Deliver Devastating Round Kicks With Coach Trevor Wittman
If you’re getting ready for a competition or just brushing up on your kickboxing skills, knowing how to dispatch a killer round kick to the head or body of your opponent makes all the difference in the world. While seemingly rudimentary, the round kick (a.k.a. roundhouse, turning kick or diagonal kick) can always be better developed over time with practice and patience.
In this video, MMA coach Trevor Wittman shows us one of his favorite drills that breaks down the fundamentals of the round kick, helping you learn the proper technique to deliver the most power every time.
Move Your Hands
To get the proper rotation needed to distribute a proper round kick, you have to get your hands moving from one side to the other so your shoulders start to lead your hips, said Wittman. To get a sense of the proper movement, the coach suggests over rotating your shoulders and arms from side to side to develop a pendulum-like momentum.
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Once you got the motion down, Wittman said to use that momentum to throw a backhand, followed by a “pimp hand” (or a hard full-range slap) while twisting your hips the opposite direction.
“What we’re thinking here is rotating my hands and letting them go loose and let the body over rotate. Then I’m going to turn all the way through with my left shoulder up and I’m throwing a back and a pimp hand before the low kick,” Whitman said. “If you’re not getting the right rotation on a kick, this is great to do because of that upward momentum.”
It’s All In The Hips
Now that you got the momentum of your shoulders and hands rotating your hips, it’s time to add in the kick. Wittman said to move your upper body in the opposite direction you plan to kick first, then over rotate your shoulders in the direction you’ll be kicking. At the midpoint of the rotation allow the inertia to whip your leg around to the target.
Once you feel comfortable, Wittman said to drop the left arm as your swinging your body into the kick but still throw the pimp hand while delivering the kick. This drill can be practiced solo with a banana bag or with a partner using proper pads.
“It’s about whipping your hands back into position and get your hips going,” Whitman said. “This drill has always been a good drill for me to teach people to loosen up the body and let the body work.”
Applying The Kick
If you are trying to throw this kick in a competition you are not going to want to be whipping your hands around to get the momentum going. Wittman said the best way to get your shoulders and hips rotating in a fight is to throw a hook to the opposite side you plan to kick from. Much like the movement of a pendulum, use the rotation to throw the kick while leading with the pimp hand. Make sure to keep your opposite hand (the hand that originally threw the hook) down or covering up as you’re throwing the kick.
You can also get the same results throwing an overexaggerated cross and then following up with a kick from the opposite leg using the momentum. Wittman advises against kicking stiff and letting the shoulders lead the rotation.
“If you do these for lots of reps, you’re going to start noticing an improved hip rotation,” Wittman said. “This is going to go against some techniques, but just go with it and understand what we’re doing here. We want our shoulders to lead our hips and get the full rotation into a kick.”
Want to develop better techniques that win fights and take your abilities to the next level? Check out “The Footwork Blueprint by Trevor Wittman and Justin Gaethje” and other instructionals available at DynamicStriking.com