The Stretch Kick is one of the first kicks new students learn. It is not a fighting kick, however. The Stretch Kick is intended to, as its name implies, stretch the hamstrings and lower back. It also serves to warm up the body for the fighting kicks that will follow. New students may find that it tests their balance as well.
The Stretch Kick:
- From a forward bow stance, swing your leg straight up as far as it can go. Don’t over-stretch the kick in the beginning. As time goes on and you feel more comfortable with the kick, try to get foot as high as it will go with proper form (i.e. with a straight leg) and work toward head (or overhead) height.
- The hip of the kicking leg should be well forward of the other hip at the top of the kick.
- As with all kicks, your upper body should be relaxed. Release any tension in the shoulders, hands, and face.
- Unlike most fighting kicks, your arms can be held low at the sides of the body for balance.