Seven years ago my Mom and I decided to try out a local kickboxing gym that had just opened down the street. Hesitant to try new things and very stuck in my ways at the time, I was very out of my comfort zone. Little did I know this workout would challenge me more than I could ever imagine and provide me with many more benefits than just a killer workout.
I had a great conversation with my instructor and owner of Cbus Kickboxing, Brenda Bush, where we talked about how important it is for people to find their fitness "thing." One of the biggest changes we experience in the transition from high school to college is the lack of high school sports. We're no longer held accountable for daily practices and workouts. Meanwhile, we are being exposed to 24-hour dining halls with the gym a long walk away. That is why it is so important to find your fitness niche; you create a schedule for yourself and create "practices" for your workout of choice. Personally, I can't get myself into spinning, Pilates, or Zumba; they just don't motivate me, and that's O.K. Kickboxing gives me confidence in and out of the gym while giving me strength I can't quite get from lifting in the gym alone. It also helps that the people I've been kickboxing with for 7 years are highly motivating and always pushing me to my potential. I've compiled what I've found to be the best benefits that I've experienced throughout my 7 years of kickboxing. Hopefully this will convince you to take up a new hobby!
1. Full Body Workout: A 30-minute session on the bag is equivalent to lifting weights for 30 minutes straight. What I love the most about kickboxing is the way it defines my back/shoulder muscles along with my abdominal area. Who doesn't want to grow abs without doing hundreds of crunches?!- Not only are you punching the bag, but you're also throwing knee and round-house kicks which engage your arms, legs, and core all at once. There are also moves that instructors often incorporate into the workout such as ducking, shuffling, squatting, etc that engage these muscle groups.
2. Relieves Stress- Taking out your daily frustrations on a kickboxing bag feels gooooood. After a hard day at school or work, leaving it all on the bag at the end of the day can allow you to start fresh the next morning. Studies have shown that kickboxing can reduce anxiety, depression, and anger because it allows you to project any negative feelings onto the bag.
2. Gives You Confidence- There's something to be said for the "I can drop-kick you in 2 seconds" feeling you get walking out of a kickboxing session. That feeling comes from the many endorphins released after your workout giving you that boost of self esteem. I've noticed that kickboxing has given me confidence in scenarios where I may have felt unsafe. It is said that with a confident walk and good posture, you're less likely to be approached by an attacker, which brings me to my next point...
4. Self Defense- Jabs and strikes learned from kickboxing are important in learning practical defense techniques. If you ever find yourself under attack, it is important to learn how to maintain your poise and balance, while still being able to throw punches and kicks. While kickboxing can help with this confidence, taking the time to take an actual self-defense class is also strongly encouraged to build good technique and know how to react properly.
5. Burns an Unreal Amount of Cals- This high-intensity workout keeps you constantly in motion maintaining a high heart rate. A study from Duke University showed that aerobic exercises, like kickboxing, are the most effective workouts in reducing belly fat. I always knew I was burning a lot of calories based on the amount I was sweating, but it wasn't until I invested in an Apple iwatch I realized exactly how much I was burning. Classes vary in instructor's intensity but I am always guaranteed to burn anything between 400-600 calories per hour-long class.
For anyone in the Columbus/Dublin area, I highly recommend Cbus Kickboxinglocated near the Dublin AMC movie theater. They offer many different classes including kickboxing bag class (my usual), pad class, and an advanced conditioning class, and Triple Threat (bag, pads, and conditioning). You really can't beat the encouragement you'll get from your instructors along with your fellow kickboxers.
What workout motivates you!? I'd love to hear your responses so go to the Contact Me section and share your fav workout!