An important part of some martial arts is the kick. This specific type of attack is different from the standard punches, offering a different type of technique and force.
When used correctly, a martial artist can utilize their kicks in order to really best their opponent with a surprising, flexible attack. On top of that, learning to kick even higher has many benefits. But how can you kick higher?
Well, we’ve got the answers for you! In our helpful guide below, we’ve got a thorough breakdown of tips that will help train you to gradually kick higher and higher. Read on!
What Are The Benefits Of Kicking Higher?
There are many benefits to kicking higher, all of which will give you a better chance in any martial arts competitive scenarios.
For one, they will help give you an extra and more effective attack against your opponents, allowing you to mix up your punches and keep the rival on their toes.
On top of that, they will actually improve your overall performance level. When you do a high kick, it helps to increase the strength of your core, as well as the strength of your lower body. Additionally, it will gradually make your hamstrings more flexible.
All of these will help to make you stronger and more nimble on the martial arts stage, which will allow you to get around your opponent more, defend yourself better, evade quicker, and be less prone to injury.
How To Kick Higher
Do A Plank
The plank is a great exercise for strengthening your core, which will allow you to lift your legs higher over time. To do one, get a soft surface and lie on your stomach, placing your elbows underneath your shoulders.
Then shift your weight onto your forearms and toes, targeting your core and lifting your stomach up, with your legs lifting too. Now hold it! Keep your lifted, flat position for a minimum of 5 seconds.
Over time, you’ll be able to do it longer and longer, increasing in increments. Eventually, you’ll be able to hold a plank for a minute.
Stand With One Foot Lifted
This is a very effective way to work on and improve your balance, which will be essential to your high kicking, because you need to remain straight and controlled.
To do it, first begin with your feet on the ground while you stand up straight. Then, lift one of your feet up in front of you. Don’t rush, but take it slowly.
Squeeze your glute muscles as you do it, because that will help stop you from falling over. Keep the foot lifted in the air for 30 seconds
These will help to strengthen those glute muscles we just mentioned, as well as stretching your groin, which is essential because it needs to be flexible to lift your leg so high without causing any harm to you.
To do them, stand with your feet planted outside your hips, and toes directed outwards. First, bend your left knee and lower your body into a squat.
Your right leg should remain straight. Quickly lift yourself back up, before dropping into the same position but with your right knee bent. Then quickly lift again, and do it for the left.
Repeat this cycle for about half a minute.
This will be an essential exercise for preparing your body for lifting higher and higher, easing it in so that you can manage it more easily. First, you’ll want to get a chair to hold onto, so that you don’t topple over.
Once you’re secured, lift one of your legs up slowly, keeping the other standing flat. Make sure to hold proper, upright form. Once you have one up, you can kick it in any direction: side, back, front.
Whichever you want to better, practice that. Do it about 20 times before pausing and switching legs.
This is building on the exercise we just did, but you’re going to do two different directional kicks in the same lift – without putting your foot down again in between them. It will help your body adjust to the positions of these kicks.
Hold onto a chair again, lift one leg up, and extend it out into a side kick position. Then, without lowering your leg again, swing the leg around into a front kick.
Your leg will go from being extended out from your hip to being in front of your hip. Do this switch 10 times, before lowering and moving to the other leg.
This exercise involves the same set up as the previous two, and will help you to stretch your kick even higher. Hold onto your chair again, and lift your leg up into a side kick.
Like last time, it will be extending out from your hip. Hold your leg in that position by using your left arm, and try to lift the leg a little higher. Obviously do it within reason, not pushing too far and hurting yourself.
Once you’re holding it a tiny bit higher, hold it for 5 seconds before releasing. Do it about 12 times on each leg.
This exercise will improve your groin flexibility, allowing you to go further and risk injury less. Sit on a comfortable mat and stretch both legs out either side of your hips.
Plant your hands in front of your groin, before leaning forward gradually. Stop when you feel a stretch in your groin and hold for around 20 seconds. Do not push too far!
And there you have it! Having a higher kick will make you more flexible and effective in martial arts. Be careful when following these steps (do not overdo!) and practice every day for the best result.