Muay Thai is a highly effective martial art, but at times it is difficult to tell if you have progressed.
In this article using all my hours spent studying and personal experience, I will explain the 26 ways you can improve your Muay Thai. These are things I wished I knew when I first started training.
I know how frustrating it can be sometimes feeling like you haven’t improved as much as you want to, but by using these 26 tips I promise your Muay Thai will greatly improve!
I will split this post into different categories such as improving your Muay Thai defense and Muay Thai techniques so you can pick what you need to improve in.
Improve Your Flexibility
Something that gets overlooked a lot with Muay Thai training is making sure you have a good level of flexibility to help with your high kicks and to assist in recovery after a heavy training session.
You don’t need to be super flexible to do Muay Thai however, check out my post here on if you need to be flexible to do Muay Thai.
Practice Proper Hip Rotation!
I don’t think there is anything you can do, that will improve your Muay Thai game more than practicing proper hip rotation. I wish I did it sooner and it should be the first thing you do as a beginner in a Muay Thai gym.
Ideally, you do this drill with a partner. You can see many Muay Thai partner drills in my post on how to practice Muay Thai kicks here. For tips on how to do it by yourself at home, see the following drill as demonstrated by Sylvie, a Muay Thai fighter with 200 plus fights shows.
- Place your foot on a platform like a sofa and be on your toes on the other foot like your kicking
- Turn the foot on the platform to the shin to mimic the kick while using your arms
- Repeat for around 20 reps and then change legs for 3 total sets
Open Your Hips!
Improving your flexibility is key to injury prevention and proper kicking.
Hip mobility is very important for turning your kick in, to kick correctly with the shin, and to assist in general injury prevention. See this study on the professional application of injury prevention for Soccer athletes who practiced muscle mobility.
With Muay Thai good movement patterns are even more important. This is a summary of Don Heatrick’s fantastic video about how to unlock your hips as a Muay Thai athlete. If you notice that your kicks are feeling sloppy, it could be that you might have the technique down but lack the necessary hip flexibility to turn your hips in.
The routine is split into three different sections, to do all the exercises, you must have a foam roller (like this one on Amazon) or lacrosse ball (like this one on Amazon) for a cheaper option, and a resistance band (which you can check out here on Amazon).
I have everything and recommend you get the same, as they are vital not just for Muay Thai but for maintaining proper alignment and posture for good health throughout your life.
- Releasing the hips
- Opening the hips
- Anchoring the hips
1. Releasing the hips
- Start to foam roll at the top of the knee and gradually roll up and down the thigh to break down the muscle tissue
- When you find a tight area “windshield wipe” your legs left and right to get at that tissue and flex up and down.
- Avoid the IT band (the middle of your leg) as it cannot be lengthened and for rolling, it could cause injury
- Foam roll each leg for 1-2 minutes then switch legs.
2. Opening The Hips
- Attach your band to something sturdy like a squat rack or a TV stand a little lower than hip height
- Step into the band and have it high behind your glute/booty & make sure there is decent tension so it’s pulling your hips forwards
- Squeeze your glutes by pointing your pelvis forward and thrust your hip in front of your knee don’t arch from your back make sure its from the hips
- Practice the movement from different angles ensuring you squeeze your glutes throughout the motion
- Repeat for 1-2 minutes and then switch sides!
3. Anchoring The Hips
- Place your foot on a bench or a platform at a similar height like a chair so your ankle can pivot down and up
- Your stance must allow your hip to be at knee level or lower
- Keep your chest up and chin down and drive through the floor with your foot while squeezing your glutes and feeling that near hip stretch
- Once you understand the movement pattern try adding weights
- Repeat for around 3 sets of 10 reps for both legs
Now, these exercises reinforce many things to improve your Muay Thai. They affect the muscle length, the joint capsule (how your bones are positioned) and your neuromuscular control (how your brain tells you what range of motion you have).
You can do these exercises as part of your dynamic warmup to reinforce good movement habits, which are key to kicking properly and reducing injury risk from Muay Thai.
Releasing and opening your hips are perfect for active rest between weight training sessions, or part of a recovery day where you work on the muscle tissues that are causing you pain or poor posture.
Maintaining a daily, or at least 5 times a week, stretching routine will do wonders for not just your Muay Thai but also your health.
This FightTips routine is designed for improved high kick flexibility, but it also will stretch the quads, hips, lower back hamstrings, and all the muscles that are heavily used in Muay Thai.
These stretches are designed to be done every day and will take around 10 minutes to complete. Remember you need to warm up before stretching so your muscles can lengthen.
I can guarantee after doing FightTips daily stretching routine not only will your kicks feel more natural, but your overall health will have improved. Stretching is not just underrated in Muay Thai, it’s underrated in life! So start stretching and reap the benefits :).
Work On Your Muay Thai Footwork
Footwork is key in every combat sport especially Muay Thai. I’ve compiled a couple helpful resources with some footwork drills you can do to immediately improve your Muay Thai.
Beginner Muay Thai Footwork Drill
This footwork drill by Muay Thai Pros might seem simple but trust me for Muay Thai simple means effective and beautiful. This drill should be performed daily for 15 minutes to feel the benefits.
Stand in front of a mirror to perform the drill
- Walk up and down in a straight line, make sure when you go forward your forward leg moves first and then your back leg moves, only move one step at a time
- Move-in a sideways arrow, always move the foot closest to the side your moving first and then the back foot
- When you get comfortable start adding 1-2 (jab/cross) as you step
- Make sure you keep your 1-2 Muay Thai rhyme throughout the drill
Basic Muay Thai Footwork Drill
Ask any Muay Thai fighter and they will tell you footwork is one of the most important skills to develop across all martial arts, even most sports! Better still you can practice it anywhere, anytime. Most people don’t practice often so you will get a leg up over the competition if you train it!
With your foot, you have 3 main connections to the ground one at the base and two near the front. Ideally, your weight distribution will be 50/50 on your foot and the balls of your feet with your chin tucked under.
Keep yourself upright and maintain this position whenever you move. You can practice your footwork in the very simple drill from the above video.
- Stand in a Muay Thai stance
- Take one step straight and step back in the same position, then do the same action but step right, back and then left
- As you get more comfortable double the steps or try the drill in your opposite stance.
Never do any unnecessary steps. It should only be one step, any more than that will put you off balance. When you get comfortable with the drill take two steps and even add punches as you step.
6 Step Solo Footwork Drill
I started to implement this 6 step solo footwork drill by fightTips and already I have seen solid improvements to not only my footwork but also my shadow boxing.
This drill involves six different punches with numbers that correspond to the actions, now you don’t have to jab in the advancing steps it can be an uppercut, elbow, or hook depending on your spacing.
I will briefly outline the drill
- Probing Step-in your Muay Thai stance takes a small step forward(around 1-4 inches) and do a jab as you step; think of your foot and arm being connected like a puppeteer and his/her puppet and whenever the hands move so does. the foot
- Retreating Step- take the same step backward on your back foot and do a jab
- Pivot Cross- whilst still do a cross making sure you pivot off the backfoot whilst turning the shoulders
- Advancing 1-2 Step forward like in step 1 but bring your back foot with you and throw a cross after the jab
- Retreating 1-2. Do a jab whilst bringing your front foot back and then bring your back foot back and do a cross
- Switch Jab. Switch your stance(if your a southpaw go orthodox and vice versa) and throw a jab in the opposite stance as you switch
- Repeat step 1-6 in Southpaw!
Work On Your Shadow Boxing
Shadowboxing like footwork is fundamental to Muay Thai and one of the best things you can do to improve, and it can be done anywhere, waiting in line at the store, in the cinema you name it!
How To Shadow Kick
The problem with shadow boxing is a lot of people(myself included) start to shadowbox without turning their hip over and incorrectly not following through, this is a bad habit to practice and easy to do as it is easier to disguise bad form when your kicking air.
The problem is without turning your hip over(see the beginning of the article) you will strike with either your foot or the side of your leg which we don’t want in Muay Thai.
which we don’t want in Muay Thai. Check out the video above by Head Coach of F5 Strength and Muay Thai, Roxy Richardson, on shadow kicks or read the drill down below.
To shadow kick correctly as a beginner.
- Step out around 30 degrees to either the left or right depending on your stance be on the balls of your feet under your big toe with your heel lifted
- Use your arm swipe to turn your hips(see the second tip) and follow through only to 180 degrees
Once you get the first one down.
- Step out around 30 degrees to either the left or right depending on your stance be on the balls of your feet under your big toe with your heel lifted
- Use your arm swing to turn your hips and swing 360 degrees and land facing your opponent in the same stance.
Helpful tips with the drill
- If you’re training in front of a mirror and see your booty as you kick, your practicing good form as your hip is turning incorrectly
- Practice with both feet to stop getting dizzy and to kick with both legs
- Make sure your heel lifts as you pivot
How Not To Shadowbox
Shadowboxing is fantastic for your Muay Thai but people even professional fighters have issues with it. Likely because they are making one of the mistakes in the above video by Sean Fagan(check him out) but the hardest thing to get right is visualizing an opponent
If you want a fantastic 10-minute Muay Thai shadowboxing workout and other ways to train Muay Thai at home, please check out my post here on how to practice muay Thai by yourself.
In the above video, Sean goes into detail about the issues people have with shadow boxing and I will briefly summaries the main points
- Kicking Wrong 2:57. I still suffer from this problem as it’s harder to visualize and properly rotate your hip if your kicking air. To fix it, record yourself or think about correct hip rotation every time you kick
- Too Much Head Movement 4:10. Excessive head movement is fine for Boxing as that is part of the sport but with Muay Thai, you want to keep your head movement sharp, minimal, and technical as you can’t bob and weave a roundhouse!
- Looking/Punching Down 5:37. This one is more common for an absolute beginner, but you wouldn’t look at the floor or punch down if your fighting anyone but a super midget!
- Staying Stationary 6:34. Movement and footwork is key to succeeding in fighting so make sure you move around and cut angles, to make it difficult for your imaginary shadow opponent
- Just Offense, No Defence 6:35. You need to add checks, leans backs, catching kicks and catching jabs/crosses when your shadowboxing as your trying to simulate a real fight
- Not Mixing Up Your Strikes 7:37. Now just working the basics like 1-2 right kick is fine if your focus on technique, but if you want to simulate a real fight you need to diversify your strikes. Make sure you’re hitting high and low, to the body and the head with some low kicks. Keep your imaginary partner guessing!
- Too Tense 8:58. This is common in the beginning as fighting can be very stressful so your natural inclination is so tense up. Don’t do this as it will only waste much-needed energy. Ideally, you want to be nice and loose and released whilst your fighting, only tensing up your fists when you’re just about to connect for maximum speed and power.
- Forgetting To Breath 10:15. This happens to a lot of people especially in BJJ where people forget to breathe. Don’t forget the most basic thing as if you lose your breathe you will get tired quickly and your strikes will lack any power.
- Forgetting To Visualise 11:43. Even professional fighters make this mistake and it’s key to getting the most out of shadowboxing. You need to BELIEVE someone is fighting you and reacting to what you throw and you need to react to their strikes. I know it’s difficult but in time you will get there.
- Not Extending Your Arms 12:50. I’m still guilty of this, and it’s a very easy mistake to make. Whenever your punching make sure you fully extend your arms, this is to maximize both your range and punching power. You don’t want those mini T-rex arms whilst shadow boxing!
Improve Muay Thai Techniques
For Muay Thai and martial arts in general improving your technique rather than power is key to becoming a better fighter. Here I will list the basic Muay Thai techniques and how you become a better fighter!
Working on your technique is the most challenging thing, especially if you don’t have the money for 1 on 1 training. This is why everyone should film themselves and highly recommend buying a tripod such as this one from Amazon so you can film yourself training.
Chamber Your Kicks!
Chambering your kicks will give you superb control, balance, and will improve your kicks landing successfully. Sounds great right?
Chambering is when you lift your knee towards your chest whenever you kick or check, and the act of retracting the foot back.
In Muay Thai even though we don’t chamber our kicks as much as other martial arts like Karate and Taekwondo it is still super important to improving your power, strength, and balance when throwing and checking kicks.
If you see the fighter of our generation Saenchai you will see he has a fantastic chamber.
These drills to improve your chambering can be done anywhere or at home. from the superb fightTips video above, I have summarised all the drills.
Drill 1 Three Leg Dog
- Get into a push-up/plank position and sit your hips back to get into downward dog(yoga pose)
- Peddle your calves up and down to warm up the hamstrings & calves
- Lift one leg up and then drive your knee up to your chest as high as possible with your heel towards your butt/glute, hold this position for three breaths
- Bring the leg up and drive to the outside of the elbow aiming to eventually get the knee to the armpit, hold for three breaths
- Repeat step 4 with the opposite elbow
- The entire 3 movements count as 1 rep so repeat the process on the other leg for a total of three sets per leg.
Drill 2.Seated Leg Lift
- Sit down with your back straight and place something next to your legs like a Yoga block (like these on Amazon) or boxing glove/book
- Swing your leg over the object and tap the ground and repeat for a total of 5-10 reps on each leg and 3 total sets
Changing the setting on the block makes it more challenging and remember to not hunch forward as you want the focus on the hip flexor.
Drill 3. Standing Hip Flexor Stretch
- Stand on one leg and grab your knee with both hands and pull up to stretch the hips. hold for 3 breaths
- Repeat the stretch but turn your knee inward, outward and behind and hold for 3 breaths in every position
If you lack the balance either do them leaning against a ball, or repeat all the stretches lying down as you can see Shane do in the video.
For the most benefit do these drills every day or at least 5 times a week, and you will see a vast improvement in your kick chamber which will benefit any kicks you will ever do across all martial arts!
Muay Thai Roundhouse
The Muay Thai roundhouse is your bread and butter Muay Thai strike, but your likely making one of these 8 common roundhouse mistakes shown in Sean Fagans above video. Fixing these are the secret to a solid roundhouse.
In my opinion, no hip turn is by far the biggest problem with not pivoting the foot coming in second.
Muay Thai Roundhouse Kick 8 Common Mistakes
- No Hip-Turn (make sure you’re kicking with the shin)
- Kicking Up (kicking up instead of through reduces your kicking power and increases injury risk to you
- Keeping your shoulder back (instead of turning your shoulder over so it’s in front of the chin and in line with the leg)
- No Arm Swing (make sure you swing your arm for that power!)
- Being Flat Footed (more difficult to pivot and get that hip rotation)
- Not Pivoting The Foot (lack of hip turn with no power on the kick)
- Bad Foot Positioning (Always step around 45 degrees on the outside for maximum offensive & defense)
- Not Setting Up Kicks (If you don’t set up your kicks, your strikes will be dodged or blocked so always use feints or punches to make sure your kick lands!)
Improve Your Muay Thai Switch Kick
The switch kick is the same as the roundhouse but you switch stances (change leg positions), it is a fundamental Muay Thai kick.
Learning a roundhouse before a switch kick is the best way to learn it and it scores very highly in Muay Thai as it attacks the body.
In the above video Duane “Bang” Ludwig one of the most successful kickboxing coaches of recent years, demonstrates a drill for the switch kick. But first here is the basic form.
- Switch stances by changing the position of your legs and loading your hips, without jumping up or moving while stepping slightly to the side
- Stay on the balls of your feet as you kick
- Swing the same arm as your kicking leg to generate power and balance, while keeping the other hand up for protection and turning your hip in
- Return to your stance, in one motion.
Switch Kick Drill
- Stand opposite your partner and have them step back while you step forward and do a switch kick
- Have your partner step forward while you step back and switch
- Have your partner step to the side while you switch
- Have your partner step to the other side while you switch
Muay Thai How To Improve Knees
The basic beginner knee is known as the spear knee and is a devastating strike if it lands. You can use it offensively when your opponent is backing up or as a counter when your opponent likes to walk in.
- Be in your Muay Thai stance while on the balls of your feet
- Push up on the ball of your foot on your lead leg (forward leg) and bring your knee straight up
- Flex the kneeing leg down and bring your heel close to your butt to strike with the hardest part of the knee
The above video by Somapat Sitiwatjana, former professional Muay Thai fighter and head coach of Master A’s Muay Thai School, is showing how to use the heavy bag to improve your knees
I urge you to watch it as your knees will improve. Here I summarize the main points.
- Stand close to a heavy bag at clinch distance and grab the bag like you’re holding someone’s head
- Rock the bag with your arms so it starts swinging like a clock, but make sure to stay the same distance from the bag
- As the bag swings closer to you strike with a knee while pulling the bag with your hands
- Make sure to keep head level and use your hips and stay in position
- Repeat for the desired reps, and even use two knees or use a long knee when the bag is further away from you.
Muay Thai How To Improve The Switch Knee
Duane Ludwig explains a handy footwork drill that will improve your overall knee footwork on both switch knees and stepping knees.
Muay Thai How To Practice The Teep
The Teep is one of your main weapons in Muay Thai for both offense and defense. It might look like a front kick but think of it as more of a jab to keep the distance and punish attackers who come in.
You can see it demonstrated in the above video, but I will go through some things you should keep in mind.
- Stand in your stance with your weight on the back leg
- Bring your knee up
- Push with your hip and hit with the balls of your feet
- Retract your knee and bring feet back to the same position.
Teeping Drill To Punish Aggressive Boxers
- Look at the boxers chest but keep your peripheral vision open
- When the boxer steps in teep always lift your knee up and then kick, think of getting your foot out of a body of water.
- Repeat to get the timing of the teep
Muay Thai How To Improve Boxing
Boxing is a very crucial part of Muay Thai, and if you want to see the differences between the sports check out my post here.
I cannot explain Boxing in this post as it is too complicated, but the fantastic Boxing Beginners Masterclass by Precision Striking in the video above, is all you need to improve your Boxing fundamentals
Remember when practicing these drills Muay Thai is different from Boxing. The stances are different and there is not a lot head movement in Muay Thai. So remember not everything is applicable but all the basic strikes like jab, cross, hook are all very similar and crucial to succeed in Muay Thai
Muay Thai How To Get Better At Elbows
Elbows are what makes Muay Thai so effective up close up and they can easily cut your opponents. The above video is Shane from FightTips 5 common elbow mistakes and how to correct them!
Muay Thai Elbows 5 Common Mistakes
- Hitting with the forearm and not the elbow(whilst the forearm can still do damage the elbow point is where the damage happens
- Throwing From too far(the elbow is a close-range strike so it should be thrown on the inside like from the clinch
- No Defense When throwing(your other hand should always be protecting you when throwing an elbow as if your opponent. is in elbow range so are you
- Don’t get fancy(don’t bother with spinning elbows and jumping elbows if you can’t land a simple 1-2
- Create your angle( don’t throw an elbow square, step out to the side whenever you throw your elbows so you create the angle to bypass your opponent guard
Muay Thai How To Get Better At Catching Kicks
Catching kicks, as well as the clinch, are some of the big differences between Muay Thai and kickboxing, if you want to know the complete differences between the two martial arts please check my link here
FightTips demonstrates the 4 ways to catch and counter the Muay Thai roundhouse in the above video, but I will summarise the main points.
4 Ways To Catch And Counter The Muay Thai Roundhouse
- Catch and kick. As you catch the kick always step the side to absorb the strike and hold it tight to the armpit otherwise they can escape, then counter with your roundhouse
- Lift & push. Catch the kick, then step forward and lift to get them off balance, then stay on them and roundhouse
- Shin Sweep. Catch the kick, then push with your arm on the head or shoulder towards the ground, and when their off-balance hook low with your foot and lift the leg high at the support leg
- Step & Sweep Catch the leg, step forward and simultaneously push the head forward with your right /left hand, then use the arch of your foot to sweep whilst twisting the upper body but keeping the lower body strong
Muay Thai How To Improve In The Clinch
Clinching is what makes Muay Thai such an effective martial art if you want to see the other 12 reasons why Muay Thai is fantastic for self-defense please click here.
Clinching is when fighters wrestle each other whilst standing and throwing knees, from the clinch. There are numerous throws and sweeps to your opponent to the ground whilst you stay standing.
This links to when Muay Thai was a combat sport, as you want to stay on your feet as you fight, check my post here for more information about Muay Thai’s traditional history.
Watch fightTips video above where he gets a private lesson from Petchboonchu, the most decorated Muay Thai champion in history, and arguably the best clinch fighter ever, and he explains the clinch in a way that is simple and easy to understand.
Improve Your Muay Thai Defence
Working on your defense is one of the best ways to improve in Muay Thai, as will feel confident in your defensive abilities so you can focus on your opponent
How To Counter The Low Kick
Leg kicks are devastating in muay Thai and checking them is standard practice. However, in this drill demonstrated above, your aiming to avoid the low kick altogether and straight away return with a kick of your own.
- As your opponent throws a leg kick, keep your upper body still and scoop your but back to evade the kick
- As the leg is to the side immediately counterattack with your kick!
Muay Thai How To Get Used To Being Hit
Let’s face it no one likes getting hit, and the instinct is to close your eyes and look away from your opponent, this is bad as punches that you don’t see usually cause the most damage.
This simple partner drill from Chris Clodfelter in the above video is perfect for being accustomed to getting hit and to keep looking. at your opponent
- Have your partner throw 3 jabs at your block
- Maintain a block and keep it connected to your face whilst still seeing through the gap of your gloves, think of seeing through binoculars
- After each jab go back to your Muay Thai stance and when they jab block
- When you get more comfortable have your partner jab randomly and start to move around so you FORCED to keep your eyes on your partner
Use The Muay Thai Long guard Against Punches
The Muay Thai long guard is excellent for both offense and defense in both Muay Thai and self-defense situations, especially if you have long arms like me.
Watch the above video by Sean Fagan for a visual explanation but I can guarantee if you use the long guard you will see a big difference in your defensive abilities and entering the clinch safely
Improve In Muay Thai Sparring
Since Muay Thai is a fighting sport there is no substitute to Sparring, whilst you don’t need to Spar to do Muay Thai(check my post here) but I do believe you cannot truly progress without regular sparring.
Muay Thai 5 Sparring Tips
These 5 sparring tips are from Muay Thai Pros and I urge you to check their channel for tons of helpful Muay Thai information and resources. I have listed the tips for your convenience.
- Focus on your fighting style. If your a Muay Thai fighter and your fighting a K1 fighter, do not start moving around and copying them as you are taking away your style. Focus on the style that speaks to you most and gives you a lot of success
- Focus on improving not winning. A spar is not a fight instead think of it like a dance between two people, where you are both trying to learn and grow from each other. You are both trying to improve and demonstrate good technique.
- Learn to think when you spar. Don’t just mindlessly start attacking, watch, and notice your opponent and adjust your tactics accordingly. If they switch stances, see that if they leave their hand open when they hook attack that vulnerability
- Simply your sparring and focus on the basics. If your fighting a boxer just work on one technique at a time, like blocking their attacks and then teeping or kicking, or just work on your defense
- Trust In Your Muay Thai Techniques. Focus on your basic techniques, if your fighting a K1 fighter and you’re not used to heavy punch combos, keep faith in your Muay Thai block and then counter. Trust in what you know, it Muay Thai basics will never fail you.
How To Improve Your Cardio For Muay Thai
Muay Thai already is a fantastic aerobic and anaerobic workout, check out my post here only why Muay Thai is so good for your health.
But improving is key to truly excel at Muay Thai and you will need that extra cardio if you ever plan to fight as you won’t get as gassed in sparring.
There are two different types of cardio you can do, we want to train both as they are equally important in Muay Thai.
- Aerobic(low intensity, think skipping or lightly jogging)
- Anaerobic(without air, think sprinting or lifting heavyweight)
In the video above Shane from FightTips recommends the following weekly cardio workout.
Weekly Cardio Workout
- 3-4 days a week jog/run(aerobic) for 2/3 miles or 3.2/4.8 kilometers
- 2 days a week sprint(anaerobic) 100mx10
Now, this is a good conditioning workout, and fighters in Thailand run two 5K/3.1 miles runs every day. But an increasing number of fighters have spoken out about running and how they don’t enjoy it and instead do other more sports-related cardio like hitting pads.
ANY form of cardio that trains your aerobic system for around 20 minutes 3-4 times a week, with the ability to go anaerobic is fine. I will list the alternatives to running.
I still recommend running as the number one cardio you should do, as it is a very natural human action and the runners high after a workout are beautiful as running is excellent cardio and fantastic for training the mind and digging deep inside yourself which is key for combat sport athletes
However, if you don’t like running I don’t believe you should be obligated to train something you don’t like, no matter how beneficial it is.
Cardio Alternatives To Running
- Hitting pads
- Interval training
If you love jumping rope/skipping then this 30-minute workout by JumpRopesDudes is more than enough for your cardio, I prefer jump rope because of its just more fun than running personally.
Start Lifting Weights
If you don’t do any strength and conditioning and you do Muay Thai you are seriously missing out! Lifting weights not only makes you stronger but also less likely to get injured, so you can focus on training instead of being injured for weeks on end!
You only need to lift weights 2-3 times a week to get maximum benefits for Muay Thai. Check out my post here on why Muay Thai fighters lift weights
I’ve been on a Zoom call with 5x Muay Thai world champion Andy Howson and he said strength and conditioning are like having a suit of armor; as it makes you stronger and less likely to get injured in combat sports.
Everyone from every level can benefit from S&D and the best Muay Thai specific S&D workout I’ve seen was created by Don Heatrick(mentioned earlier) and I have started to incorporate it in my Muay Thai training routine.
There are two full-body workouts, meant to be performed around 2-3 times a week with at least one day of rest between each day.
Both routines contain 7 exercises with 3 supersets(2 exercises done connected with no rest) and one ab exercise, with each superset being repeated 4 times before moving on.
I will include a YouTube link where Don himself is demonstrating the exercises, with a brief exercise outline underneath each video.
Every exercise has been chosen to benefit your Muay Thai and I will link Don’s website with all his reasoning behind every exercise here.
He has 25+ years of coaching experience and is a former Thai boxer(ranked 4th in the UK when he was 40). I cannot recommend him enough and I love his work and want more people to know about him.
Full Body Workout A
- 1a) Front squat x 5-reps
- 1b) Rear foot elevated split squats (Bulgarian split squats) x 8-reps each leg
- 2a) Incline bench press x 5-reps
- 2b) Dumbbell chest press x 8-reps
- 3a) Pull-ups x 5-reps
- 3b) Dumbbell bent over rows x 8-reps each side
- 4) Dragon Flags x5-reps
Full Body Workout B
- 1a) Deadlift x 5-reps
- 1b) Single leg suspension squat x 8-reps each leg
- a) Standing overhead press behind neck* x 5-reps
- 2b) Barbell push press x 8-rep
- 3a) Barbell bent-over row x 5-reps
- 3b) Suspended rows x 8-reps
- 4)Core plate (landmine) twists x 5-reps
If you don’t have access to a gym or weights at home, then a Kettlebell workout by Funk Roberts(certified MMA conditioning coach) is a superb alternative.
A kettlebell is one of the best fitness investments you can ever make, and you can do the workouts anywhere even with limited space. You can use a kettlebell like this one on Amazon.
I recommend a 25 pound/16 Kg Kettlebell if your a guy and a 5 pound/10 kg Kettlebell if your a girl to start with.
Alternatively, if your super broke and cannot afford a Kettlebell, Jeremy Either a fitness YouTuber has a fantastic full-body workout that you do at home without any equipment. Check it out down below.
Interested in Muay Thai? Check Out My Recommendations
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