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Training Tips

Cardio + Strength: Try Kickboxing for Better Glutes

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, Kickboxing, Glutes, Cardio + Strength: Try Kickboxing for Better Glutes

Reading time: 5 minutes 10 seconds

Kickboxing is both a sport and a workout. It soared into popularity as a fitness trend in the 90s and it still around providing great benefits. 

Whether you train for the sport or take cardio kickboxing classes, this is an all-around tough workout. Not only is it a good aerobic workout, but it also provides strength training. 

If you or a client is interested in better glutes, consider adding in a couple of kickboxing sessions per week. Many of the moves work the glutes hard. Along with isolated glute strength moves and the aerobic workout, kickboxing can help you develop bigger, stronger glutes.  

Why Focus on Glute Muscles? 

For women especially, the answer to this is often superficial. You want a shapelier booty. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve your muscle tone to look better. But there are so many other great reasons to pick workouts and exercises that build strength and hypertrophy in the glutes: 

  • Even fit people who workout regularly are sedentary for much of the day, and this leads to weak glutes that don’t activate adequately. 
  • When your glutes are weak, leg muscles compensate during activities. This can lead to dominance in the quads or hamstrings, which in turn causes imbalances and misalignment. 
  • Being misaligned or out of balance when working out or engaging in sports, like running, can cause injuries and pain. 
  • The glutes make up a large, important muscle group responsible for stability, balance, power, and more. You’ll see improved athletic performance in all kinds of sports with stronger glutes. 

Imbalance in the hip flexors is a common source of pain, poor alignment, poor form, and injury. Try these moves to tackle the hips, while improving the glutes

Then, to really amp up your training, sign up for ISSA’s Glute Specialist certification. You’ll learn exactly how to maximize your workout to help clients achieve results faster!

The Recipe for Better Glutes

The best way to approach health and fitness is with a well-rounded plan, of course. This means getting adequate cardio, including regular strength training, and eating a good diet. For glutes, you need all these elements. 

And keep in mind that part of the shape and size of your backside is determined by genetics. Workouts and nutrition can make a difference, but they won’t totally overcome genes for a flat butt. 

For building glute muscles, you need to target them in your workouts. Yes, you should be practicing a balanced routine, but include specific, targeted glute strengthening exercises two to three times per week. One type of workout that offers glute strengthening along with heart-pounding cardio is kickboxing. 

Try these targeted, glute-specific strength training moves to work out your backside. 

What is Kickboxing? 

Kickboxing is a sport. It shouldn’t be confused with cardio kickboxing, which is the class you can take at most any gym. This isn’t to say that cardio kickboxing can’t help with glute building, but it’s not as rigorous as real kickboxing. 

  • Kickboxing is a sport that blends martial arts and boxing. It is full contact. Participants use both hits with the fists and kicks to land blows that count for points. MMA and UFC fighting are closely related to kickboxing. You’ll need a martial arts studio or specialty gym to take real kickboxing classes. And expect to do some sparring as you learn. There is a major emphasis on techniques, including hitting, kicking, blocking, and footwork. 
  • Cardio kickboxing is a great workout that is based on many of the moves used in the sport of kickboxing. It was developed and became popular in gyms in the late 1980s and early 90s. In this kind of class, you’ll do full-body aerobics with kicking, punching, and bags, but you won’t spar with anyone. The focus is more on the workout and less on fighting technique. 

Both of these will give you a great, all-around, total-body workout with elements of strength training and cardio. Kickboxing will definitely work your glutes, but it takes more commitment. Think of it as learning a skill. Cardio kickboxing is less a skill and more a workout, but one that can build glute strength if you do it right. 

Why Kickboxing for Better Glutes? 

There are so many reasons to try this workout for strengthening and shaping the glutes. The moves were not invented for the purpose of a good butt workout, but the variety of kicks and balanced stances will definitely hit each of the glute muscles. 

Kickboxing is Good for All-Around Fitness

Kickboxing and cardio kickboxing are such great workouts because they include cardio and strength with a full-body emphasis. Expect to work hard doing this kind of training. If you want to improve your glutes, isolated movements are important, but so is cardio and overall strength training. 

The cardio part of a good kickboxing workout will help you lose fat. This is great for anyone carrying some extra weight and interested in developing the glutes in particular. The combination of fat burning and muscle building means this workout does double duty. 

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, Kickboxing, Glutes, Cardio + Strength: Try Kickboxing for Better Glutes, Front Kick

Kickboxing for Better Glutes is all About the Kicks

The characteristic kicks done in a kickboxing class recruit the glutes. Even if you don’t go through a full kickboxing workout, do these moves to really work on glute strength and tone (it’s smart to work with someone who knows form first, so you get it right): 

  • Front kick. This is just like it sounds. Kick forward as if striking someone in the chest or abs. In a stable stance with weight on your left foot, draw the right knee toward your chest, and strike forward. Try to stand upright and avoid leaning back. 
  • Side kick. To do a side kick, draw the knee up to the chest and strike the foot out to the side. Again, don’t lean back or to the opposite side, and keep your hips stacked and in alignment. 
  • Roundhouse kick. This is probably the best kick for targeting the glutes, but it is a little more technically difficult. Instead of striking with the bottom of the foot, the goal is to hit with the front of the foot or the shin. Lift the kicking leg, drawing the knee toward the chest, and pivot the standing leg while straightening the knee to kick out and strike with the foot or shin. Getting proper form can be tricky. Practice the move slowly while facing a wall to get good hip alignment. 
  • Back kick. This move will also take some form practice to get right. With your back to the target and weight on the left leg, draw the right knee toward your chest. Turning to the right just slightly, extend the right knee back behind you, striking at the target with the heel. 

You’ll get the most benefit with some added resistance. If you have access to a heavy punching bag designed for kicks, use it. Also, really focus on the glutes as you do the moves. Squeeze the muscles as you kick to get the most benefit. 

And a Lot of Balancing on One Leg

The kicks you’ll do in kickboxing work the active leg as well as the standing leg. Try standing on one leg for a minute. Yes, balance is important, and that works the core, but within seconds you’ll feel the glutes in that standing leg activating to keep you upright. 

Not only does kickboxing provide a great glute-centric workout, but it’s also fun. Use this kind of workout for your clients who want better glutes, but also those looking for a little variety. If you’re getting bored with working out, this is a great option. 

The ISSA can help you become a certified personal trainer in just a couple of months. Help clients reach their fitness goals and launch your dream career—enroll in the ISSA’s Certified Personal Trainer – Self-Guided Study Program!

Level up your knowledge and training even more with ISSA’s Certified Glute Specialist course. Learn the most effective strategies as well as where you could be missing the mark. Enhance your training, enhance your results.

ISSA

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Kickboxing Instructor

ISSA Kickboxing Instructors have a passion for strengthening more than an individual’s body, but engaging their mind as well. Looking to add variety into their clients' workouts, Kickboxing Instructors are versed in all the tools it takes to master and teach kickboxing, in any setting. Becoming a Kickboxing Instructor will give you the means to have a positive impact on individuals' lives and strengthen their minds and body.

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