How do you get legs limber like bamboo?

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by Replay19, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. Replay19

    Replay19 Orange Belt

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    There's a way to train kicks so that even your high kicks are as fast as an elite boxer's jab. An elite boxer's jab is very, very fast. So how does a kicker develop such an ability to be able to match his kicking speed to that of a boxer's quick jab?

    Well, as we all may know already, it's flexibility and muscle strength. Flexibility on the desired spots, and muscle development on the supporting muscles. But how does one develop the ability to lift your leg up smoothly and effortlessly (without needing to force swing the leg) into a fast, controlled, and balanced kick?

    Some people can literally lift their leg up super swiftly, easily, and hit really hard at the same time. What's the secret? Is it abs? Is it constant training on stretching and muscles? How long does one train to become limber like bamboo?
     
  2. fluffball

    fluffball Brown Belt

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    You just practice lifting your leg up using it's own muscle rather than momentum. There is no secret. It used to be called dynamic stretching, not sure if that school of thought is obsolete or not since I heard about it like 30 years ago, but the concept is pretty self explanatory. Every kicking instructor you'll ever have will tell you to slow down your kicks as you practice and stop using momentum to get your leg in the right place.
     
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  3. AndyTran

    AndyTran Yellow Belt

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    The secret is simply to kick a lot. By a lot I mean thoundsands of rep, and running, and crunching.
     
  4. roventu

    roventu Brown Belt

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    ive gotten most flexible through static stretches. but dynamic stretching is very important too
     
  5. panamaican

    panamaican Senior Moderator Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Literally, just thousands of reps with proper technique and form. There is no other way.

    For example: do 50 with perfect form with each leg every day. They can be fast, they can be slow, doesn't matter so long as the form is pristine. Any rep with less than perfect form doesn't count towards your 50. Every day. Built up to 100. Build up to 200.

    When I trained more regularly, I ended up counting the amount of kicks we did in class. We were doing north of 100 kicks per leg (it takes far less time than you'd imagine you can rep out 10 kicks pretty quickly). Now, they weren't all perfect. But that was the goal.

    Reps on top of reps.
     
  6. Replay19

    Replay19 Orange Belt

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    Yo guys I am doing what you say, but I get SORE as SHIT after lifting up my leg a certain amount of times. Especially when I have lifted my leg up as high as possible it uses a lot of muscle strength, and then I get so sore I can't even lift it up for like 2-3 days. This is normal right?
     
  7. II Muchetto II

    II Muchetto II Orange Belt

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    It gets easier, but also a good stretch after class should help. If I'm lazy and can't be bothered to stretch, sometimes after I've done a class that involved 100's of repetition of the same kick, I can wake up in the night with my leg cramped up.

    Even if it hurts the next day, you'll be fine to go again after a proper warm up.

    Just keep working at it, if it was easy there wouldn't be a load of McDojos about with people that can't kick above the waist
     
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  8. rmongler

    rmongler Black Belt

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    I've seen tkd demo guys pull off things like tying a weight to their foot, then slowly lifting it until its pointing strait up, and holding it there, then start windmilling it around in perfect circles.

    Im not positive what the journey is, but that's certainly the destination.
     
  9. Replay19

    Replay19 Orange Belt

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    fml... i wish i learned how to high kick smoothly from a younger age! loool... oh well sooner is better than never right?
     
  10. fluffball

    fluffball Brown Belt

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    I used to take TDK in several different schools in 3 different states. We did that exercise in every one of them. I actually really like the way TKD teaches kicks because it's broken down into each individual steps. You bring your knee up and hold it, you pivot on your back leg while turning your kicking leg over and hold the kick chambered and hold that, then you extend the kick and hold that, then do the whole thing over for the re-chamber. It's tough, but man does it develop your muscle control. Add ankle weights if desired.

    When I was younger I used to throw full speed kicks at my girlfriend's face and just graze her lips (with her consent, she was also a blackbelt). In hindsight, extremely stupid, but it shows how effective the exercise is. First two steps burn your hips and holding the extended kick out is just torture.
     
  11. Vergilius

    Vergilius Brown Belt

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    The guys above have covered the most important stuff. Agility in the legs and back is something I wish I had more of - especially as I get older (37) - I know a yoga instructor girl with crazy flexibility who has taught me a few exercises to loosen up those hips and it really helps. Talking to people who know a lot about stretching is a really good idea because like with everything, it pays off doing it right.
     
  12. Kanka

    Kanka Black Belt

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    To me its mostly about having a strong core and hip flexibility.

    Ive always been told i have a very strong rear kick but for example now i havent been training in 9 months and when i try to kick hard i just find my core too weak to have any power, and since my flexibility is limited i dont turn over my hips very well.

    There are some core twisting exercises that help (dont use too much weight though), aswell as core stability exercises.

    Not trying to be that guy, but ones speed is probably limited by genetics too so dont get dissapointed if you cant kick fast like buakaw did 10 years ago. Very few can. But i think he also focused alot more on kicking with speed than power.
     
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  13. Kanka

    Kanka Black Belt

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    Then theres also techniqueof course. Most gyms outside thailand dont teach you how to kick properly. If you want to learn you should learn from an experienced thai
     

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