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Kickboxing jumps and other moves work to strengthen bone density.
Kickboxing incorporates punches, kicks, elbow strikes and knee strikes. Fighters withstand a great deal of impact to their limbs when delivering and blocking strikes from the arms or legs. The constant movement alone strengthens the bones of fighters to some extent. But fighters often focus part of their training purely on conditioning drills meant to strengthen their bones -- one of the main benefits of kickboxing.
Weight-Bearing For Healthy Bones
The nature of kickboxing itself strengthens the bones of fighters because kickboxing is a weight-bearing exercise. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease defines weight-bearing exercise as activities that require the body to work against the force of gravity. Kickboxing falls under the category of a high-impact, muscle-strengthening activity. It strengthens bones by consistently working the muscles, tendons and ligaments around bones, thereby, strengthening the joints and providing a stable structure to support the skeletal frame.
Remodeling for Bone Strength
Muay Thai and other kickboxing conditioning programs train fighters through repeated strikes with the forearms and shins. This forces remodeling of the bones -- the building of new and stronger bone through forced, mechanical stress. According to a 2006 study on bone remodeling conducted by Athens University, bone remodeling is the body's way of repairing bone tissue damage in such a way that it prevents the accumulation of old bone and replaces it with new bone. The actions of kickboxing lead to skeletal remodeling in response to the force of those actions.
Three-time WKA Muay Thai National Champion Kru Jose' explains that kickboxers develop tougher bones through the repetition of actions rather than through the intensity of actions. Conditioning occurs by repeatedly kicking objects slightly softer than your shins -- such as a heavy bag or Muay Thai kick pads -- which eventually encourages the desired bone remodeling. True bone remodeling only occurs with repeated training and regular conditioning. Full bone remodeling takes up to 13 weeks to occur, though your shins may grow tougher before the bones are completely remodeled, according to the text, "Musculoskeletal Tissue Regeneration: Biological Materials and Methods."
Build Bone Strength Slowly
Kickboxers go through a period of natural bruising and swelling when they first begin conditioning their limbs for bone strength. These side effects are treated with ice, massage and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. When considering this type of conditioning, be sure to approach the training gradually, preferably under the supervision of a trained and experienced coach or professional. Start conservative and be patient in developing the bone resilience you hope to achieve.