I firmly believe that I drove my first Muay Thai instructor to early baldness out of sheer frustration from teaching me how to execute a roundhouse kick. It took me at least five months to learn how to kick properly. Although you may be more coordinated than me, you still might have a hard time getting the right technique down.
Steps for Executing A Roundhouse Kick
Kicking Is All About Technique. Proper technique ensures your roundhouse kick is executed with maximum power, hits your target, and delivers devastation. Using proper technique when you perform a roundhouse kick also reduces the risk of injury. Follow these steps and learn how to deliver a knockout roundhouse kick.
Roundhouse Kick Stance
Proper technique begins with a proper stance. Beginning in the right position before performing a roundhouse kick will help you execute the kick faster, with more power, while also minimizing how much you telegraph your kick to your opponent.
- Start on the balls of your feet, in a good fighting stance. There are different types of stances, but all that matters is that you find a style that works for you. Let’s assume that you’re right-handed and have your left foot forward. Southpaws (left-handed people) can just do the opposite.
- For the roundhouse kick, you’ll kick with your right leg.
- Your knees should be slightly bent, and you should be relaxed.
Once in the proper stance, you are ready to perform the roundhouse kick. The technique for performing a roundhouse kick, or any kickboxing or muay thai kick, can be broken down into three parts: windup, execution, and recoil.
Round House Kick Wind Up
The windup is what gives your roundhouse kick its power. Mastering your roundhouse kick windup will ensure you deliver your kick with optimal efficiency.
- Start out by twisting your hips slightly to the right.
- Then, take a small 45 degree step with your left foot.
- Your foot should now be parallel to an imaginary wall in front of you.
- Bring your right knee up towards your target. (Remember- your leg follows your knee; the higher your knee goes, the higher your leg goes.)
- Next, turn your hips over towards the left. You want your inner thigh to be facing the ground. (This is a critical step in executing the kick. Until the motion feels natural, exaggerate the movement.)
Roundhouse Kick Execution
The next part of your roundhouse kick is the leg extension. This is when your leg makes contact with your target.
- Swing your lower leg out towards your target.
- You should hit the target with your shin, not your foot. Hitting with your foot is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. It can even cause you to break bones in your foot.
- Once your shin hits your target, don’t immediately pull back. Follow through, continuing the kick as if your leg was a baseball bat swinging at a ball. This will give you plenty of power.
Roundhouse Kick Recoil
The last step in a roundhouse kick is the recoil. Proper recoil is an important part of strategic fighting. By returning your kicking leg back into your original fighting stance, you are in position to kick again, or execute any other fighting technique that may be needed. Your recoil also puts distance between you and your opponent, helping you avoid a take down and better defend yourself in case your opponent counters your roundhouse kick.
- After your kick is done, return your right leg to where it started.
- Bring both your fists back to your face.
Tips for performing a roundhouse kick like a pro:
- To help develop power, your right arm needs to get involved. Swing your right arm as you kick, turning your right shoulder towards the ground.
- Whenever you execute a kick, you open yourself up to get hit by your opponent, so make sure you keep your left hand covering your face while you are roundhouse kicking with your right leg. Alternate hands when kicking with the left leg.
- Master the technique of a roundhouse kick by practicing the kick in front of a mirror. Stare at yourself while you kick, and critique your form.
- Check out videos of professional martial artists kicking, and watch them in slow-motion.
- Next time you’re at the gym, listen to the tips of more experienced students. And don’t be afraid to ask for some advice. Most MMA fighters are happy to help beginners to the sport.
- Don’t give up.
How Long Does It Take To Learn How To Kick?
Learning the right technique for a roundhouse kick takes time and practice. But, don’t let that discourage you. Once you learn the right form, it’s easy to improve. You’ll get more and more power every time you kick, and in the meantime you’ll kick your way in shape.
You’ve learned how to kick like a MMA fighter, now learn how to look like one. Check out this article: “Eat like Rhonda Rousey to Not Look Lousy”
Kickboxing is a Great Workout
If you are more of a lover than a fighter and getting hit inside of a cage is not your idea of a good time, kicking is still great for getting fit and for mixing up your workout routine with a fun exercise that will increase your stamina, improve your balance, and developing the muscles in your core and lower body.