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The 3 Types of Kicks In Kickboxing

What Are The 3 Types of Kicks Used In Kickboxing?

Kickboxing has three (3) main types of kicks:

  • Lead Kick (Side Kick)
  • Rear Kick (Turning Kick)
  • Hook Kick

How To Start Kickboxing At Home

To kickbox, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and non-dominant foot forward. Shift your weight in the balls of your feet and put your hands up in the fighting stance (elbows bent, tucked tight by your chest and fists covering your head).

Make sure you have plenty of space to punch, kick, slip and roll before you start practicing your punch and kick combinations.

What Is a Lead Kick in Kickboxing?

For a lead kick, bend your lead leg at the knee and kick straight out at a 90 degree angle from the floor and your body, shifting your center of gravity over the rear leg. Practice this movement slowly by bending your leg up and striking out, generating power and balance from your rear leg and your core. Try to hit the bag with your shin, slightly above the ankle of your lead leg.

Once you’ve practiced it slowly, speed up the movement until you are able to strike swiftly with a lead kick and return to your starting position while keeping your hands high and tight to your chest and face.

What Is a Rear Kick In Kickboxing?

To perform a rear kick, bend your rear leg at the knee and shift your center of gravity over the lead leg. Use your core to pivot your entire body on your lead leg, swinging your rear leg swiftly to hit the bag at a 90 degree angle. As you kick, rotate your hip so that your shin intercepts the bag head on instead of hitting the bag with the side of your calf. Try to hit the bag with your shin, slightly above the ankle of your rear leg.

Practice this movement slowly by bending your leg up, pivoting and striking. Once you’ve practiced the move slowly, speed up the movement until you are able to strike swiftly with a rear kick and return to your starting position while keeping your hands high and tight to your chest and face.

What Is a Hook Kick In Kickboxing?

Practice a hook kick by bending your lead leg at the knee and swinging to kick slightly above the center of the bag, shifting your center of gravity over the rear leg. While a lead kick is designed to strike an opponent at their center of mass (torso or abdomen), a hook kick strikes the opponent in the chest. Practice this movement slowly by bending your leg up, leaning back and striking, relying on your core to provide balance and precision as you strike the bag.

Once you’ve gotten it down slowly, speed up the movement until you are able to strike swiftly with a hook kick and return to your starting position while keeping your hands high and tight to your chest and face.

After practicing these three different types of kicks, you’ll be able to follow along with any kickboxing workout at home. Kickboxing is a great at-home workout, especially when you combine these kicks with different punch combinations. You’ll work your whole body!


The Author: Tommy Duquette is the Co-Founder and Head of Content  at FightCamp. He is a former US Boxing Team member with 136 fights under his belt and qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials as the #2 seed. He has 18 years experience training clients in boxing and fitness.