kick out

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Senior Member
Chinese - China
Suddenly a small but very strong arm encircled his neck and squeezed. The man grabbed at the arm, pulling with both hands as his trachea was forced shut. His knees were kicked out and he could do nothing to stop himself being dragged backward, along the platform, into the shadows.

Hi. I read the sentence in a novel called "Dishonored". Could you tell me what "kicked out" means here? Does it just mean "kick"?
Thank you in advance.
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