How to Do a Pushing Kick

As its name implies, the pushing kick drives your opponent backward.

As its name implies, the pushing kick drives your opponent backward.

For women, the benefits of taekwondo practice -- from which the pushing kick, or mireo chagi, derives -- are many. In addition to improved concentration, self-control and self-discipline, this therapeutic martial arts practice reduces stress, increases your capacity for self-defense and bolsters your confidence. If that's not enough motivation, an hour of taekwondo burns a hefty 752 calories for a 160-pound woman, the Mayo Clinic notes. To learn proper form, practice your pushing kick under the supervision of a certified instructor.

Lift your kicking leg, bending it at a 90-degree angle between the knee and thigh, bringing your knee straight up toward your chest. Hold your toes and the sole of your kicking foot flat -- this differentiates the mireo chagi from other taekwondo kicks and helps you push your opponent back. Support your body weight on your rear leg with your foot flat on the ground. Hold your hands in the defensive position, elbows bent with your hands at mid-chest.

Raise your knee until it is level with your chest. Pull your knee into your chest to chamber your kick.

Release the kick by snapping your foot out, pushing through with your leg and extending your leg until it is completely straight. Your sole should reach its target while your knee is still slightly bent -- continue pushing through until your leg is fully extended. Push into your target with the sole of your foot, not your toes or the top of your foot.

Return your leg to the chamber position. Lower it to the floor, about two feet in front of your supporting foot. With both soles flat on the ground, the toes of your supporting foot should point out at a 30- to 45-degree angle while the toes of your front foot point forward.


  • Keep your back and supporting leg straight throughout the kick, though you'll lean your back as you deliver the blow. Keep the sole of your supporting foot flat on the ground.
  • Hop back on your supporting leg just before snapping the kick out if you need more distance between you and your target.
  • Extend your leg at a slightly slower speed compared to the taekwondo front or side kick when performing the pushing kick.

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