Exercise trends come and go with each season, and this winter, it seems that everyone wants to get in the ring with the latest knockout workouts. Far from basic brawling, knockout workouts demand strength, flexibility, agility, and cardio fitness. Get ready to engage in a transformative fitness trend that promises optimal results in no time.
In the ring today:
Get ready to rumble: the physical benefits of knockout fitness
Fight or flight: expressing the primordial survival instinct
Let it all out: releasing pent-up tension and aggression in a healthy way
Boxing yoga or MMA: a guide to the different types of knockout workout
The lowdown on knockout workouts
While the idea of a knockout workout might have you picturing two people throwing wild punches and pulling hair, the reality is far more disciplined. These physically demanding workouts encompass techniques from boxing, yoga, martial arts, and kickboxing to push you to your mental and physical limits.
The increasing popularity of knockout workouts has been noted by social platforms like Pinterest and TikTok. The former released data from its 482 million users, showing that searches for 'MMA' (mixed martial arts) were up 200% between 2022 and 2023 and show no sign of slowing down. Meanwhile, #boxing is gaining momentum on TikTok, with over 140 billion views as of the end of 2023.
Why practicing knockout workouts is good for us
From full-body engagement to the fusion of cardio and strength training, knockout workouts offer far more than just physical benefits.
Knockout workouts involve many different types of movements and engage all the major muscle groups, which means that in one session, you'll get a full-body workout. Making sure you are working on your whole body while exercising is great for muscle building, strength, and fat loss. And, due to the different and sometimes complicated combinations of movements, you'll be exercising your brain as well.
Cardio and strength training combined
Knockout workouts provide you with the perfect opportunity to work both your cardiovascular system and your muscular system simultaneously. You'll benefit from strengthening your lungs, heart, and blood vessels as well as activating and building muscle fibers.
Builds lean muscle
If you are trying to achieve a sculpted and lean physique, then knockout workouts have got you covered. You'll be activating muscle fibers regularly and building mass by tearing those small fibers and rebuilding them bigger. Knockout workouts also engage all the major muscle groups simultaneously, so you'll be getting the benefits of full-body lean muscle building and fat burning at the same time.
Develops agility and coordination
Knockout workouts train both the body and mind, enhancing agility and coordination. You'll be learning many different combinations of movements, using a variety of stances, and switching positions frequently. Moving multiple parts of the body in unison demands a lot of focus, but once you get there, you'll be surprised at how much your newfound agility affects not only your knockout practice but your daily life too.
Speeds up reaction times
Reacting to a flying fist coming towards you, or a punchbag swinging at your face demands that you act fast. Practicing knockout workouts will help speed up your reaction times as you train yourself to respond to stimuli with lightning speed.
For those of you who want to shed a few extra pounds of fat and show off that new lean muscle you've built, knockout workouts won't let you down. You can expect to get your heart rate pumping and your fat cells burning during a knockout session, with some types of workout burning up to 600 calories.
Fighting talk beyond the obvious
Along with the fitness benefits, there are many other reasons why knockout workouts are trending at the moment.
- The instinctive drive to fight. Practitioners of knockout fitness report that it engages a primal part of us that needs to experience the fight or flight response in real-life situations, rather than being triggered from anxiety and panic.
- Take it all out on the bag. With stress a common part of our lives, finding healthy outlets to release tension has become even more important.
- Cultivating discipline. Knockout workouts require not only physical intensity but also a commitment to safety. This level of discipline ensures a secure training environment and serves as a foundational element with far-reaching positive effects on your overall well-being.
- Workout with friends. Most knockout workouts are held in a group setting, so along with the physical benefits, you’ll be having a social experience as well.
- Confidence boost. Getting to the point with a knockout workout where you can execute different combinations of punches, kicks, or groundwork techniques fosters a deep sense of accomplishment and confidence.
Types of knockout workout
Depending on what kind of fighting mood you are in, there are a whole host of different knockout workouts you can try.
Embrace the fire of a warrior and the peace of a yogi with this blend of two very different styles of fitness. You’ll release tension first with boxing techniques before settling into a soothing yoga practice to end the class.
Engage your whole body with this full-contact striking sport. You’ll use your arms and legs in a variety of attacking and defensive movements designed to help you defeat your opponent.
Discover discipline, strength, and the calm mind of a lethal warrior in any of the martial art types offered today. Karate, jiu-jitsu, and kung fu are among the most popular and utilize physical and mental agility to train you for competition and self-defense.
MMA (mixed martial arts)
One of the best knockout workouts available, MMA incorporates various fighting techniques from different martial arts such as grappling, striking, and ground fighting. Expect to be completely exhausted after an MMA class.
The perfect blend between brain and brawn
New knockout fitness hybrids demand that you get your mind involved along with the body. Many gyms are now offering knockout classes that will blend various styles of contact sports with other fitness modalities to keep your mind engaged and your body working at peak capacity. You’ll be sparring with your fists, pivoting to floorwork, sprinting on a treadmill, and resistance training all in the same session. Expect your brain and body to feel exhausted after the first few sessions, but you’ll soon get used to it. This workout may be perfect for those who like a gym setting with the option of doing more classic exercises alongside the knockout workout elements.
If you seek an effective means of burning calories, honing boxing techniques, and enhancing cognitive sharpness, the knockout workout trend presents an ideal solution. It offers a more enjoyable alternative to solitary gym sessions, delivering a comprehensive exercise experience that caters to the body's diverse needs while promoting cognitive engagement.
Knockout workouts are a great way to train your body and mind simultaneously.
They are often taught in classes, which offer community and social bonding opportunities as well as fitness benefits.
Many gyms and clubs offer blends of different types of knockout workout techniques alongside other fitness modalities like yoga, running, and resistance training.
- Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. The effect of martial arts training on mental health outcomes: a systematic review and meta analysis.
- European Journal of Sports Science. Modern unexplored martial arts – what can mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu do for youth development?
- Psychology of Sport and Exercise. Martial arts, combat sports, and mental health in adults: a systematic review.