Knee Strike Anatomy

Knee Strike Anatomy is simply a strike with your knee. It is a very dangerous move as it can severely injure the person receiving it, due to this, it is not allowed in many combat sports. Knee Strike is allowed in styles like Muay Thai and it is a predominant part of it. Knee strikes are native to the traditional Southeast Asian martial arts and traditional Okinawan martial arts.

Knee Strike utilizes one of the body’s natural weapon, the kneecap, transforming the leg into an incredibly powerful battering ram. Particularly effective when used against a soft tissue target, a knee strike is also a very effective exercise. It uses both lower and lateral abdominals, glutes and front hip flexors and combines it all with the physics involved around the whiplash motion of the upper body, pivoting over the hip joint to help increase the power the move delivers. If you just spend an hour perfecting this move you will walk away with a perfectly good workout.

Let’s discuss the muscles involved in executing a Knee Strike in detail.

Supporting Leg’s Muscles needed to be flexible


Adductors of the supporting leg are major restrictors of movements like Knee Strike hence they need to be flexible.

Hip Flexors:

Hip Flexors of the supporting leg need to be flexible because the supporting leg always remains extended and provides all the support to rest of the body. 

Kicking Leg’s Muscles needed to be flexible

Adductor Magnus (ischial fibers): 

Ischial Part of Adductor Magnus acts like hamstrings in extending the hip so it should be flexible enough to allow free flexion of the thigh for Knee Strike.

Adductor Longus:

It is a strong adductor of the leg that can restrict the movement as shown in the figure hence needs to be flexible.

Gluteus Maximus:

Gluteus Maximus mainly of the lifted leg cause resistance to the flexing movement of the thigh as it is an extensor so it’s flexibility is important.

Gluteus Medius (posterior fibers):

Just as Gluteus Maximus, the posterior fibers of Gluteus Medius act as extensors of the thigh at the hip restricting the flexion of the thigh.


Another Hip extensor that needs flexibility for perfect execution of Knee Strike.

Supporting Leg’s Muscles needed to be stronger

Calf Muscles:

Calf Muscles act as plantarflexors. Plantarflexion is important movement during Knee Strike as you can see in the figure because it increases the range of the attack and also gives power. 

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Some of the Adductors act as hip extensors, like Ischial fibers of Adductor Magnus so they need to be strengthened in the supporting leg.

Hip knee strike

Hip Flexors:
Hip Flexors also require strength in the supporting leg for a nice, powerful Knee Strike.

Quadriceps act as hip extensors and knee flexors. They are also required to be stronger.

Kicking Leg’s Muscles needed to be stronger

Adductors Knee Strike Anatomy:

Muscle stronger

Adductors of the kicking leg in addition to having flexibility, should also have strength.

Hamstrings Knee Strike Anatomy:

Knee Strike Anatomy

Hamstrings help in the flexion of the knee so a very important muscle for the moves like Knee Strike where the knee needs to be flexed.

Hip Flexors Knee Strike Anatomy:

Knee Strike Anatomy

Hip Flexors are very important in Knee Strike because without them, the kicking leg can’t be lifted.

Core Muscles needed to be stronger

Knee Strike Anatomy


Abdominals need to be stronger in Knee Strike as they help in bending the trunk and supports the body against gravity.


Just like Abdominals, Obliques also help in flexion of the trunk so, needs to be stronger.

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Hip Flexors

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