The Kickboxers’ Anthem

Here’s to you…

To the sleepy-eyed warriors who make the studio their first destination.

To the mothers, fathers, nurses and up-all-nighters who have a thousand places they’d rather be, but come anyway. Here’s to driving by Chick-Fil-A without making the turn, one more time. Here’s to pushing past excuses and towards yourself. For holding your abs when you sneeze because they hurt so good. Because that pain is your prize. For conquering your body and your mind yet again. For whooping your own ass and loving every minute of it.  For unloading the day onto vinyl. For holding plank 10 seconds longer. For marking your territory with your sweat on the mat. Cause you’re a beast and everyone needs to know it. For ordering a salad when you’re dying for fries. For making the drive to the studio without turning around. Here’s to wearing dirty workout gear when laundry is full. For changing your “I can’ts” into I CAN’s. For eventually believing it. For munching on celery instead of chips. For tangled hand wraps and musty gloves. For bruised knuckles. For tasting your own sweat and wanting more. For feeling like Bruce Lee when your front kick was sick and you knocked the bag flat on its back. For sweaty high fives and those damn burpees. For missing the bag and hitting your nose. For treating yourself after a week of hard work. For not feeling guilty when you make a mistake. For remembering you’re human, not a robot. For burning legs and wobbly knees. For the grunts and the shouts as you push the old you out. For chipping your pedicure. For mastering that jumping roundhouse like a boss. For adding a push-up to your burpees just to prove you can. For tripping, for falling, for scrapes and sprains. For getting up, brushing it off and strapping on those gloves again. Because this bag isn’t going to beat itself.

Keep fighting,

Idaliz Seymour from I Love Kickboxing Loganville

Print it, Hang it

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The Secret to Excelling at Cardio Kickboxing

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CARDIO.

To many, this word is met with groans and firm shakes of the head. Whether you’re biking, running, swimming, spinning, jumping rope or, of course, kickboxing, it can seem overwhelming and intimidating.

 

“I can’t do it.”

 

This part of the workout is where we kickboxing instructors at I Love Kickboxing Loganville hear these words many times.

10 seconds into the round, your body is warming up.

20 seconds in, your heart rate is gaining momentum.

30 seconds in, your heart feels that it’s at its maximum speed and you’re gasping for air.

 

We’ve all been there.

 

Here’s the secret to excelling at cardio kickboxing (or any cardio workout):

 

Ready?

3
2
1…

Control your breathing.

—It’s that simple.

Here’s the basic idea:

Each thrust of energy should be in combination with either an inhale or an exhale.

Many people unintentionally hold their breath during grueling combinations. This technique not only tires them out quickly, but they become unnecessarily overexerted. The key is to slow your breathing to a controlled pace in order to keep your heart rate slowed. Athletes aren’t born with equestrian lungs,  but they have over time mastered the art of breathing.

Practice breathing from your gut, which allows deeper breaths, rather than from your chest. To figure out which breathing technique you’re doing, do about 10 minutes of cardio. When you’re finished, assess how your breathing moves your body: 1) Breathing heavily through your chest moves your shoulders up and down, or 2)  Breathing heavily from your diaphragm or “gut” moves your abdomen in and out, which is what you want. The greater the oxygen intake, the greater oxygenation reaches the worked muscles, resulting in fueling them to work faster, harder, and longer.

Let’s use the first combination as an example on how to practice breathing from your gut: Jab, Cross

If you’re working on technique or strength (slower movements)

Jab: breathe out

Cross: breathe out

or

Jab: breathe in

Jab: breathe in

If you’re working on speed (faster movements)

Jab: breathe in

Cross: breathe out

1. Breathe in Patterns

As combinations progress to more intricate combinations, maintain control over breathing and remember each kick, punch, elbow, or knee should be accompanied by either an inhale or exhale, depending on what your body needs at that moment.

2. Practice

If you’re new to this breathing technique, it may feel difficult and foreign at first. It may even feel like you’re not getting enough oxygen. STICK WITH IT. After a couple of weeks, your body will automatically respond to cardio with this breathing technique and it will feel completely natural.

3. Keep Going

Now that you’ve trained and strengthened your lungs, something you once thought was tough, you can go test your body to see what else it can do. Your body can always do much more than you think; test it, push it.

 

Keep fighting,

Idaliz Seymour