- How to Do a Perfect Side Kick. From Poor Side Kick to Great Side Kick

Dear Friends, In the Past 12 Years I have written numerous articles focusing on the Kinesiology and Biomechanics of kicking. Over the years many people have asked "Why".

Why does my kick look like this and my Master's kick look like that? In the next series of articles I will answer these question. 

The ElasticSteel Method

If you never heard of me and my work, my name is Paul Zaichik. I am the founder of ElasticSteel Method of Athletic Conditioning, EasyFlexibility, and probably most importantly for you (since you are reading about kicking) ESKMS (ElasticSteel Kick Mastery System). 

So let's dive in. Take a look at the two pictures below

elasticsteel kicking paul zaichik side kick poor good

Both are side kicks. Yes, the left picture looks like a back kick. But it's how many people throw a side kick. The picture on the right is actually an animation of my own kick. And by the way before you say it, the left picture is years away from the right one. Cheer up! with right training, the two side kicks are just few months away from each other. Again, With Correct Training! 

elasticsteel kicking side kick paul zaichik muscles

The Supporting Leg

So let's look at the supporting leg. Why is the kick on the left look like a back kick? Look at the left side of the pelvis. Do you see it is dropped. That is why the kick looks like that. Why is the kicking side of the pelvis not up? Because the medial rotators are too tight. In this case the medial rotators are also the adductors. This means:

  • Adductor  Longus
  • Adductor Brevis
  • Adductor Magnus
  • Gracilis

elasticsteel kicking side kick paul zaichik muscles adductors

Medial Hamstrings are also the medial rotators and being short there, will prevent proper hip turnout. 

elasticsteel kicking side kick paul zaichik muscles medial hamstrings

To a lesser degree pectineus can prevent an outward rotation as well in this position. 

So now we know why the torso is looking down. Because of the lack of rotation in the supporting leg. 

The Height of the Kick

The next obvious question. The height!!! Everyone wants a high kick. The height of the kick has a lot more to do with the supporting leg than with the kicking leg. 

Tight hamstrings (More Medial), together with Adductor Magnus, the ischial component is what prevents the kicking side of the pelvis to rise up enough to throw the kick high.

In other words, the Abduction combined with the lateral rotation is missing from the supporting leg. 

How to Use This Info?

At this point you are probably wondering... You just threw a bunch of muscle names, and joint actions at me. But how can I use all this info. You can find the stretching techniques for those specific muscles that are preventing a good kick and do those. OR you can just do the ElasticSteel Kick Mastery System (ESKMS) and get great kicks that way. 

The Kicking Leg

elasticsteel kicking side kick paul zaichik muscles quadratus femoris

Alright now. What about the kicking leg? Well having flexible adductors (Inner thigh muscles) on the kicking leg helps. How in the medially rotated position, the range is very small. Also remember that Quadratus Femoris is also an adductor and medial rotator. So that muscles must be taken care of as well. 

The Torso

And Finally The torso. Have you seen someone throw a very high kick, just to drop their torso so low, that the head almost touches the floor? 

Does that look good? Well, you tell me. Also if you want to spar or fight in that position, be prepared to spend valuable time, dropping the torso and than raising it, during each kick. I rather keep mine up. 

To do that all the lateral flexors on the non-kicking side must be flexible. That's Rectus Abdominis, Obliques, Psoas Minor and Major, Spinal Extensors, Quadratus Lumborum. 

Torso Flexibility

elasticsteel kicking side kick paul zaichik muscles rectus abdominis obliques torso

Flexible torso is really what makes a difference between a high kick and a beautiful high kick. An easy to see kick and a hard to see kick. Think about it. If you see the head dropping, you know the kick is coming. Flexibility in the core allows you to throw that kick without sending a warning signal first. 

elasticsteel kicking side kick paul zaichik muscles spinal extensors quadratus lumborum

What's Next

In the next article we will talk about the muscles that need to be stronger to convert the kick on the left to the one on the right. And remember with right training, it takes very little time. "Keep kicking till you get better" is an old, outdated way. See what we offer instead.


Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Kicking DVD's Series!

Hello. I've been working on the exercises from Elastic Steel for a week. I simply can't believe the results. Maybe this sounds like a stupid advertisement but so do the other messages I read about people that had the same experience.

Actually I noticed something "new" on my legs right after the first session; my knees didn't hurt at all, and when I finished with the hip turns I stood up, I threw a kick and I laughed!! My hips didn't click anymore, and moving my legs was just like moving my arms.
Also, I used to have a slight pain in my quads every time I attempted a front split. Guess what? It's not there anymore; all the previous exercises you do before the split seem to have kind of fixed it or whatever.
So, now you know, if you still have some problems with your hips or something similar keep on doing the conditioning exercises and the techniques explained. Never give up.
Thank you Paul!!!!!!!!!!!!! Regards.- Daniel, Buenos Aires

Just a simple e-mail to tell you how great the DVD is. Due to lack of time (work, work, work:) ), I just looked at it this morning and I used some of the tips to improve my pupils' skills. The explanations are very clear and even if one does not understand spoken English, the sequences are very explicite.I'll just wait because these are more expensive than average DVDs but I intend to acquire more of them. They are  really worth the money !!!When you have trained for quite a while, it is sometimes difficult to go backwards to teach the basics but I think I will do it better thanks to your explanations. Many thanks and 'contact you soon" :)Marc Bouquette (teacher in a Chang Dsu Yao subschool)

Are you completely satisfied with your kicks?

Have you achieved the total potential of speed, height, power, precision and control in your kicking techniques? If you are absolutely at the top of your kicking game, scoring easy kick knockouts and wowing everyone with your techniques, I want to congratulate you, I know exactly how you feel and so do thousands of my students.

I am Paul Zaichik, master and founder of ElasticSteel method of athletic conditioning. I have spent 20 years researching kicking techniques, in the lab, in the gyms with the support of some of the best experts in motor learning, exercise physiology, kinesiology and biomechanics. I have also produced hundreds of free videos on the scientific subject of kicking, which have influenced the training of thousands of masters and students alike.

If you are one of the people who haven't achieved the top of your kicking potential, you need to read this more than anyone else. My method is unique and very different from anything you have ever tried before.

Unlike other DVD's out there, that only show you a few basic demonstrations of each kick from different angles without any explanation of what they are for, the ElasticSteel Kicking DVD series shows you EVERYTHING you need to know about kicks.

In this DVD series I'll take you through step by step instructions on how to get your kicks, higher, stronger, faster in a very easy to understand and safe approach.

Each DVD is packed with information specific to each of the kicks discussed. In this series every Kick is explained and drills are placed in sections for a specific modality, to make it easy for you to maneuver, understand and follow.

This series contains 3 programs (RoundHouse Kick, Side Kick & Hook Kick and Front Kick). Each program has 11 sections each and runs for approximately 2 hours each.

"Paul, I am a martial arts instructor ( Goju Ryu Karate ) and I am thrilled that I have found your site. Your knowledge and teaching methods are outstanding , I will be taking your methods back to the dojo to share with my students. I am always trying to do research to improve how I teach and your site is by far the best I have ever found .Thanks you for what you share with us." - Doug Avery

Section 1- Kinesiology of the kick

kicking kicks elasticsteel combo paul zaichik

This section explains the joint movement of a specific kick, all the muscles working in each kick are detailed with performance variations (Kick executed slowly, fast, against a target, no target, etc.). This is a necessary foundation to get the most out of the numerous techniques, exercises and drills taught throughout the DVD.

Section 2- Kinesiology Review

kicking kicks elasticsteel combo paul zaichik

In this section the kick is again broken down with all the joints and muscles summarized as the kick is performed and paused for each step.

Section 3 - Kick Specific Warm Up

kicking kicks elasticsteel combo paul zaichik

This section focuses on a quick warm up which can make a difference between an so-so and a great training session. This warm up also helps to prevent injuries during kick training.

Section 4 - Explanation of kicking techniques variations and methods of attack

kicking kicks elasticsteel combo paul zaichik

There are many ways to throw a kick to serve your needs in combat or self defense. Depending on a situation a specific angle of length of a kick can make a difference between hitting a target or being hit yourself. Stepping and foot work needed to get the kick to your opponent is also covered.

Section 5 - Endurance Training

kicking kicks elasticsteel combo paul zaichik

Once the technique is understood and grasped, the next step is endurance. Cardiovascular and muscular endurance is required for combat and is a pre-requisite for other modalities such as speed, power, etc. Various endurance drills and exercises are demonstrated.

Section 6 - Stability & Balance

kicking kicks elasticsteel combo paul zaichik

This section demonstrates exercises dynamic stability and balance needed for optimal kicking techniques. Included are drills specifically designed for real combat situations, with the movement and opposition of the adversary in mind.

Section 7 - Focus, Precision and Control

kicking kicks elasticsteel combo paul zaichik

Being able to kick hard, fast and often is great but, it doesn't mean anything if you are not hitting a necessary target. This section teaches control drill specifically designed for kick control such as for demonstrations or for light contact or non-contact sparring. Precision exercises train the fine muscles and nervous system to sharpen the eye-foot coordination.

Section 8 - Antagonists Conditioning

kicking kicks elasticsteel combo paul zaichik

Antagonists training is a scientific shortcut to speed, power, awesome kicking form and other modalities. These muscle groups can prevent injury due to deceleration capacity. They also determine how fast and strong the kick would be by the amount of constrain they place on the antagonists. Each DVD demonstrates various Antagonist exercises for their respective kicks.

Section 9 - Speed and Timing

kicking kicks elasticsteel combo paul zaichik

Speed means nothing if the kick is telegraphed. This section teaches you how to use breathing and visualization to hide your intentions and explode with full speed at the right moment.

Section 10 - Strength & Power

kicking kicks elasticsteel combo paul zaichik

Power is one of the last components to be mastered. Once all other modalities are in place and a well focused kick can be thrown with full control with no acceleration, plenty of power would be produced. Most kickers stop there, but I go further and show you how very specific strength techniques can open a new realm to the meaning of destructive kicking power.

Section 11 - Height and Flexibility

kicking kicks elasticsteel combo paul zaichik

In this section I go over the components of kick flexibility. Any kick draws the grace of its height from at least three components: (The Kicking leg, the supporting leg, and the trunk or core.)  A fine equilibrium of strength and flexibility permits an execution of an effective high kick. This section goes over the drills which develop every aspect necessary to gain tremendous kicking height.

Get this Special Combo Today and Save! You will also get a Bonus (Broad Spectrum Conditioning Video NOT available for Individual Sale)

The title of each program says it all:

Everything you ever wanted to know about a Front kick.

Everything you ever wanted to know about a Roundhouse kick.

Everything you ever wanted to know about a Side kick and a Hook kick.

Unlike other programs's out there, that only show you a few basic demonstrations of each kick from different angles without any explanation of what they're for, the ElasticSteel Kicking programs series shows you EVERYTHING you need to know about kicks.

As always I take you through step by step instructions on how to get your kicks, higher, stronger, faster in a very easy to understand and safe approach.

Let me tell you the real reason you still haven't reached the full potential of your training.


Because you are training wrong! It's not your fault. No one taught you how to train for kicking. And no, your master is not evil and holding back the knowledge that you pay him for.

Most martial arts instructors simply don't know how to train their students when they hit a wall. Think about it; they copied their master, who copied his master and now you are expected to copy what you see as well without any explanation of how to do it. Few people get lucky and succeed without proper training, which is precisely the reason why such a small percentage of martial artists have well developed kicking techniques.

But guess what? This is your true chance to join the privileged minority and achive even greater kicking excellence in shortest interval with least effort. The unique, state of the art training techniques featured in my DVD's are the key.


Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Side Kick & Hook Kick, Front Kick and RoundHouse Kick DVD Series!

Here's a detailed look at what you will receive with this Combo:

Broad Spectrum Conditioning for Kicking DVD

This DVD is designed to do for you what 99% of the martial arts instructors won't do for you. Broad Spectrum Conditioning before the study of the skills. Learn training routines which can be used to prepare your body for kicking techniques. These moves will allow for fast and safe mastery of the kicks.

Learn the training routines to prepare your body for kicking techniques. These moves will allow for fast and safe mastery of the kicks.

Have you ever watched a child trying to write something, before the fine motor skills are developed? All you see is incomprehensible lines? The reason for that is because the neuromuscular system is not yet developed to allow for such a task. This example has some resonance to a new kicker trying to kick. A while belt kicker who is not strength conditioned has to use muscles, which are not fully developed for kicking and are not under his complete control. He will develop these muscles through kicks. It's a time consuming process. Furthermore, it is not the safest or fastest way to learn how to kick.

It takes just one muscle group to be underdeveloped, for the kicking technique not to work. A basic front kick demonstrates this point well. For a successful kick strength is required in the anterior chain of the kicking leg. Flexibility and strength in the posterior chain of the kicking leg is needed for successful and safe height and the deceleration of the kick. That is just the kicking leg; the supporting leg and trunk have many requirements as well. If they are not there, the kick can't let you do the kick correctly, then what are you practicing?

That's where this Broad Spectrum Conditioning for Kicking DVD comes in handy. It teaches you how to develop your body, which is ready to master how to kick.

Being ready, makes the difference between:

-Will you learn to kick properly or not?

-Will you practice to kick correctly or not?

-Will you get injured or not?

-How quickly will you master the kicks?

This DVD is great for the following students:

-If you are just about to start your martial arts journey and looking for a way to prepare for it.

-If you took time off from training and need to get your body into shape before coming back.

-If you are currently training, yet your kicks don't seem to improve.

The Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About a RoundHouse Kick programs

This programs shows you everything you need to master a snap roundhouse kick and an authentic Mauy Thai Roundhouse kick. A special focus is placed on the hip and mid-section to develop the swing of the bat power in the Thai Roundhouse kick. 11 various Sections of this DVD will give you a great insight into the complete mastery of the Roundhouse kick.

The Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About a Front Kick programs

This DVD takes you into an education journey into the most basic kick in martial arts. It focuses on three variations of the front kick, the snap front kick, the push front kick and the stump front kick. Use this instructional to score knock outs in the ring or gain points in your forms competition for graceful, fast, high and powerful kicks.

The Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About a Side Kick & Hook Kick programs

This program focuses on two basic, yet often misunderstood kicks. In this video Paul Zaichik shows you the most efficient drills needed to master every aspect of the side kick and hook kick.  It doesn't have to take years to master a perfect kick, if you know what to practice. Indeed very few masters in the world, who perfected their own kicks, know how to quickly and safely pass the skills on to others. This program will fill the gap and help answer questions that you may have.

 Hurry This offer ends soon!

"I purchased the flexibility programs and the Kicking Series. I have to say they are fabulous! A huge treasure of information. I learn something different every time I watch." - Steve Smith


© ElasticSteel Corp., EasyFlexibility, Paul Zaichik, et. El., 2022. No part of the materials available through ElasticSteel.com, EasyFlexiiblity.com, site may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of Paul Zaichik EasyFlexibility.com, Elasticsteel.com.. Any other reproduction in any form without the permission of Paul Zaichik EasyFlexibility.com, Elasticsteel.com is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Paul Zaichik, EasyFlexibility.com, Elasticsteel.com.

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