Thai boxing, or Muay Thai, requires strength and endurance to keep up with the constant pace of the fight.
Whether you’re just starting out in Muay Thai or are an experienced fighter, it’s important to incorporate exercise into your training routine to get stronger and faster.
This article details 10 of the best exercises to take your Muay Thai fighting to the next level.
All of these exercises can be done using common fitness equipment like dumbbells, weight machines, and resistance bands.
All Muay Thai practitioners should try these exercises to help take performance to a whole new level.
These exercises were chosen because they’re not only great for muay Thai, but they’re also easy on your joints and will boost your overall fitness, too.
It goes without saying that training with heavier weights is more challenging, but it also translates to more power in a fight.
If you really want to get serious about your muay Thai practice, adding these strength-training exercises into your routine is a must!
Put your muay Thai practice to good use by strengthening and conditioning all parts of your body.
The following 11 exercises will help take your muay thai to a new level.
If you’re not balancing yourself on one leg, you’re missing out on a great weight training and leg toning exercise.
Plus, lunges improve balance, which is important in martial arts. Lunge forward with legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Keep your back straight, don’t stick your butt out or hunch over.
It helps to have weights to hold at arm’s length for extra resistance.
A deadlift strengthens multiple areas of your body including abs, glutes, and lower back as well as hamstrings and calves.
Stand in front of a barbell holding it down near your shins.
Bend down using your knees only—not your waist—and grasp the barbell using an overhand grip (palms facing away from you).
This position puts more emphasis on core strength, but if it’s too difficult you can hold onto plates outside each side of your hands instead.
Slowly lift up into a standing position while contracting your abdominals, keeping your arms straight and shoulders back.
Deadlifts are a great exercise to add to your strength training.
Squats will strengthen everything from your legs to your core, so they’re great for improving overall fitness levels.
Position feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with toes pointing forward.
Hold a dumbbell behind your head or lean against a wall or chair for support and comfort when squatting low.
Squat as far down as possible without losing proper form.
If performing squats at home, make sure you have a stable surface to avoid falling backward.
Squats are a very versatile movement and can be done with lots of different equipment. Play around with different variations of squats as well.
Front squat, pistol squats, and overhead squats will all test you differently.
There’s a good chance you’ve done these before.
Pushups are great because everyone knows how to do them.
They strengthen chest muscles and triceps as well as build stability throughout your whole body—definitely a worthwhile pursuit for anyone who wants to be able to throw a punch stronger and faster.
Place palms firmly on the floor directly under your shoulders.
Bend elbows and lower entire body until nose almost touches the floor.
Pause briefly before pushing up and returning to the start position.
Another universal movement we’ve all done before, chin-ups and pull-ups involve bending elbows and pulling yourself up towards the bar above you.
Like pushups, pull-ups and chin-ups involve working your upper body, with a greater focus on your biceps and lats.
A pull-up bar and your own body weight are all you need to perform the basic motion of a pull.
They’re also used to train climbing and hanging techniques that come in handy for certain sports.
No joke, planks will give you a set of six-pack abs that pop out just about anywhere—even if you’re a beginner.
Planks work your core muscles harder than any other activity.
The key to a plank is maintaining a stiff, tight core and a perfectly straight line from your ankles to your shoulders.
Hold for as long as you can, then rest and repeat.
Side planks work out your obliques—the small muscles on either side of your torso—as well as create a nice curve in your waistline.
Lie on the right side with legs extended, left arm extended beside you.
Lift body up, raising left elbow and right knee as high as you can. Hold for as long as you can and switch sides.
Perfect for speed and agility, mountain climbers strengthen your quads and activate your core muscles to produce a faster, quicker strike or block.
Start in a pushup position with your hands slightly wider than shoulders’ width apart.
Lean forward at the waist with arms straight out in front of you.
Rise up onto your toes as you raise your right leg as high as possible and extend it back.
Return to starting position and repeat on the left side.
Alternate as quickly as you can, staying in a pushup position for best results.
Spinning kicks are a big part of muay thai—and every martial art, really—so it’s important to incorporate rotational core-strengthening moves like twists into your routine.
But you can leave your shin guards in the bag.
We’re going to improve the explosive power of your low kick, roundhouse kicks, head kicks, and thai kicks with this core exercise.
To perform a twist, stand with your hands by your side and slowly rotate from left to right.
Repeat for as long as you can.
Jumps rope is a fun way to add some cardio into your training regimen.
The benefits of jumping rope are obvious, from improved cardiovascular health to faster reflexes and coordination.
For an effective way to get your heart rate up even higher try adding box jumps or shadow boxing into your jump rope sessions.
11. Horse Stance:
Check out this video I posted on youtube recently where I attempt the impossible squat challenge.
For the challenge, you have to hold a horse stance for as long as possible.
Horse stance is another important exercise with a lot of cross-over benefits to martial arts.
First, you have to understand that there are no quick fixes when it comes to getting in shape for Muay Thai.
If you are currently overweight or have never trained seriously before, do not expect to go from barely being able to run a mile to fighting in less than six months.
There are, however, things you can do right now that will put you on a path toward success.
With consistency and dedication, you should see major improvements in your overall fitness level within six months.
It also helps if you commit yourself to live a healthy lifestyle beyond fighting.
Staying active outside of training helps keep your body conditioned and strong.
When you do begin training, don’t give up on yourself!
We all get frustrated with our progress at some point during our journey.
Do what you need to stay positive about your goals and trust that time is on your side.
As long as you believe in yourself and set goals for improvement daily, nothing is impossible.
Lastly, seek advice from those who know how to fight.
Train under someone who has experience coaching you safely through your transformation.
Learning how to train muay Thai at home can be a great way to cut costs while also getting you into shape.
This isn’t a substitute for professional training, however, so hiring a personal trainer who can come to your home and train you is a good way to do this safely.
It also lets you set your own schedule and work out when it’s most convenient for you.
Focus on learning key principles of technique through shadowboxing and then adapt them into real-life situations through live sparring or mitt work with a trainer.
If done correctly, you should not only reap physical rewards but also gain respect as an authentic student of martial arts that have committed themselves body and soul.
Remember: If you want to take it seriously though there really is no substitute for joining a muay Thai gym and getting involved in training sessions with people of all skill levels.
Most gyms will offer a free trial and then once you have the hang of things you can go out and buy your muay Thai gloves and kick pads and jump right in!
Training at home is great if you know what you’re doing. That’s why I wrote my EBook, Train wherever the f*ck you want.
I give you everything you need to know about training with resistance bands. I even through in a sample program to get you started!
Download your FREE copy here.
Since it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to master one set of techniques, it’s almost impossible for muay Thai fighters to train every day.
They dedicate several hours per day to training, particularly when they are in fight shape.
It’s also important for them to rest and give their bodies time to heal after hard workouts.
What you need to know about strength and conditioning exercises:
You don’t have to be an elite fighter or exercise enthusiast in order to reap all of these amazing benefits (and many more).
If you try some or all of these exercises, not only will you see better results from your existing fitness regimen but you might even find yourself energized and eager for your next workout.
Try mixing up at least 2-3 exercises each session and get ready to push yourself harder than ever before!
It’s easy to fall into a rut with your exercise routine – especially if you prefer going at it alone – so consider making a commitment to mixing things up by learning new, challenging moves that force you out of your comfort zone!
If working out with a partner is intimidating for you – look into taking a martial arts class together.
Or, head online and ask around for recommendations from other people who have tried similar classes.
After training, many people will want to consume some carbohydrates and protein.
Carbohydrates provide energy during your workout while protein helps with recovery.
Lean meat is a great choice because it contains both essential amino acids, which help to build muscle tissue, and iron, which you need to transport oxygen through your bloodstream.
Dairy products are also a good option because they contain calcium for healthy bone growth.
Before consuming any food or drink after a training session, make sure that it is at least 90 minutes since you finished exercising.
This gives your body time to replenish its glycogen stores before you eat anything else.
After 45 minutes of intense exercise, however, ingesting 5-6% of your body weight in water is a good idea for preventing dehydration.
Getting your food right can be tricky, that is why I wrote this article giving you a good run down on how to eat what you want on the weekend and still lose weight!
Food and exercise are one thing but what about learning the tools that make it all last?
Without building the healthy habits you need, diet and exercises are really hard to implement long term.
Click here to book your FREE evaluation call, and learn how I can help yo achieve your goals, and the body you want!