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#416931 - 03/12/09 08:08 AM Leg Problems, Side Kicks and Back Kicks
Druid Offline

Registered: 03/12/09
Posts: 1
Hi All

I have been participating in karate for about a year now and I love it. The only real problem I have is with some kicks, I can do round kicks and front kicks ok, but just cant do proper side or back kicks. Also I cant touch my toes, i can get my hands just past my knees then I feel the pain just above the back of my knee or sometimes right at the back of the knee. The stretching in class is rather generic and to be honest some of the stretching requires to be in positions I just cant get into so it really doesnt help. The karate is superb unfortuantly the method of stretching is somewhat outdated. From what I can gather I think I may have extremly tight glutes and hamstrings, i gather this from the fact that when I stand at ease my feet point outwards at about 30 degrees and my knees point slightly in, after getting a checkup at the docs he said there is nothing structuraly wrong just tightness. So I am looking for some help on how to rectify this.



#416932 - 03/12/09 08:38 AM Re: Leg Problems, Side Kicks and Back Kicks [Re: Druid]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
A bit of a read, but tons of good info, and some links to tutorial sites here:

I am inflexible as well, but a combination of teeth-gritting determination, and some ballistic stretching helped me out.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#416933 - 03/12/09 12:21 PM Re: Leg Problems, Side Kicks and Back Kicks [Re: Druid]
karl314285 Offline

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 326
Loc: The Matrix, Serif is Teacher
hi Druid,

Sounds like pelvic girdle, hip flexors, gluts to quads and hams.

I had same desire and same cursory stretching as beginner. We were expected to be stretched and warmed up prior to class.

Solution that worked for me was Yoga. I had attended a seminar with Gurudev Amrit Desai, he went back to PA and I found a book on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar called "Light on Yoga". Has EVERY pose, just as an interim guide (and to see the freaky flexibility) good book to own. Please, Please do not skip the intro as he expounds well on the other branches of Yoga other than Asana (postures) as well as giving Cautions and Warnings.

Find a certified Yoga Ins., as some asana (e.g. inverted poses esp.) can be dangerous. The asana for hip flexors and the other above mentioned can be done with little danger as long as one breathes into the pose slowly without bouncing.

Every pose has its counter pose. Simply working low body will leave one imbalanced-thus find an Ins. (if many in town and you give me the names of the styles I might be able to give input there)

The standing (and inverted and hand) balancing asana are also beneficial for not just kicking but total body control. Practice every day, one year will give great results, practice a life

hope input helped
-Karl. Peace
do not try to spork the post, for that is impossible, only realize there is no post to spork

#416934 - 03/26/09 12:16 PM Re: Leg Problems, Side Kicks and Back Kicks [Re: karl314285]
WhiteDragon11 Offline

Registered: 05/02/07
Posts: 1165
Loc: Florida, United States
Hey Druid,

Being new to karate, flexibility should be one of your major focuses. It is going to take time, so be patient, but make sure you are not wasting that time stretching. After you read the link Matt just gave you check out this one as well here

Try to incorporate dynamic stretching into your routine, because this is often left out. Most people just stretch using static or passive stretching; however, as you will see, there are many other types out there for you.

As for getting better kicks, just practice. As your flexibility increases, you will find that it is easier to execute the kick. So work on your kicking form. Go over the steps to the kick. For a side kick, you would bring your leg up, pivot and extend your leg, and than pull your kick in, than set on the ground. You should break all your kicks up this way to work on the motion. Than increase speed and strength, but keep the form. Things will get better

#424494 - 01/21/10 09:14 PM Re: Leg Problems, Side Kicks and Back Kicks [Re: WhiteDragon11]
dongdwaeji Offline

Registered: 12/18/09
Posts: 14
I second the yoga suggestion. I couldn't touch my toes and was stupidly inflexible. A few home sessions of a 45 min Hath Yoga workout on DVD and now I can nopt just touch my toes but put my palms flat on the floor... Not just that, yoga makes you feel GREAT.

Edited by dongdwaeji (01/21/10 09:15 PM)


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