Kickboxing continues to be popular among consumers, but fitness professionals have long been concerned about the rate of kickboxing injuries in classes. Although researchers have studied incidence and injury in other fitness formats, little information has been available on kickboxing injury rates—until now.
Researchers at the East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania surveyed kickboxing participants and their instructors (mean age 32.29 years) to determine the severity, type and incidence of injuries sustained in cardio kickboxing classes. More than 15 percent of the class participants and 31 percent of the instructors reported a kickboxing injury.
The most common sites for kickboxing injuries in participants were the back, knee and ankle, whereas the main site among instructors was the back, followed by the knee, hip and shoulder regions. Strains were the most common type of kickboxing injury reported. More than half the subjects said their injuries had caused a disruption in their daily activities or normal exercise routines.
According to the study results, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2003; 17 , 580-6), instructors who reported using music speeds greater than 140 beats per minute (bpm) had a higher incidence of injury than instructors whose speeds ranged from 125 to 139 bpm. The researchers recommended that to prevent kickboxing injuries, instructors maintain music speeds below 140 bpm and both instructors and participants limit the number of classes they engage in per week.