How To Set Up And Throw A Spinning Back Kick

Kicks are one of the most powerful strikes in combat sports, such as Muay Thai, and a spinning back kick is one of the most powerful kicks you can throw. The technique derives extra power from torquing your body while throwing it and lands with devastating power. A well-placed spinning back kick to the head or body is more than enough to bring any fight to an end.

Spinning back kicks are one of the most underrated kicking techniques used in traditional martial arts like Taekwondo and Karate. Many fighters favor more conventional kicks like the roundhouse.

Throwing a spinning back kick involves using large muscles like your back, glutes, and hamstring, which allows you to throw it with a lot more explosive power, particularly if you exercise these muscles regularly. It also involves landing with your heels, instead of the balls of your feet and following through so all the force generated goes right into your opponent.


How To Throw A Spinning Back Kick

Let us take a look at the different steps required to execute a spinning back kick:


1) Start From Your Fighting Stance

Throwing a spinning back kick requires you to start from your fighting stance with your front foot facing your opponent. Timing is essential to land the technique so only throw it when you see a clear opening.

You want to line up your front foot with your target so your follow-through doesn’t go in a different direction.


2) Use Your Hand

Executing a spinning back kick requires you to bring your hands close to your body and you also need them to block any strikes your opponent throws as you enter your spin. Moving your hands away from the direction of your spin, bifurcates the force generated by your kick into a different direction, taking power off your kick.

Avoid doing this and instead, keep your hands close to your body while moving them in the same direction as your spin.


3) Perform A Back Turn

Once you’re in your stance ready to throw a spinning back kick with your hands close to your body, pivot and complete a full back turn while keeping your eyes on your target. The back turn needs to be ultra-fast or your opponent will be able to read your intentions and defend appropriately.


4) Raise Your Leg

With your back turned to your opponent and your eyes looking at them over your shoulder, raise your back leg so it is in line with your front leg by folding it to keep your knees straight. This is one of the key things that separate spinning back kicks from other spinning kicks. The mechanics of the technique are extremely simple.


5) Kick Straight

Once your back is facing your opponent and your back leg is raised and folded at the knee, straighten your rear leg back to drive it into your opponent. There should be no circular motion involved as the kick is thrown. Maintain your balance when throwing the technique so you don’t end up lifting your back leg sideways.

Make sure you follow through as you straighten your leg just like you would do when throwing a roundhouse kick. Once you get comfortable with the technique, you can add a little jump back while executing the kick to give it additional power.


Setting Up A Spinning Back Kick

The spinning back kick is often misunderstood as some fancy technique despite its mechanics being quite simple. However, it is one of the most powerful attacks you have as a kicker and you would be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t add it to your arsenal.

Some of the different ways to use the spinning back kick in combat sports like Muay Thai or Mixed Martial Arts and self-defense situations include:



The spinning back kick is an excellent offensive tool since it often leaves opponents unable to continue fighting. Many people wrongly assume the technique is only effective at outside range, but you can also do serious damage with it at close distances. Take a look at above video from 1:28 to 3:30 on how to use it for offense.

Master the technique to the point you can land it on targets like the liver consistently and you’ll have an effective fight-ending tool on your hands.


As A Counter

Spinning back kicks can also be a great way to counter sidekicks and roundhouse kicks. Consider throwing one whenever an opponent fails to land either of these attacks on you. Landing effective spinning back kick counters requires you to be swift and explosive with your movements.

You can also counter with a spinning back kick after using lateral movement to evade short kicks. Laterally moving in either direction automatically puts you in an ideal position to execute the technique. These counters work best when the kick being evaded is thrown with your opponent’s rear leg, leaving them momentarily stuck in place.


To Lure Opponents Into Throwing Punches

A spinning back kick is an effective way to get your opponent to throw punches at you while you counter. It’s not necessarily the best strategy for sports like mixed martial arts, but it can work for you in a Taekwondo setting where you compete for points. In these situations, techniques like spinning back kick score more points than punches so the trade-off works in your favor.

Let’s take a look at the same video by Stephen Wonderboy, but this time from 3:30 onwards on how to use it while luring your opponent.


To Break Opponents

The spinning back kick is a great way to break an opponent after landing hard strikes on them. Instead of just spamming punches like many fighters do when they think they’ve hurt their opponents, catch your opponent off guard by throwing a spinning back kick at them. Even missing such a strike can still have a psychological impact on an opponent.


Practice Makes Perfect

There you have it, the basics of throwing a spinning back kick. Dedicate some time to mastering this technique and you’ll have a fancy-looking technique that lands with devastating power in your fighting arsenal. The technique is highly effective at all levels of combat sports from mixed martial arts to Muay Thai.


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