Improving kick power/strength

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by ladolcevita, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. ladolcevita

    ladolcevita White Belt

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    Hey all,

    I'm a female who's just got back into TKD.

    When kicking the strike shield during class, my kicks feel so weak (especially in the front kick). My partner will usually tell me to kick them harder but I actually can't do it any more powerful - which I hate!

    All in all, I actually have very very strong legs but when it comes to kicking it's quite wimpy.

    I'm going to buy a padded strike shield to use at home but are there any specific exercises which are great for increasing kick power (with focus on the front kick)? And any exercises that I could do in the gym?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    the weakness' is in the nervous system, its about teaching the mucles to fire at the right time ,in the right sequence and activate the correct muscle fibres, to develop the power you want, allowing that you have reasonably developed muscles in the first place.

    practise practise and a bit more practise. But not endless kicking of a bag,which will only work the slow twitch muscle fibres, focus on single kicks with power that work the fast twitch fibres,kicking a soccer ball may well help as will box jumping
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
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  3. BuckerooBonzai

    BuckerooBonzai Orange Belt

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    You're probably going to get a 1,001 replies and most likely 1,000 different answers but I would have to say that it really comes down to technique more than strength any day.

    I have seen so many students that do NOT have great leg strength but still have great power in their kicks. It's all about generating the force (not Star Wars force!) but the F=ma force. Speed and technique beats brute strength every day in my experience.

    So, bottom line, develop the technique and hone the technique and the power will come.
     
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  4. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    I often see that quoted but is the wrong formula for body mechanics, you should use kinetic energy, which equals 1/2 x mass x velocity squared
     
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  5. BuckerooBonzai

    BuckerooBonzai Orange Belt

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    Good to know! Thanks!

    (still say the answer lies in the technique more than the muscle mass, though! ;))
     
  6. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

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    Try this... kick a heavy bag at chest height, with full speed. Then throw the same kick as slowly as you can.
    Notice it's much harder to throw the second kick. This is because most people rely on momentum to throw their kicks, which isn't necessarily a.bad thing, but if you learn to use the muscles as well as the momentum then you will have a much stronger kick.
    So I would suggest not only spending time practicing kicks fast and powerful, but also slowly, paying attention to technique.
     
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  7. Jedmus

    Jedmus Orange Belt

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    As has already been said and I'm sure many others will say, you should first improve your technique. With good technique comes good power.

    I have much better technique with my left leg but my right is a lot stronger. As expected, being hit with kicks from my left leg is a lot more painful than my right.
     
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  8. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    As others have said, the problem you are having is almost certainly with your technique rather than with your leg strength.

    Without video of you performing your kicks, none of us can tell you what you need to change in order to improve your power.

    Practice helps, but if you don't understand
    a) how the power should be generated in the kick and
    b) what you are currently doing in an attempt to generate power and how that differs from a, then your progress will be slow.

    This is where your instructor can be a big help. If your teacher can explain to you what you need to do in order to improve your kicking power, then you have something to focus on while you practice reps of your kicks.

    Yak sao's suggestion about practicing kicks slowly is also good. Slow kicks won't directly improve your power. What they will do is improve your balance and control so that those factors don't get in your way when you are practicing your full power kicks.
     
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  9. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    I'm not disagreeing , were saying the same thing,in a different way, you saying develop the techneque, I'm saying develop your nervous system to deliver the techneque. It's the same

    you body will naturally select the least amount of slow twitch fibres it can to do what ever you require of it. You shouldn't be aiming to kick your oppoinent, you should be aiming to kick a hole in them, ie aiming for a point a foot behind them, as you would it you were trying to kick a door in. Or if a soccer ball by kicking through the object not stopping on contact. Then you body recruits fast twitch fibres to deliver the power necessary, you do that by practise so you nervous system knows which fibres' to recruit and get efficient at timing their deployment. That is the techneque

    I have low round house that will knock most people over, thats come from years of kicking footballs and a side kick that wouldn't trouble a rice pudding, which I'm working on
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
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  10. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    All kicks are very much about balance, hip movement and stability. Front kick is very much about pushing (at least the most popular version to the body).

    I found that pushing the target, no matter which kick, gives me balance, stability and coordination. Then power comes with speed. Final stage, a balance between pushing, impulse and inertia according to the kick and target.
     
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  11. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    The thing is often the vector velocity is not in the right direction when meet the target. So the kinetic energy is wasted.

    Even being engineer, I prefer the empirical evidence rather than messing with energy, force, power... equations during training. In practice, there is always more than a simple equation...
     
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  12. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    if you mean its a) pointless trying to work it out and b) far more complex than that as the mass is dependent on how much of your body weight you can transfer in to the blow, I agree, but its still a good idea to quote the correct formula if your quoting one at all
     
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  13. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    Don't get me wrong. This is a fascinating field. I just feel I would need a PhD in biomechanics to apply equations properly to the human movement. Maybe equations help some of us more than me. I feel better on the empiric way, so far.
     
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  14. ladolcevita

    ladolcevita White Belt

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    Hey guys, thanks so much for taking the time to reply :)

    So the general consensus is that the power lies in the technique foremost.

    My technique is actually OK with the side kicks (I can get a really good pivot/momentum going) and I can stay in a chamber position for a long time when practicing slowly. So, I've got decent control over my body (even lifting the knee for a front kick is fine). In fact, I'd say my side kicks are very strong (I partnered with the teacher and he said it winded him).

    But the release or "snap" from the lower leg in a front kick is another story. I couldn't make jelly wobble. For example, my partner is coming towards me with the strike shield and I'm supposed to kick/push them away with a front kick - but my snap of the kick is so pathetic that they barely move backwards.

    I've asked my teacher for advice and he has showed me what to do (toes back, and push as though you're trying to push your foot through the opponent, etc) but the rest is down to me.

    So what's the technique in a front-kick that makes it more powerful? How can you increase hip mobility/strength, and what exercises have helped you with your technique too?

    Also, would plyometrics help at all?

    Thanks :)
     
  15. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    its hard to say with out seeing your kick, to get max power to need to be moving forward, to transfer your momentum into the kick,so its a whole body movement your looking for. Try standing kicking distance from a wall, and try to kick a hole in it,( use bouncy shoes). Sp left foot forwards, bring your right foot through and use your body movement to smash the foot in to the wall You can tell by feel and noise how much power you transfered, then do it walking towards the wall to work on your distance timing
    it depends what you mean by plyometrics,the term is misused for any fast movement, it should be, usethe eccentric muscle whilst the concentric is busy( or vice versa) , so jumping off a box and whilst the concentric is providing a shock absorber, immediately jump again. You actually trying to push the earth down. This trains you nervious system to power through obstruction rather than protect its self by turning the power off, It is to some regard what your doing with the wall kick activating the eccentric when your body wants to use the concentric to lessen the shock

    but that said just ordinary jumping is good as well to get your muscles firing in sequence

    as for hip mobility, I'm working on that as well, lots of mobility rather than stretching exercises is the way to go
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  16. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    My advice for the front kick for power is to quickly pick up your heel, as fast as the knee, as a unit, This will increase distance traveled. Secondly, forget balance. The bad guy will catch your momentum. :D
     
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  17. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah. dont push through your oponant. That is sometimes misleading[​IMG]

    Front kick power is kind of how long and how fast it moves horizontally.
    So you pick your foot up aim it at the target. It is then the distance it will travel from there to your target.

    Interestingly the harder you try to kick the closer you want to get to the target decreasing that power.

    The general common mistake is landing to close then giving the target some allmighty push at the point of impact. Which wastes a lot of energy and does sweet fanny adams.

    So dont try to kick as hard. Try to hit the target with a speedy pop rather than a push. And kick from further away.

    You will see the leg is almost straight.

     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017
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  18. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    how long the kick has traveled has no bearing at all on how much energy is generated,
     
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  19. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    So I'm not sure if this will make sense, but it might help to change how you're thinking about it, rather than focusing on the snap. The "snap" idea to me is much less useful for a front ball kick than a side kick. Instead, there are two ways that I think are better. The first is you lift your foot, then propel it to the source as if it was a magnet behind your target. Your foot is just getting dragged along by a more powerful force that you are imagining. If that's too tough to imagine, think of it as if you're pushing your leg. But instead of just pushing once you hit the target, you're pushing through the air with as much force as you can, and continuing that force after you hit the target.

    The reason I'm suggesting this is one thing I notice with the snap is that it results in people trying to generate a lot of power in one instance (when the snap starts, or when there is impact), but that doesn't work. There needs to be power from the second your foot is aimed until after the kick is completed. Otherwise it will do diddly-squat.
     
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  20. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ha!123
     

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