Health & Fitness

Box it like Gigi Hadid

How to take up kickboxing in 4 easy steps

Health & Fitness

Box it like Gigi Hadid

If it’s good enough for Gigi, it’s good enough for us.

Kickboxing is definitely not just another passing fitness trend. The workout, which gained major popularity back in 2015, is championed by today's hottest celebs–see Gigi Hadid and pretty much every Victoria’s Secret Angel. Not only is it a fun way to release any built up stress and anger (because life), but it’s also an extremely effective form of exercise: Boxing is a full-body workout that builds lean muscles by combining different cardiovascular activities with high reps and low resistance.

Not sure if you can go full-on Rocky? Toronto-based Studio KO’s master trainer DJ Laperle gave us four tips to help you train like a supermodel.

 

MIND GAMES

At this point, you’ve probably already given up on that fitness New Year’s resolution. Instead, make a "new week" or "new day" resolution AKA start right now.  "If you’re having a hard time keeping yourself on track, set a goal of finding someone you can workout with to help keep each other motivated," says Laperle. Hitting the gym will be a lot easier if you know you’re going to get some quality face time with a friend – just ask VS Angels Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver who are known for being gym buddies and even have an Instagram account dedicated to their BFF workouts.

 

SKIP IT GOOD

Don’t stress about picking up a pair of gloves and getting in the ring just yet. Kickboxing combines a range of activities, some of which are so simple they can be done at home.

Skipping is a great way to ease yourself in; it requires very little equipment, improves your footwork and increases your coordination. If you have the attention span of a toddler, switch it up by playing with speeds, intervals and patterns. Laperle recommends starting with 8 rounds of 2 minutes each. He says that skipping fast for 20 minutes straight is the cardio workout equivalent of spending 50 minutes at that spin class you hate.

Shadow boxing is another easy option. Grab some light hand weights (start with 1- 2 pounds) and spar with an imaginary partner for 5-8 rounds of 3 minutes each. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you work up a sweat.

 

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Nike Speed Rope 2.0 ($17.99), at sportchek.ca.
 

 

FUEL UP

While you don’t want to eat too much before your workout – hello nausea and cramping – your body needs fuel to power through all those uppercuts.  According to experts, complex carbs are your friend here, so try eating a small snack, like a wrap with fresh veggies and some turkey, 30-60 minutes before your workout. The combination of carbohydrates and protein will keep your glucose levels steady as your exercise.

Eating afterwards is just as important. Aim to eat some protein within 30 minutes of exercising – protein supplies the body with amino acids which help to rebuild and repair the muscles you just worked. Laperle, who is a Genuine Health Ambassador, recommends their fermented Greek Yogurt proteins+.

 

TAKE A BREATHER

There’s really no need to hit the gym every single day.  Laperle says that a 45-minute workout 3-4 times is enough to start seeing results within a few weeks. You want to workout frequently enough to produce results, but not so much that you cause injury. Rigorous exercise causes tears in your body’s muscle fibres, but rest days allow your body to repair that damage. The good news? This rest helps your muscles grow bigger and stronger for your next trip to the gym.

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Health & Fitness

Box it like Gigi Hadid