The kick is an important strike in Muay Thai. Besides causing significant damage to your opponent, a strong kick could potentially knock him/her out and lead you to victory.
But what is the secret to delivering such explosive kicks? Well, like all things in life, it takes consistent practice, dedication, and a whole lot of hard work. So, if you’re here because you want to take your kicking to the next level, then you’re at the right place! Today, Evolve Daily shares 5 Ways to Double Your Kicking Power:
1) Master the technique
“You can’t throw a powerful kick without the right technique,” shares multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Orono Wor Petchpun. “Before you even worry about your kicking power, pay attention to the finer details of the technique, and work on getting it right first. A good way to refine your technique is to shadow with the basics.”
It’s crucial to understand and master the technique because it would be a good base for you to build upon. So attend classes regularly, pay close attention, and make sure you clarify any doubts with your instructor!
2) Establish good balance
When you first start kicking, you might notice that you’re a little wobbly – this could be what’s affecting your kicking power! So make sure you work on your balance and posture, so as to become more stable.
It helps to keep an upright posture and your supporting leg straight. You should also be on the ball of your supporting foot, so that it would be easier to pivot and throw your kick. Remember, great balance starts from the ground up, so work on getting stable on each foot!
3) Remember to breathe
Never ever hold your breath when you’re executing a kick. This is because it would create tension, and prevent you from relaxing. Hence, adding unnecessary weight to your body and preventing you from moving and kicking freely.
When you exhale on impact, you’re actually tightening your core muscles, which can encourage more effective muscle contractions. Apart from that, it keeps you relaxed and loose, so you can stay light on your feet and deliver explosive kicks at your target.
4) Build up your leg muscles
Strong legs would play a part in helping you execute powerful kicks. So make sure you work on those leg muscles!
“Condition your legs with daily runs,” advices Orono. “You can increase the intensity by doing sprint interval training. That means you can sprint for say, 100 meters, then walk back to your start point, and repeat [sprinting and walking] a few more times.”
Besides running, you can strengthen your legs with skipping, box jumps, and lunges.
5) Strengthen your core muscles
Besides your legs, you should also work on your other muscle groups, so why not include some strength and conditioning in your workout routine?
Your core muscles are responsible for keeping you upright, and holding your body together. So it’s important to build it up. (Psst! This includes your back muscles, too!) When you establish good core strength, you’ll find that you’re a lot more stable, and this would help you throw better, not to mention stronger, kicks! For a stronger core, do leg raises, planks and sit-ups. As for your back, we suggest doing pull-ups and side-planks.
6) Drill with a heavy bag
If you haven’t already started training with heavy bags, we suggest doing so the next time you go for training. All you have to do is spend an additional 10 minutes before or after class drilling with the heavy bag – and you’ll see the difference after doing so for awhile! This is because you engage various muscle groups in your body when you train with the heavy bag. Hence, you’ll develop power, balance, coordination, and speed.
“When kicking the bags and pads, do it at 100% power, with the right technique,” says Orono. “You can also swing the bag and then kick it when it comes back to you… That requires more power, and will help you build strength.”
He also advices all martial artists to train regularly in order to make overall progress.
“The more you train, the more you learn – and the better you’ll get,” shares Orono. “No one is perfect at the start, so just keep training and strengthen your body. You have to genuinely like it, so that you’ll give 100% from your heart, stay focused and get all the basics right.”
Of course, strength is something that you have to work on to develop over time, so don’t be too disheartened if you don’t get it right away. Remember, progress is more important than perfection – so just focus on improving, and in no time, you’ll be throwing explosive kicks. Now, go forth and train!