio kickboxing would help you in a dangerous situation? Take a self defense or martial arts class. Learn when to take a chance and when not to. Just because you know how to perform a perfect roundhouse kick doesn’t mean you should use it! Self defense is about knowing how to handle a situation not about harming someone.
Cardio kickboxing is a great way to boost your cardio workout and feel confident about yourself. It is a great way to relieve stress and get in shape. And it can even be a great avenue for self defense, but only when given the proper training to allow you to know when to strike and when to cooperate!