How To Do a Roundhouse Kick In Kickboxing

A roundhouse kick is one of the most popular kicks in kickboxing because it is incredibly effective. Also known as a round kick, learning how to do this move correctly will generate a massive amount of power. The power of the roundhouse kick comes from the momentum of your whole body rotating around on your base foot, delivering enough impact to throw your opponent off balance easily.

For kickboxing beginners, the roundhouse kick is an essential kick to learn. Once you have a good grasp on some of the best kicks in the sport, do some kickboxing workout videos to sharpen your skills and have fun with your new moves.

How do you learn to do a roundhouse kick?

Here we’ll look at the individual steps involved in properly executing a roundhouse kick, explained by FightCamp Trainer Aaron Swenson. He'll demonstrate each step and explain the most important points, as well as some common mistakes to avoid.

Kickboxer Doing Roundhouse Kick

The Base

  • Assume a fighting stance
  • Your front foot should be straight
  • Your back foot is going to be at a 90-degree angle but pigeon-toed because you want to be on the ball of your foot
  • Keep your elbows in, hands up, and chin tucked

Roundhouse Kick Base

The Setup

  • You are going to be stepping across your opponent
  • As you push off your back leg, shift the weight to your front leg to create momentum
    *Tip: Avoid stepping sideways with your lead leg, stay at a 45-degree angle (opening your hips)
  • Bring your knee up straight through the center
    *Tip: Avoid the common mistake of bringing your leg up too far to your side

Roundhouse Kick Setup

    The Kick

    • Pivot on your lead foot keeping in mind that the more you turn your foot, the more power in the kick
    • Extend your leg all the way out and point your toes
    • Land the kick with your shin and the top of your foot
    • After you land your kick, return to your starting stance right away
      *Tip: Be mindful to return immediately to fighting stance, do not land squarely facing your opponent as this leaves you open to get hit

    Roundhouse Kick

    Upper Body

    • When you kick, turn your torso all the way over 45 degrees
    • You will turn your entire body to a position perpendicular to your opponent
      *Tip: The power of this kick comes from the full rotation
    • Bring your lead hand down to make way for your rear hand
    • Bring your rear hand up across your face
    • Rapidly swing your rear hand back down across your butt to create torque and act as a counterbalance

    Roundhouse Kick Upper Body


    • Assume your stance on the ball of your back foot
    • Step across your opponent
    • Extend your leg
    • Focus on the pivot on your base (lead) foot
    • Turn your body as much as you can
    • Swing your rear hand
    • Breathe to engage your abs and hit even harder

    Roundhouse Kick Recap Steps

    The Lead Side

    • It is common that your lead leg is a little weaker than your rear leg
    • To switch, step forward 45-degrees
    • Remember when you kick, stand tall on the ball of your foot and keep your limbs extended and elongated

    Roundhouse Kick Lead Side

    Roundhouse kick points to remember:

    1. Step 45 degrees across your opponent
    2. Hit with your shin or top of your foot
    3. Pivot on the base of your foot

    The roundhouse kick isn’t only effective, it’s also a lot of fun when you get into the rhythm of the move. This kick engages your entire body, and you will feel the increase in power and momentum as you advance your skills. Remember to check out more training videos to see this awesome kick in action and practice your kickboxing moves!

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    The Author: Aaron Swenson, aka ‘Speedy,’ began his Martial Arts journey under his father’s guidance in the family’s dojo in Chicago. By 2013, Aaron was an accomplished fighter with two National Kickboxing titles and a USA National Kickboxing Team spot and fought for the prestigious GLORY Kickboxing organization. Since then, Aaron has become a sought after trainer in LA known for his technical approach to teaching, fancy pad-work, and utilizing music to make the workout fun and engaging. Aaron is a Founding Coach at FightCamp, where he leads boxing and kickboxing workouts and plans to make his return to the ring. Aaron is also USA Boxing Coach certified.