My goal is to be able to do a slow, controlled side-kick movement significantly above waist level (ideally, head-height).
Is there any evidence-based training program that would lead to that? I have seen many flexibility guides out there, but no evidence that they are effective for what I want to achieve. Is it actually possible?
At the moment, I can lift my leg to the side about 4/5 of the way to horizontal, with a lot of struggling. I’m not even sure how it would be possible to lift past horizontal. I’m 6’4”, so it may make it more difficult due to longer levers. The best I managed to achieve over years of training and stretching is being able to throw a high kick, quickly - i.e. dynamic flexibility - but not with the best form, control or power, occasionally injuring myself in the process as well.
If it is a strength issue, it seems like some kind of progressive resistance program with adequate recovery would help, and relatively quickly. Yet I have not seen anyone recommend ankle weights or low-rep exercises for this (like, e.g., 3x5 sets for barbell presses 3 times a week, with linear increase in weights + large calorie intake). Martial arts training seems to focus on lots of reps instead and little focus on recovery, and I have had little success with that.
So, is this goal achievable? If so, how? Any examples of anyone actually achieving it, where they started from a similar place to me?