What Is A Roundhouse Kick And How To Do A Roundhouse Kick

I don’t usually write basic articles, but beginners can use them, so why not.

So What Is A Roundhouse Kick?

It’s one of the 3 major side line kicks. Which are Roundhouse Kick, Side Kick and Hook Kick.

Side line kick, meaning it’s on the side of the body. The foot is usually horizontal. This is opposed to front line kicks. Where the foot is vertical and the kick is in front. Ex. Front Kick Variations, Crescent Kick Variations and Axe Kick Variations. Note, in some styles the front line kicks are on the side or partially in front, not directly in front. The foot is vertical however.

Points of Impact of the Roundhouse Kick

Ball of the foot, instep, shin. In some styles practitioners train their big toes to be the point of impact for the roundhouse kick, but it’s not common. Also while wearing shoes or boots, some kickers will use the toes of their footwear as the point of impact. Finally the “foot fist” has been also experimented with. This is when the toes are curled, and required a lot of toe flexibility and training. In modern times, I don’t know of anyone using this roundhouse kick point of impact successfully.

Stances Used To Initiate or Recover from Throwing a Roundhouse Kick

This kick has been thrown from many stances. Front Stance, Horse Stance, fighting stance, kicking stance, etc. The roundhouse kick is also easy to connect in between punches, this making it a favorite foot technique of many fighters.

Debate about the Most Effective Point of Impact

Leaving “foot fist” aside, the ball of the foot, instep and shin each has their advantage and dis-advantages.

The instep is most often used by karate/TKD, Kungfu styles. (not all, but many)

Advantage of the Instep Point of Impact When Throwing a Roundhouse Kick

Distance… In fighting half an inch can make a difference, and so longer kick has an advantage.

No training needed. Unlike the ball of the foot, which requires toe flexibility or shin, which requires conditioning, the instep is simple. Just pull the toes back and point the foot (plantar flex) the ankle.


In some people the ankle is easily injured, and this max force can’t be produced. In the matter of fact I know cases, where a martial artist can throw full power roundhouse kick with one leg, but will hurt his ankle the kick is thrown with the other leg…

On the street, unless special shoes are worn, the ankle mobility is limited. So the instep can’t be completely exposed to the target.

One argument I often hear is that the bones of the foot break easily. MMA and MT guys like to make the argument in favor of the shin.

I personally think the ankle will break faster than the bones of the foot will.

Of course like any other joint, the shorter the lever the less chances of injury. In other words the closer to the ankle you make an impact, less chance of injury to the ankle. Closer to the foot you make contact, more chance the ankle can be injured.

If you have tight ankle. There goes your instep kicking. You might be forced to kick with the distant part of the foot. Unless you have very tough ankle, that may no workout too great.

Additionally while distance is important means of control, sometimes a shorter kick is needed. Ball of the foot or shin are better suiter for that.

Now Let’s Talk About the Ball of the Foot as the Point Of Impact


It produces more power than the instep.

It also has smaller contact point. Why does this matter? Well smaller surface area of contact, the deeper penetration. If this kick is aimed at the torso, the organs will feel it more, since it can get deeper in.

More distance control. Ball of the foot kick can be adjusted of distance better than the instep kick. If the target is moving, it makes a difference. It’s not a large adjustment, but still.

Element of surprise. Most people don’t expect it.

Can be thrown from different angle at different distance, and can get around the block or guard. I used it and I can tell you, my sparring partners had in interesting look on the faces. “What just happened?”

Padding… The ball of the foot is padded, while the instep and shin are not. The ball of the foot is designed to take pressure, as we step on it every day. The bones of the foot and tibia need conditioning.

Alignment… The foot and ankle are protected, because the foot is perpendicular to the target. Instep roundhouse kick can spell danger if the distant part of the foot makes contact, once again due to long lever.  Shin can break, and they do break sometimes when the kick is checked.


Flexible toes… Few people can pull up their toes enough to expose the ball of the foot properly. It’s not the same as the front kick. You can adjust the trajectory in the front kick, to compensate for lack of toe flexibility. You can’t do this with a ball of the foot roundhouse kick.

Ok And Now The Roundhouse Kick With The Shin. Muay Thai, Round Kick, If You Will.


Power. The kick relies more on the hip than the knee joint. More body weight is placed into the kick. At the knee joint the lever is shorter. (point of impact is closer to the knee) thus quadriceps hold the pressure better.

The shin bone can be conditioned into a baseball bat state. (There is a debate on the health ramification of this, but I doubt any committed fighter cares about that…)

Granted instep and ball of the foot can be conditioned also, but they are placed next to mobile parts. (toes, foot, ankle). One can walk around with a bruised shin, but not so much with injured ankle or busted foot.

In terms of the target, there is an advantage if the thigh is the target. This is not to say that roundhouse kick with the instep or ball of the foot can’t strike the thigh. However tibia just makes a better point of impact there.

It’s a shorter kick. This can be both good and bad. The good is that, it can fit in with the punches well, since the hands are shorter than feet. It can be an easy lead up to the knees, elbows, headbutts, throws and takedowns.

Less knee action. From the point of quadriceps flexibility that is. A person with not so flexible quad or not very mobile knee, can still throw a powerful shin roundhouse kick. On the other hand if the point of impact is the instep or ball of the foot, more knee action is needed. People with no so mobile knees will be at a dis-advantage.

Recovery/Deceleration Advantage

A karate/Taekwondo roundhouse kick needs very strong knee flexors to pull back the kick. This is for both speed and power. But a shin roundhouse goes all the way through, so no pull back needed.


Back to that distance. If I got a 8 foot spear and you got a 6 foot spear, you can still win. But I have a chance to touch you first.

Penetration- this depends on the target. If compared to ball of the foot kick, what is gained in power for the shin kick is taken away by the large surface area. If the kick is to the abdomen for example. Shin has a larger surface area than ball of the foot, so less ability to penetrate.

Flexibility requirement. If you are going to kick to the head, you need more flexibility to connect with the shin, than with a ball of the foot or the instep. The larger the height difference between you and your opponent ( if he  is taller) the more it matter.

Those things break… It does not happen often, but it does happen. Of course you can hurt your instep or ball of the foot as well, but that would most likely be a different type of injury.



Do You Want FAST Mastery of Your KICKS?
3-4 years of Training, You can Master in 5-6 Months!
Or... Do you Prefer the Standard Method..?
“kick and kick and kick some more....
and hope that it will work somehow, eventually...
If you are open to a new method... Read On!

My fellow martial artist,
Let me quickly tell you what
ElasticSteel Kicking Method can do for you,
AND how it works!


So first here is what this method of kick training is known for.
  • Teaches you to kick straight up in the air
  • Effortless kicks are developed
  • Quickly builds up unstoppable kicking power
  • Trains your kick to with speed that it is hard to see or block

I know you want to kick with speed, power and height. Every Kicker Does... What have you been doing so far to achieve it?

PLEASE don’t tell me “just kicking” and hoping something will click somewhere and it will work one day.


Here is the Eye Opening Truth:
If you want SPEED,
You MUST train a sequence that develops SPEED!
you MUST train a progression that develops KICKING HEIGHT, etc, etc.
The worst thing you can do is.... “just keep kicking"
I know people who have been “just kicking” for 2 years,
and I also those with 30 years of "just kicking" experience under their belt.
NEITHER have developed any top-level qualities in their kicks.
(By quality I mean; speed, power, height, focus, control, etc)
However, after I showed them how to train for a specific quality of a kick, it took them just weeks.
YOU READ THAT RIGHT, just weeks to improve their kicks like they could not in years.
Extremely Fast Progress- One Quality At a Time.
One Quality at a timenot all qualities all together.
Let me be clear from the start:
This means that I can NOT get you speed, focus, power, control, endurance, height, etc., all of them in the same few weeks.
I can only guarantee these qualities ONE AT A TIME.
You master, them in a sequence.

So, if you are hoping that you will master all in 10-20 days.
Please go on and keep “just kicking” my program is not for you.
My Program STANDS BEHIND What it Does, And I Don't Want to Hear People Who DID NOT Understand How it Works, Complain That They Did Not Achieve Their Results Fast Enough.

So, IF You Understand That Each Quality Must be Developed One At a Time, and that, Only Then It Can Be Mastered Quickly Then Please Read On....
Now briefly, I will tell you who I am and what I do.

(If you already are familiar with ElasticSteel and me, Paul Zaichik, skip this part)
I See Martial Arts Training From A Different Point of View.

The same as a doctor sees a human body differently than a lay person.

Or a mechanic sees a car differently than a regular driver.

For this reason, I see the speed development of the kicks differently from height development, and power mastery progression completely different than focus training and so on.

Each quality of the kick has a different unique, short training path.

After you train with my method, you will begin to look at kick training with a completely different outlook as well. I am a life long martial artist. (36 years in martial arts, in 2020). My education is in Kinesiology. I have been studying, researching and teaching kinesiology for 23 years.
As you can imagine, my main areas of study ware and still are:
  • Biomechanics
  • Motor Learning
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Human Movement
I have always applied much of my research to Martial Arts.
That is why, when I look at the mastery of kicking techniques, a completely different point of view is seen in my mind, compared to most people.
Take a look at the following video to learn about our Roundhouse Kicking Techniques:
Over 30 years of Martial Arts experience and in-depth knowledge of the human body, now offered to YOU in 4 chapters.
So, when you get this Advanced Kicks combo, you will get the following:
Very Short and to the point and very easy to understand and follow routines for Advanced kicks.

Summarizing What You Are Getting:

 So are you going to keep wasting time?..
and become one of those people to write to me years or months after first learning about my programs,
and say “I wish I got your programs earlier. They work like magic!" ?

Are you going to “think about it”, {I need to think about...}
this incredible opportunity to improve your body,
avoid redundant injuries and waste time?

... only to come back to me many months or years later and get this program anyway?
And wish you, actually started training, as soon as you learned about this information?
Are you going to continue wasting your valuable time without meeting your goals of having excellent kicks?
Or are you going to make the right decision and get this very valuable bundle right now?
If the answer is “yes” then stop wasting even more time. Get this program and start training tonight!
So that in a few weeks’ time you can join the ranks of ElasticSteel MASTER KICKERS, show off your skills and be at the top of your game.
And when you do improve your kicks send me a note about your progress, I’ll be happy to know that you truly are becoming a MASTER KICKER.

Click on the BUY NOW BUTTON below to get started!



© 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.

Next article Do you have issues to kick high?

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields