Wushu Stetchkicks & Long Legs

Wushu Stetchkicks & Long Legs

This lesson is an extra for the wushu front stretchkick. The goal of this tutorial is to explain why most people should be able kick with to their own forehead. I got some emails from people who said they would never be able to do the wushu kicks, because their legs are simply too long. Of course it's possible that you have longer legs than Jet Li's, but even with long legs you should be able to stretch your toes to your forehead. When I am talking about short legs, you are able to kick your toes to the chin. People with long legs can "only" pull their toes to the forehead. The reason why people can't do this is because they lack flexibility in the knee and calf area. A crouched posture or back problems can make this more difficult too. So, in this lesson you will learn how to compare the length of your legs and your upper body. Even if your legs are too long, you should try to keep your back and your knees straight and flex the ankle of the kicking leg. Kicking high is not everything. Once you are getting used to bad form, it will be hard to get back to the right technique. Learn more about the wushu front stretchkick. Find more wushu instructions at wushu main.


  • Sit on a box or a chair and extend your upper body vertically. Push your head up as high as you can and don't round your back. Make the distance from where you are sitting to the tip of your head as large as possible.
  • Kick Leg Length = THIGH + CALF - FLEXED ANKLE
    Trunk Length = (distance form the thigh to the tip of the head) You can't change the length of your leg. But by flexing the ankle you can make the distance from the hip to the toe shorter, which makes it easier to bring your toes to the forehead. Make sure you sit upright and keep your head high. If the Kick Leg Length is longer than the Trunk Length, your legs are really too long. However, In the next 2 steps I will explain this closer. Use a measuring tape to find out how long your Kick Leg Length and your Trunk Length is.
  • It now looks like if the leg was just as long as the upper body.
  • In step 4 you can see how the leg would be raised if you had perfect leg flexibility. Keep in mind that it takes years to reach this kind of flexibility. So you will have to compare the lengths with a measuring tape. (a beginner won't be able to lift his leg like shown here)
    This is just theory. Anyway, when the leg is raised, you can see that the toe can easily be stretched to the forehead. People with short legs and good flexibility can even stretch their toes to the chin. I know quite a lot people who can do this. Personally, I can only stretch my toes to my forehead.
  • Most people round the back and elevate the hip. That's why it seems impossible to touch the head with the toes. In this step (see step 5 of the animation above) I will show you how long your legs would have to be in order to make this impossible. So if your legs are that long, you have a problem !
  • And here is what it looks like if you round the back, elevate the hip, bend the knee and relax the ankle. Before, the toes were close to the nose. But now it looks like the legs were too long. The reason why now the knee is close to the head (and not the foot) is lack of flexibility - and not a long leg.


  • So how can one achieve this kind of flexibility?
    • Stretch the tendons in the knee area.
      Do the crouched wushu stretch and double leg stretches.
    • Stretch the calves
    • And of course your hips.
  • It can take years to achieve this kind of flexibility for wushu.
  • Don't stretch when your legs are injured.
  • Sit upright and keep your head high. -> Like if you were doing a wushu stretchkick.