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Achilles injury from incorrectly kicking bag

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I recently started studying Muay Thai in a group setting, and after a few weeks of 1x a week training sessions, developed achilles tendonitis. I thought it was due to all the standing on tip toes part of the art, but I did an experiment and is is definitely only after hitting a heavy bag (probably too much with my foot), that the condition gets worse.) I can throw a few dozen round kicks in shadow without any significant aggravation.

It's slowly improving as I'm not kicking things and stopped taking the class (great instructor, but at 51 I think I've aged out of group training even though I do loads of conditioning, cycle through different regular workouts, get my sleep, etc).

What is the best way to learn to hit the bag on round kicks so that I'm not slamming my foot into it. Any pointers, tutorials, videos, etc, welcome. I've browsed the net and youtube, but my searches have come up empty.

I'm not looking to compete or even spar. I'd just like the pleasure of thunking my shins into things. At my age, it may not be sustainable to do even that, but in order to find out, I have to keep my foot from thunking into things.

btw Sylvie is the Earnest Hemmingway of this martial art. great writing!

  • Sylvie and lucyv like this



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Hi there. I'm 43. I have not I admit, experienced Achilles tendinitis. However I believe that would affect the back of the lower leg / heel? I think your idea about the being on the toes might still be the culprit, especially the supporting leg when you are kicking. Are you pivoting on the ball of the supporting foot as you throw the roundhouse? Are your hips 'turning over'? Are you working on good flooring, so you can pivot comfortably?

When you're pain free, I'd focus on your speed and technique alone with a bag. Just working on hitting the right spot on the shin. Ignore the power aspects. Just try for light contact with your shin, over and over.  Start closer to the bag so balance isn't an issue, and kick low, then when you've got the shin 'impact region' hitting reliably, try moving a bit further out, kicking a bit higher. Save the 'thunk' for until you know your body mechanics are perfect (get your instructor to verify).  :smile:

I hope it heals soon and you find a way to train comfortably! Keep us updated!


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Fighting Frog

Fighting Frog

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Twisting: you're not too old at 51 - I started MT at the same sort of age!

It sounds from your post as though you keep hitting with your foot when doing a roundhouse. Have some time with your trainer holding pads and guiding you into hitting them with correct technique, ie with your shin, and with your foot safely out of the way. They can correct you and help you, and get the old muscle memory well set in. Then work the heavy bag under supervision so they can help you keep the technique correct. You should then stop hitting the bag with your foot and you should feel safe working alone, enjoying thumping bags. It is the sort of thing that's very difficult to get right by watching videos, I think you really do need a real person standing there to help.

Have you been officially diagnosed with tendonitis? I know from my own various foot injuries that sometimes the 'shock' of hitting the leather (or someone's hard head) can send waves down which are agonising to a mending pedal injury.

Hope you manage to sort it out soon. As Lucy says, standing closer to the bag will help. I find tightly pointing my toes away in a nice straight line helps me avoid clunking with my foot (it's probably not good technique but I am terrified of hitting the bag with my foot). Practice the move slowly and neatly until you have it safely, then start adding power and speed as you wish. I must admit that I find kicking during sparring much easier than against a bag - I don't seem to hit a person with my foot at all, whereas against the bag I do need to concentrate on making sure the tootsies are well out of the way.

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Here's one way to get control of your kick in kind of slow-motion before really wailing on a bag with it. It forces you to control the whole motion with your standing leg as you go and you don't hit with your foot because you have to find that range.


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