Kickboxing, like any new sport you take on, requires proper form.
The sport is more than aimlessly punching and kicking a bag. In fact, by doing so incorrectly, you can not only injure yourself but can reduce the number of benefits your reap from the workout.
By executing proper form, you can appropriately target your lower body, upper body, and core, in addition to getting a killer sweat in. If you are a newbie to the martial arts scene, you may feel a little lost…
This is normal. Don’t fret.
Knowing what not to do can be just as helpful as knowing what you should do. Here are the 7 most common kickboxing form mistakes. Read them through and practice eliminating them from your training sessions. You will be one step – or punch – closer to mastering your form.
- Only upper body movements.
Potentially the most common mistake when it comes to boxing is having your movement be exclusive to your upper body. Just because you are throwing punches doesn’t mean your lower body is without skin in the game. The power of your punches is fueled by the strength, positioning, and rotation of your lower body. It may feel a tad unnatural in the beginning. Work through the strange, awkward feelings and focus on using the pivot of your feet and legs to power your strikes.
- No concept of range.
The space between you and the bag should change depending on what strikes you throw. So often, beginner kickboxers will leave the same amount of range for jabs, crosses, and kicks as they do for hooks and uppercuts. To start, think about your range in two distinct ways — short-range and long-range. Short-range should be dedicated to hooks and uppercuts, while long-range should be dedicated to jabs, crosses, and kicks.
- Holding your breath.
You may be thinking… how does my breath have anything to do with my form?
Beginner kickboxers tend to hold their breath as they move. You should focus on exhaling with every punch and kick. This will force you to inhale at the same rate, allowing optimal oxygen to enter your body.
- No foot rotation in your roundhouse kicks.
The roundhouse kick is a kickboxing staple. While it may look like the striking leg does all of the work, your standing leg is involved just as much (if not more). If the leg carrying out the roundhouse kick is not supported by a rotating standing leg, your form will not be executed correctly. So be sure to focus on the twist on your standing foot. This will force your hips to rotate further and allow your kicking leg to make contact with the bag correctly.
- Get your hands up!
Common mistake. Easy fix. Even if you are training on a bag and not with an opponent, it is important to keep your hands up. If your hands are not up, your strikes will not stem from the proper place. Think consciously about where your hands are and make holding them up a habit!
- Not bending your knees.
Your legs should never be straight in your boxing stance!
… not ever.
Get grounded in your stance and keep your knees bent. This will promote the rotation of your lower body as your throw punches and kicks.
- You don’t have someone to correct your form.
While this isn’t exactly a form mistake, it is a big miss. If you don’t have someone to help correct your form, your progress will likely be slow-moving. Find a form-focused kickboxing gym with certified health and fitness trainers to help you master your movements.
RockBox Fitness is a kickboxing and functional fitness group fitness gym that specializes in just this. From bag work and form correction to strength and resistance training, you can rest assured that you are getting the professional support you deserve, all while breaking a superior sweat.