These days, women are going beyond traditional physical activities like jogging, treadmill walking, and group aerobics classes to really test their mettle. Increasingly, they are trying out and excelling at martial arts, and if the growth of specialized martial arts gyms and academies are any indication, “women in combat” are here to stay.
This article references general kickboxing, all the while acknowledging the Thai (Muay Thai), Japanese (karate), American and other variations. Our main goal will be to isolate kickboxing’s benefits for females, and highlights the results that can be achieved by women who devote their energies to this exciting martial art.
Getting into Better Physical Shape, a Renewed Outlook on Life.
Why would a petite or not so petite woman want to get into Muay Thai kickboxing? For most, it starts by wanting to improve their physique.
A vanity play? Sure, intense kickboxing workouts will sculpt your body for the better, but most women have other intentions. Whether your goal is weight loss, cardiovascular endurance, or better overall strength, kickboxing training can help you achieve it. A commitment to excellence and a passion to succeed will get you started, even if you have no interest in becoming a professional kickboxer.
Here are just some of the benefits of kickboxing training, especially for beginners:
- Improved cardiovascular health and overall conditioning.
- Learning practical self-defense techniques.
- Better stress management to tackle day-day living.
- More energy.
- Increased self-discipline and motivation.
- Better mental health.
Breaking through the Barriers of Women’s Fitness.
There lingers the stereotype of combat sports as being “un-feminine”, and thus inappropriate for women of all ages. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially when it comes to kickboxing.
For starters, all that punching and kicking does not make you more masculine. Instead, it will tighten your core and build up your strength endurance, especially as you extend your sessions. Cardio workouts certainly won’t add bulk, and proper resistance training will keep you lean and mean, not excessively muscular.
Kickboxing training is especially well-suited for women, because the skills and strategies you learn are designed for smaller and supposedly “weaker” combatants.
Here’s a shortlist of what an accredited kickboxing gym should offer in a female-specific program (One-hour sessions, three times a week):
- Cardiovascular drills (e.g. skipping rope).
- Circuit Training.
- Focused mitt work.
- High intensity interval training (HIIT).
- Strength conditioning.
- Stretching (e.g. Pilates and yoga).
- Various kickboxing drills.
Kickboxing will improve your overall flexibility and reflexes, and help you focus and concentrate better at work, home, and play.