If you’ve been pounding on the treadmill your entire life and are in need of a break from your usual cardio routine, kickboxing is the perfect cross-training workout alternative. The amount of co-ordination needed in kickboxing makes it useful for runners who yearn for a complete body workout.
RunSociety was honoured to be invited to one of the Great Eastern Women’s Run 2012 Fringe Activities: Kickboxing for Fitness at Active Studio located at the Far East Shopping Centre. The one-hour intensive kickboxing session covers a range of movements commonly seen in movies such as high kicks, cross punches and many others. The range of movements within kickboxing not only allow better flexibility but also strengthen our core muscles such as our abdominal muscles, back muscles and thigh muscles. These muscles are highly targeted with kickboxing routines because we need to use our waist and abs for balance, and to execute each carefully co-ordinated move. It is important for us as runners to strengthen the foundation (our core muscles) when doing long distance running. Similarly to running, kickboxing is most enjoyable if you are doing it with a partner or in a group. That means your running buddies are the best people for you to bring along to your kickboxing lessons!
The Kickboxing Experience
The lesson at Active Studio started off with a basic introductory summary teaching us the dos and don’ts of kickboxing. For example, the correct way of rotating out our arms when punching to prevent injuring the joints. The incorrect way of kicking was being demonstrated to us as well, for instance, landing your kicks with your toes.
With the quick introduction out of the way, we then went on to the “cooler” part of our lesson which included me wearing boxing gloves for the first time in my life. We were being paired up to take our turns in trying out the kick and punch routines. It took most of us some time to get used to the punch bags before being able to add more strength and momentum to our movements. Nonetheless after the first few initial attempts, you begin to gain more confidence in your actions which then quickly translate into more powerful punches and kicks.
Most beginners have their own misconceived understanding on how kicks and punches should be done based on all the action movies we have watched. It is thus important at this initial stage of learning to listen attentively to the instructor who will provide proper guidance on what you could be doing wrong.
As the training progresses, you find yourself getting used to ’louder’ thuds produced on the punch bags as the group became more refined in their kicks and punches. The more effective or ‘louder’ thuds produced, it also served as a good source of motivation to continue to put in extra effort in the training. The excitement was short-lived, at least for me, as I quickly found out just how exhausting the training can be.
A Good Complementary Sport To Running
Kickboxing being a high intensity sport has proven to be one of the best ways of losing weight. An hour session could easily burn about 500 calories (which is equal to ¼ of our usual daily intake). The frequent switch between periods of high intensity and low intensity, with some rest periods in between, is also useful for developing cardiovascular endurance outside of running. Being a complete body workout, it is also a very good complementary sport to pick up along with running, which generally focuses more on lower body training.
Jason Lim, director of ActiveRed sums it up best when he shared on how Kickboxing can benefit runners
It takes a beginner 3 months to build up a kickboxing foundation. As a regular runner myself, I realise core muscle strengths are crucial when doing long-distance. It is usually a big problem to most runners as they tend to lack proper core strengths.
While engrossed in the excitement of learning a new sport, it is remarkable how fast the one-hour session ended. Kicking and punching around has never felt more fun and the group ended the training feeling a sweat of satisfaction. I felt every muscle was utilised and most importantly, a heightened sense of confidence from the kickboxing drills!
In conjunction with the Great Eastern Women’s Run, there will be other fringe activities coming up for runners to pick up as well. For more information, check out their official website at www.greateasternwomensrun.com