Kickboxing Muscle Workouts

Strong muscles put power behind your kickboxing moves.

Strong muscles put power behind your kickboxing moves.

Kickboxing in itself is a rewarding and demanding workout. If kickboxing is your sport of choice rather than just a way to work out, then you can improve your technique and speed by training to build your muscles. Incorporate weights like dumbbells and hand weights into a workout designed for kickboxers. Strong muscles will put power behind your punches and kicks and equip you to take powerful punches and kicks. Another benefit is the psych factor: Well-defined muscles look great and can intimidate an opponent, which is a valuable tool that starts working before round one.

Warm-up

Do dynamic stretches that work on the muscles you'll be using for kickboxing.

Run in place for 30 seconds, lifting your knees high and pumping your arms.

Bring your hands and arms up into a typical defensive position in front of your body and stand with your feet together. Jump, opening your stance so that your feet are wide -- wider than shoulder-width apart -- and back again, repeating the action for 30 seconds.

Hold your arms up in the defensive position and bring your left knee up to chest level pulling your arms down so that your hands are even with your knee. Pull your hands back up to the defensive position as you drop your left knee while bouncing to maintain momentum. Bring your right knee up, pulling your hands down to meet it as it reaches your chest. Repeat this exercise for a total of 10 times on each side.

Heavy Hands

Use light dumbbells-- 3 to 10 pounds -- to do heavy hands exercises. "Superset" these exercises by performing each one for 30 seconds before immediately moving to the next with no rest period in between.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and, holding a dumbbell in each hand, bring your arms up in front of your body in a defensive position. Punch straight out with your right hand and then your left extending your arms fully. Control the movement so that you don't hyperextend your arms. Continue alternating the punches for 30 seconds.

Bend your waist forward while continuing to hold your arms up in the defensive position and grasping the dumbbells. Punch straight down with your right and then with your left hand, alternating punches. Extend your arms fully without hyperextending them. Focus on controlling your movements and not letting gravity pull your arms down during the punches.

Bend forward at the waist and perform flys with the dumbbells. Concentrate on your form, squeezing your shoulder blades at the top of the exercise and keeping your elbows slightly bent throughout the movement.

Perform jumping jacks while holding the weights.

Strength Exercises

Perform squats with a weight that is equal to or lighter than your body weight. Concentrate on proper form keeping your back straight and your knees positioned over your toes. Start with five reps and build up from there increasing your reps and your sets.

Position your feet on a tall bench or other stationary object that is about waist high. Your body should be facing down with your palms on the ground supporting your upper body. Do pushups from this position, performing 30 to 50 repetitions. If you have a workout partner, she can help out by holding your ankles while you do the exercise.

Strengthen your neck with back and front neck bridges. Use a mat or folded towel and rest your head on it as you lie on your back on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor close to your body. Rock back onto your heels pushing your torso up and back and rolling onto the top of your head. Roll forward, back to the starting position and repeat. For the front neck bridge, come down on your hands and knees and place the top of your head on the towel or mat. Extend your knees to lift your torso. Hold your hands behind your back then roll forward to bring your chin to your upper chest then back down until your forehead and nose are resting on the mat. Do 10 to 20 reps of each exercise.

Items you will need

  • Light dumbbells, 3 to 10 pounds
  • Tall bench
  • Towel or workout mat

Tips

  • Running strengthens your legs and increases your stamina. Schedule some time for a daily run and mix it up by alternating between a jog and an all-out sprint.
  • Although the recommended workout combines weights and kickboxing, dedicate a couple of days a week solely to weightlifting. It will improve your strength and endurance and can serve as a break from your regular routine. Use light or moderate weights that will allow you to complete sets of 12 reps each.
 

About the Author

Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.

Photo Credits

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