How do I make my Legs more flexible?/ What do I need? (Muay Thai "beginner")

Discussion in 'Muay Thai' started by ZockerSWAT, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. ZockerSWAT

    ZockerSWAT Yellow Belt

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    Ok!
     
  2. Gweilo

    Gweilo 2nd Black Belt

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    Hi Zockerswat I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but a simple technique for improving your legs, that can be done at home is...
    Sit on the floor with your back flat against the wall, open your legs until it starts to be uncomfortable, close your legs a little so there is a little stretch, but not uncomfortable, keeping you back against the wall see if you can lift your left leg off the floor, then try your right leg, then both legs, your aim should be to eventually be able to lift either or both legs off the floor for 10 seconds, m once you can do this, you can move on to more dynamic stretching excercise's.
     
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  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    A bag, if you don't over-do it (keep the kicks moderate, not going for full power) is both easier and safer than air, especially for those of us with flexibility issues. Once you get your legs used to the activity, you'll find you can use them - in motion - in ways you cannot rest them. I can kick at my own head height when warmed up, though I can barely touch my own toes, and can't get to any sort of comfortable position in a static, seated stretch.

    But you do want to start with something that's a reasonable kick. If you can find any kind of striking (beyond boxing) style in your area (Taekwondo, Karate, Savate, etc.), you could learn a basic kick or two to work with. You might even find you really like training that style and be able to use it until you can get to Muay Thai someday.
     
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  4. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I love that your "stage 1" is something I've never even gotten close to, not even at my very most flexible. :D
     
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  5. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    This has to do with how long your leg is. If you have longer leg, it will be difficult to do. Most people may have to stretch their leg so that leg can bend upward in order to reduce that length. IMO, that's not a good idea.

    I can no longer do high kick like this any more. :arghh:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  6. ZockerSWAT

    ZockerSWAT Yellow Belt

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    So are high kicks out of the question then for me? xc
    I allways liked the hook kick and spinning hook kick.
    It looks kinda of difficult, but that was kind of my goal,
    to be able to do the spinning hook kick.
    I like to set goals, and that was my 1st
    "medium level" kicking goal basicly.
     
  7. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Both hook kick and spin hook kick require to stretch your groin. The floor static stretching can be good.





    [​IMG]

    This is how flexibly my daughter is today.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Why would you think that? You're 14. I think he's about 70. See a difference?
     
  9. ZockerSWAT

    ZockerSWAT Yellow Belt

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    I got a lot of stretching to do then, I need my legs to be stretchable so I can extend them and I need to be able to stretch like that.
    I like how you need to do a lot of "pre-stuff" before you can actually use them. Some people see that as a bad thing, but I actually kind of
    like it, becacuse you can actually work on your stretching without equipment.
     
  10. ZockerSWAT

    ZockerSWAT Yellow Belt

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    I didnt think much about age. But, yes sir I see the diffrence in age now. I didnt notice that till now.
     
  11. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    You may try the door frame stretching (I don't have picture or clip for it).

    - You put your back on one side of the door frame.
    - Put your leg up on the other side of the door frame.
    - Use both hands to pull the other side of door frame so your groin area can move closer to the other side of the door frame.

    Also to stretch in hot bath tub is a good idea.

    Some people believe that over stretching the groin area (such as the side split) can be a bad idea. It can be bad for the hip joint.
     
  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    In my case, it's not about the length of the leg. My head doesn't get anywhere withing the vicinity of my knee, shin, ankle, toes, or anything. I can see them just fine, but that's about it.
     
  13. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    They are probably not out of the question. I can kick relatively high, and I'm among the least flexible (in the legs) people I know. You're young, and some years of good practice will make lots of things possible that aren't possible today.
     
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  14. Leviathan

    Leviathan Yellow Belt

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    Performing a roundhouse kick against a bag is somehow easier than in the air because the bag stops your leg when hitting the target. In the air you have to stop - and reverse - the movement all by yourself.

    Kicking high does not require so much flexibility: people often mistake a lack of flexibility with a lack of strength in the hips. That seems to be your case, from what I understand. And bear in mind that it's not just the kicking leg that is involved in a kick: you have to twist your pelvis (Becken) and involve the whole torso as well.

    You can make a quick check: ask someone to - gently - raise your leg to the side while you hold on to something in order not to fall. That will show you how much flexibility you have. I wouldn't be surprised if your feet could reach 1,8 meter. Now ask your buddy to drop your leg and try to maintain it up in the air as high as possible. If it drops significantly - say to the waist - this will be the result of a lack of strength in the leg. Give it a try, you might be surprised.

    No need to do the splits to kick at head height.

    If there is no club around I would advise you to consider another martial art. Starting from scratch on your own is not really feasible.
     
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  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm going to offer a strong counter to your assertion, that actually probably supports your assertion.

    If someone slowly raised my leg to the side, they'd be stopping not much above waist level. Seriously. But I can kick (both round kick and side kick) to head height. (Raising it to the front, they'd not get any further than to the side.)
     
  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    @ZockerSWAT, I agree with Dog, but air kicks will work flexibility more than a bag for the reason noted. You can fully extend every time. For flexibility, balance, and core strength they don't have to be full speed. If he has a mirror he can critique his kicks and work on form. When doing air kicks you can kick higher or longer than you normally would, also working on stretch. Bag work is building power, while working on speed and technique, not so much flexibility.
     
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  17. Leviathan

    Leviathan Yellow Belt

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    When someone raises your leg to the side, do you pivot the standing foot? Do you tilt your pelvis? Otherwise it somehow does not make much sense, like "I can't raise my hands above shoulder level but still I can comb my hair"...

    Anyway, Muay Thai isn't taekwondo: flashy jump spin twist kicks or so are not in, low kicks are.

    @ ZockerSWAT: in case you buy a punching / kicking bag, get one that is appropriate for low kicks as well.
     
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  18. spidersam

    spidersam Orange Belt

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    Taekwondo and Muay Thai are definitely very different. However their fundamentals are the same. If there is no Muay Thai in the area he is better off learning Taekwondo, karate, or anything that is local. Attempting to teach oneself often causes injury, poor form, and bad habits
     
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  19. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Obviously you have access to the internet. Google and Youtube static and dynamic stretches. A balance of both works well but I suggest more statics to isolate your stretching in your case. Always get very good and warmed up. You can do any kind of calisthenics or kick sets or striking/blocking drills you wish, just get the blood pumping very well and work up a sweat. Then do a short dynamic stretch set. After you have made a list of static stretches that target the parts of the body you want to work on (hips for example) do them slowly for an extended count. When appropriate, use resistance such as your own body weight, a wall or a partner if available. It takes time, possibly years especially since you are growing. I personally think it is a great time to work on flexibility because it "grooms" the growth phase.
     
  20. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Raising the leg to the side works/tests the obliques (torso), adductor and graclis muscles in the thigh. Holding a leg static in the air is a good measure but does isolate anything. I agree, @ZockerSWAT would benefit from making some baseline measurements, but he is young and just need to get to work after a good list of stretches has been created. As stated he is struggling with mid-section height kicks so straight-on and side splits are very good stretches to work on. Not pretty or flashy but very effective with time.123
     

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