Kickboxing for Women – What you need to know

kickboxing workout for womenHave you ever seen Lucy Liu in martial arts action in one her movies? If you've ever wondered what it would be like to try one of her techniques, then kickboxing is a good place to start. In this blog however, my focus is more about attaining fitness and burning calories than it is about defence.

What is Kickboxing?

Kickboxing is a martial arts sports that involves kicking and punching. It originated in Japan and incorporates western boxing with martial arts techniques, creating a unique style. The sport is mainly practiced for self defence, fitness, or as a contact sport.

What Areas Do Kickboxing Target?

Kickboxing is an intense exercise that works the upper and lower part of your body. It helps in toning muscle tissues in the arms, legs and abdomen. Arms – your arms are one of the primary tools of kickboxing. Throwing punches works out your arms, especially your triceps and biceps. It won't be long before you notice a defined difference in these areas. Legs- your legs also get a good workout in kick boxing and become more toned and defined through kicks and jumping movements. The core – good balance is a must when it comes kickboxing and you get this balance from your core. The knee kicks also help to define and strengthen your core Chest and Back – Throwing a powerful punch produces a great amount of force in your pectoral muscles and your back. The lower back forms part of the core and provides a full range of movement.

How Good of a Cardio Workout is Kickboxing?

Kickboxing gives you a total cardiovascular workout and improves cardiovascular strength. Since kickboxing involves a lot of kicking and punching, your heart rate increases with all these movements. The element of cardio-conditioning is also one of the most effective ways to burn fat.

How to Incorporate Kickboxing in Your Weight Loss Plan

Since kickboxing is a total body workout that challenges all the muscle groups, it is an ideal way of losing weight. In fact, according to Mayo Clinic, a person weighing 12 stones (168 pounds) will burn approximately 730 calories within an hour. That's amazing! Isn't it? Below is an outline to get you started.

  • Make sure your punches and kicks are done in full intensity to get your heart rate up. Just imagine that boss or irritating person that drives you up the wall everyday and you should have no problem doing this.
  • Kick as high as you can when doing your kicks. Don't worry though if you are unable to kick your legs as high as a gymnast. The higher you kick the more energy you will use and more calories are burned as a result.
  • Go for heavier gloves during your training. It's like using heavier dumbbells- they work your arms more.
  • When doing your punches keep your hands up at all times. They should never drop below your chin. This will sculpt and work your shoulders and burn more calories.

Kickboxing can easily be done at home with the minimal amount fo gear. All you need is a DVD, maybe some gloves and that is it. For a selection of DVD's and other equipment with pricing and reviews have a look here – Kickboxing for Women Gear

Sample Exercises and Routine

Start out by doing a 5 minute warm-up to prepare your body for the workout.

The Jab

  1. Stand with your left leg about a foot in front of you, bending both knees. Bend your elbows as well so that your fists are just a little below your chin.
  2. Punch your arm straight ahead as you shift your weight to your back leg.
  3. Return to the starting position and do 3 sets of 8 reps then switch to the other side.

The Hook

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with your knees and elbows bent.
  2. Turn your torso slightly as you punch your arm in a hooking motion.
  3. Return to the start and repeat. Perform a total set of 3 sets of 8 on each side.

Exercise Guru Billy Blanks says that this move gives your legs a great workout although it focuses on the upper body.

The Body Twist

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees and elbows bent, hands in a fist below your chin.
  2. Lean forward slightly and bring your left shoulder forward. Now bring your right shoulder forward.
  3. Alternate quickly, doing 3 sets of 8 reps.

Rear Kick

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees and elbows bent. Hands should be in a fist below the chin.
  2. Lean forward, lifting your left leg and bend your knee.
  3. Kick that leg behind so that it forms a straight line with the upper body. Bring it back to the bent position in step 1.
  4. From that position do 8 reps and then switch sides. Perform 3 sets of 8 reps on both sides.

Front Kick

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees and elbows bent, hands in a fist below your chin.
  2. Bend your leg, lifting it so that it forms a 90-degree angle.
  3. Extend the lower part of that leg, kicking it out in front of you while keeping your knees slightly bent. Bring it back down to the position in step 2. Perform 8 reps in the position and then switch sides.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 8 reps on both sides.

Cool down Take deep breaths while counting slowly to 5. Exhale while counting slowly to 5. Finish off with some light stretching.

Taking it to the Next Level

Cardio kickboxing is the perfect way of taking kickboxing to the next level. This type of kickboxing is a combination of aerobics, boxing and martial arts. It is a vigorous, total body workout that improves strength, aerobic fitness, flexibility, balance and coordination. This type of kickboxing is fun and involves variety. Ladies, follow these routines and kick calories to the curb, box away the pounds, and in no time you will be a knockout!

Why not have a go at home before you start a class. A DVD and perhaps some gloves are all you need to get started. For a selection of DVD's and other equipment with pricing and reviews click here

Video showing a KickBoxing Workout For Women


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Photo Credit: storm TK431 via Compfight cc

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