Boxing Courses and Kickboxing Classes Basics: Stretching for Boxing and Kickboxing
Flexibility is one of the key components of a balanced fitness program and is essential for a high-intensity sport such as boxing and kickboxing. Without stretching, you are missing an important part of overall health.
Spending fifteen minutes warming up and stretching before a boxing or kickboxing session will help prevent injury, will increase your range of motion, and will impart improved performance and posture allowing you to gain maximum benefit from workouts. Stretching is also fundamental to efficient muscle growth and development.
Overall flexibility training helps reduces stress and keeps your body feeling loose and agile. Kickboxing especially incorporates movements that affect all the muscle groups, so it’s important to stretch thoroughly and learn this well in kickboxing classes.
Here are some basic stretching tips for beginners:
- Begin with a general warm-up for 5 minutes by jumping rope, riding the exercise bike, or running in place before doing any stretches.
- Stretch all your muscle groups including: Neck, shoulders and arms and wrists to avoid injury while boxing, kicking and evading; Back, torso and core abdominal muscles for both boxing and kicking; Hips, gluteus, and thighs for effective kicking, power punches and footwork; Lower legs, ankles and feet for effective footwork, kicking and impact management.
- You should aim to stretch each muscle or muscle group three times for 15-30 seconds in the furthest comfortable position without pain
- Be careful not to bounce or force the muscles
- Relax or discontinue the stretch if you feel any joint or muscle pain
- Spend at least 15 minutes stretching prior to your workout to minimize the likelihood of injury
- At the end of your warm up routine run through the normal range of boxing and kicking movements in slow-motion to mobilize the joints and get your muscles ready before the real action.
- Remember to warm down and stretch after your boxing or kickboxing workout. Stretching after exercise helps to relax the muscles and return them to normal resting length. It also facilitates circulation to joint and tissues, and removal of metabolic waste products, helping to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness.
For overall health, try to stretch a minimum of four times per week, regardless of less frequent boxing or kickboxing class schedules. Frequent stretching will help you avoid muscular imbalances, knots, tightness, and muscle soreness created by daily activities and exercise, and improve your overall flexibility immensely.
Article by Dr. Phil Mason
Sports Chiropractor and Author
Sydney 2000 Olympics Team USA
ABC Guide to Fit Kids, Murdoch Books, 2008.