You may not know it, but kickboxing and boxing are totally different sports. Sure, they both involve jabs, uppercuts, and right hooks, but they also vary in specific ways.
Still, they also have a lot of similarities. They’re both martial arts and, these days, non-professionals are noticing their benefits for exercise purposes and self-defense.
So, to explain the similarities and differences between kickboxing and boxing, let’s go through some of the basics to help you decide which type of workout might be best for you.
Differences in Kickboxing and Boxing as Martial Arts
Both kickboxing and boxing are martial arts, although they’re less traditional than martial arts like karate, jujutsu, or taekwondo, for example. Still, they’re considered martial arts because they are both codified combat practices for purposes including self-defense.
The main difference between kickboxing and boxing is that kickboxing offers a broader range of tools.
Boxing focuses on throwing punches and footwork with a heavier emphasis on head movements. On the other hand, kickboxing trains your hands, feet, elbows, knees, and even your head as “weapons” for striking. In other words, you’re doing more than just punching in kickboxing.
Overall, neither one is superior to the other. They’re only slightly different, and deciding between them often comes down to personal preference.
But if you’re having trouble deciding which workout is right for you, let’s put kickboxing and boxing in the ring together and see them go head to head.
Kickboxing vs. Boxing
To compare kickboxing and boxing even further, let’s consider them both within the context of cardio effectiveness, self-defense, athleticism, and rounds.
Both kickboxing and boxing are excellent cardio workouts. There’s a reason a professional match only goes for a few minutes at a time. Even the best kickboxers and boxers in the world get winded after a few short rounds.
To throw an accurate punch in boxing, you’re using all of your power. Plus, all that technical footwork will take it out of you quicker than you’d expect.
As for kickboxing, when you’re using every part of your body in every session, you can be sure that your heart rate is going way up (in a good way!).
Overall, both kickboxing and boxing are definitely killer cardio workouts.
As self-defense in a real fight, either in the ring or on the street, kickboxing and boxing will both serve you well.
The main advantage of kickboxing is that you’ll have a lot of moves to choose from. However, if you’re fighting another trained kickboxer, you’ll also have a lot more to defend against.
For boxing, the main advantage is your footwork. Since you focus on a few key features of the martial art of boxing, your footwork will be at a much higher level than a kickboxer. Plus, you’ll likely pack a meaner punch as well.
Most trainers in both boxing and kickboxing highlight that the best way to prepare for a potential street fight is to fight with others so that you’re used to being hit. Otherwise, there’s no difference between the effectiveness of kickboxing or boxing for self-defense.
It’s no doubt that both kickboxing and boxing require a high level of athleticism. However, they’re also incredibly versatile as workouts to help people lose weight, improve stability, build muscle, and boost confidence.
Anyone from absolute beginners to seasoned pros can get a lot from both kickboxing and boxing. It’s no wonder they’re quickly becoming more and more popular among gym-goers.
Since kickboxing and boxing both operate as rounds, they’re technically considered HIIT workouts which means high-intensity interval training.
By alternating between huge bursts of energy at your maximum heart rate and short periods of rest, your metabolism gets more efficient, and your cardio fitness improves drastically.
No matter if you’re kickboxing or boxing as a workout or in the ring, doing your session in rounds turns out to be an incredible fat-burning strategy.
All in all, it’s worth repeating that kickboxing and boxing are both incredible workouts, and neither one is better than the other. At the end of the day, it comes down to you and the way you prefer to train to determine which is better.
A motivated boxer or kickboxer will always do better than an unmotivated one. And a superior training regimen will always trump a thrown-together session at your local gym.
The good news is, with the OOMPH app, you don’t need to choose between boxing and kickboxing workouts because we offer both. Try kickboxing, boxing, and other dynamic bodyweight exercises on the OOMPH app today!