A group of people take a ymca kickboxing class.

Maybe you’ve noticed that a few kickboxing classes are available at your local Y. You’re intrigued by the idea of getting involved, but don’t want to become a mixed martial arts superstar or professional athlete. So is kickboxing really a sport you should consider?

All the objective evidence points clearly to one answer — yes!

Kickboxing has risen as one of the most appealing forms of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Plus, the benefits of kickboxing go way beyond just firming your glutes or getting more defined triceps. In fact, kickboxing can be a fantastic addition to your weekly workout routine, no matter what your fitness and health goals are.

What Is Kickboxing?

Like its name implies, kickboxing involves a lot of use of your lower body. However, the practice makes use of your upper body, too. That's where "boxing" comes in.

During kickboxing sessions, you’ll be punching and kicking a bag. The bag may be suspended from the ceiling, or it could be affixed to a solid stationary stand on the floor. Either way, your job is to repeatedly punch the bag with gloved fists or kick it with your feet.

Of course, you’re not just running up to the bag without a plan. Every kickboxing class or session follows a certain rhythm. That way, your body adjusts and warms up to the experience. By the middle of your kickboxing experience, you’ll be sweating hard, getting your blood pumping and giving your whole body a super workout.

Is Kickboxing Safe?

The idea of punching and kicking may make you feel a little insecure. But rest assured that when you learn kickboxing from a trained coach, your safety will always come first.

Kickboxing calls for the right equipment, which includes gloves and proper footwear. Some people also like to dress in compression-style shorts and shirts to minimize any kind of apparel movement.

What does this mean for you? Only that there’s no reason you can’t take up kickboxing, as long as you’re healthy enough for moderate to vigorous activity.

What Are the Benefits of Taking up Kickboxing?

During a typical kickboxing session, you’re moving around like crazy for 30 minutes or so, attacking a bag with vigorous, controlled force. As you can imagine, you’re getting tons of advantages from your new sport of choice.

The physical and mental benefits of kickboxing are quite widespread:

  • It’s a fantastic stress reliever. Had a bad day? You’re going to feel a lot less burned out brain-wise after your kickboxing class at the Y.
  • You’ll up your speed. Do you ever feel like your reaction times have lessened in all the sports you play? Kickboxing revs up your ability to pivot and adapt quickly, which transfers to other activities you do.
  • Kickboxing is both an aerobic and anaerobic workout. That means you’ll give both your cardiovascular system and your muscular system a chance to make huge improvements. Many people who take up kickboxing feel a difference in their stamina and strength after a handful of classes.
  • You can kick those calories to the curb. If you're looking for a way to work off extra calories, kickboxing is a great option. You can use up hundreds of calories just by hitting and kicking a bag.
  • It’s good for just about anyone. Age doesn’t matter when you’re kickboxing. You can dive right into the experience, no matter what birthday you just celebrated.

Does My Local Gateway Region YMCA Offer Kickboxing?

Want to get all the benefits of kickboxing for weight loss, endurance, better sleep or any other fitness goal? Check out our YMCA group fitness schedules today and find a YMCA near you.