We all know and love that post-sweat rush of endorphins, that feeling of accomplishment when we finish that hard AF class that we almost almost cancelled. The relief as you see the treadmill countdown timer near its end. But, guess what? You don’t have to hate your workout in order to get that wonderful, sweaty sense of achievement. Why not try something new that keeps you fit and is a whole load of fun?
Personal trainer and kickboxing queen Lauren Allen has got some knockout (excuse the pun) tips for those of you who are stuck in a bit of a training rut. A keen gym goer and fitness enthusiast, Lauren credits kickboxing for her physical and mental strength and lists cardiovascular health, stress relief and improved mobility and flexibility as just some of the benefits you could enjoy.
Need swaying? Well, we caught up with Lauren to discuss the benefits of kickboxing and to find of why she believes it could be the perfect workout for pretty much everyone.
“Exercise should make you feel strong, fit and help improve your confidence. Kickboxing does just that and so much more! It is easy to get stuck in a rut with your training or bored of your sessions but, with kickboxing, there are various ways you can improve not only your skill and fitness level, but your agility, mobility and flexibility. It also feels pretty good to relieve stress with a few kicks and knee strikes.
One of the main benefits that first drew me to kickboxing is how good it is mentally as well as physically. Concentrating on the movement, combinations and full body awareness, it’s great for clearing your mind and pushing the days thoughts and stress to the back of your brain. It’s also incredibly rewarding watching your progression, not only in your fitness levels and endurance, but watching your skill, power and speed increase.
"It feels pretty good to relieve stress with a few kicks and knee strikes."
Kickboxing is a full body workout using every muscle in your body to power your kicks and punches. I run a gym called 9Round where we work in a circuit style with 3-minute rounds. We combine kickboxing with exercises such as push ups, squats and jump rope. In this format, a 30-minute workout can burn approximately 500 calories! This is a perfect combination to increase your fitness levels, cardiovascular fitness and full body strength in a short time frame. With so many people working in sedentary jobs, it’s important we get up and move our bodies the way they are designed to (and obviously have fun while doing so!)
As you work your body as a whole unit, you are able to increase your core strength and stability as well as your flexibility and mobility. These aspects are essential in every day health and wellbeing, particularly as we get older, to maintain healthy joints and ligaments. As you strike a bag or pads, you work against resistance to strengthen your bones and joints.
Kickboxing combinations are a great way to improve your coordination and reaction times as you work your lower and upper body in synchronisation to move through your strikes and combos. The more you practice your hand and footwork, the more agile, quick on your feet, and aware of your body you become.
"It’s important we get up and move our bodies the way they are designed to and obviously have fun while we're doing it!"
Kickboxing is suitable for all fitness levels and abilities! It’s an incredibly progressive and rewarding form of exercise and I highly recommend for people that are looking to try something new and looking for a workout that will cover a variety of fitness benefits. Most classes are non-contact so you don’t have to be worried about getting hit!"
Interested in giving kickboxing a go? Well, if you’re in the Southampton area, head down to Lauren’s kickboxing gym 9Round and book a session! Not local? A simple Google search is sure to bring up your nearest kickboxing class or club.
Keen to see what other fun activities you could do to get fit? Visit our blog to find out more about how we got on when we tried Aqua Yoga!