Effective Muay Thai training routines and workout plans
Muay Thai training regime is physically demanding. You will have to invest a lot of sweat to develop great stamina and outstanding cardio before you learn any fighting techniques.
It is absolutely necessary to condition your body and to build up great physical endurance. Only then you will be able to do full-contact sparring with other Muay Thai practitioners.
The proper workout will improve your strength and stamina. It will also toughen up your abs so you can withstand more punishment in the ring.
If you are physically fit already, take a look at Muay Thai combinations
which you can practice on your own or with a sparring partner.
I would like to share with you some useful tips that I learned while training in Muay Thai gym in London and in a camp in Thailand.
Build up your stamina and toughen up your abs
Let's start with the basics
- Running: this is one of the best ways to boost your stamina. A pattern: slow run - sprint run - slow run - sprint again is great for building up stamina. Running also speeds up metabolism to faster burn extra fat tissue.
- Jump Rope Workout: good for stamina and breathing efficiency. It also helps to improve your footwork and limb coordination.
- Plank: toughens up abs, back muscles, and shoulders.
- Sit-Ups: standard ones and bicycle Sit Ups. Great abs workout
- Leg Raises: from lying and seated position. Don't forget to change the tempo of the exercise at regular time intervals. This workout tones abdominal muscles.
4 types of crunches: great abs exercises
- Thai crunch: is performed by hitting the stomach after full contraction. This variation is used by Thai fighters for conditioning the core. This way they are able to absorb much more punishment from knees strikes and punches during a fight.
- reverse crunch: is done with the upper back on the floor and lifting the hips up instead.
- twisting crunch: is performed by lifting one shoulder at a time. More emphasis is placed on the obliques.
- cable crunch: is performed while kneeling upright by curling the body to pull down on a cable machine. The hips are kept motionless.
Toughen up your muscles. Build strength and explosive power:
- dips: build up triceps and chest muscles. Add some weights for extra resistance.
Shoulder width dips work well for triceps and the rhomboid muscles of your back.
Wide arm dips put more weight on the pectoral chest muscles.
- squats: great for building up leg muscles. I recommend doing both: bodyweight only and barbell squats
overhand pull-ups back of your palm is facing your head while lifting yourself up. This exercise is very good for training triceps, forearms, and back muscles.
Underhand pull-ups are more effective for training biceps.
I don't recommend doing behind the neck pull-ups cause they don't offer much benefit and may cause neck pain.
- Push-ups: are great for developing chest, triceps, and shoulder muscles:
diamond push-ups improve chest, triceps, and shoulder muscles.
Wide grip push-ups: build up chest muscles
Staggered push-ups: put pressure on shoulders, triceps, and abs.
Read more about various types of push-ups: Explosive push-ups
- The bridge builds up back, triceps and leg muscles
- Medicine ball workout: improves explosive power. It is also good for toning abs.
You can also find tons of great exercises for developing strength and flexibility in bodyweight workout routines.
Technical Muay Thai training routines:
- Muay Thai drills:
Start with a basic Jab + Jab and Jab + Cross combo while moving around the bag. You can also mix it up with round kicks and elbow strikes. Grab the bag with both hands and hit it with your knees. Deliver a front knee and side knee strikes.
- Thai pad drills:
training kicks, punches, knees, and elbows. Improves stamina and body coordination. Useful to memorize more advanced combinations.
A standard drill consists of x10 to x100 fast straight kicks for each leg and Jab + Cross boxing combinations.
But there is much more to do and you are only limited by your stamina and your body coordination and the experience of the pad holder.
- Shadow boxing: improves focus and body coordination. It helps to develop muscle memory to memorize fighting techniques on a physical level.
Shadow boxing is a very personal form of exercise. You have to develop your own unique shadow boxing routine.
Read more about Muay Thai sparring techniques
- Sparring: it virtually improves every aspect of fighting. It is also the best way of monitoring training progress and the essential part of every Muay Thai training and conditioning.
Apart from that, you will need a strong will and persistence to reach and maintain your goals and desired level of fitness.
Your biggest reward will be that you will be able to defend yourself effectively in any situation. Getting a well-toned body in the process is a nice bonus too. And those are just a few of the vast benefits of training Muay Thai.
Also take a look at:
Don't forget about a proper Muay Thai diet to increase your progress.
Read After workout recovery to maximize the gain.
Take a look at a list of supplements for Muay Thai fighters to make your training even more effective.
Read this post if you are planning to start training in Thailand.
And once you make a decision, take a look at a list of 7 best Muay Thai gyms in Bangkok.
Learn about 4 Traditional Muay Thai styles of fighting.
Muay Thai training