Hips and High-kicks
A question a kickboxing coach asked me: a common trend I see with beginners when practising high kicks, is the more they practice, the harder it seems for them to kick high.
One of the answers to that is hip mobility. The last episode we covered on the importance of joint mobility, and here is another example of how we can improve our technique by improving mobility.
Rather than looking at our kicking leg, let's focus on our planted leg. Our planted leg needs to have good muscular control to pivot our pelvis high enough, for the kicking leg to aim higher.
Lets watch an example of a kick in slow motion. Observe the hips of their planted leg, and notice how high they have to pivot their planted hip. See how much higher their kicking hip is compared to their planted hip.
As per our last episode, we need to work at the end range of our hip. Go to the range you require, and practice holding that range.
Here are a few other examples of exercises to help increase that range.
1) The Frog- Hip capsule stretch
In kneeling position, put our knees wide, our lower limbs parallel to each other, inner feet planted on the floor. Drop our elbows to the ground, and use our arms to push our pelvis back, feeling the stretch in our hips and hold that position.
2) Hip internal Rotation
Sit with both feet pointing in the same direction, lift the outer foot off the ground keeping our knees planted. The higher your shoulders, the harder the exercise.
3) A gentle glute stretch
In prone, bring one knee to your chest with foot crossing over. Sink into the stretch and hold to gently stretch your glute muscles, piriformis, adductors and hamstrings all in one.