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Does Kickboxing Help Lose Thigh Fat?

By Jake Wayne ; Updated July 18, 2017

It would seem logical that a leg-intensive workout like kickboxing would help reduce your levels of thigh fat. After all, "rubber leg" is a common symptom of just having completed a kickboxing training session, let alone a competitive bout. Although that supposition is correct — kickboxing can help you lose thigh fat — you might be surprised exactly how and why.

Spot Reduction

The idea that leg workouts accelerate fat loss on the legs, or that stomach workouts accelerate fat loss on the stomach, is an enduring idea in the fitness community. However, this idea — called "spot reduction" — is a debunked myth. When your body loses fat, you lose it from your body as a whole regardless of what activity created the calorie imbalance that made you shed fat. This does include any fat on your thighs, but no exercise program will focus on the thighs for fat loss.

Weight Loss Basics

Losing fat from your thighs is a matter of losing weight in general. You lose weight by burning more calories through activity than you take in when you eat. This creates a caloric imbalance that forces your body to access energy stored as fat. You burn fat away and lose weight. Kickboxing can help with this process because it is a rigorous calorie-burning workout. A 160-lb. athlete will burn 216 calories in a 30-minute kickboxing training session, and 437 calories in 30-minutes kickboxing in the ring.

Resistance Training

A session of kickboxing also includes significant resistance training for your thighs. This will not increase the rate at which you shed fat from your thighs, but it will build and tone the muscles there. In the short term, this gives the fat a shapelier frame to hang on. This creates thinner thighs and an illusion of weight loss that may be responsible for the myth of spot reduction. In the long term, it means that the fat you lose will eventually reveal attractively muscled legs.

Bottom Line

Kickboxing training is an efficient burner of extra calories, which can lead you to lose weight from your entire body, including your thighs. Although the impressive leg workout you get with the sport won't actually target your thighs for fat loss, the muscle toning from your training will give you shapelier legs within just a few weeks of starting.

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