Studies show most people join a gym for several reasons, and the top seven are: to look better, feel better, socialize, lose weight, improve health, get or stay in shape and tone up.
Some of these are reasons for joining a gym are subjective and potential members may have their own specific definition of each of the reasons above. Either way, fitness clubs offer options for members to achieve their goals.
There is one type of exercise that offers all of the benefits mentioned above and more. What is it? Kickboxing (and variations like boxing and MMA training). Kickboxing offers a great cardio workout, improved strength, an opportunity to socialize, core training, increased weight loss, improved balance and stress reduction.
Because kickboxing uses every major muscle group in the body, the demand on the cardiovascular system is increased. As a result, 30 to 60 minutes of kickboxing three or more times per week may be all a member needs to improve cardiovascular fitness. The cost of boxing and kickboxing equipment in comparison to treadmills, bikes and other cardio equipment is minimal, and because of the potential revenue generated from group exercise and the increased retention, providing these classes is cost effective.
Strength is improved because it is a weight bearing activity and many of the moves are explosive. The explosive nature of kicks and punches improves muscular performance. When you add heavy bags, punching mitts, speed bags and other equipment like jump ropes, etc., you get increased resistance, and as long as proper form is taught, your members will see the benefits of increased strength.
Punching and kicking, when done correctly, not only help one generate power, they are very effective at engaging the core. The muscles of the legs, hips and trunk are involved in rotation and stabilization for every exercise performed with punching and kicking. The core muscles are repeatedly contracted and relaxed when performing these exercises, and when one is taught proper breathing techniques as well, the diaphragm and other breathing muscles are engaged more effectively.
Balance is improved because the exercises involve weight bearing, shifting weight, rotational movements and power generation. Also, because of the nature of kicking and punch-kick combinations, this type of exercise increases eye-hand coordination, eye-foot coordination, proprioceptive awareness and many of the moves involve weight bearing on one foot, which in and of itself improves balance. Kickboxing type exercises are appropriate for each gender and across every age group. Because it is weight bearing and improves balance, this is even very appropriate for aging adults if taught properly, and intensity and impact is addressed accordingly by a qualified instructor.
The high intensity nature of the exercises in kickboxing improve stress reduction through the release of endorphins. Studies show it also helps reduce anxiety and depression, and is a great outlet for frustrations.
Your members in a group or small group environment will experience the benefit of socialization, and studies show members of a group are more likely to maintain their membership. This in turn improves the chances of experiencing better health, more strength, better cardiovascular fitness, improved balance, core training and reduced stress.
If you are already offering kickboxing and boxing-type training, your members are already realizing the benefits. And if you are not, now is the time to start. A great marketing plan emphasizing the benefits, a great instructor and the right equipment are all it takes to offer a class that offers all the benefits your members are looking to achieve.