CAT | Endurance
A reader has requested that I create a routine for kicks similar to the one I created for the splits. So here it is . . .
As I said for the splits, it’s important that you follow the routine so that you can get the kicks that you want in the time that you want. This will take three weeks of strong commitment and dedication. Good luck!
Read the bottom (*) for information about getting high kicks.
To start off . . . See how flexible you are. If you can do the splits or are very close, that’s great! If not, that’s fine, too. Just make sure you are simultaneously developing your kicks and flexibility (see this post for lots of helpful stretches and a good, 3-week stretching routine). (more…)
Edit 2/25/07: Kerry–I’m sure everyone is worried about it! Practice. Do it slow and to the counts, then speed it up gradually. The way to do it is start slow, and perfect it. Then speed it up a little, and perfect it. Do this until it is up to beat with the music. It will take awhile, so don’t feel inclined to rush. If you start out slow, it will eliminate the bouncing.
So, the moment you’ve all been waiting for .
Here is my suggested 3-step routine that will help you elevate your kicks. The only thing is, like the one with the splits, you need to be doing this everyday. I think that’s the hard part. This isn’t a week-by-week thing. You need to continue stretching, practicing, and strengthening your legs everyday. If you reserve 15 minutes a day for each step, your kicks will be 10Âº higher in 3 weeks. I hope three weeks is short enough for you to keep up your motivation!
This might also be a good idea to do with your team, so that everyone will have high kicks in three weeks.
You must be flexbile in order to get high kicks. Some stretches and stretching routines are in my splits article.
You need leg stretch to get your kicks high.
Everyday, you should be kicking. Try kicking with heavy clothes on your legs or heavy shoes on (no high heels!). It will force you to use more energy. It’s kind of like lifting weights, except with your legs. If you have an elastic exercising strip (I forget what those are called, but it’s basically a stretchy rubbery rope that you pull with your arms to exercise), use it. Put it around one ankle, step on the ends with your other foot and bring your leg as high up as you can.
Another one: lift your leg up in kick position as high as you can without a bounce. Hold it there for fifteen seconds and try not to waver too much. Switch legs.
It might also help to lie down on the ground and have a friend stretch with you. Lie down, face up. Point both toes and keep both legs straight. Have a partner elevate one leg as far towards your nose as possible. The strengthening part comes here–you try to elevate your leg high while your partner pushes you back. Doing it to a count/beat/music will help.
Kick to a medium tempo song, 2-4 eight counts. Kick for as long as you can do the kicks perfectly. Once you start getting sloppy, stop and take a break. Your goal is to be able to kick the amount of 8-counts in the routine, perfectly. So, keep up the endurance. Everyday, do three sets of kicks, and make them all perfect. The length of the set depends on your good your endurance is. If you can only do one eight count perfect, that’s fine. Just keep doing it everyday, and you’ll see that number go up to 1.5, 2, and eventually to the number of eight counts you will need to last. Remember that the routine doesn’t end with kicks, either! So make sure that after kicking, you still have some energy left.
The best way to improve your kicks is to keep kicking. Endurance is a huge part of having good kicks. Once you’re tired, your unpointed toes and bend knees and bad posture won’t matter–you just want to get it over with. You need to have enough energy so that you can think about these things.
3. Practice, in context
Practice your kicks in the routine, because those are the ones that matter the most. Do the whole set. If you feel exhausted by the end, you’re not there yet.
Comment and tell me how your kicks are looking.