5 Power Kicking Drills For Muay Thai

5 Power Kicking Drills For Muay Thai
Muay Thai Friday

Kicks are a huge part of Muay Thai since they allow you to attack from range. That makes you a harder target for your opponent to counter than when you’re fighting at punching range or closer. 

The most commonly used techniques in Muay Thai competitions are the push kick (teep) and the roundhouse kick. The push kick works like a jab. It’s used to measure distance and to keep opponents off you. It can also be used to tire opponents if you put some power behind your attacks. 

The roundhouse is one of the most powerful attacks in combat sports, yet it’s a straightforward move to master. The Muay Thai roundhouse is thrown like a baseball bat, unlike kicks from martial arts like karate that land like a whip. 

It involves generating additional power by turning your feet, hips, and torso. Muay Thai instructors often teach students to imagine themselves trying to cut through opponents when they throw the roundhouse. The kick is so powerful it should force you to spin a full 360 degrees whenever you miss. 

Given how kicks are often your best weapons in Muay Thai, you want to work on your power. Your physical strength isn’t the only factor determining how powerful your kicks are. Other things such as how well you execute your techniques, mobility, flexibility, and balance also play a huge role. 


Five Drills To Improve The Power Of Your Muay Thai Kicks

Here are some simple drills you can incorporate into your training to make you a more powerful kicker:


1) The Handshake Drill

Here’s a drill that helps you to improve your technique and accuracy when throwing roundhouse kicks. The roundhouse loses a lot of the power when it’s not executed correctly. The handshake drill doesn’t directly improve your kicking power, but it improves your technique, making your kicks more accurate and powerful. 

Here’s what the drill looks like:

  • Get into your fighting stance and face your partner.
  • Reach across your body with your right hand and grab your partner’s right hand.
  • While maintaining your grip on your partner’s hand, bring up your right leg as if you were kicking their ribs.
  • Make sure you turn your shoulders and left foot to the left, and keep your left hand up to protect your temple.
  • Repeat the drill 50 times with your right leg, then switch sides. Don’t worry about speed or power when performing this technique. The key to getting the most out of it is focusing on your technique and accuracy.


2) Heavy Bag Roundhouse Drills

Here’s the next drill you should move on to once you’ve mastered the mechanics of the roundhouse kick. This drill helps to improve the speed and power behind your kicks. It also allows you to work on your precision, balance, stamina, and core strength. 

The key to getting the most out of this drill is moving around as if you were in a real fight while throwing roundhouse kicks. Try not to stand in one spot the entire time. That’s okay if you’re new to the drill, but work on adding movement to it. 

This drill can be incorporated into your workouts since it gets you working hard. Here’s how to drill roundhouse kicks on a heavy bag:

  • Stand in front of a heavy bag and get into your fighting stance. You can also have a partner hold the heavy bag for you when performing this drill.
  • Deliver a roundhouse kick with your back leg. Bring your foot back quickly after connecting.
  • Fire off another roundhouse as soon as the balls of your back foot touch the ground and repeat about 50 times. Don’t allow yourself to rest between kicks.
  • Switch stances and throw another 50 kicks with your other leg.


3) Turning The Wheel Drill

This drill works on your kicking speed and power. It is pretty popular with Muay Thai fighters, even at the highest levels. Try switching up the height of your kicks when performing this drill to improve your agility as well. 

Here’s how you turn the wheel:

  • Get into your fighting stance and throw a hook across your body.
  • Bring your opposite arm across your body after throwing the hook.
  • While bringing your second hand back, turn your hands and shoulders as if you were turning an imaginary steering wheel.
  • Throw a kick at the heavy bag while turning the wheel.
  • Repeat 50 times, then switch sides.


4) Kicking Balance Heavy Bag Drill

student push kick heavybag

Here’s an effective way to improve your balance while you throw kicks. It also increases the power behind your teep and front kick. The key to getting the most out of this technique is aiming for the same spot every time you throw a kick. Place some masking tape on the bag if that makes it easier to identify your target. Kicking the spot helps to improve your accuracy and prevents the bag from spinning. 

Here’s what the drill looks like:

  • Get into your fighting stance while standing in front of a heavy bag.
  • Lift one of your legs off the ground and throw a teep. The kick will cause the bag to swing away from you.
  • Kick the bag again as it swings back towards you to stop it from swinging. You’ll need to use less power for this kick to stop the bag from swinging.
  • Repeat the motion 50 times and switch legs.


5) Low Kick Drill

The low kick is one of the most effective weapons used in Muay Thai. You can land them from far away without putting yourself at significant risk. This drill helps to improve your technique, speed, power, precision, and balance. 

Here’s what it looks like:

  • Get into your fighting stance while standing in front of a heavy bag.
  • Throw a low kick, making sure you turn your hips and front foot with each kick.
  • As soon as the balls of your kicking leg touch the ground on their return, fire off another kick.
  • Repeat 50 times and switch sides. You can also add some punch combinations and finish each one off with a low kick.


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