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Kick Start Your Health

What’s coming between you and your workout? Did you answer boredom? Then, it’s high time you gave a break to yoga and aerobics and experimented with kickboxing to put the zing back in your fitness regime. Priya Singh gets talking with Sumit Virman, kickboxing expert from Kaishogun Kickboxing Institute of India to pre-empt all your queries associated with it.

How ‘kickboxing’ improves your health?

Kickboxing burns calories to lose weight. According to various studies a 129-pound woman burns 350-450 calories during a 55-minute kickboxing class. Movements that work on both the upper and the lower body accelerate the burning of calories.

It tones-up your cardiovascular muscles, builds body and helps gain strength. Waist whittling motions firm & flatten the midsection, while kicking engages the gluteus muscles and tones the buttocks to provide perfect shape. And a regular move of intense kicks, punches and knee strikes for 10-15 minutes raises the heart rate considerably.

Releases Stress. With hard moves of kicking and punching, kickboxing helps squelch overall stress and negative thoughts from us. Overall, it re-energizes our mind, body and soul.

It builds self confidence other than toning up the body. With right kicking techniques you can easily handle any unfortunate incident, if occur unalarmed, notes Virman.

Improves balance, flexibility and coordination. Kicking a heavy bag and punching moving targets develop hand speed, hand-eye coordination, improves your balance and makes your legs strong. Moreover, incorporating various stretching exercises also ensure you don’t lose flexibility.

Is there any age limit? Like all skills, it’s better if you start it early. However, you can learn it any age, provided you don’t have any health complication.

Is kickboxing mainly a man’s activity? Men and women may have different goals but when kickboxing comes, both sexes definitely improve upon mental and physical state, tells Virman. In fact, women outnumber men these days, tells a recent survey.

Kickboxing Drills for Beginners

Shin conditioning – Kick an 80 or 100 pound heavy bag with your shins as hard as you can without undue pain. Like stretching, aim for serious discomfort but no actual agony. Over time, you’ll build up the threshold where that is.

Floating bag – Punch or kick a heavy bag until its 45 degrees from its hanging position. Repeat kickboxing strikes for one, two, or three minutes.

Cat and mouse – Perform this kickboxing drill in the ring with a sparring partner. Using only footwork and body position, the “cat” partner tries to trap the other against the ropes and in the corner. The “mouse” uses only footwork and position to avoid being trapped. Switch roles at the end of each round.

Push kick

Throw a front kick at a 100-pound heavy bag, aiming to push the bag as far as possible rather than striking the bag with force. At first, you’ll be as likely to push yourself away from the bag as you are to push the bag away from you. Practice until the bag swings but focus on not to move an inch.

Train yourself to kick and punch and win back a healthy, toned body.

- Priya Singh