High kicks. The golden technique of martial arts and, in many ways, the mark of a good martial artist.
No one just throws a high kick; only people who dedicate their life to martial arts or ballet are able to get their leg that high that easily. Be it Jean Claude Van Damme or Saenchai, everyone who throws a high kick has spent years mastering it. You need great static and dynamic flexibility, great technique and, most important of all, the ability to set up your opponent for that highlight reel KO.
So if you want to be a part of the high kick club, there are a few things that you’ll need to know.
It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this that high kicks require a little bit of flexibility.
After all, if your leg can’t stretch up there comfortably, then there’s not much use kicking here. Lacking flexibility while aiming for a high kick will almost feel like you’re hefting a big...
Explosive Muay Thai offensiveness comes from flexible, strong hips. . .
With our culture centered around sitting at work, on the computer, or even during our leisure time, it’s very easy to find yourself having tight hips. When you have tight hips, doing many things feel like a chore – going up stairs, stretching, sometimes even walking. In Muay Thai, having tight hips means you…
1) …are not able turn your hip over properly when kicking.
2) …are not able to push your hips to where you want it to during punching, kneeing, and clinching.
3) …probably have bad balance.
4) …can’t generate enough power with your strikes.
There are many ways to increase hip flexibility, though. All it takes is some work, patience – and time.
Posture is so widely and easily...
Stretching is a crucial aspect of Muay Thai training that many people overlook. Without any type of flexibility, it can be very difficult to perform head kicks (and even body kicks sometimes too). Not to mention, lack of flexibility can also cause serious issues in the body including lower back pain and knee problems.
With that being said, here is the post-workout stretching routine that I do after almost every one of my training sessions. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Like I mention in the video, although stretching is important, it’s still only 1 of 9 aspects of flexibility. And I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty naive when it comes to flexibility and although I’ve been doing yoga for 3+ years and stretching routinely, I still haven’t even come close to getting the results I want.
Before each and every training session I do almost the same exact pre-workout routine. It involves foam rolling, skipping rope, dynamic movements, and some light static stretches.
I find that performing this dynamic warm-up routine before banging the heavy bag or doing any other type of Muay Thai training helps me get prepared in more ways than one.
Probably the most obvious benefit of having this pre-workout warmup is that it gets my body prepared for a hard training session. My muscles loosen up, the blood starts flowing through my veins, and the important areas of my body are ready to put in some work.
Besides being physically prepared to train, having my pre-workout routine gets me mentally focused and in the zone. This short 15-minute session gives me the right amount of time I need in order to get my mind zoned in on what I want to accomplish during my Muay Thai training session.
You should consider...
One of the common misconceptions when it comes to flexibility is that to make flexibility gains, you need to lengthen muscle tissue and do a ton of static stretching.
While this makes sense, I’ve recently learned from my buddy Eric that static stretching is just 1 factor of 9.
That’s right – there are actually NINE factors that affect your flexibility, so if you don’t address the ones that are actually keeping you tight, you won’t make any gains. That’s why many people stretch and stretch and stretch but NEVER make any real gains in their flexibility.
You would think I’d be super flexible by now since I’ve been doing a variety of stretching routines at the end of my Muay Thai training sessions and I’ve been doing yoga for a little over 3 years now… wrong!
Yes, I have definitely improved my flexibility, but not at the pace I was hoping for.