Kickboxing Training and Yoga: Complementary Paths to Fitness

Engaging in both kickboxing training and yoga may seem contradictory, but the two activities actually complement each other by producing skills that can be used in either activity and proving unique elements of fitness training that may be absent if only one of the two activities are practiced.

How do kickboxing fitness classes differ from actual kickboxing training?

Kickboxing classes for fitness differ from actual kickboxing training in that participants don't actually fight (and get hit), but perform the same fitness training as competitive kickboxers.

Kickboxers must be in excellent shape to fight in successive timed rounds during competitions, so they must train for endurance and speed as well as power. Kickboxing-styled fitness training seeks to instill the same level of fitness in a noncombative manner.

What kinds of activities are performed in kickboxing fitness classes?

Practicing techniques on a heavy bag

Individual punches as well as combinations (a series of punches thrown in succession) are practiced on a heavy bag, which is a large punching bag that provides resistance to punches. This enables the individual to build upper body strength and endurance as well as simulate the feeling of striking an opponent.

Kicking techniques are also practiced on a heavy bag to develop the lower body and the abdominal region. Emphasis is placed on using proper technique in kicking, which relies on maintaining balance and pivoting the body to increase power.

Knee strikes are also practiced, which involve striking with the knee in a thrusting or sweeping motion. The repetitive lifting of the knee strengthens the core muscles, which are the muscles that support the back and abdominal region.

Core training is an essential part of kickboxing because of the punishment the body receives in actual kickboxing training and competition, so core conditioning is a major component of kickboxing fitness classes. 

Some kickboxing fitness classes incorporate activities such as rope jumping to increase endurance and dumbbells and resistance bands for strength training.

Why is yoga a complementary activity for kickboxing fitness training?

Kickboxing uses explosive tensing and releasing of muscles to allow the participant to strike with speed until the muscles are tensed at the point of impact, which adds power to the strike. It involves aerobic training, which means that it trains the heart and lungs to deliver sufficient amounts of oxygen to the muscles to perform the activities involved.

Yoga uses static movements to keep muscles tensed for extended periods, while also including flexibility training to keep muscles from shortening and tightening as they gain strength. Yoga is an anaerobic activity, meaning that it is not practiced to increase cardiovascular endurance, but to build muscle strength. 

Breathing exercises are important components of yoga training, but they are practiced to calm the mind and body. 

These traits make yoga training a perfect complement to kickboxing fitness training. While strength training and flexibility are components of both activities, their approaches to attaining them, as well as their unique benefits, create a more complete training regimen when combined than either activity could provide individually.