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How To Have The Perfect Shadowboxing Practice For MMA

If you are just beginning MMA training, you’ll know the importance of developing your speed, strength and agility. Shadowboxing is one of the best ways to develop many key skills that will help you be successful during your MMA training, drills, sparring and fights. The great thing about shadowboxing is that you don’t need any special equipment or gyms. You just need plenty of space and many people shadowbox outdoors. Here are five tips that will help you have the perfect shadowboxing practice to help with your MMA training.

Tip #1. Work On Visualization

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Shadowboxing isn’t about throwing punches straight. It’s about visualizing an imaginary opponent. Shadowboxing is mental preparation for an actual fight. If you have yet to try an MMA match, shadowboxing is the ideal way to prepare for the fight. You need to imagine you are in the corner of the ring, imagine the bell sounds and think what your opponent might do and then practice all of your punches, blocks, moving skills and your stance. If you practice these things whilst shadow boxing, you’ll be more prepared for it in a real fight.

Tip #2. Format Your Training Correctly

Break down the timing of the fight you are preparing for. If you are training for an MMA fight, you need to practice for a five-minute bout. You must practice how you will defend against a take down with a sprawl. Practice your punches, elbows, knees and other techniques. Think about what your opponents might be doing to you. Shadowboxing can help you build your endurance so that you can last for a fight and be successful. If you format your training correctly, you will be better prepared for a real bout against a fighter. Take the appropriate rest periods and box as if you were in a real fight. This will help you to prepare for the rigors of recovering from a fight in a short rest period, as you would during a real fight.

Tip #3. Focus On Perfecting Your Stance

Shadowboxing is more than simply mental preparation. It gives you first-class practice for developing your stance. The proper MMA stance is to have your dominant-side leg back, stay on the balls of your feet and keep your legs shoulder width apart. You should practice holding this position as you visualize your opponent. Shadowboxing can help beginning MMA fighters to stay on their toes. Many beginners put their back heels down as soon as they move sideways. Keep your hands up so that your fists are near your cheekbones and keep your chin tucked in. Focus on perfecting your technique and being comfortable moving around in the right position.

Tip #4. Learn To Control Your Breathing

As you’ll likely know, you should always exhale as you throw a punch in MMA. As MMA bouts can last several minutes, you need to know how to control your breathing so that you always exhale when you throw a punch. This can become difficult when you have been shadowboxing for a few minutes and are starting to get out of breathe. Many fighters hold weights while they shadowbox to avoid getting sloppy with their technique. While kettlebells are too heavy, wrist weights weighing a few pounds can help straighten up your swings. Training with weights will make you breathless far sooner and can help you work on controlling your breathing.

Tip #5. Master Your Countermoves

Shadowboxing training is most effective if you visualize and prepare for an opponent attacking or counterattacking you. What will you do when your opponent blocks? How will you respond if they grapple you? You must imagine your opponent in front of you when practicing your footwork, boxing combos, Muay Thai knees, kicks, and other MMA techniques. Work on your defensive strategies that will enable you to win the fight. For MMA fighters, this can mean getting used to landing on the floor, on your back, and devising ways to get out of holds and breaking grapples.

Conclusion

Shadowboxing can be extremely useful for MMA fighters. You can practice your defenses, your stance, your breathing and your techniques. More than anything, shadowing boxing is about building the confidence you need to go into the ring with a real opponent. While shadowboxing is an effective home training method of preparing for an MMA match, it is more effective if you are using real moves and techniques from mixed martial arts training sessions in CT. Using real moves will make your shadowboxing sessions more effective and better prepare yourself for an actual fight. Where possible, ask your instructor or other students to watch you shadowbox and critique your moves. If you have used shadowboxing successfully to prepare for your MMA fights, let us know which tips you used to improve. Leave us a comment below and let us know how shadowboxing helped you to prepare for your MMA match!

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The Top 3 Exercises For Increasing Your Punching Power In MMA

Whichever style of martial arts or wrestling you subscribe to, the ability to deliver a powerful punch is key to your success in an MMA fight. Even grapplers need to know how to land a punch when they take the fight to the floor. One of the most common questions beginner MMA fighters ask is how to increase their punching power. This article discusses the three most effective exercises for improving the power of your punches.

#3. The Snatch

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The insult ‘You punch like a girl’ simply means that you punch with your arms, not with your body. Of course, there are thousands of female boxers, MMA fighters and martial artists the world over who can punch with just as much force, if not more force, than men can. The insult could even be a compliment! However, the essence of the saying is that the power behind a punch should come from the whole body, not just the arms. In MMA, the basic stance has the fighter’s dominant-side leg back, their feet shoulder width apart and their weight placed on the balls of the feet, not the heels. The power for a hard punch actually starts with your legs and incorporates your back and shoulder muscles far more than biceps or triceps in the upper arm. That’s why learning to do a snatch is the best way of developing explosive power.

The snatch is a form of weightlifting move that can be done with a barbell, dumbbell or kettlebells. When using a barbell, it is a two-handed move, whereas dumbbells and kettlebells are one-handed. Beginning with the weight on the floor, you squat down with your head up, back straight and thighs parallel with the floor. In one move, you explode upwards and press the weight above your head with straightened arms. With the weight overhead, you straighten your legs to stand upwards. This move helps develop explosive power and will help you punch harder.

#2. Lying Medicine Ball Throws

The second exercise for developing your punching power is the lying medicine ball throw. Take a 10-15 pound medicine ball and lie flat on your back on a training mat. Practice throwing the ball straight upwards and catching it as it lands. You will need to concentrate on developing an explosive upwards movement in a very straight line so you can catch the ball as it falls. Performing this exercise forces you to use the very same muscles you use to throw a punch. Start light and move your way up to heavier medicines balls over several months of training.

#1. Plyometric Exercises

Plyometrics are a great way to develop your strength, endurance and power. Plyometrics, or ‘plyo’ for short, are fast explosive movements. They develop the fast-twitch muscle fibers that will drastically improve your punching power. The most basic move is the ‘plyo’-push up where you push yourself up so fast that your hands leave the floor. If you lack the strength to do this, try with your knees on the floor first. As you push yourself up, you can clap your hands together once, or clap your hands against your chest. The snatch and medicine ball throws described above are essentially plyometric exercises. To build your power whilst doing plyo-push-ups, you can wear a weighted backpack or buy a purpose-designed weight vest containing multiple weights.

No Excuses!

These exercises can all be done in your own home, without any special equipment. If you can’t afford a gym membership or don’t have access to weights, you can substitute equipment and moves. For example, burpees – where you crouch down and kick your legs out before jumping up – are great alternatives if you can’t do a snatch. The humble burpee will help you develop explosive power through your body even if you don’t have access to equipment.

Conclusion

These three exercises should help anyone develop their punching power for MMA fights. Whether you train at home or take professional martial arts training in CT, these moves will increase the power with which you can punch. Developing a strong punch is essential for winning MMA fights but a strong punch alone isn’t enough to win a bout. If you are sparring with an MMA opponent who prefers to grapple, you will need speed as well as power to win the fight. A grappler opponent will take advantage of you if you punch heavy and slow. Always use plyometric moves to create explosive force with lightening quick reflexes as you throw and punch. The exercises described above will help you throw all types of punches from jabs to hooks. Instead of focusing exclusively on your upper body, always develop your lower body too. Remember that these moves are forms of resistance training. You must seek to gradually increase the resistance you use in order to continue making strength gains.

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5 Beginner Tips For Striking A Grappler Opponent In MMA

If you are new to MMA or have only been training for a few months, you may be struggling during sparring practices to strike against a grappler opponent. The difficulty when going up against an opponent who prefers to grapple is that unless you land forceful blows or move quickly after you strike, you’ll be tapping out before you know what hit you. Here are five quick tips for beginner MMA fighters. These tips should help you train harder and spar more effectively.

Tip #1. Lower Your Center Mass

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If you prefer to strike during an MMA bout and find yourself facing an opponent who prefers to grapple, you are going to have to alter your stance. You may prefer to stand fighting up but if all your opponent wants to do is take the fight to the ground, your upright stance is going to work against you. An essential part of beginning to learn MMA is to master your stance. If you are a beginner, you likely haven’t mastered your stance yet. As you know, your right foot should be back if you are right handed and you should have your feet shoulder width apart. Staying on the balls of your feet is essential to give yourself power and endurance. To prevent a grappler opponent from toppling you, you will need to adopt a lower stance. Bring your torso down slightly while maintaining your basic stance. This will make it harder for your opponent to grapple with you and throw you off balance.

Tip #2. Master The Negative Portion Of The Jab

Grappler opponents will seize any opportunity to grab your arms if you let them. Standard defensive positioning for MMA is to have your fists up next to your cheekbones. While having a lightning fast jab is essential, to defend against a grappler opponent you’ll want to ensure that the negative portion of the jab – where your hand returns – is just as quick as the positive outwards motion. Have a training partner or coach assess whether you are pulling your jabbing hand back quickly enough. Conduct training drills to specifically address this backwards portion of the jab. You can use kettlebells to perform exercises such as the snatch that will improve your speed. This will increase your chances of hitting a grappling opponent without them being able to grab you.

Tip #3. Use A Double-Jab Combo

If your sparring sessions are ending in frustration as you get pinned to the floor, one reason for this could be that you aren’t keeping your grappling opponent at bay. No fighter wants to go in for a hold if they are being battered with jabs. To improve your chances against a grappler opponent, you need to perfect your double-jab combo. Starting from a defensive position with your fists raised up near your cheekbones, practice delivering two short, sharp jabs to your opponent’s chin or neck using your non-dominant hand. Follow these jabs up with a power punch such as a hook. When it comes to keeping a grappling opponent at bay, nothing beats the double jab.

Tip #4. Avoid Straight Punches

If you are already using jabs and still getting taken to the mat, you most likely reason is that you are throwing a straight punch with your dominant hand. The jab-straight punch combo is so common that skilled grappler opponents can anticipate the straight punch after the jab is thrown. A common grappler attacking strategy is to duck under the straight punch and grapple the waist of their opponent. To guard against this, throw a hook punch as described above. That way, even if your opponent ducks to go in for a grapple, they’ll still get a punch to the face.

Tip #5. Practice Your Moving Techniques

If you are just starting out in MMA, your drills are likely still focused heavily on moving correctly. You’ll know the importance of moving first with whichever leg is farthest in that direction. To avoid crossing your legs and throwing yourself off balance, you need to master the art of moving forward with your front leg first, back with you rear leg, left for left and right for right. Although movement drills seem repetitive, they are one of your best lines of defence against a grappler opponent. A moving opponent is far hard to take down. Perfecting your movement in all directions is your best chance of winning against a grappler.

Conclusion

These five tips should help any beginner MMA fighter improve their sparring against a grappler opponent. According to a leading provider of martial arts training in CT, it is often the basic stances, movements and positions that let beginner fighters down. As a beginner you need to perfect your stance, move without crossing your legs and work on the speed of your jabs. Get your basics sorted and a grappler opponent will have a far harder time taking the floor to the ground.

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How To Have The Perfect Beginner MMA Home Training Workout

In this article we’re going to break down the fighting stance and the two most effective punches in MMA, the jab and the cross. Stance is one of the most important aspects of fighting an MMA bout. If you don’t have a good stance, you’ll going to deliver hits with less power, get knocked down more and lack strength in a fight. Here are six tips for having the perfect beginner MMA home-training workout.

Tip #1. Master Your Stance

Begin every home workout by practicing your basic stance. If you are right handed, you’ll start with your right foot back, and if you are left-handed, you will start with your left food back. Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and imagine you are waiting for a bus. Depending on your dominant hand, put the corresponding leg back. Keep your legs at a 45-degree angle, keep your back heel off the ground and keep your legs shoulder-width apart. Devote some time to perfecting your stance during every workout session.

Tip #2. Practice Moving

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Once you have adopted your stance, you need to practice moving. It’s really simple. Moving forward, you bring your front foot forward, moving back means you move your back foot first. The helps you move without losing your balance. Move left or right by moving your left or right foot first respectively and let your other foot follow. This gives you a great solid stance from which to attack or defend.

Tip #3. Jab

The most basic punch is the jab. You will use the jab for finding your range, instead of a big power punch like a cross. When you practice, all of your power should come from your legs. A well-placed jab can still knock an opponent out. The basic style of jab takes its power from your legs. The action is similar to as if you were trying to scare someone and stamping your leading foot down. As you do this, your non-dominant hand jabs out. Keep your other hand near your cheekbone in a defensive position. When you throw the jab, get out as fast as possible and back in. This keeps you ready for your opponent as they retaliate. The final detail is to exhale as you jab out.

Tip #4. The Cross

The cross is your power punch using your dominant hand. Once your master your stance, you’ll find it easier to put your full force into a cross as your back leg corresponds with your dominant hand. This lets you twist your hips forwards as you punch while keeping the balls of your feet on the floor. Combining this twist with the cross is the best way of delivering a devastating punch. Speed is essential as you want to draw back your hand after delivering the punch so that your opponent can not attack you.

Tip #5. Develop A Drill

The most basic drill is a jab-cross. A good basic workout drill is called ‘The Fireman’. Practice on your stance by move forward, back, left and right. Throw a jab every ten seconds. Practice makes perfect so joining a martial arts training center will help you perfect your stance, jabs, movement and crosses will ensure that you aren’t practicing the wrong way. Practicing a thousand hours a week is worthless if you aren’t practicing perfectly. A basic drill will be ten minutes in length. Finding your stance, you’ll aim to throw a jab every ten seconds for the duration of the drill. A key detail is that the heel of your rear foot never touches the ground. You should never cross your feet and you must get comfortable in your stance. With five minutes on the clock, you’ll build up your endurance. To develop speed and agility, you can use kettlebells to perform basic lifting exercises such as the snatch.

Conclusion

This basic MMA workout should help any beginner fighter master the key competencies required to be successful in the ring. All MMA moves come from having a solid stance, good movement and lightning-quick reflexes. Completing this five-minute drill at home is the basis of a good MMA workout. It should help you develop your strength, endurance and speed. One problem with home training is that if you make mistakes, you run the risk of engraining these errors. Joining an MMA class can help because an instructor is on hand to ensure that you are adopting the correct stance and throwing your jabs and crosses properly. Training the wrong way just makes it harder to complete the moves accurately later. One alternative to simple home workouts is to use an online or DVD training system. There is still no instructor watching that you are doing it correctly but you have a physical reference for how the moves should look as you complete them.

Have you mastered your jab and cross for MMA fighting? How did you perfect your moves? Let us know and leave us a comment below.

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5 Beginner Tips For Mastering The MMA Ground And Pound

Today we’re getting into the Ground and Pound, one of the most devastating moves in MMA. There is a specific style to doing an effective ground and pound. If you know a few tips, this move will stand you in good stead, whether during sparing, competition or even self-defence. Here are five tips suitable for beginner MMA fighters that should help you master your ground and pound.

Tip #1. Maintain Good Posture

When you are ground-and-pounding someone, you will push them onto their back into the guard position with their legs wrapped around your waist. You will be kneeling on the floor with their legs wrapped around you. The most important tip for mastering this move is to maintain good posture. Sit on your heels, keep your back straight and your head up. Don’t let your opponent pull you in. Settle yourself into the ground and pound by pushing onto your opponents hips. This lets you arch back with one hand and pull off a regular strike to your opponent’s face.

Tip #2. Commit To A Style

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There are only two styles of ground and pound holds in MMA. Either you are smothering your opponent with your head on their solar plexus or you are all the way back with your back bowed and your hands controlling their hips so that they cannot move. A classic rookie error is to lower your head mid way. Skilled opponents will seize this opportunity to push you back, loop one of their legs over your shoulder and get you into a hold. Commit to one style and hold it.

Tip #3. Master Hammer-fist Strikes

Regular strikes are great during a ground and pound but you’ll want to master the hammer-fist strike to really make the most out of this devastating move. The hammer-fist is a really good, versatile punch. Arch your back and bring your fist down like a hammer. This will defeat a front or a side block as your opponent lies on their back. The most effective type of hammer-fist punch starts in a big wide swing. Instead of a regular punch, make a vertical hook with the back of your hand facing your chest. This is an extremely strong punch where you can really use the power of your shoulder muscles to good effect.

Tip #4. Use A Ground And Pound Bag For Drills

You can use regular heavy bags laid flat for drills but purpose-designed bags are superior. When performing drills, work for quality instead of quantity. A well-placed hammer-fist punch will knock your opponent out. In the guard position, throw three big punches, move and repeat. Throw three punches, go to the side of the bag and throw three more then switch sides and throw three more. This drill will improve your cardiovascular fitness and this technique will work well in a fight to help you conserve your energy. Do this drill for three three-minute rounds. The more comfortable you get, the faster you will move. This will make you a more efficient fighter.

Tip #5. Train Your Core Muscles

Ground and pounds are all about your core muscles. You really don’t use your legs that much and it’s the strength of your core muscles that will determine the effectiveness of the move. Besides drills and sparring practice, exercise moves that develop your core muscles should be part of your training regime. The gold-standard move is a hanging leg raise where you grab onto an overhead bar, and slowly raise your straightened legs until they are perpendicular with your body. Hold for a count of one and then slowly lower. Performing three sets of ten raises twice a week will help develop your core muscle strength. To improve your oblique abdominal muscles, you can add a twist to this move. This will help you develop a strong core and help you better control your opponent during the ground and pound. If you are already in good condition, you can make these exercises more challenging by adding ankles weights. Resembling cannon balls with handles, kettlebells are particularly effective for MMA fighters looking to increase their speed, strength and agility. Extra resistance will help develop your strength.

Conclusion

These five tips should help beginner MMA fighters master the ground and pound move in record time. According to a leading provider of martial arts training in CT, the ground and pound is one of the most devastating moves in MMA. These five tips should help you stay in control and deliver maximum damage without your opponent wriggling free, breaking your hold, fighting back or locking you in a hold. These five tips should help you exploit the potential of this move and add it to your arsenal when you fight. If you have already mastered this move, what tips would you offer? Let us know your personal favorite tips for mastering the ground and pound. Leave us a comment below!

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6 Mind-Blowing Benefits Of Karate Lessons For Kids

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While you probably associate Karate with aggression, strength and fighting, you may not know about the Japanese cultural values upon which the discipline is based. Like many parents, you may be concerned about allowing your son or daughter to take up training without realizing all of the benefits. Here are six benefits of letting your kid start karate training that you may not have heard about.

#1: Karate Teaches The Value Of Respect

If you have yet to visit Japan, you may be unaware of its strong traditions and culture of respect. This surprizes many visitors as Japanese exports such as movies, Manga comics and martial arts seem ultra violet. In fact, daily life in Japan sees people treat each other with a high level of respect. Experience is emphasized and valued to a far greater degree than in many Western countries. Karate training emphasizes the value of the instructor’s experience. Letting your kid join a karate class should influence the way they behave at school and at home.

#2. Karate Helps Your Child Become More Active

As with any physical activity, Karate classes will improve your child’s level of physical fitness and endurance. Karate fighting bouts are short in duration and highly intense, meaning that the physical results can be dramatic. Most of the training is designed to replicate the rigors of fighting and your child will understand the importance of keeping themselves physically fit if they want to succeed at fighting. Hopefully, this goal of becoming more active will remain with your child long after the karate lessons finish.

#3: Karate Teaches Goal-Setting

Karate instructors base their instructions upon guidelines that have been passed down through generations in Japan. Despite instructors often not being Japanese themselves, they will likely have visited Japan on a number of occasions and perhaps even have trained there for an extended period of time. Karate is taught in a way that emphasizes the ability of successful people to set goals for themselves. Permitting your child to join a karate class will see them develop this important life-long skill. This will improve every area of your child’s life, from their ability to complete school work to their readiness to complete chores at home.

#4. Karate Increases Patience

Patience is one of the hardest traits to develop for most children. Learning new karate moves or developing their flexibility will teach your child that not everything can be accomplished in a matter of hours. Karate students get the sense that some processes take dedicated practice for many weeks and months in order to master. In this respect, karate classes will help your child become more patient. This will help with their school studies and hopefully stay with them as they enter adulthood.

#5: Karate Improves Conflict Resolution

The development of karate has been strongly influenced by Japanese values and culture. Students who take up karate quickly learn to see beyond the physical acts of striking and blocking. Far from becoming more violent or aggressive, karate students improve their ability to resolve conflicts verbally. Karate instructors drill into their students the fact that violence should be a last line of defence. Kids who take up karate lessons often improve their ability to resolve matters without resorting to physical means.

#6: Karate Lessons Should Improve Your Kid’s School Grades

Karate lessons will encourage your kid to improve their strength, balance, coordination and endurance but the benefits do not stop there. The surprising knock-on effect of this physical training is that kids often find themselves better able to focus and study at school. Karate lessons for kids help students to concentrate for longer at school and to write and sit for longer periods of time without zoning out or becoming distracted.

Conclusion

How many of these benefits had you considered? Many parents never see past the fighting moves that karate teaches. If you feel as if your child would benefit from improved school grades, increased levels of concentration and a healthy respect for others, karate classes are the perfect solution. Head down to your nearest center to see for yourself just how safe and enjoyable classes can be. Many martial arts centers offer karate classes for kids and some offer a special after school program. Schools offering this will collect kids from their school and bring them to the center where they are given time to complete their homework. Students are given healthy snacks and refreshments before enjoying a fun karate lesson in the early evening. This is a great way of ensuring that kids complete their homework and have fun in a safe environment. Parents can collect their kids from the karate center in the evening, so it is ideal for busy parents who can’t collect their kids earlier on in the day.

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5 Reasons Why Kickboxing Can Help You Beat The Bulge

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If you are carrying a little extra body fat, it can be very difficult not to give up hope. Like many dieters, you may have tried and failed to stick with a healthy eating plan or exercise routine. In fact, kickboxing is one of the best ways of beating the bulge and losing your annoying body fat for good. Here are five reasons to give kickboxing a closer look and trim down to reveal the new you.

#1. Kickboxing Is An Efficient Workout

The reason why most people fail with gym-based exercise regimes is that they simply aren’t pushing themselves hard enough. People come in, get comfortable on their stationary bike and cycle at level five for 30 minutes, never 29 or 31. While this dedication is admirable and going to the gym is better than lounging at home on the couch, it rarely gets results. Kickboxing is extremely high-energy as it combines martial arts with cardiovascular exercise. It can burn up to 900 calories per hour if you include jump rope moves. Quite simply, training in a kickboxing class forces people to work far harder than they otherwise would. This increase in effort is guaranteed to be rewarded. Train with kickboxing and you will burn more calories and fat that you ever thought possible.

#2: Kickboxing Is Varied

The second reason why many people quit in the gym is that training is so boring. Despite many treadmills, bikes and steppers having their own built-in programs, at the end of the day people crave social interaction. Pounding away on a treadmill with your eyes glued to the screen becomes fairly boring after the initial novelty wears off. Kickboxing training is different. You are constantly moving between different exercises such as jump rope, sparring and conditioning movements. Although kickboxing exercise classes are non contact, they are designed to replicate the high-intensity situation of an actual kickboxing fight or ‘bout’ lasting for around five minutes. This variation helps people stick with kickboxing classes and stay on track with their fitness goals.

#3: Cardio-Conditioning Is The Best Way Of Burning Fat

Excess fat, especially around your mid section is associated with a greater risk of diabetes and heart disease according to the American Heart Association. Kickboxing is a form of cardio-conditioning and this has been shown to be one of the most effective ways of burning fat. Compared with other gym-based activities such as cycling or weight training, cardio-conditioning is more effective at shifting stubborn belly fat. If fat loss is your goal, kickboxing can help you meet your goals faster than almost any other form of exercise. This alone means that starting kickboxing is a great way to beat the bulge.

#4: Kickboxing Is Whole-Body

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot ‘spot reduce’ fat from a certain area of your body. For example, religiously completing sit ups will not shift your belly fat from that area. When you gain body fat, you gain it all over. It is simply more noticeable at certain areas such as your belly and midsection. When you lose fat, you lose it all over. Kickboxing is great for this as the jump rope and circuit training forces you to use all of your major muscle groups.

#5: Reduces Stress Levels

The secret to successful fat loss is physical exertion followed by recuperation. It is the time between training sessions when your muscles recover and your body can take stock. Kickboxing is ideal for recuperating as it helps you to release stress. Lower stress levels can improve the quality of your sleep and aid your body’s recovery. Many participants of kickboxing classes in CT report that they have greater mental clarity after a training session. They can rid themselves of the stresses of the day and this helps them to unwind. With lower stress levels you are more likely to reach your fitness goals. You will get a huge sense of accomplishment when you complete a kickboxing training session.

Conclusion

These five benefits of kickboxing training should have given you a greater insight into why it’s the perfect way to beat the bulge. Whether you are a rank beginner or already have some training experience behind you, there is bound to be a kickboxing class near you that will accommodate your needs. Your options range from exercise-based classes that teach aerobic moves to full fighting classes where students are eventually taught contact moves. Ask for personal recommendations for training centers in your area and try a taster class before deciding whether it’s for you.

Have you tried kickboxing for weight loss? We’d love to hear from you. Did you experience the benefits listed in this article? Let us know what benefits you discovered and leave us a comment below!

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The Top 6 Personal Safety Tips For Women

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Have you ever felt threatened or vulnerable whilst out and about at nighttime? If you are like most women, you have a busy social schedule with trips to the theatre, restaurants and parties that mean you have to travel in the evening and at night. Sadly, many women feel vulnerable even in lit spaces such as car parks when they go out alone. Here are the top six personal safety tips for women that should enhance your confidence.

#1. Let People Know Where You Are Going

Unfortunately, attacks against women do happen and a common trait amongst attackers is to prey upon people who seem unaware of their surroundings. Always let someone know where you plan to go, such as a friend or family member. This strategy works because quite often people will suggest travel plans or even offer to come with you. Just letting someone know where you plan to go will help you feel safer and make you appear more assertive, thus averting unwanted attention.

#2. Embrace The Power Of Running

Its not glamorous or sexy, but running away is the best form of defense even when faced with an attacker wielding a knife or a gun. Even a skilled marksman has trouble shooting a running target with a pistol. Many attackers target people who seem lost or unsure of their environment and take advantage of the element of surprise. When you go out, always wear comfortable shoes that permit running and have a game plan in your mind that you will run if anything happens.

#3. Drop The Good Samaritan Act When Travelling Alone

A common way that criminals find victims is to act as victims themselves. They often ask for help or try and engage the victim under false pretences. When travelling alone, either driving or walking, drop the ‘Good Samaritan’ act and keep your guard up at all times. For instance, if someone approaches your car, keep the doors locks and communicate through the window instead of getting out and opening yourself up to attack or being robbed.

#4. Don’t Rely On Safety Devices

Depending on where you live, a whole range of safety devices may be legally available to you such as rape alarms, pepper sprays or even stun guns. You should never rely on these devices and bear in mind that running away is always your best line of defense. If you do carry a safety device, be certain that you know how to use it. Pepper spray isn’t effective on everyone and stun guns can be snatched away and used against you. Operate and test your device frequently and be sure that you understand how it works.

#5. Choose A Self-Defense Program That Includes Simulated Assaults

Self-defense classes get a bad rap as many of them teach watered down versions of martial arts moves. It simply isn’t practical or feasible for women to carry out these moves when faced with a real-life confrontation. Being attacked in real life is scary and nothing can prepare you for it as it takes you by surprise. Adrenalin kicks in and takes over. Even trained police officers find that their perception is altered during dangerous encounters. Like it or not, running away is still the best line of defense. If you do choose a self defense class, do your homework. Effective classes use a fully padded instructor who will simulate realistic rape and attack scenarios. The instructor will wear a helmet, padding and gloves so that participants can practice the moves they have learnt. These type of classes go some way towards preparing women for the realities of being attacked.

#6. Don’t Draw Attention To Yourself

If you carry yourself positively and walk purposefully, you are less likely to be attacked. Many women draw attention to themselves and almost act out the part of a victim through the way that they act. For example, walking along the sidewalk focusing on your smartphone’s screen makes it impossible to keep your guard up. Self defense classes can help you in terms of how you present yourself when out and about.

Conclusion

Hopefully, these six safety tips have given you some idea of the approaches you can take to be safer whilst out and about. Not every situation is the same and many women find that a combination of approaches works best for them. The key to staying safe is remaining aware of your environment and acting confident so as not to mark yourself out as the victim. Taking on board some of the ideas in this article should make you feel safer whilst out at nighttime. Always try to plan ahead and incorporate as many of these tips as possible into your daily routine. This can included letting people know where you are going and keeping your guard up at all times.

Have you tried a self-defense class? What was your experience? Let us know the benefits and drawbacks you encountered and leave us a comment below!

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The Top 10 Benefits Of Hiring A Personal Trainer

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If you thought that personal trainers are only for movie stars and the rich, think again. A new breed of personal trainer is emerging and many people find personal training to be a great option for them. Hiring a trainer is still a big financial investment for most people. Here are the top ten benefits of personal trainers that could help you decide whether the investment is worthwhile for you.

#1. Affordable Results

Personal trainers can meet you at your home or in a park. You don’t need an expensive gym membership and can exercise outside for free. Many people join a gym and then don’t go, effectively wasting their money. Any money you spend on a personal trainer is guaranteed to get results. Some trainers even let you split the cost with a friend, making training even more affordable.

#2. Tough Love Motivation

Many of us have an image of a personal trainer yelling at their clients. This tough love motivation really works and you’ll never experience this is your exercise alone. This approach can help you finally reach your fitness goals.

#3. Accountability

When training on your own, it is all too easy to skip a session or drop a workout on a whim. Hiring a personal trainer forces you to become accountable for your actions. This can be just the push some people need to become more successful and meet their health and fitness goals.

#4.Holistic Approach

Many people think that personal trainers only provide physical training. In fact, they often give dietary advice too. You will never meet your fat loss or fitness goals through exercise alone. You need to follow a balanced, calorie controlled diet to compliment your efforts in the gym.

#5. Clear Goal Achievement

One of the reasons why people quit in the gym is that they fail to define their fitness goals. Without a goal, they arrive at the gym every day, go through the motions and then become dissatisfied when they fail to see results. A trainer will always look at your current fitness level and help you set manageable goals.

#6. Tailor Made Workouts

It is all well and good buying a fitness or diet book and trying to follow the program. The trouble is that commercially published programs are very general and are designed for everyone. Only a personal trainer can help create a tailor-made workout especially for you. They will look at your medical background, your physical condition and your goals before deciding on a course of action.

#7. Motivation

Many people who train on their own find it hard to keep up their motivation. Without anyone there pushing you for results, it is easy to quit and lose motivation. A trainer help you keep your motivation levels up.

#8. Proper Training Technique

Many people fail to get results because they aren’t exercising correctly. This is particularly true of anyone who does weight lifting moves. Personal trainers will always watch you to ensure that you are performing the move correctly. This reduces your risk of injury and helps you get results. This training will stay will you even after you stop using a personal trainer. You can keep these skills for life whether you work out at a gym or at home.

#9. More Free Time

Personal trainers do charge a lot but your time is also valuable. Trainers can help you get results in less time, freeing you up to do more of the things you love. Don’t overlook that every hour you spend training is an hour less you have to do other things. Personal trainers will force you to use your time efficiently and effective pay for themselves.

#10. Exercise Variety

Many people stagnate as they try the same exercises repeatedly in the gym. These become boring and then motivation goes out of the window. A personal trainer can introduce exercise variety and keep things fresh to ensure that you continue to improve.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this list of ten benefits will help you decide whether hiring a personal trainer is the right financial investment for you. Trainers clearly offer a wide range of benefits that can help people stay on track and meet their health and fitness goals. If you have tried and failed to get into shape before, you may recognize from this article the various stumbling blocks that held back your progress. Training alone can be boring and demoralizing and it can be difficult to maintain accountability and keep up motivation whilst you train. Personal trainers can help you overcome these difficulties and help you get the body you dream of. That said, the will to change has to come from within you and hiring a personal trainer is no guarantee of success. Good trainers will drill that into you from day one!

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The Top 5 Benefits Of Learning Mixed Martial Arts

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Mixed martial arts, or MMA for short, is a fighting discipline combining kickboxing moves with boxing and wrestling techniques. While many people associate MMA with a form a violent ring-based fighting, it has been turned into a non-contact form of cardiovascular exercise to help people stay fit. As MMA becomes increasingly popular, more training centres are being set up to meet this demand. So, why should you start MMA training? Here are the top five benefits.

Benefit #1: Injury-Free Workouts At MMA Fitness Classes

The easiest way to get into MMA is to join a fitness class. Unlike fighting classes, these courses simply help people to develop their cardiovascular endurance. An MMA fitness class is similar to ‘boxercise’ – a form of aerobics based upon boxing moves. Set to heart-pounding music, a qualified MMA instructor teaches participants how to use certain moves inspired from the ring. These kicks and punches are based on moves that actual MMA fighters would use. These classes are non-contact and so injury free. They are high paced and fun with participants dramatically improving their levels of fitness in a short period of time.

Benefit #2: Expert Instructors In Your Local Area

If you aren’t interested in MMA for fitness, a dedicated MMA class can come with a surprising list of benefits. Professional MMA fighting is extremely popular and some fighters make their living from fights. Joining an MMA class means it’s extremely likely that the instructor will be a current or former professional fighter. Even if you live in a small town, the chances are excellent that the instructor running the MMA class will have had real fighting experience. This means that you will develop your skills faster and be assured of receiving expert tuition that sees you make swift progress in your ability to fight.

Benefit #3: Go At Your Own Pace

If you have watched an MMA fight on TV or online, you may have assumed that only top fighters can participate. True enough, each professional fighter has their own unique training style. Some people are boxers, others are wrestlers and so on. In fact, MMA is a style of fighting all on its own. It combines boxing, wrestling and martial arts moves from a wide range of disciplines. As such, a wide range of classes are available for people at all levels and abilities at MMA training gyms. If you are a complete novice, you can join the beginner classes to hone your skills. If you already have a background in martial arts, an advanced class will cater perfectly to you and help you become a better MMA fighter.

Benefit #4: Mixed Martial Arts Will Increase Your Confidence

Many people who have trained in martial arts come to MMA because they want to know how to fight. Unlike boxing or Muay Thai, MMA can help you when a fight goes to the ground – as real fights often do. MMA has direct real world application for defence. When you know how to defend yourself in a real situation, your mind will be calmer and your levels of stress will be reduced. Once your begin MMA training, your ability to walk away from a fight will improve.

Benefit #5: MMA Training Increases Your Discipline

If you are joining MMA from a martial arts or boxing background, you likely already have good levels of discipline. Novices often find that they benefit from the discipline that MMA instils. It teaches discipline of the body and mind and promotes healthy eating principles that help fighters recover after fights. MMA is an excellent physical workout and beginners will find that their levels of fitness go through the roof once they begin training. Sparring (boxing practice) and grappling (wrestling) is usually completed in five minute bouts. Surviving a five-minute fight takes amazing levels of fitness. The MMA training is designed to get fighters ready for this and to help them succeed.

Conclusion

These five benefits of MMA fighting should help you decide whether you want to give it a shot. As this article explains, there is a whole spectrum of MMA classes out there to choose from. If you are just interested in fitness, then an MMA exercise class would be most appropriate. If you want to learn to fight, you can choose a fighting class relevant to your level of experience. Most training centers offer a wide range of classes to accommodate everyone from rank beginners to advanced fighters. Some trainers even offer MMA classes for kids and MMA classes specifically for women, so the options are truly limitless. Check out your local MMA center for more information about getting started in the world of MMA today. If you already have experience of MMA, what do you think of our list of benefits? Which benefits would you add? Let us know and leave a comment below!