10 ways to improve Your taekwondo kicks. Get faster, stronger and higher.
On this page we give 10 top tips to help you improve your taekwondo kicks.
So if you want to kick
1.Improve your basic taekwondo kicking technique by practising slowly
This is something that tkd Masters told us over and over again in Korea.
Slow kicking practise is vital to good tkd kick technique.
Hold onto a wall if you need to. And do your tkd kicks slowly.
Pay attention to every little detail. Look at your your standing foot. Your chamber. Your body position. Your arms.
Take time to get your technique right.
This work will really pay off.
You will find your tkd kicks are so much better when you come to do them fast.
And the added bonus?...
...As you practise your kicking technique slowly you build strength in your leg and core muscles.
And this makes your kicks more powerful.
2.Stretch your way to high taekwondo kicks
Sorry but there is no short cut here!
To kick high you have to stretch.
Unless you are naturally flexible of course! (And in which case we are very jealous!)
Yoga is a brilliant way to improve your flexibility. It's very relaxing too!
And for hip mobility Deb finds pilates helps enormously.
There's heaps of help with stretching techniques here. You just have to do them!
3. Work on your tkd kicking chamber
A great way to improve your taekwondo kick technique is to work on your chamber or knee lift.
Think about flicking a tea towel to hit the kitchen work-top.
It's fast right?
OK now think about using something rigid like a wooden spoon to do the same thing.
It's much slower.
Your tkd kicks are the same.
When you bend your knee the kick is fast.
When you don't bend your knee enough your kick is slower.
It's also tougher to kick if you don't bend your knee.
If you lift your leg straight up in front of you it's hard work.
But if you bend our knee to your chest it's easier. And the flick on the end doesn't take much effort once your knee is in the right place.
Lifting your knee high also helps you to get your kicks higher.
Think about your front kick.
If your knee chamber is low then you have to lift your whole leg to get your kick to head height.
But if your knee is already high then the flick to head height is easy.
4.Work on your core strength
If your core is strong you can keep your body upright when you kick. And your legs can work independently of your body.
You stay balanced during your taekwondo kicks. And you recover more quickly.
5.Are your hips strong enough?
Can you hold your taekwondo kicks out for a slow count of 8?
If you can't you need to work on getting stronger!
Because the power in your kick comes partly from speed....
...and partly from the force you get from the ground.
As you push with your bottom foot you get strength from the ground that transfers up through your body through your hips and into your kicking leg.
Strong hip muscles are important for powerful tkd kick technique.
6.Give yourself an incentive to go faster
Try this taekwondo kick exercise to speed up your reaction time.
Work with two friends.
Get one to hold out the kicking target for you.
And the other to stand behind you with another target.
When your target holder shouts
And your second friend tries to hit your leg before you kick with it.
If you're too slow...?
You get a whack on the leg!
7.Don't step just kick
Be critical of yourself...
Are you stepping first before you kick?
Ask a friend to watch you kick a target when they key-hup.
Do you just lift your knee straight from your fighting stance?
Or do you shuffle one or both of your feet first?
And if you do why is that?
Is your stance balanced in the first place?
Or have you just developed a bad habit?
Most of us get into the habit at some stage of shifting one foot or other before we kick.
Fix this now!
8.Look at your standing foot.
Your taekwondo kick technique can't work if your bottom foot doesn't turn.
It just won't happen.
Your hip can't open up.
You can't extend your leg properly.
You'll strain your standing knee.
And your kick will lack power.
So try your best to be light on your bottom foot and let it turn.
Make sure on your side-kick and traditional turning kick that it turns all the way to the back.
Your reward is more powerful tkd kicks and less injuries!
9.Kick a lot!
Improving your taekwondo kick technique takes time and practise.
Taekwondo kicks are not easy!
If they were we would all be black belts in a few months!
Nothing in this world takes the place of persistence. And to get better you need to persist.
So kick pads. Kick a kick bag.
Kick slowly. Kick fast.
Kick with mates.
Kick whenever you can!
10 And in the end you need to trust your taekwondo and relax!
You've practised, you've stretched and you've built strong hip and core muscles.
Your taekwondo kick technique is right. Your kicks are high, strong and fast.
Your taekwondo kicks work!
So trust your technique.
When you are faced with a breaking board at your next belt test... You don't have to force your kick through the board.
As soon as you force a kick your muscles stiffen up.
The kick can't flow.
The power and speed drop off.
And the break board stands firm.
So trust yourself.
And trust your kicks.
Relax and let your leg fly.
You'll be amazed how easily your foot powers through that board!