Does kickboxing burn belly fat?

Belly fat is the layer of fat that accumulates and sits on top of the abdominal muscles.  In men, it’s often referred to as a ‘beer belly’ and is the first area where males accumulate fat when they put on weight.   Those individuals that have excessive amounts of belly fat could be at a greater risk of heart and circulatory problems.

So not only does a trim midsection look better, but there could also be health benefits associated with losing excessive fat from this area. 

Unfortunately, this region is one of the last areas to give up its fat stores.  It’s one of the reasons why bodybuilders have to get to very low bodyfat percentages so that their obliques and abdominals become visible.

Fortunately, there is an activity that can help with your quest to obtain a lean physique.  Kickboxing!

Many individuals, in their quest to lose weight, will up their cardio:  they’ll start running or swimming in an attempt to burn up more calories.  If you’re not eating enough calories to fuel the body in its activities, then the body will start to use up its own reserves – it will start to use its fat supply.

Over time the fat will come off.  However, there is an issue with this approach:  the fat will come off but the muscles will remain flaccid and without tone.   You end up thinner but you’ll lack any muscle definition.   A lot of runners  look like they don’t exercise.  Sure they’ll be lean but they often lack muscle mass.

Of course, this can be remedied by adding in weight training on top of the cardio sessions.  You could go to the gym and work out with the weights after you’ve been for a run.  However, this takes up an awful amount of time.

A typical run will take 30 minutes and then on top of this you might have a 45 minute weight training session.

In today’s hectic and busy world, taking this amount of time is an excessive luxury!  Instead, it would be better to choose an activity that both burns calories and develops muscle tone.  This is where kickboxing comes in.

A kickboxing session will typically involve bag and pad work, sparring, skipping and conditioning work (sit ups, press ups, etc).   Typically you’ll rotate through these different elements ensuring there’s enough variety in your training to keep it interesting. 


The cardio element of kickboxing  is obvious:  skipping alone is a superb cardio workout and gets the heart rate going, turning your body into a fat burning machine.  

What might not be so obvious is the muscle tone that is developed during these sessions.  Direct muscle exercises such as sit ups and crunches target specific muscles groups – in this case, the abs and obliques.  This targeted work tires the muscles, forcing them to adapt and grow so that you can come back stronger for your next training session.

In addition, the muscles are developed indirectly during bag and pad work.  When striking, the whole body has to tense at the moment of impact or it will crumple and you’ll end up injured.   

More importantly, much of the power of a punch comes from the rotation of the mid section.  The repeated twisting of the abdominal area during an intense session on the heavy back really develops the muscles in this region.

Therefore, kickboxing not only melts away excessive belly fat but also develops the underlying muscles, enabling you to have a chiselled mid-section.  Of course, exercise is only half of the equation and you’ll need to combine kickboxing with a sensible diet to ensure you obtain the development you’re looking for. 


Related articles:

What does kickboxing do to your body?

Is kickboxing an Olympic sport?

How dangerous is kickboxing?