How To Do A Perfect Side Kick. You need two different types of Strength.
In a previous article we talked about flexibility. In other words, what muscles need to be stretched to get from the kick on the left to this kick on the right.
When speaking of Strength, it's very important not to get confused. There are 2 different types of strength.
- Strength for Proper Technique
- Strength for Power Generation
When converting the kick on the left to kick on the right, we only speak about strength for proper technique.
This is a program for the kicking strength for all 3 side line kicks
What does a proper kick require in terms of muscle contractions?
First and foremost the muscles of the supporting leg must contact, properly, with the right amount of force. Here we enter a first paradox. In the first article (about Stretching) I said that they should be stretched. And now I say they should be strengthened? Same muscles? Really? So should they be stronger or more flexible?
Stretched or Strengthened?
The answer is both.
- They must first develop enough range to allow for a high kick,
- and then contact to allow the pelvic to tilt sideways.
What Muscles Must We Focus On?
Hamstrings (Both Medial and Lateral) are the first on the list. For a Perfect Side Kick, they can't just be strong or just flexible. They must be both.
Of course in the proper range, since leg curles on the machine and yoga type stretches is not it. In ESKMS (ElasticSteel Kick Mastery System) we develop these muscles specifically as they are used for kicking.
However other muscles work on the supporting leg besides the hamstrings.
Virtually All the Muscles in the Gluteus Region.
- Deep Six Rotators Rotate the Hip Out, Stabilize the Joint and Also contract into horizontal extension, ( so that the hip don't sag back)
- Glute Maximus Does Similar Job as the Deep Six.
- Posterior Fibers of Gluteus Medius and Minimus also do the same. (While most fibers are medial rotators, posterior fibers rotate laterally).
Foot and Ankle
Of course it goes without saying that muscles of the foot and ankle stabilize, but the list is too long (and probably too boring for most) to list here.
This is a program for the kicking strength for all 3 side line kicks
Next is the core
A high kick is possible without a strong and flexible core. But it's not a perfect kick. Core strength is important (flexibility too, but we are talking about the strength here).
So lateral flexors of the spine must be strong. Those are all the muscles on the kicking side.
- Rectus Abdominis
- Internal and External Obliques
- Spinal Extensors
- Quadratus Lumborum
- Psoas Minor (If you have it, not everyone does)
Of course Psoas Major Can be included with the muscles of the core, as it laterally flexes the lumbar spine, but is technically listed as a hip flexor.
The Kicking Leg
Next are the muscles of the kicking leg.
- A side kick calls for an abducted and medially rotated leg. Gluteus Medius and Minimus are the champions of this movement.
- In addition Tensor Fascia Latae abducts and medially rotates.
- Upper Fibers of Gluteus Maximus also Abduct (Pull the Leg up to the side)
- The famous piriformis assists in abduction.
Just a quick note. If you are looking for strength, that transfers into stronger kicks, instead of a beautiful kick, other muscles must be added. However, a proper technique, will already make a kick stronger.
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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 programs 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 Series shows you EVERYTHING you need to know about kicks.
In this 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 serie 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
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 series.
Section 2- Kinesiology Review
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 serie demonstrates various Antagonist exercises for their respective kicks.
Section 9 - Speed and Timing
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
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
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.
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The title of each serie 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 series 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 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.
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Broad Spectrum Conditioning for Kicking series
This serie 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 Serie 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?
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-Will you get injured or not?
-How quickly will you master the kicks?
This Serie 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 Serie
This Serie 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 Serie 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 Serie
This Serie 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 Serie
This Serie 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 Serie will fill the gap and help answer questions that you may have.
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"I purchased the flexibility Serie 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