Kickboxing Basics: Learning How to Kick

kickboxing basics

Since more and more of you are requesting boxing and kickboxing workouts, I thought it was about time that I do some tutorials on how to kick.

Kicking is a great way to work up a sweat and burn calories, plus it’s just plain fun! We’re going to start off today with two kicking basics: the side kick and the round kick.

No access to a punching bag? Don’t worry. Although it’s pretty fun to kick a punching bag, you seriously don’t need one to do these kicks! You can use a pad with a partner or even just shadow kick.

Practice and get comfortable with the kicks—they’ll be showing up in workouts soon!

Learning to kick: The side kick

Get in your boxing stance so you’re slightly hunched over and your hands are covering your face. Bring your knee toward your chest, then stomp outward before quickly bringing it back toward you.

You’ll want to start slowly at first to get the hang of it, and then get faster as you get more comfortable. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when doing a side kick.

#1: Pivot. Make sure that the foot on your standing leg pivots slightly away from you.

#2: Don’t lock out your leg. Make sure you don’t completely lock out your leg when you kick outward. You could end up hyperextending your knee by doing that, so please be careful of your knees.

#3: Stomp it. Think of the kick as a stomping motion where your hips are what’s giving you power, and you’ll end up kicking some serious ass.

Learning to kick: The round kick

Get in your boxing stance, then swing your back leg up and snap your foot at the top before bringing it down. Depending on your flexibility, you’ll want to either aim for waist high, shoulder height or even head height. Most people will get the most power between about waist and shoulder height, so try and start with that. You can also aim for the knees—if you’re using this kick as a defensive tactic, the knees are a pretty good spot to aim for.

Here’s what to keep in mind when you’re practicing round kicks:

#1: Pivot. As you kick up, your standing foot is going to slightly pivot.

#2: Don’t fully extend your leg. Don’t fully extend your leg when you’re kicking out—doing so could cause you to hyperextend your knee, so be careful!

#3: Aim with your shin. If you are kicking a punching bag or a pad, you’re going to want to hit your contact point with your shin (not your toe!) to get the most power.

And remember, it’s the snap at the top of the kick that’s going to get you the most power. Kick hard!

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