What Muscles Does Kickboxing Work Out?

Kickboxing is a full body workout that mainly works on your:

  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Calfs
  • Deltoids (Shoulders)
  • Triceps (Arms)
  • Abdominals (Abs)

What Muscles Does Kickboxing Work?

Kickboxing helps you lose weight & build muscle since its a full-body workout that improves your cardiovascular health and muscle strength. Find out how many calories you can burn kickboxing by using our kickboxing calorie calculator.

Here’s a list of muscles worked when kickboxing.

Muscles Strengthend From KickboxingHow
Quadriceps & GlutesFrom frequent movement during a spar or practice
CalfsFrom constant jump-rope skipping during warm-up
ShouldersWhen standing in position protecting your face & when throwing jabs and crosses.
Arms – TricepsWhen extending the arm to throw jabs and crosses
Abdominals (Abs)Abdominals are worked a lot during training. They are also used extensively when kicking. They are constantly engaged when sparring.

How Does Kickboxing Change Your Body?

Given the muscle groups that kickboxing works out, here are some of the body changes I’ve experienced with Kickboxing:

Muscle GroupsChanges I Saw From Kickboxing
Quadriceps & GlutesThey both got much bigger. I do have the classic case of chicken legs, so it was nice to see both my quads and glues grow.
CalfsI sae the most muscle growth in my calfs. The constant stimulation with the almost daily skipping as part of our warm-up really helped them grow.
ShouldersMy shoulder got much wider, I noticed that my mid deltoid got bigger. Which basically means that I had a bigger frame and broader shoulders.
Arms – TricepsI did not notice much “gains” in my biceps, but did notice my triceps got much more defined.
Abdominals (Abs)Abdominals are more visible. I do have much work to do to lose fat, but my abs are much more visible than they were before.

Can kickboxing build muscle?

Kickboxing makes you lean, which makes your muscles more visible as a result of fat loss. It does not grow your muscles.

Kickboxing is focused on strengthening your muscles more than building them. This is because the sport is focused on strength and speed. You’re not going to be looking like Dwayne Johnson after a year of kickboxing, you might look more like Bruce Lee. Jokes aside, Kickboxing is focused on getting you lean and having your muscles actually show.

The reason why you dont typically grow muscle with kickboxing is because the workout itself is not a hypertrophy workout. Hypertrophy workouts focus on growing your muscle by engaging in typical body builder workouts. That includes lifting weights, in a range of 6 – 12 reps. This results in tearing the muscle fibres which eventually are repaired and grow through the process of protein synthesis.

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