Like many, you’re probably wondering if martial arts help with weight loss. And, if that’s the case, how do they do that?
It’s common knowledge that weight loss comes from healthy eating habits and doing aerobic activities like running or riding a bike. So how would such an intense type of exercise be any better?
The truth is, weight loss is much more straightforward than most people imagine, and countless tactics can help you reach your goals. The question is, would kickboxing be a good option?
Let’s find out.
What Exactly is Kickboxing?
Kickboxing is an art that mixes boxing with karate and Muay Thai. Instead of only relying on your upper body to strike and deflect attacks, kickboxing is about learning how to use your legs and arms to pressure an opponent and defend yourself.
Striking techniques in kickboxing include:
Arms- jab, cross, uppercut, and hook
Legs- turning kick, side kick, and spinning kick.
Kickboxing allows the use of feet and arms to attack an opponent and use the whole body to defend yourself from attacks.
As an art, kickboxing can vary depending on what part of the world you’re learning it, but one thing is evident across all studios:
Kickboxing is a highly dynamic, full-body activity that requires tremendous effort and discipline to master.
How Does Weight Loss Occur?
The first law of thermodynamics suggests that energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be transformed from one form to another. This holds true for the human body and tells us something important about weight loss.
Your body is a closed system with a specific amount of energy, which we measure as calories. If you don’t consume energy (calories in the form of food), your body breaks down tissues like fat and muscle to extract the energy it needs to carry out its processes. In contrast, if you consume more energy than you burn each day, your body saves up the excess for later.
Given that we lose weight when we eat fewer calories than we burn, our goal shouldn’t be to find the ‘best’ diet, ‘fat-burning pill,’ or ‘revolutionary’ training program. It should be to establish an energy deficit.
There are two primary ways to achieve this:
Become more physically active, forcing your body to burn through more energy each day.
Consume fewer calories.
Since this post isn’t about nutrition, we’ll only discuss the first part today: physical activity. Let’s see how kickboxing relates.
Is Kickboxing Good For Weight Loss?
The short answer? It is one of the best ways. The goal of your training as it relates to fat loss should be two-fold:
First, it should help you burn many calories, which will help you sustain an energy deficit more easily and lose weight. Second, it should stimulate your muscles to a large enough degree. In doing so, it will send signals to your body that muscle is valuable and should not be used for energy. This will help you retain more of your muscle and instead allow you to burn primarily fat and maintain your athleticism.
Kickboxing is fantastic with both of these. First, kickboxing training is incredibly demanding, which means it burns a lot of calories. It’s not uncommon for practitioners to burn upward of 400, even 500 calories in a single session. If the person has three workouts per week, that’s an easy 1,200-1,500 calories burned. It offers the same (or even greater) energy expenditure as running without being dull for many individuals.
Second, kickboxing is incredibly dynamic, and training often involves strength, power, and agility-based activities that stimulate a large percentage of motor units. This means it trains our muscles well and allows us to retain (and even develop) them while losing fat.
If you’re interested in signing up for a kickboxing class or are curious and want to dip your toe into the world of martial arts, head down to Dream Martial Arts and Fitness in
Santa Clarita today.