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Kickboxing Classes for Beginners: What to Expect

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Whether you're getting back into fitness, hitting the gym for the first time, or just looking for a way to switch up your workout, kickboxing can be an excellent way to get a whole body workout. Like any class, it's helpful to know what's involved so you can get up to speed quickly and make the most of your class time. As a beginner, here's what to expect:

Conditioning at Your Level

Kickboxing is set at the "all" skill level, and the instructors mean it. You get the most effective workout and functional fitness when you begin at a level that works for you — not for the whole class. That's excellent for beginners, because it means you won't feel like everyone in the class is a professional while you're just an amateur. The instructor will help you push yourself so you can feel confident about progressing quickly, but you're not going to feel like you stumbled into the wrong class.

Big-time Calorie Burn

Even at a beginner level, expect to sweat. Maybe a lot. This type of conditioning incorporates cardio calisthenics and keeps up a quick pace, with a calorie burn of between 425 and 600 for the hour-long class. The high-energy workout can be a great way to get a kickstart for your fitness goals, or to change up from slower-paced strength training. Because the instructor will switch what you're doing often, you also increase your cardio endurance and muscular strength.

Core Workout

When many people think of kickboxing, they might envision the punches and kicks that are a central part of the class — it's called kickboxing, after all — but in order to land those strikes, you have to use your core for strength and stabilization. For that, the class will incorporate core strengthening exercises, as well as encouragement to keep your core strong during pad work, partner drills, and bag work.

Skill Building

In addition to getting a full-on, total body workout, kickboxing class doesn't skimp on teaching you techniques that have helped fighters get trained for decades. Not only will you learn basic kickboxing, but also Muay Thai and Western-style boxing skills and combinations. The result is that you'll develop muscle memory and great overall fitness that will carry over into the next class (and the next, and the next...kickboxing is definitely addictive!). These basics can also be helpful if you're considering taking other functional fitness classes in the future, like Fight Fit or Boxing Conditioning.

Kickboxing has numerous benefits, including stress relief, better balance, and improved coordination. Most of all, you can expect to have fun, while getting out some frustrations and fine-tuning your form.

In terms of prepping for that first class, you should bring gym shoes (although bare feet are acceptable), wear comfortable athletic wear, and have hand wraps and boxing gloves.

Get ready for a whole body workout that you'll likely love. If you want to try a kickboxing class, sign up for a UFC GYM Free Pass.

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