FAD Blog: Perfecting Your Kick Technique
Wed, 29 Jun 2016
FAD BLOG – PERFECTING YOUR KICK TECHNIQUE
Kicks are one of the fundamental skills that are incorporated into the Jazz genre. In this week’s FAD Blog, we will be looking at the correct technique behind various jazz kicks. The first part of a kick is the swish and this one the hardest parts to master, however once mastered will help improve the height and control of your kicks. The swish involves the movement of your foot when initiating the kick so that your foot stays in contact with the ground for as long as possible before pushing though the floor.
Start with your feet turned out with heels together while concentrating on squeezing your thighs and not rolling forward over the arches of your feet. Your hips should stay tucked under, imagining that there is a pane of glass at the front and back of your body keeping it upright and tight. Concentrate on keeping tension in your foot as you extend it forward and that the tip of your toe is the last thing to leave the floor. Pressure should be applied to the floor by your foot as you extend it forward. This downward pressure will help give a more powerful drive upwards in your kicks, and will help engage all the muscles in your leg which will help control your kick. In the video below you can see the drills for swishing for both forward and lateral kicks.
When performing your kick, the first thing to focus on is your posture. As mentioned earlier, start turned out with heels together, concentrating on not rolling through the arch of your foot and keeping your inner thighs engaged. Remember the “pane of glass” at the front and back of your body. Start by swishing through the floor, applying the downward pressure through your foot. Ensure your toe is the last thing to leave the floor as you drive your leg upwards. Your leg should stay straight and turned out at the hips for the duration of the kick. Once the kick has reached its optimal height, focus on engaging the hamstring muscles to help drive the leg back down to the floor – controlling and actively pulling the leg back down is just as important as driving it upwards! This technique applies for both forward and lateral kicks. Below you can see a video of both forward and lateral kicks following the above technique
When performing your kicks always remember the following points:
- Ensure your posture is correct – remember to keep your back up straight with your shoulders back.
- Your hips should stay tucked under and engaged for the duration of the kicks.
- Your supporting leg should remain turned out and straight – it should not bend or buckle to achieve a higher kick.
- Don’t compromise your posture and technique to achieve a higher kick!
- Concentrate on pulling you leg down with as much control as kicking it up.
Follow this technique for your kicks and you will begin to notice an improvement in no time! Work on your flexibility as well to help achieve even higher and more explosive kicks!
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