Learning to perform high kicks can help you improve your performance in gymnastics, martial arts, or as a cheerleader. To reach maximum potential, you need to improve strength, balance and flexibility, always using the correct kicking technique. It will take time, but constant effort will allow you to make a lot of progress.
Part 1 of 4: Performing Dynamic Stretches
Step 1. Choose an environment where you have at least 10 meters of space available for stretches
Wear sneakers and elastic clothes. Start each training session with these stretches.
Even if you don't plan on doing a full workout, try doing these stretches twice a day to improve your flexibility. Try to incorporate them into your morning or evening routine
Step 2. Do high kicks
Extend your right arm in front of you, parallel to the ground. Point the palm of your hand towards the floor. Step forward to shift your body weight onto your left foot and kick up with your right foot, fingers extended, towards your hand. You should try to touch the palm with your toes.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Back and forth for 10 meters of space four times as you repeat the exercise.
Step 3. Do back kicks
Place a sturdy chair in front of you. Take a step back and lean forward, leaning back in the chair.
- Start with your foot turned slightly outward.
- Keep your right foot straight behind you, with your toes touching the floor.
- Bring your leg as high as possible, making sure your lower back stays balanced. Look straight ahead to keep your spine aligned.
- Repeat the exercise 20-30 times.
- Alternate legs. Try to stretch your leg behind you as much as possible during the kick.
- Only perform controlled movements.
Step 4. Run in place with your knees high
Extend your arms out in front of you, keeping your hands at waist level. Run in place by lifting your quadriceps until they are in contact with your hands with each step. Continue to alternate your knees as often as you can handle, for 30-60 seconds.
High knee exercises are great cardiovascular and core workouts. Repeat these during your high-intensity interval sessions
Step 5. Try the Kick Run
Run in place, keeping your thighs directly under your body and bringing your calves behind you with each step. Raise your heel as high as possible. Your goal is to reach the buttocks. Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.
This exercise targets the glutes, which are very important muscles for increasing flexibility and mobility in the hips
Part 2 of 4: Increase Flexibility with Static Stretches
Step 1. Add advanced static stretches to your training program
Before doing these exercises, you should start with simple stretches for the hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip flexors. Make sure you do at least five minutes of warm-up cardiovascular exercises before starting.
Step 2. Do a front split
Sit on the ground with your legs extended as far as possible. Rest firmly on your hands, holding them just in front of the groin.
- Slowly shift your weight onto your arms.
- Rotate forward until you feel a stretch in the groin area. Stop rotating when you feel too much pain.
- Hold the position for 90 seconds to three minutes.
Step 3. Do a lateral or sagittal split
Assume the stance that athletes use to jump over obstacles, with the right leg fully extended in front of you and the left leg behind the body. Keep your left knee bent until you are ready to do the stretch.
- Keep your arms on the outside of both legs.
- Shift your weight onto your arms. Lift your body and try to straighten your left knee.
- Try to stretch both legs in opposite directions, keeping your body weight in the center.
- Keep the stretch in a position that doesn't cause you too much pain. Stand still for 30-60 seconds before switching sides.
- Repeat the exercise every day for maximum benefit.
Step 4. Try to do a split by bringing the angle between the legs beyond 180 degrees
Once you have mastered the front and side splits, you are ready to further increase the flexibility of the groin and legs for even higher kicks. After assuming the full split position, place a rolled-up towel under your front foot.
Part 3 of 4: Strengthening the Core
Step 1. Do pilates
Sign up for a basic pilates class, a training program known for its core-strengthening and flexibility-increasing effects. You can also rent Pilates DVDs from the library.
Step 2. Try the scissor exercise
Lie on the ground with a flat back. Raise your knees above your abdomen while contracting your core.
- Lift your shoulders, neck and head off the ground.
- Extend both legs. Bring your right hand to a 45 ° angle from the ground.
- Grab the back of the left leg.
- Bring your right leg towards you as you lower your left leg to 45 degrees off the ground. Grab the right leg.
- Kick up twice and alternate legs.
- Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds - 1 minute.
- When your core is stronger, try to do the exercise without the help of your arms.
- This exercise improves flexibility and strengthens your abs.
Step 3. Do planks every day
Get on all fours, with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Fully extend one leg, then do the same with the other. The weight of the body will be supported only by the hands and toes. Make sure your body forms one long line.
- Hold the position for 30 seconds. Aim for up to 2 minutes of plank with perfect technique.
- Planks allow you to strengthen the muscles of the whole body. Unroll them on a training mat for better balance.
Step 4. Do the swimmer exercise
Lie down prone. Stretch your arms and legs.
- Raise your right arm and left leg. Hold the position for 3 seconds.
- Lower those limbs and raise your right leg and left arm.
- Repeat the "swimming" movement slowly for 1 minute.
- Then, quickly alternate lifting your legs and arms for one minute.
- This exercise strengthens the back muscles.
Part 4 of 4: Improving your Technique
Step 1. Improve your balance
Having better balance allows you to maintain control much more effectively when taking a kick. You can work on your balance every day with simple exercises. For example, try balancing on one foot for 30 seconds, or walking on your heels in a straight line.
If you have the possibility to use a tilting board, you can try to stay balanced even using this tool
Step 2. Correct your body alignment
To reach the maximum possible height with your kicks, make sure you use the correct technique, studying the alignment of the body. By adopting the wrong positions, you will not be able to kick as you should and will increase the risk of suffering an injury.
For a side kick, raise your right arm to the side of your shoulder, with your palm facing the ground. Lean forward slightly to tilt your pubis. Raise your right leg, bending it slightly and hit the palm of your hand with the side of your foot. Gradually increase your hand height as you can kick with ease
Step 3. Practice
Whether you want to kick your leg higher for dance, martial arts, or cheerleading, you need to practice. Regular training allows you to strengthen the muscles you use for your kicks, while improving your balance and technique. You won't be able to get higher kicks in a day, but with practice you will make good progress.