Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle: How It Affects Your Kickboxing Routine

Hey there, kickboxing queens! We all know our periods can be a bit of a rollercoaster, but understanding how each phase of your menstrual cycle affects your body can help you make the most out of your kickboxing workouts. Let’s break down the cycle and see how you can optimize your fitness routine to match your energy levels and moods.

The Menstrual Cycle Breakdown

Your menstrual cycle is divided into four main phases: menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. Each phase brings its own unique hormonal changes, which can influence everything from your energy and strength to your mood and motivation.

1. Menstruation (Days 1-5)

What Happens:

  • The first day of your period is day one of your cycle. During menstruation, your body is shedding the uterine lining, and you might experience bleeding and cramps.

Impact on Kickboxing Workouts:

  • How You Might Feel: Tired, bloated, and possibly crampy. Not exactly the time you feel like throwing powerful punches.
  • Best Workouts: Embrace gentler activities. Consider shadowboxing, light stretching, or focusing on technique rather than power. If you’re feeling really low energy, it’s okay to skip the class and rest.

2. Follicular Phase (Days 1-13)

What Happens:

  • After your period, the follicular phase kicks in. Estrogen levels start to rise, gearing up your body for ovulation. This phase ends when ovulation begins around day 14.

Impact on Kickboxing Workouts:

  • How You Might Feel: Energized, motivated, and ready to take on the world. Estrogen is your workout buddy here, helping you recover faster and feel stronger.
  • Best Workouts: Go for high-intensity bag work, strength training, and intense combinations. This is the perfect time to push yourself and enjoy those powerful, feel-good endorphins.

3. Ovulation (Around Day 14)

What Happens:

  • Ovulation is the release of an egg from your ovary, which typically happens around day 14. Estrogen is at its peak, giving you an extra energy boost.

Impact on Kickboxing Workouts:

  • How You Might Feel: Supercharged and on top of your game. Many women find they have more energy and feel their strongest during this phase.
  • Best Workouts: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) kickboxing sessions, sparring, or setting new personal records on the bag. Take advantage of your peak physical performance.

4. Luteal Phase (Days 15-28)

What Happens:

  • After ovulation, the luteal phase begins. Progesterone rises to prepare your body for a potential pregnancy, which can bring on PMS symptoms as your period approaches.

Impact on Kickboxing Workouts:

  • How You Might Feel: You might notice a dip in energy, feel more fatigued, or experience mood swings and cravings.
  • Best Workouts: Focus on moderate-intensity kickboxing, technique drills, and plenty of recovery sessions. Listen to your body and adjust the intensity based on how you feel. If you’re not up for a full workout, consider light shadowboxing or a gentle stretch session.

Tips for Managing Workouts Throughout Your Cycle

  1. Track Your Cycle: Using a menstrual cycle tracking app can help you predict your energy levels and plan your workouts accordingly.
  2. Listen to Your Body: Don’t push yourself too hard when you’re not feeling it. Rest days are just as important as workout days.
  3. Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Proper hydration and nutrition can help manage symptoms like bloating and fatigue, keeping you fueled and ready for action.
  4. Practice Self-Care: Incorporate stress-relief practices like meditation, gentle yoga, or deep breathing exercises to support your overall well-being.

Conclusion

Your menstrual cycle is a natural part of life that can significantly impact your kickboxing routine. By understanding and embracing each phase, you can tailor your fitness plan to match your body’s needs, keeping you strong, empowered, and ready to tackle any challenge. Remember, it’s all about listening to your body and finding joy in movement, no matter what time of the month it is. Keep punching, keep kicking, and keep being the amazing, unstoppable force that you are!

Written By
Picture of Coach Stacy

Coach Stacy

Stacy Kim, the founder of KUMA Fit (a women’s kickboxing & fitness studio in Saco, Maine) and Stacy Kim Coaching, has dedicated her life to teaching. She has taught over 10,000 classes and has trained in martial arts and fitness for over 15 years. Today, her mission is to redefine what fitness means for women, to stop objectifying the body, and focus on moving to feel strong.

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