They always talk about stepping foot out at 45 degree angle to get ahead rotation on Muay Thai roundhouse kick. Is it okay, to step out with more rotation than that, 60,75, or 90 degrees? I have good flexibility and rotation, former soccer player and gymnast. What are the consequences of doing this, and then kicking?

"Pivot the lead/left leg on the ball of the foot and open up the rear/right hip as you begin your motion. This can be performed by stepping with the lead leg to a 45-degree angle or skip stepping to generate more power.

Also, I noticed my lot of professional fighters feet looks like this, Toes stretched in different directions. I don't think its healthy long term in walking, just curious if any way to prevent this. Thats why I am trying to remove the stretching of toes when rotating quickly against floor friction.



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  • 2
    From my own, painful experience with toes I guess these are a result of kicking into an elbow block unintentionally (damaging of bones and tissue) rather than turning the foot by any degree. Jul 15, 2022 at 10:57
  • I was about to comment the same as Philip. I don't think this is caused by stepping.
    – Huw Evans
    Jul 15, 2022 at 18:32
  • agreed, also the pictures of feet above with toes slanted, is from toes rotating against friction, all the time, I was asking instructor (muay thai fighter) who has same issues cc @PhilipKlöcking
    – mattsmith5
    Jul 15, 2022 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


The risk is not to the feet, but to the knees - and it is more likely to come from under rotation than over rotation.

When you execute a roundhouse kick the torso rotates around with the hips turning "over" to put the leg in the correct position. This is made possible by the foot pointing to the side or rear during the execution of the kick (I tend to say minimum 90' from the target).

If the foot is not turned sufficiently you will create a pivot point in the knee which your leg will try to rotate around to get the hips into the correct position, and this will be more pronounced the higher a kick is attempted as the leg position contributes to mobility.

This forced rotation about the knee can result in ACL/MCL tears, cartilage damage, and in very severe cases rotational dislocation of the knee.

There doesn't seem to be anything special about the 45' recommendation - that just seems to be the Muay Thai standard - the main risks would come from impact to the inside of the knee (i.e. from an opponent's shovel kick) during the technique execution - but this risk is also present with the knee more forward. And again, most reputable muay thai instructors online who demonstrate with a 45' step then pivot into a much greater rotational position afterwards.

One final tactical point - a greater step may be slower than a small step, and may therefore need to be concealed with another technique. I quite like throwing a cross as I step out with the front foot, before kicking with the rear, just as an example.

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