How to Improve Your Roundhouse Kick

How to Improve Your Roundhouse Kick

As all experienced martial artists recognize, effective kicking requires a high degree of both force and control. To help athletes develop this combination, this video presents a three-part martial arts training drill that focuses on the roundhouse kick, a common kick that’s part of the foundation of a wide range of martial art formats. This drill can help athletes of every age and ever skill level develop the coordination and power they need to deliver an effective kick while staying planted, discharging energy from the center of the body out through the heel of the foot while maintaining balance and keeping the force of the move concentrated in the hips.

This move can help athlete build both conditioning in the essential muscles required by the roundhouse kick. And when executed properly and under the observation of a skilled coach, it can also help athletes perfect their technique. A well delivered roundhouse kick starts with the weight over the center, proper alignment of the back and hips, power in the hip flexors, and a high range of motion in the hip, knee and foot. Viewers can follow along with the video and to gain a clear understanding of proper form, posture, and use of the Kbands, which will add targeted resistance to the move.



Martial Arts Training: Setting up the Roundhouse Kick Drill

Before executing this drill, athletes will need enough space to fully extend the kick. They will also need a chair to help balance and isolate the upper body. And each participant will need a set of Kbands resistance training bands, which are available for purchase through the Kbands website.

Athletes can warm up and then attach the straps of the Kbands around the upper legs with the metal rings on the outside. Then they can clip the resistance bands to the straps with the longer band on the front side of the body and the shorter band at the back. Each athlete can stand behind the chair and use it for stability while executing the three stages of this simple exercise.

Martial Arts Training: Executing the Roundhouse Kick Drill

This roundhouse kick martial arts training drill will take place in three stages. In the first stage, athletes will rest an arm on the back of the chair to isolate the motion of the upper body. The other arm should be engaged and bent at the elbow to contribute balance and support proper form for the kick. When in position, athletes can plant one foot and raise the other at the hip, firing the glutes, IT bands, and hip flexors. When the leg is raised to a height parallel with the floor, and the knee is bent and prepared for the kick, the leg can be lowered back to the floor.

At each elevation of the leg, the athlete should concentrate on balance and form, and should make sure the knee is outside of the target. Athlete can place the leg in the correct position and hold it there for a few seconds before the release.

In the second stage of the Roundhouse Kick drill, the athlete will raise the leg at the hip as before. But this time, when the leg is parallel and in position, the athlete will extend the leg at the knee and deliver the kick. A proper roundhouse kick starts from this position, with the upper leg elevated and the lower leg parallel with the floor; the kick should never start directly from the floor.

Athletes should keep the foot flexed and the heel extended toward the target, then they should straighten the leg and deliver kick, then bend the knee again and rechamber the leg for the next kick. Repeating this move will give athletes a chance to develop muscle memory and repeat the proper sequence for the roundhouse kick in a controlled, step-by-step pattern. Multiple reps of this move can help develop the balance and control required for a well-executed kick, and will train athletes to chamber and position the kick properly before delivery, instead of cutting corners and kicking from the floor.

In the third phase of the Roundhouse Kick drill, the athlete will keep the leg extended and the knee straightened after the kick. Then the hip will rotate in a circular motion with the leg fully straightened. This will allow the hip flexors, the IT bands and the glutes to work against the pressure and resistance of the Kbands, and all three of these areas will gain the strength and conditioning necessary to lend power to the elevation of the leg and the delivery of the kick.

Martial Arts Training: Reps and Final Notes for the Roundhouse Kick

The number of reps for this drill should be kept low so that athletes can maintain correct posture and firm during every rep of the sequence. Athletes can start with five raises, emphasizing balance and technique rather than speed. Then they can execute five extended kicks, keeping the leg elevated between each discharge and rechambering of the kick. After five lifts and five kicks, athletes can lock the knee in a straightened position and execute five small circles in a clockwise direction, followed by five more circles in a counterclockwise motion.

After all three phases have been completed with five reps each, athletes can start the entire round over form the beginning. After three total rounds of the complete sequence, athletes can remove the resistance bands from the Kband straps and complete the entire sequence again with no added resistance in place.

Three full resisted rounds can be followed by three unresisted rounds. During the unresisted reps and sets, athletes will feel a greater range of motion in the back and hip flexors. This will make it easier to focus on technique and balance while working through the unresisted sets.

For more martial arts training drills like this one, and for information on how to maximize the benefits of the Kbands and other resistance training equipment, explore the resources available at


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