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Let's Kick It Up a Notch! How to Master the Front, Roundhouse, and Snap Kicks

By: RockBox Fitness
Category: Fitness

A woman kicks a punching bag

Kickboxing is a complex sport that combines multiple strikes from both your arms and legs, coordination, agility, and foot-work. To master this full-body workout, it is essential that you are familiar with key strikes, proper form, and how to layer these movements like a pro.

If you are looking to throw powerful front, roundhouse, and snap kicks, you are in the right spot. If you are focusing more so on the upper body movements, you can refer to this blog to master your jab, cross, hooks, and uppercuts.

In kickboxing, you have a lead leg and a rear leg. Your lead leg will be the leg in the front when you are in your boxing stance. Your rear leg will be your back leg when you are in your boxing stance. For example, if your right hand is your dominant side, your left leg will be your lead and your right leg will be your rear. It is also crucial to note that your lead leg is most often used as a more defensive strike (used to create distance between you and an opponent). Your rear leg is most often used in offense as your most powerful strike. Even if you are not using these skills with an opponent, it is important to visualize this when you are working on a bag.

FRONT KICK

Whether you are delivering this strike on your lead or rear side, is it important that you lead with your knee. Begin in your fighting stance and drive whichever knee towards your chest. As your knee moves up, you will begin to extend the lower half of your leg from the knee to meet your opponent or the bag with a flat foot. The key to mastering this kick is not so much in the fluidity of the movement as it is in the speed of it. You can’t linger in this strike– you need to extend quickly and return to your fighter’s stance with the same amount of speed.

ROUNDHOUSE KICK

Your roundhouse kicks, unlike your front kicks, will carry more distinct differences between your lead and rear sides. However, there are some things to consider regardless of what side you are throwing a roundhouse on– pivoting, leading with the knee, and strike placement. No matter if you are completing a lead or rear roundhouse, you must pivot your standing foot to ensure that your hips are part of the movement. In your rear strike, your standing foot will pivot more than when you are throwing the lead. Additionally, you must lead with the knee. This kick, despite its name, does not start, nor end, with a straight leg. Drive your knee towards your chest as if you are doing a front kick, but pivot your foot and lead with your hips as you extend to get the roundhouse effect. If you do this, you will ensure that your shin is making contact with the bag and not your foot. Hitting the bag with your foot is not only improper form, but can cause some serious injuries.

SNAP KICK

The snap kick and the front kick are nearly identical movements. The difference is the type of bag you are on. Your front kick is most compatible with a Thai bag (a long cylindrical bag that reaches to the floor), while your snap kick is most compatible with a tear bag (teardrop shaped bag that hangs, creating about three feet of distance between its base and the floor. On the tear bag, your snap kick will begin just like the front kick. Draw your knee towards your chest while extended the lower half of your leg from the knee. Be sure that your standing leg maintains a slight bend and that your hands are up. As your kicking leg extends, your shin will meet the base of the bag with force and speed. Quickly return your kicking leg to your fighter’s stance.

PRACTICE COMBO

To put these strikes to the test in a full-body kickboxing combo, try out this combo the next time you find yourself on the bag. Locate the RockBox Fitness nearest you here and book your first class for free while you are at it.

  • Jab (1)
  • Lead front kick (on Thai bag)
  • Jab (1)
  • Cross (2)
  • Rear roundhouse
  • Lead hook (3)
  • Rear upper (6)
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