Exercises for more powerful kicks?

TenHands

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hello i do shotokan. some people kick me and it no hurt. other people kick me and it yes hurt. how to make my own legs do yes hurt?

Jokes aside, I want to know if there are any strength exercises that directly make kicks more powerful, specifically roundhouse kicks. When I say exercises, I do not mean kicking trees or hitting your shins with hard objects; I mean things that normal non-crazy people would do.
 
It's more a matter of technique and targeting than strength. Sure, strength helps. But a well placed kick with good technique is going to hurt more than a poorly placed, poorly executed kick.
 
I think the heavy bag is the best way to learn to feel which ways that gives you maximum power. But very often there is a tradeoff between power and speed/telegraph. At the heavy bag, just forget about beeing fast, just imagine that you want to kick the bag in half. Getting the angle right, and stepping into the kick and trying to turn your body into the kick is what I try to do for power, at least for leg and body kicks, it is also impossible to get high power unless your balance is in place. This is put to test when you kick against resistance like a heavy bag. When kicking in the air you can manage "balance" in a different way that does not work when you hit something that does not move. One thing I also train is the rythm in the kicks. The muay thai method is very good, it relies more on rythm rather than just exploding from still position. I like to get the rythm myself into the kicks, it also helps to add power.
 
Firstly, nice to have ya back @ThatOneCanadian , need more karate guys around ;).

Secondly, great answers so far. I would also add that when one day an instructor told me to relax my leg more in my delivery... something clicked. I thought, well of course, it's helped my punches to relax more (let go of excess tension), so it would make sense it would help kicks!

I really honed in on this on the heavy bag and it was night and day difference, specifically for mawashi geri but for others too. We muster up too much "effort-ing" when we kick, especially as it's generally a much longer path to the target, so I think we anticipate too early and contract everything in preparation way too unnecessarily. Relaxing, connecting (I'm not a big fan of using the word "tense" or "tighten", but use "connect" instead, so one connects and shores up all assisting body mechanics etc) everything upon impact and kicking THROUGH the target helps.
 
hello i do shotokan. some people kick me and it no hurt. other people kick me and it yes hurt. how to make my own legs do yes hurt?

Jokes aside, I want to know if there are any strength exercises that directly make kicks more powerful, specifically roundhouse kicks. When I say exercises, I do not mean kicking trees or hitting your shins with hard objects; I mean things that normal non-crazy people would do.
It may sound like a boilerplate answer, but it all starts with the basics of learning good technique and kick delivery. Learning and remembering it is a concert of body motion, not just the leg or foot is where a lot of power comes from. Anytime the motion is stopped or the body connection is broken, power is going to be lost.
Practice, practice, practice.
Once you have the motion down, apply it to an object with resistance. This is most often a heavy bag.
 
hello i do shotokan. some people kick me and it no hurt. other people kick me and it yes hurt. how to make my own legs do yes hurt?

Jokes aside, I want to know if there are any strength exercises that directly make kicks more powerful, specifically roundhouse kicks. When I say exercises, I do not mean kicking trees or hitting your shins with hard objects; I mean things that normal non-crazy people would do.
As others have said. Practice good technique, practice often. Kick the bag. And visualize kicking through your target.
 
For strength training- add doing your kicks slowly and with control to your regimen. It'll really work the muscles needed for kick delivery and keeping balance.
 
Anytime the motion is stopped or the body connection is broken, power is going to be lost.
Practice, practice, practice.
Once you have the motion down, apply it to an object with resistance. This is most often a heavy bag.
A side note that is that as someone with low back issues, I found that NOT trying to do powerful kicks that you stop(with kime), but just following every technique through and focus on maximum power transfer (with chinkuchi) and let the target be what may stops it is MUCH better for my back. If my opponent evades, I could opt for spinning instead of stopping, to save my back.

So for me "following through" is not only more powerful, but more ergonomical, not for my opponent but for me.
 
We muster up too much "effort-ing" when we kick, especially as it's generally a much longer path to the target, so I think we anticipate too early and contract everything in preparation way too unnecessarily. Relaxing,
Agree. Good point. I think when trying for power many try too hard which is counterproductive. Overkill in power generation comes with a cost to speed, balance and position. IMO the key is to powerfully launch the kick with hip and knee and then relax the leg and let it do its thing, adding chinkuchi at the very end. The initial acceleration and momentum build up, along with the leg's mass should transfer enough power to do the job. Relaxing along the way will keep it fast.

I find that mental intent and great biomechanics allow me to not have to think about power. It will be a natural byproduct.
 
hello i do shotokan. some people kick me and it no hurt. other people kick me and it yes hurt. how to make my own legs do yes hurt?

Jokes aside, I want to know if there are any strength exercises that directly make kicks more powerful, specifically roundhouse kicks. When I say exercises, I do not mean kicking trees or hitting your shins with hard objects; I mean things that normal non-crazy people would do.
Are you sure the hurty kicks and pillow kicks you are experiencing are being applied equally? Maybe some people are simply pulling their kicks (considerate people) and others are just letting rip (selfish people with no consideration for other peoples well-being and desire to train for the long term)? Also, were you receiving the kicks equally or did the hurty ones catch you unawares etc? Just a thought.

If all things were equal Id suggest kicking trees and hitting your shins with hard objects such as slabs of granite
 
and others are just letting rip (selfish people with no consideration for other peoples well-being and desire to train for the long term)?
A comment on this, as I represent a full contact style, I appreciate getting som pain. I not only condition but also learn from it. If someone is too easy on me (to the point where i can basically ignore multipled attacks) I usually give feedback to say "you can go harder please". It also happens that if the class was too light, I ask to get punched after class.

The philosophy of our trainer in friendly fighting class is basically, inflicting PAIN in your training partner is not only fine/acceptable, it's even part of what signed up for, we do not want to avoid pain. But we want to avoid for sure is injuries that takes weeks or more to heal. Here bruises don't count, or things that heal in a few days or less than a week. A fighting class where I get no pain and not a single bruise is a dissapointment to me. Feeling the hard fights to a certain level gives me energy.

You also tell your partner that, I have a bad rib or a bad leg, please go easy on those spots, that is also common. Of course you also adapt to your opponents overall weight class or age, our club range from kids to 70+ people that still do fighting.
 
hello i do shotokan. some people kick me and it no hurt. other people kick me and it yes hurt. how to make my own legs do yes hurt?

Jokes aside, I want to know if there are any strength exercises that directly make kicks more powerful, specifically roundhouse kicks. When I say exercises, I do not mean kicking trees or hitting your shins with hard objects; I mean things that normal non-crazy people would do.
Two word: Barbell Squats
 
A comment on this, as I represent a full contact style, I appreciate getting som pain. I not only condition but also learn from it. If someone is too easy on me (to the point where i can basically ignore multipled attacks) I usually give feedback to say "you can go harder please". It also happens that if the class was too light, I ask to get punched after class.
Im reminded of niche private members clubs in Berlin I love Berlin.弘
The philosophy of our trainer in friendly fighting class is basically, inflicting PAIN in your training partner is not only fine/acceptable, it's even part of what signed up for, we do not want to avoid pain. But we want to avoid for sure is injuries that takes weeks or more to heal. Here bruises don't count, or things that heal in a few days or less than a week. A fighting class where I get no pain and not a single bruise is a dissapointment to me. Feeling the hard fights to a certain level gives me energy.
I am such a wuss. I took up MA to avoid being hit .
 
Firstly, nice to have ya back @ThatOneCanadian , need more karate guys around ;).

Secondly, great answers so far. I would also add that when one day an instructor told me to relax my leg more in my delivery... something clicked. I thought, well of course, it's helped my punches to relax more (let go of excess tension), so it would make sense it would help kicks!

I really honed in on this on the heavy bag and it was night and day difference, specifically for mawashi geri but for others too. We muster up too much "effort-ing" when we kick, especially as it's generally a much longer path to the target, so I think we anticipate too early and contract everything in preparation way too unnecessarily. Relaxing, connecting (I'm not a big fan of using the word "tense" or "tighten", but use "connect" instead, so one connects and shores up all assisting body mechanics etc) everything upon impact and kicking THROUGH the target helps.
Agree. We have likely all seen people who really 'wind-up' for their kicks. It is a ton of lost motion and wasted energy. Not to mention how much it shows the opponent a kick is coming.
 

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