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How to increase kicking power for Muay Thai

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The highest scoring and most powerful move in Muay Thai is the roundhouse kick, so it's no surprise that people are always looking for ways in which they can increase their kicking power. To increase kicking power for Muay Thai you need to build your leg muscles, improve kicking technique, improve kicking speed and improve hip and leg mobility.


Improving kicking power won't happen overnight. In this article we offer various tips in how you can improve your kicking power, in order for them to work you need to ensure your consistent in practicing all the tips.


Why do you need powerful kicks for Muay Thai?


A powerful kick in Muay Thai is a must have if your wishing to reach a world class level. Due to it's important in Muay Thai and it being a high scoring maneuver, all Muay Thai fighters should invest heavily in trying to improve their kicks.


Power within your kick will also help you to generate speed. The faster you kick the higher the chance that it'll land cleanly on your opponent. It also lowers the chance of them catching your kick and sweeping you.


Does lifting weights make your kicks stronger?


Lifting weights will help you to make your kicks stronger. Compound weight movements such as dead lifts and squats are great at helping to build muscle, power and explosiveness which will all help to increase your kicking power.


Anyway in which you can improve the strength in your legs will help you to generate more power in your kicks.


What effects kicking power?


Leg Strength


The strength that you have in your legs is one way thing that effects kicking power. The stronger your leg muscles the more force you'll be able to generate with your kicks increasing your kicking power.


Kicking Technique


The most important thing to think about when wanting to increase kicking power is your technique. If your technique is not good then you simply will not be able to generate the power from the ground up through your core and utilize your whole body in the most effective and efficient way in order to generate a powerful kick.


Hip Mobility & Flexibility


Flexibility and power are the two most important factors to learning and executing Muay Thai roundhouse kicks. To help increase your kicking power you'll want to improve your hip mobility and flexibility.


Tips for increasing kicking power


Perfect your kicking technique


The most important, and quickest way to improve your kicking power for Muay Thai is to perfect your kicking technique. If your kick isn't thrown correctly you'll be unable to generate any real speed or power. Follow our simple guide below.


  1. Pivot the foot: To begin, pivot your post food at an angle of 45 degrees. Doing this will help to open up your hips. The push onto the ball of your foot to position your hips in a place where you can use rotation to generate the power you need.

  2. Turn the hips: Rotation in your hips is what will generate the power when your kicking. Turn your hips sharply to transfer the power from your hips to your kick. Also drop your side arm down to help force the rotation further.

  3. Kick with the shin: A beginners mistake is always to land your kicks with the foot. You want the hard bone of the shin to land on your opponent to cause maximum damage and deliver with the most power.

  4. Position your knee correctly: The knee should move across the section of the body you wish to hit, whether high, low or in the middle. It should be across the target, rather than blocking and posing an obstruction. This can only be achieved with regular practice. Keep your chin behind the shoulders. Keep your arm (opposite to the leg with which you are kicking) up and ready to protect your face.

Continue to practice your kicking technique on the pads and heavy bag and overtime you'll learn how to generate more power in your kicks.


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.


Improve flexibility & mobility


The main source of power in a Muay Thai roundhouse kick is generated through the rotation of the body. If you have poor flexibility you'll struggle to generate the rotation required to kick with power - especially as you start to kick higher.


Yoga is a great way in which you can increase your flexibility & mobility, or even some of the stretching routines that we've added below.



Build your core strength


Core strength is extremely important for any combat sport. To help increase kicking power your body needs to be able to rotate with maximum force, this will require you to have a strong core.


To increase your kicking power you'll need to increase your:

  • Rotational core strength: developing power in the core and hips to utilize hip rotation to transfer power from the ground

  • Static endurance core strength: exercise such as planks

  • Anti-rotational training: help muscles strengthen and stabilize by placing asymmetrical and unbalanced forces




Increase leg muscle strength and explosiveness


Explosiveness and muscle strength are extremely important for any combat sport move, especially when you are thinking about wanting to generate power.


Lifting weights is a great way to help you build muscle strength and explosiveness. When lifting the weights focus on slow and controller negative movements with fast and explosive lifting movements in order to help you build your power and explosiveness.


Exercises that can help you to increase your kicking power include:

  • Stiff-Legged Deadlift

  • Standing Barbell Calf Raises

  • Box Jumps

  • Dumbbell Lunges


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!


Conclusion


There are many ways in which you can increase your kicking power for Muay Thai. Stay consistent in your training and focus heavily on what you want to improve and overtime you'll begin to see improvements in your game. To increase kicking power for Muay Thai you need to build your leg muscles, improve kicking technique, improve kicking speed and improve hip and leg mobility.


Improving kicking power won't happen overnight. In this article we offer various tips in how you can improve your kicking power, in order for them to work you need to ensure your consistent in practicing all the tips.

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