Kickboxing As a Sport
Most of us may be familiar with the Westernized aerobic version of kickboxing, a choreographed combination of kicks, punches and jumps set to music. However, kickboxing is a contact sport combining martial arts kicks with boxing moves. Kickboxing as a sport and a means of exercise is growing rapidly in popularity, especially among women, but is it safe during pregnancy?
Most exercise is safe in moderation while you are trying to conceive and during pregnancy as long as you don't have any complications and aren't high-risk. Yet, some forms of exercise and sports pose their own risk of danger during pregnancy. According to the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, "Those activities with a high risk of falling or for abdominal trauma should be avoided during pregnancy."
Is kickboxing safe during pregnancy?
If you've been actively involved in aerobic kickboxing, is it safe to continue? Yes, if your doctor gives you the OK. However, later during pregnancy, you'll need to lower your kicks and shorten your punches to protect your joints and your balance, which will be more precarious as your center of gravity changes.
If you've never tried kickboxing, pregnancy may not be the ideal time to start since it can cause injury if not performed correctly. However, if you're determined to do so, the ideal way to start is by taking a class with an instructor who can work with you on form and modifications.
A few key things to keep an eye on are your balance and your joints. In the later months of pregnancy, your balance will be compromised by your changing center of gravity and kickboxing can challenge your balance even more. As pregnancy progresses, your joints loosen with the release of the hormone relaxin. This may cause joint instability, which increases your risk of injury. Be careful with punches and kicks, and don't hyperextend your joints.