Side Kick Analysis

There are stylistic differences between the side kick & different applications of the side kick. Forms for example in Ring Fighting vs in Street Fighting and there are slightly different variations how the body performs a side kick.
So keeping that in mind, the analysis of the side kick that you see is going to be compared to 180 degree vertical, ideal side kick. This is an ideal side kick for demonstration.
This analysis is going to explain what must a practitioner do to get a side kick 180 degrees up, working on:

Analysis of Torso

The muscles of the spine must be flexible enough to allow for a deep lateral flexion to keep the body vertical.
Of course, in fighting this allows you to follow up much quicker with the hand because the body doesn’t have to drop and come back as much.
The practitioner in the picture has pretty good lateral flexibility & strength of the spine.
You would see a lot of people doing side kick with almost straight spine but here you would see that he is bending laterally.
There is a slight rotation towards the kick & a lot of practitioners use this compensation to get the body up.
When the body is rotated like that, the primary resistance comes from Quadratus Lumborum & The Extensors of the Spine on the non-kicking side. As the flexibility of the spine is pretty good on this picture, there is still room for improvement, which means the flexibility of muscles just mentioned.
In addition to Quadratus Lumborum and the extensors of the spine, the strength of the Abdominals on the kicking side & The Obliques are also important for flexibility.


It looks from this angle that there is slight offline between the body and the kicking leg, in other words not a complete straight line.
It looks like a slight horizontal flexion of the hip joint on the kicking leg.
If this is indeed correct, this will take some of the power from the Gluteus Maximus away from the kick.
The abduction of the hip looks pretty good. It can improve by few degrees & that is not going to be an easy job because the muscles that abduct in the close range are pretty weak.
The short range means that the muscle is completely flexed.
In other words, if you were to flex your elbow as you do in a bicep curl & touch your fingers to your shoulder & try to contract your bicep in that range, that is a short range. If you try doing something like that, you will see how weak the muscle is in that range.
However, it is possible to strengthen the muscle in that short range.
Muscles being Gluteus Minimus, Gluteus Medius, Tensor Facial Lata and upper point of Gluteus Maximus.
The difference between a kicker who is intermediate & a very polished, advanced kicker is those few degrees. And you can actually see them when you see somebody kick.
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The height comes from the position of the pelvis and the position of the pelvis is dictated by the supporting leg.
Supporting leg is very important if you are looking for a high kick, you need supporting leg’s strength & flexibility.
In supporting leg, the strength is in long range.
The long or deep range is contracting the muscle where it is fully stretched.
So, the same muscles that need to be stretched are also the same muscles that need to be strengthened.
Having flexibility without strength doesn’t guarantee a high kick.It is possible to swing a leg up if you have only flexibility but no strength in the supporting leg.
But to do a proper kick with control or specially if you try to hold it, you need strength in the supporting leg.
The higher you want to kick, the more turnout you need. If you look at the standing leg, which is the right leg, the turnout is not complete. If you want to kick high, you need complete turnout.
Your hip joint will simply not allow you to abduct your leg if it is not turned out.
The restricting muscles on a supporting leg are:
  • The lower Adductor Magnus
  • Medial Hamstrings (which are Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus)
Other Adductors and Pectineus can get in the way, if they are very tight but usually, they do not.
However, Adductor Longus needs to be just a little bit tight and it can also get in the way.
But primarily, it is Adductor Magnus, the lower fibers & the Medial Hamstrings. Although if someone has very tight Lateral Hamstrings, they can get in the way. But the lateral hamstring which is Biceps Femoris is just flexible enough, many people can pull so without having very good flexibility in lateral hamstring.
Mastery of an Open Front Split or even better slight Over Split on the open front split guarantees enough flexibility for a vertical 180-degree side kick. Doesn’t guarantee the strength, the control, the balance but guarantees the flexibility.
Slight over split is always recommended. If you are looking for 180-degree kick, an over split of at least 10-15 degrees is recommended.
It is important to keep in mind that whatever degree you have in an open front split, if you measure the degree of your standing side kick specially if you are holding it, it will always going to be less.


On the street or in the ring, it can stop the opponent cold. How come it’s only rarely used to it’s full effectiveness. A large part of the equation to utilize the kick fully, is found in the set up. The more powerful the kick (or punch), the more shifting of mass is needed.

This means longer trajectory. For this reason, it is easier to detect. Thus making it less effective. Very few fighters can keep scoring with a side kick outright. Just like very few fighters can keep throwing a straight right and landing each time.Power shots require a set up.

This combo includes the following programs:
Side Kick Height Development
Technical Kicking Leg Development
Trunk Flexibility and Strength Development
Side Kick Power Development
Side Kick Speed Development
Side Kick Precision & Accuracy
Flying Side Kick

The programs were designed by Paul Zaichik, martial arts and kinesiology expert, founder of ElasticSteel in 2005.

Paul Zaichik and his team have been perfecting martial arts training since then, and here we bring you all this distilled knowledge to make you and unstoppable kicking machine.

Side Kick Height Development

Kicking height of the side line kicks, depends on the flexibility of the supporting leg or standing leg. In order to throw a high kick, the kicking side of the pelvis must tilt up. If the pelvic does not tilt, the kicking hip abduct no more than 45 degrees.

Side Kick: Technical Kicking Leg Development

Ideally developing the kicking leg should take place even before a single kick is thrown. However that’s not possible for most people. Everyone who lands on this page, has already thrown kicks.

Side Kick and Side Line Kicks: Trunk Flexibility and Strength Development for Optimum Kicks Development

If your torso is strong and flexible the kick is hard to see when it’s coming. If the trunk is stiff and weak, it will drop before the kick is initiated. It can be seen a mile away.

Thus is takes less effort to throw a kick when the torso does not have to make a trip to the corner store and back every time the leg comes up. Yes, it’s that important and that’s why we made a program for it.

Side Kick Power Development

Side Kick have been developed for power. It’s advantage is full mass acceleration, in direct like with the impact. Joint effort of the strongest muscle groups in the body. No weak link to give or buckle upon impact. All these factors compound a biomechanically advantageous “go to” weapon, when raw power is called for.

With power comes responsibility. I am not talking about “driving the person you kicked to the hospital” type responsibility. But responsibility to your own self. To your own body. The impact of the kick is severe and stress on joints accumulates over time. In order to strive under that stress the body must be properly conditioned to handle that impact.

Side Kick: Speed Development

Why “safe progression”? When it comes to speed training chances of injuries is very high. This does not apply only to side kick of course. Slowing the kick down is the moment when injuries happen. Every fast kick needs to be decelerated. (you are not throwing a rock or a ball, but your foot) So you need to pull the kick back. The faster you kick, the harder you need to pull it back. In case of the side kick the hip flexors and adductors do most of that “pulling back”.

Side Kick: Precision and Accuracy

Side kick is the kick known for it’s power. Side kick is also the least accurate kick of all kicks. Muscles used in the kick are large and powerful. Regulation of these muscles is called gross motor control. The opposite of GMC is fine motor control. The example of FMC is writing with a pen. Fine motor control is what is needed for accuracy. The two types of control rarely naturally co-exist. They are brought together through specialized training.

Flying Side Kick

This program shows a safe flying side kick progression and develops the height of the kick. The capacity to jump high while performing this kick is found in a proper takeoff. However, to do the kick safely multiple times, the landing is of greatest importance.
How high is their upper body during side line kicks?
Ok, enough said. In this program we focus on the flexibility and strength training of the torso. It’s not a six pack program... (however it will greatly develop the core), but body builder looking abs is not its primary purpose. The purpose is to improve every aspect of the Side Kick, Roundhouse Kick and Hook Kick.

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Please note: that these are not downloadable programs, nor are these programs available in DVD format. All our programs are Pre Recorded Online On Demand Video Strength & Flexibility Training Programs. Once you place your order, you will receive an email containing your login information on how to login to your very own online library which will contain all the programs that you purchase from us. This is an online library, which you can access any time that you wish from any device, phone, computer, ipad. There is no time limit for you to view your programs, you get to keep them in your library indefinitely, and access them any time, anywhere, and for as long as you want to!


Adductors Strength & Flexibility
This program contains: 

Adductors are four muscles whose primary role is hip adduction. Adduction is pulling the limb toward the mid-line of the body.

Additionally some texts list Pectineus as an adductor. There are a number of other muscles that also adduct the leg. Most of those muscles are external rotators of the hip. Since most applications of abduction have a superimposed lateral rotation, additional adductors do not restrict abduction or horizontal abduction. The exception are medial hamstrings, which are internal rotators of the hip.
All Kick Master Combo
This Package includes:

Side Kick Training (7 programs)
1- Technical Kicking Leg Development
2- Trunk Flexibility and Strength for Optimum Kicking
3- Supporting Leg Training For Kicking Height
4- Precision and Accuracy
5- Speed Development
6- Power Development
7- Neutralizing Opponents Defense and Guard Penetration Set Ups
Roundhouse and Hook Kicks Training (4 programs)
1- Roundhouse Kick: Technical Kicking Leg Development
2- Roundhouse Kick: Speed Development
3- Roundhouse Kick: Power Development
4- Hook Kick: Power Development
Front Kick Training (5 programs)
1- Front Kick and Front Line Kicks: Technical Kicking Leg Development
2- Front Kick: Speed Development
3- Push Front Kick: Power Development
4- Axe Kick: Power Development
5- Ball of the Foot: Point of Impact
Advance Kick Training (4 programs)
1- Twist Kick Technical Kicking Leg Development
2- Flying Side Kick: Technique and Jumping Height Development
3- Scorpion Kick: Perfect form Development
4- Flying Split Scissors Kick, Two Direction Kick
Kick Retention Training
A specific video focusing on functional kick training.
Three Classic ElasticSteel Functional Strength And Conditioning Books
1- The Gravity Advantage
2- The Gravity Advantage Max
3- The Power of One
Two Extra Programs for Hand Conditioning
1- Fist Point of Impact: Wrist, Knuckles and Forearm Development
2- Palm Strike Strength and Flexibility Training
Complete Shoulder Flexion
This program contains: 

Being able to stretch the shoulder abductors and extensors, as well as scapula inferior rotators allows the arm to come up to at least vertical line. In many cases more than 180 degree is needed, in throwing sports for example, such as javelin, football and baseball. Same applied to serves in volleyball and rocket sports.

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