Samantha Hadadi loves working out in the boxing ring, here she shares why it motivates and empowers her. Could this be the work out that works for you too? By stepping out of your comfort zone, this may becoming one of the best decisions you make to improve physical well-being and overall confidence.
For a long time, I thought that I was useless at sports.
In fact, I avoided physical activity at any cost. After years of gruelling hockey lessons stood in the freezing cold in a teeny tiny P.E skirt with blue legs and freezing hands to match, I developed a hatred of exercise.
Yet, fast forward to now, when I’m sitting happily in my 30s, and I’ve discovered a new passion: Kickboxing. Ever since I fell in love with this sweaty, empowering workout, exercise has become part of my everyday life – and I genuinely cannot imagine skipping it.
Of course, if you’d told me that when I was in my teens, I’d have snorted with laughter. Yet, exercise for me was never about shivering on a Netball pitch or racing through muddy woods. Instead, it was as simple as finding the sports and exercise that I enjoyed, and loved doing.
Do you struggle to find the motivation, or think that you dislike sports and exercise, too? Here, I want to challenge you to take up something new, and perhaps give Kickboxing a try!
Here, we show you how and why you should give it a whirl. Now, dust off those trainers, pull on those gloves, and let’s get moving!
WHAT IS KICKBOXING?
While most forms of martial art are ancient and have their roots tied up in history, Kickboxing is relatively new. Even so, there are all sorts of forms of kickboxing, dotted around the world. In fact, step into two different classes, and chances are you’ll see different techniques and even rules.
Yet, simply put, kickboxing combines the punches of boxing and shakes them up with a few Karate kicks. Sounds fun, doesn’t it…?
Punches include the jab, cross, uppercut and (my personal favourite, and ultimate shoulder sculptor), the all-powerful hook. Meanwhile, kicks include the front (also known as snap kicks), side, roundhouse and the spinning back kick.
WHY WE LOVE KICKBOXING
For me, kickboxing, above all other sports, is the ultimate exercise. It’s empowering, and leaves me feeling super strong and in control. It teaches me (and thousands of other women) how to defend myself, and how to get myself out of potentially harmful situations.
It also happens to be a pretty kickass cardio workout! In fact, it works every area of the body imaginable, leaving me with toned and strong arms, rock-hard abs and obliques (who needs endless crunches?), and strong, lean legs. It’s hard to imagine a better full-body workout.
Yet, beyond this, it’s also fantastic for my mental health. Kickboxing is the ultimate stress reliever – after a bad day, it allows me to simply kick and punch away all the anger, or the stress of work.
If you want to learn a little more about this amazing exercise, then here are some of the benefits:
Total Body Toning
Kickboxing is a fantastic full-body workout, and can help you to tone arms, shoulders, abs, legs, bum and hips!
The kicks you’ll learn are fantastic at keeping your body flexible and supple. Just be sure to stretch it out first.
There aren’t many better stress relievers than a kickboxing class – unleash that anger or stress on those pads.
Fantastic for women (although men can obviously benefit too!), kickboxing is great for teaching you some self-defence moves and boosting confidence.
You might wobble and topple at first, but a lot of the kicks involve standing on one leg. Say hello to better balance!
Cardio & Resistance
You may have read that you should be combining cardio workouts with resistance training for the ultimate body makeover. Kickboxing makes it easy for you – those kicks and punches will see you combining the two!
Kickboxing is one of the best cardio workouts we’ve ever tried, and will raise that heart rate like nothing else. It will torch calories AND help you to shed fat.
There are few better sports for self-confidence than kickboxing. It can help you to feel strong, powerful and in control.
Full of energy and laughs, we bet you won’t even notice you’ve got a sweat on…Whilst stepping out of your comfort zone may sometimes seem like a chore in the short-term, in actuality, your body will quickly adapt and you’ll find yourself feeling more comfortable and oozing with excitement in daily life than before you started.
HOW CAN I GET STARTED?
Want to join me in kicking ass? Kickboxing is becoming more and more popular and accessible, and there’s no need to find a fancy, specialist class anymore. However, I would recommend finding an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) gym or a specific kickboxing gym near you if you want to compete, or train properly.
In the meantime, most gyms will have cardio kickboxing or boxing classes on a weekly basis, often set to fun and upbeat music. I even have a gym near me that allows you to do a virtual kickboxing class!
It’s also possible to try it out at home with your own kick pads and boxing gloves, although I’d advise learning at least the basics from a qualified professional first! And, if you’re starting from scratch or have an injury, please seek medical advice first.
There are also plenty of fantastic YouTube kickboxing workouts. Some of our favourites include:
Once you’ve got moving, it’s the perfect time to refuel with muscle-building protein – and a few carbs for good measure! We recommend enjoying this Chocolate Protein Smoothie after your kickboxing workout.
What’s your favourite exercise? Share it with us by tweeting @Rejuvenateduk, or dropping us a line on our website.