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Kickboxing is a type of martial arts in which opponents may use both punches and kicks during fighting matches. Since it utilizes both the upper and lower body for the punching and kicking, and involves movement, it may provide a full strength and cardiovascular workout. Kickboxing workouts are exercise routines inspired by the training movements used by professional kickboxing competitors and can vary depending on who designed the routine.
One of the most common types of kickboxing workouts is often referred to as cardio kickboxing. Cardio kickboxing workouts are generally aerobic exercise routines that use constant motion, such as jogging in place or other quick movements, in order to keep the heart rate up and burn off calories and body fat. In addition to this constant motion, various punches and kicks are incorporated to strengthen and tone the entire body. Cardio kickboxing routines tend to be set to music and the movements are generally performed individually and not as a competition against a partner. These routines can generally be adapted to fit an exerciser’s fitness level and may be performed by both beginners and more advanced kickboxers without the use of any kickboxing equipment.
Other types of kickboxing workouts may be designed to more closely mimic traditional kickboxing. Rather than just performing the punching and kicking motions in a choreographed cardio routine, these traditional kickboxing workouts will often use equipment. Participants may wear protective boots and gloves and either spar against a partner or practice various punching and kicking training drills against a punching bag. These type of workouts tend to be used more often for improving actual kickboxing skills, but may also be performed by amateurs to strengthen and tone the entire body.
Another type of kickboxing workout may also use traditional kickboxing punching and kicking motions, but with an educational undertone. Rather than simply utilizing the kickboxing movements as a means to lose weight, tone the muscles, or improve athletic skills, some kickboxing routines may also serve as self-defensive lessons. These routines will generally be led by a professional martial artist and be taught to people who want to have knowledge on how to defend themselves if they are ever attacked.
Regardless of the kickboxing routine a person chooses to perform, it is usually recommended that he or she is led by a trained professional on the proper way to perform the punching and kicking motions. Incorrectly performing kickboxing movements can lead to various injuries, including pulled muscles and back pain. People who are new to kickboxing are usually advised to perform the movements slowly and adapt them to be easier, such as by not kicking as high as more advanced participants, until they are sure they are performing the movements correctly.