- Kickboxing Training For Beginners At Home
- What Physical Therapist Ross Brakeville Says:
- I Tried It: Kickboxing
- This Empowering Fitness Class Torches Calories—and Stress!
- Before You Go
- Reasons Why Kickboxing Classes Are Perfect For Beginners
- Jab — Cross — Left Hook — Low Kick
- Inside Kick — Cross — Left Hook — Right Body Kick
- Cross — Left Hook — Cross — Left Body Kick
- Double Jab — Cross — Left Body Shot — Low Kick
- Double Jab — Right Hook — Left Kick — Left Kick
- Quantity Versus Quality For Muay Thai Combinations
- The Training And Conditioning
- Best Approach To Learn Combinations
Kickboxing Training For Beginners At Home
If you’re new to kickboxing there is a lot to learn. However, kickboxing can be a very fun energetic sport. If you are utilizing kickboxing for fitness, there are many exercises that you can do to increase your stamina and leg strength. If you are utilizing kickboxing drills to help with your performance during competition there are many drills that you can effectively do to improve your performance. Let’s take a look at the video we break down three Kbands exercises for kickboxing.
Combo Kicks For Beginners
Fun exercise to do with Kbands is going to be the front kick sidekick combination. First, you will take a stride followed by front kick. Next, another front kick and then turn your hips to the side for a powerful sidekick. These exercises should be completed with high knee separation. Raise your leg up and threw the resistance getting optimal range of motion. Increase or decrease the resistance to make sure that your kicks are high.
Lateral Movement Plus Sidekick
During this exercise you’ll shuffle to the side and then powerfully sidekick. Complete repetitions with one leg, or alternate legs during this drill. The key is to be light on your feet and make sure that you get your leg out to the side driving through the resistance. Always work on the balls of your feet and quickly transition from the shuffle to the kick.
Bring A Little Cardio To Your Kickboxing
Kickboxing requires a lot of stamina. If you are in competition or just utilizing kickboxing exercises for a better workout, challenge yourself during this drill. Continually front kick as you gain ground on whatever surface you have decided to train on. Alternate legs for 30 seconds pushing your cardiovascular abilities. Push the pace and then take a break.
What Physical Therapist Ross Brakeville Says:
Kickboxing can be good for your heart, joints, strength, balance, and coordination. It’s a great way to tame stress, too. But always check with your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.
You can expect a physically demanding workout, especially if you go all-out for an hour-long class. Not ready for that? You and your instructor can modify kickboxing to meet your needs.
Work at your own pace. Start slow and drink water before, during, and after your workout. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it.
Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition?
If your doctor says it’s OK for you, kickboxing is a great way to help manage many heart- and diabetes-related disorders. If you need to modify the moves, that’s often possible. Let your instructor know.
Knee or back injuries can knock you out from kickboxing. Doing squats, twisting, and balancing on one leg can stress your back or aggravate a knee problem. Kickboxing makes you stronger, which can help prevent injuries in the first place.
If you’re pregnant and you’ve been kickboxing, ask your doctor if it’s OK for you to keep doing it. Make sure you drink plenty of water and don’t get exhausted by the workout.
I Tried It: Kickboxing
Photo: Randy Mayor
The name of the class seemed self-explanatory, but still I wasn’t sure what to expect as I entered my first kickboxing class. Would there be punching bags? Gloves? Would we actually kick one another? If so, I was doomed. I’m more of a lover than a fighter.
But after a quick survey of the average-in-everyway gym exercise room, it looked as if I would come out unscathed, physically. Mentally, I was about to enter a whole new school of hard knocks. I’ve been skeptical at the outset of a few of the fitness programs I’ve sampled, but never have I been on the verge of quitting after the first class. Maybe I was having an off day, but I couldn’t keep up with the superfast pace or remember the sequenced moves.
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Once I finally got into the swing of it, though, I discovered an unexpected side effect: The benefits of kickboxing were as much mental as physical.
True kickboxing is a physical contact sport, but the gym version is really a high-energy aerobics class. You don’t face a real opponent, but you get an intense full-body workout, combining a mix of true-to-the-sport punching and kicking drills with strength moves, such as push-ups and squats.
The instructor took his spot in front of the class and laid it out for us. First: Keep breathing. (Um, OK. I didn’t anticipate a problem there.) Next: Keep up your guard. That meant protect your face and keep your stance balanced so as not to be knocked down or out by your fictional opponent. In other words, we would be fighting air but could still fall over.
We began warming up with simple jump-rope moves, and by throwing quick punches and kicks, ducking in and out of the way of our imaginary foe. I felt strong. I liked it. Then things went downhill. We started combining moves into one nonstop sequence—two punches, one hook, two uppercuts, one knee lift, one front kick, then a side kick. My head was spinning trying to remember what came next. I realized just how easy it was to forget to breathe. Who had the time?
Worse, the instructor clearly thought we were in training to become future Rocky Balboas. He wanted our greenhorn punches quick, our kicks high, and our movements seamless. I simply wanted to burn calories without having to recall detailed instructions barked out at drill-sergeant decibels. The more punches, hooks, uppercuts, and kicks we combined, the more I kind of bounced around trying to look like I knew what I was doing. I didn’t. I was frustrated and on the verge of walking out of the class to find sweaty, silent solace on a treadmill.
After 45 minutes, we transitioned to the conditioning exercises: squats and sit-ups. Finally—something I could do without thinking! Then we hit another snag. The instructor gave us homework: 100 squats and sit-ups before the next class. Was he crazy? I have laundry to do and a bathroom to clean. That’s my homework.
The next day, I felt it. My booty and arms were sore. More than that, this was the first exercise class that left me feeling mentally defeated. I took every opportunity to avoid the class for the next week. Then after one stressful workday, I put on my workout clothes and headed to the gym in the nastiest of moods. All I really wanted to do was go to dinner with my boyfriend and eat my way to a better disposition, but I had to give kickboxing another chance.
By the time Rambo started our warm-up, I was full-blown angry, so I let loose on my invisible target. As we progressed into the combo moves, I refused to miss a punch, repeating every move under my breath to help me remember the sequence—right punch, left punch, right hook, left uppercut, right uppercut, left knee lift, right leg kick, right leg kick. Suddenly, I was in the fighting groove. I kept practicing my verbalization technique through the remaining combos, and soon I was working up more than a good sweat; I was also having fun. And before I knew it, the class was finished.
As I walked out of the gym, I realized I had overcome another obstacle: My mood had improved. It wasn’t 100 percent and neither was my kickboxing, but the concentration and physical release had pointed me in a good direction. And I had learned a valuable lesson: It’s not a good idea to give up on exercise in frustration—especially after your first attempt at something new. Go back and try again. If you don’t, you sabotage something more than just a workout. You’re giving up on yourself.
Kickboxing was tough for me, but it did its job: It made me a little stronger physically and mentally. For that reason, I’ll be back.
This Empowering Fitness Class Torches Calories—and Stress!
If you want a total-body, heart-pumping workout that’s also a pretty fantastic way to get rid of any excess tension or frustration, consider kickboxing. This high-energy routine, a combination of boxing and martial arts, can burn upward of 400 calories an hour while working your arms, chest, shoulders, core, butt, and legs.
But for many, the real appeal comes from learning a new skill — and from the release of being able to throw a solid punch or kick. “It’s a workout that’s suitable for any level because you go at your own pace,” notes Joseph Andreula, CEO of CKO Kickboxing, a nationwide kickboxing specialty chain. Here’s what you should know before you take your first kickboxing class.
Before You Go
Figure out the class that’s right for you.
Kickboxing workouts often, but not always, involve equipment like heavy bags and mitts. “If it’s a bag/mitt class, boxing or MMA gloves are used; if it’s a cardio kickboxing class, there’s usually no equipment necessary,” explains Jermaine Bailey, a kickboxing instructor at New York Health & Racquet Club in New York City. Some gyms bring the equipment into the studio or have special areas for kickboxing; others, like CKO, specialize in the sport and have all the equipment on hand. Using a heavy bag can help you burn more calories and get a feel for throwing a punch or kick against impact, but a general cardio kickboxing class can help you learn some of the basic movements if you’d rather take things a little slower.
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Learn the basics.
There are a few standard punches and kicks incorporated into most kickboxing workouts. Punches generally include a jab (straight punch, a cross (across the body), a hook (from one side), and an upper cut (thrown upward). Kicks often include a front kick (kicking straight out with heel), roundhouse kick (pivoting off your bottom foot and extending the top leg in an arc), and side kicks (striking with the outside edge of the foot or heel).
There are also some precautions to help minimize the risk of injury. “Remember to always protect your thumb by rolling the fingers down and wrap the thumb around. Also keep the wrist straight,” says Andreula. “When kicking, hit the bag or target with the bottom of your foot, the ball of your foot, the instep, or the shin — never your toes — hitting the bag low until your flexibility improves.” And don’t lock out your joints when throwing kicks or punches or overextend your arms or legs, or you’ll risk injury.
If you’re going to be using equipment like heavy bags, you’ll need something to safeguard your hands. You can choose from more traditional boxing gloves, which provide better cushioning but also are a little hotter and often have to be taken off if you’re doing cross-training exercises in the class. They also require hand wraps underneath for comfort and cushioning. Fingerless padded gloves can protect your hands, don’t require additional wraps, and are easy to move around in, but they don’t offer as much padding so you can’t strike as hard, explains Andreula. Some gyms sell this equipment on-site; they get a little sweaty (and stinky!) so gyms may not always loan them out. You may want to call and find out if you are interested in trying out a class.
Athletic shoes and apparel.
You don’t really need special footwear for kickboxing. But in general, any kind of cross-training shoe should provide you with the protection and support you need, says Andreula. Wear clothes that you can easily move around in, and which won’t get too weighed down by perspiration.
Kickboxing is a lot of fun, but it’s also definitely a workout. Most classes begin with a warm-up and end with a cool-down, but in between you can expect several rounds of higher-intensity intervals where you’ll be punching, kicking, or doing some combination of each, along with calisthenics like jumping jacks or push-ups or jumping rope intervals.
“You’ll find basic combos like the one-two punch, the jab, the cross, and the front kick, which target the shoulders, triceps, and core, as well as the quads and glutes,” says Bailey. “I’d put the class at about an 8-9 training rate on a scale of 1-10: there’s nonstop punching and kicking to a rhythmic beat.” That said, you can always feel free to move at your own intensity level and take breaks whenever you need them. “Work at your own pace and be patient. It takes time, and the more you work at it, the better you’ll become physically and mentally.”
Soreness the next day.
Whenever you perform a new exercise you’re likely to feel it in your muscles about 24 hours later, and kickboxing is no exception. “Drink a lot of water and stretch out after class to help minimize soreness,” says Andreula. The good news is the more kickboxing you do, the stronger you’ll get, and the easier it will feel.
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Reasons Why Kickboxing Classes Are Perfect For Beginners
When wanting to start a new fitness routine and someone suggests kickboxing classes, you might think; “badass”. You would be forgiven for thinking, “as if boxing isn’t difficult enough on its own, we now have to throw in kicking, too?”. On top of which, the phrase kickboxing for beginners might sound like it’s in the league of amateur free-climbing or novice firedancer – doesn’t always end well for most first-timers.
However, do not fret, for that is why we are here; to show you that not only are there benefits to just starting out but that you need not fear kickboxing. Well, unless you somehow end up in a high-stakes fight against Jeanne Claude Van Damme, in which case, remember your training and especially the headband. So, let’s kick a few boxes on the list, 8 of them to be exact.
It’s a full body workout
Rarely will the positive answer to a question be; “punching”, but if you want to know what works the shoulders, biceps, triceps, and chest all at the same time… we think you know this one (that is of course, using a punching-bag not a person). What’s more is with every kick your quads, glutes, hamstrings and definitely, the calves are getting toned. That’s like an 8 for the price of 1 deal.
In almost any form of martial art, it’s the body’s core strength which propels it, which means it needs to come from a solid overall base. In kickboxing, you’re stepping, dodging, punching and well, kicking – all at the same time, which means your core will be hard and your cardio will be fun.
Let’s be honest, one of the main reasons so many of us neglect exercise is because of a lack of proper motivation. For many people, motivation is a team sport. Yes, you could probably hit a ball against a wall for hours on end and call it tennis, but you really do need another human for it to mean something.
Beginner kickboxing classes involve groups of like-minded people who all want to improve themselves – and no, you won’t have to punch or get punched by someone. You could join a women’s kickboxing class, a more senior class or even kickboxing for beginners – whatever environment you’ll feel most comfortable in. You’ll be motivated to keep going while keeping your own pace. As you progress and keep at it, you will also learn to motivate yourself more efficiently.
A battery that charges itself is a pretty handy thing to have, but sometimes you need that initial spark to start the journey.
A 2016 study by 4 Scandinavian scientists monitored 29 instructors and 246 professional cyclists to determine what effect, if any, group settings have on motivation and guidance. They found, among other things, that “Within-group analyses in the intervention arm showed that exercisers’ perceptions of instructor motivationally adaptive strategies, psychological need satisfaction, and intentions to remain in the class increased over time”.
So… in a nutshell, yes. Humans are inherently social creatures, even though we invented Netflix and chill, but sometimes we need net kicks and drills. Kickboxing is such that you need guidance from experienced individuals and groups, so you will definitely not be left in the lurch. Think of it as a kind of built-in GPS, heading to Fit City, population; you. In a kickboxing gym, everyone shares common goals, and everyone will help to achieve them. Like the Ninja Turtles, except, way more than just four members.
“But kickboxing has both the words kick and boxing in it, how will I not injure myself?”
A valid question. Like we mentioned earlier, you won’t even have to kick or box a machine until you are ready. This isn’t Fight Club, so we can talk about it. Most beginner injuries happen when you’re pushing one area or muscle group too far ‘cause you don’t know the limits yet. With kickboxing it’s a holistic approach, meaning you get to gradually work on your whole body from the start, allowing you and your instructors to focus on form and basics before you get too deep.
Just don’t get in a feud with a rival dojo and you should be fine.
Stress release and focus
Again, we’re not advocating for random outbursts of punching, but if this article was a list of “Ways To Relieve Stress Quickly and Harmlessly”, then “Punching A Bag In A Gym” would be right up there. Now imagine how stress-relieving it would be to both punch and kick a bag. Science tells us that our brains signal the release of cortisol in our bodies via the adrenal glands when we endure stress, which affects our body’s metabolism. Unfortunately though, not in a, “maybe it’s one of those double-negative side effects that end up having an overall good effect?” kind of way.
Getting into a positive new routine is also one of the most fun ways you can fight off any lingering stress or guilt, and kickboxing has a structure that allows you to focus in on that practice. So, in another rare instance, punching and kicking is a win-win situation.
Even though they’re called punching bags, you won’t ever actually be punched or kicked by one. The other upside of this is that it makes training kickboxing something where you can immediately see improvements and areas to work on. Not to mention, you’ll be surrounded by people who are there to do the same thing. Which means you can share to your new buddies how badass it feels to slowly become a more badass version of yourself.
Everyone was a beginner at some stage, and there’s no greater confidence booster than sharing and being praised for your accomplishments. Especially if your accomplishments are as cool as being able to say to yourself “I’m getting better at this kickboxing thing”.
The classes are fun, seriously
Sitting in traffic is about as fun as being a human punching bag, but most times you have to do it to get where you want to go. Exercise can feel like a Herculean effort akin to a Monday morning on the highway, but if every time you drove to work you got a boost of serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, and camaraderie it sure would be a lot easier. Luckily, such is the case with something like kickboxing.
When you learn something new, your brain associates it with the experience, and first impressions do count for our brains. It’s engaging and accessible, so associating the fun of the learning process with the exercise you’re doing will go a long way in preparing for an epic journey. Your brain will fuse having a good time, with getting fit. Plus you’ll learn some sick new moves.
It’s no contact (no hitting of or getting hit by machines or people).
Ways in which beginning kickboxing training is like a calm walk in the wilderness – number one; it’s no contact with machines or people, meaning in your kickboxing workout you need not worry about using your newfound powers of badassery on another human. Needless to say, kicking and punching are staples of most martial arts, and as with self-defense, is where kickboxing gets its techniques from.
It’s no good in being able to both kick and box if you need to if you can’t also protect yourself. This means that self-defense is inherent in kickboxing, helping create muscle memory and reflexes that are more than just swinging a fist real fast. You’ll be relying on your body, so don’t worry about a foot to the face any time soon. Also, there are the badass moves.
Whether you want to chill out, bulk up, buckle down or kick up a storm – you need not worry that kickboxing for beginners is a daunting task. Even if you’re a stranger to a kickboxing gym or exercise, there is a place for you in beginner kickboxing. We promise you won’t be estranged for long. There are many different ways in which people utilise, and benefit from kickboxing training, so if you want to know more or would like to talk specifics with us, don’t hesitate to get in contact (and by contact, we don’t necessarily mean punch). You can also use our class finder tool to explore the classes we have available and how they align with your goals.
We all know that learning the proper fancy techniques are the most fun – who doesn’t love learning to throw spinning shit? But, as many times as you hear it, basics are what win fights, so basics should be 90% or more of what you train and use.
So we decided to put together a list of five basic kickboxing combinations that you can put to use in your padwork or sparring sessions (all these combos are written as though you’re an orthodox fighter, but can be easily adapted for southpaws too!)
Jab — Cross — Left Hook — Low Kick
This is arguably the most fundamental kickboxing combo, and for a lot of people it may be the first proper combo that you went over in class. The jab-cross gets your opponents guard high, the left hook keeps them expecting hands, transfers some of their weight onto their front leg and loads up your hips to twist back into a big low kick.
Inside Kick — Cross — Left Hook — Right Body Kick
This combo starts mixing up levels to keep your opponents guessing what’s coming next. The inside kick is to get them thinking low. Once you throw it, drop your weight forward onto the leg as you land to put more power into the cross, and follow up with the left hook quickly (similar to the jab-cross-left hook-low kick combo, this keeps your opponents focus high and sets up a right kick) and then fire off the right body kick to finish off the combo.
Cross — Left Hook — Cross — Left Body Kick
Again, this combo relies on getting your opponent to think that you’re focused on punches, and disguising the body kick. Make the punches fast and heavy, so they tighten up their guard and are expecting more punches, then switch stances and land the left body kick before they can react.
Double Jab — Cross — Left Body Shot — Low Kick
Another combo that mixes up levels, and sets up some heavy shots while doing it. Starting out with the double jab lets you gauge distance and probe for weakness in your opponents guard. Follow up with the cross to exploit any weakness and keep their guard high, but take a small step forward as you throw it. Immediately follow up with a left body shot, exploiting their high guard to land it right on the floating rib. Twisting into the body shot will load your hips up, so swing back around with a low kick to finish off the attack.
Double Jab — Right Hook — Left Kick — Left Kick
This combo again sets your opponent up with some heavy hands, the double jab and right hook flows into the double left kick by loading your hips up and lining up your opponent. Make sure your kick is as fast as possible, to avoid being caught and countered yourself.
Let us know if you like using any of these combos, or if you’ve got any ones that you think we should have included on this list. Also, keep an eye out for more in this series!
Are you new to Muay Thai? If so, you are at the right place. If you have decided to learn Muay Thai, the best place to start is with the basics of Muay Thai combos.
Just like any sports, more you practice the better you get at said sport. Understand that for you to learn any martial art and be good at it, you have to engage in as much drilling and repetition as possible. Muay Thai is no exception,for you to improve the most, you need to put in much practice.
Most new comers in this sport have a notion that progress is only when you kick ass like Jean-Claude Van Damme from the movie ‘kick-boxer’ . But reality is far from actual truth, as a beginner, the most basic combinations you first learn serve you best when you finally get a chance to fight or even in friendly sparring sessions. So, don’t be in a rush to learn complex stuff before you master the basics.
Quantity Versus Quality For Muay Thai Combinations
Would you rather be more skilled in a few combinations, or would you rather learn as many combinations as possible at the expense of mastering a few? That solely depends on your personal focus, expectation and determination. What is your focus? What is your expectation, and how determined are you to achieve it? Your answer to each of these questions will tell you how fast you will learn Muay Thai.
Most times, people focus more on quantity over quantity.By quantity, we are talking about the diversity of MuayThai fighting skills you wish to embrace and master. Nobody wants to do 100 pushups,150 crunches and 100 sit ups while you can go practice your new “combo” on the bags or in the sparring session. But at what cost? if your cardio and condition isn’t on point then you will gas out and your form gets sloppy and you’re practicing sloppy technique and getting tagged in your sparring sessions.
There are going to be days when you’re at your dojo and you have a gifted master that wont let you go past the new combo because you’re technique isn’t good and you’re stuck practicing that low kick for the thousandth time. It will get tiring and honestly frustrating after all the effort.
Push through that frustration and learn the right way, next thing you know you’ll be dominating the sparring sessions and eager to learn your next combo.
The Training And Conditioning
Once you commit to Must Thai, following a specific training pattern helps you achieve your goals faster.
It includes running or road work, shadow boxing, pad work, bag work, partner drills, clinching and sparring and body conditioning.
Partner drills, for example, help you to develop you timing, reflexes and reactions, while body conditioning toughens your body, so that you can withstand heavy attacks without giving In.
These trainings and conditioning drill will help you achieve the following,
- Your basic techniques.
- To achieve stability in movement.
- To have good rhythm and control.
- Learn about your stance and rhythm. This is very critical for a beginner. Changing bad habits much later is very difficult.
- To develop your guard.
Best Approach To Learn Combinations
The best approach is usually to start with offensive combos and then defensive combos.
Start working on a few simple combinations until they become second nature. This is only when you can move on to more advanced combos, from there you can begin to explore your own combinations.
Here below are some basic Muay Thai combinations. Such combinations are endless, given the versatility of striking. However, some are more effective than others.
As a beginner, your focus should be to master the basic skills:
Jab: This would be your stinger,this quick punch will keep your opponent at bay and judge the distance between for further setup.
Cross: This would be your power punch with you lead arm. We can go into more and more details here but it can only be perfected on the mat or a bag.
Hook: There are various types of hooks you can throw with both arms, but like cross we aren’t going to go too much into the details on here.
Teep: Muay thai has various types of kicks, one of the crucial one is a front kicks.
Body Kick: This is one of the body kicks that is almost similar to karate or taekwondo.
Leg Kick: This is the crux of the Muay Thai kicks that has won countless fights for various fighters.
Elbows: Using your elbow to strike instead of your fist.
Knees: Using Knees for strikes.
Clenching: Most newbies aren’t thought this because it requires a bit of practice. But this is a crucial part of practicing Muay Thai.
As you move on, you will also master uppercuts, head kicks, flying knees, low kicks, and spinning elbows, among others.
Talking of a jab, or a punch thrown during a fight, it may never do great damage to your opponent, but you can utilize it to achieve a few crucial things.
It helps to keep your opponent busy, as well as to distract him from delivering a deadly attack. With it, you can also open up your opponent’s guard, besides gauging your striking distance.
Actually, every combo starts with a quick jab,cross or hook because of these reasons. Always let them come naturally.
- Jab – Lead Teep
- Jab – Rear Elbow
- Jab – lead Elbow – Rear Elbow – Knee
- Jab – Cross – Liver Hook – Kick
- Cross – Switch Kick
- Cross – Hook – Low Kick
- Hook – Roundhouse – Knee
- Lead Uppercut – Cross – Inside Low Kick
- Inside Leg Kick – Cross
Video source is MMA Shredded
Having had a glimpse into Muay Thai basics, you should be able to make progress at your pace. Don’t get too focused on others getting it faster, just focus on you and most importantly have fun!