6 Tips To Prevent Kickboxing Injuries
While kickboxing is a great way to get your sweat on and stay in shape, it’s important to take the time to learn proper technique. Yes, even if that means sacrificing the pace of your workout until you can properly perform all of the movements. As anyone who has experienced an injury firsthand will tell you, it’s far better to slow down during a few sessions than to risk an injury and be out of the gym entirely. So whether you’re new to kickboxing or need a refresher, here are six tips that will help you to avoid injury during a session.
Always Warm Up
It is important to warm your muscles up before a class with some light cardio. Anything from a jog and jumping jacks, to some light kicks and punches will do the trick. The trainers at Big Hit Studios typically spend at least five minutes on a warm up to ensure that your body is ready to handle the physically demanding movements to follow. In addition to that, if you ever find yourself in class early, you’re better off to warm up than to stretch, as stretching before a class could result in injury.
Stay On Your Toes
Big Hit trainer Gidon always stresses the importance of staying on your toes during class. Kickboxing involves a lot of rotation and twisting motions, which could result in injury if you don’t remain on your toes. Gidon acknowledges that, “the more you stay on your toes, the less pressure on your joints, knees and back.”
Pivot Your Feet
In addition to staying on your toes, it is also important to remember to pivot your grounded foot when you are performing a round kick. i.e. when you are facing BOB and kick the side of his body. Not only will your kick be more powerful when you pivot on your foot, but you are also protecting yourself from injuring your hip or knee. It is also important to pivot your feet when you are performing certain punches like a jab-cross, hook, uppercut and a body shot. However, your instructor will go over the specific technique with you when you are in class.
Don’t Lock Your Joints
Just as the name implies, kickboxing involves a lot of kicking and tons of punching, which can strain your joints if you don’t have proper technique. In order to avoid injury, make sure that you never overextend or lock your joints during a kick or a punch. In order to avoid hyperextending your knees or elbows, you should deliver your kicks and punches quickly and bring your limbs right back to their starting position. Once again, your instructor can clarify the proper motion for you. Don’t be shy to speak up in class, if you are unsure about any particular movement.
Don’t Kick With You Toes
It is important to be mindful that you don’t use your toes to kick BOB. Instead, use your shin or the top part of your foot to make contact with your opponent when you kick.
Whenever you are in between punches, keep your elbows in towards your body and your raised fists by the side of your face. Not only will this protect your face if you are ever in a real fight, but it was also ensure that you punch properly without raising your elbows above your shoulders, which could result in a shoulder injury.
Remember, if you have any questions about proper technique or form, or if you have an injury that may require modifications, you can always chat with a Big Hit coach before or after class to get tips specific to your situation.