We are all envious of the girl that manages to kick so high she almost smack herself in the face. But there is more to the perfect kick than trying to break your nose! To improve our kicks in physie we need to take at least 3 elements into consideration; height, control, posture
Photographed by Heidi Boardman
1. Height: Flexibility
Lots of people are only concerned with how high they can get their kick, although important, it is by far the only important element to a perfectly executed kick.The height of your kick is essentially relative to your flexibility. Like the splits, kicks involve the hamstrings, hip-flexors and quadriceps.
Look back at the previous post ‘Physie how to: The splits’ for some great stretches for these muscle groups.
2. Control: Strength.
Having strength in your legs allows you control your kicks and make them look effortless. I find kicks are best executed when you are able to get to the peak of the kick quickly, then slowly lower your foot to the ground.
Exercises to increase the control in your legs include:
- Ankle weights: Practice your kicks with ankle weights (around .5-1kg). Try doing a whole class with your weights on.
- Use a friend: Have a friend hold your leg as high as you can (without hurting). When they let go try and keep your leg where it was for 5 seconds. Then lower slowly.
3. Posture: Core
Posture is all about core strength. It is important to keep your back straight, shoulders down and abs switched on. Some simple core exercises include:
- Planks. See ‘Planking Challenge‘
- Toe Taps:
- Lay on your back and lift your legs into a table top position
- Lower one leg at a time and tap your toe to the ground (to increase difficulty stretch the toe out further)
- Bring leg back to the table top position
- Lower opposite leg.
- Repeat at least 10 times on each leg.
Photo Credit: Cate Norian