As a Muay Thai enthusiast or fighter, you, like most of us, are constantly looking for that extra edge, ways to improve your general conditioning, technical skills or toughness. Week in, week out, the grind at the gym and your regular sparring sessions are however, only one side of the coin. Here’s a little list of 5 (often neglected) things for you to work on to give your athletic development a major boost, to help pep up your regular Muay Thai training and give you that extra edge you’re looking for:
- Shadow boxing
- Core strength exercises
In Thailand, fighters are generally expected to warm up by running 2-3 miles near the camp before training begins and depending on the gym and fighter, often expected to run again after training. In many gyms running is mandatory and generally accompanied by the famous phrase “no run, no fight.”
Over the years and as in boxing and other high intensity sports, running is a customary way to improve weight management, endurance and general fitness. In Thailand, these short gym runs are essential but generally only serve as a warm up for the fighters.
Our recommendation is to increase your running miles dramatically, not only as part of your daily routine but as extra mileage in a planned running program.
Pick a few days and add free miles! Go for slow jogs, do hill sprints or walks, plan a long scenic route and maybe even try a half marathon!
Yes, seriously! Make running a central part of your new training schedule, invest in good quality running shoes and maybe do a little reading up on running and then hit the road. Mix it up, different runs, different partners, different routes.
The result? Drastic improvements in your cardio and energy levels, endurance, leg bones and muscles and, over time, running the extra miles will put lots more gas in your tank for your Muay Thai training or fighting. So get your trainers on and hit the road, today!
2. Shadow boxing
We think this one goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many Muay Thai practitioners and fighters actually don’t like or don’t do enough shadow boxing. Or both!
This one should be a no brainer for everyone reading this blog and hitting the gym regularly to train Muay Thai – get your shadow boxing rounds in the bag every time! At least three full rounds, better five, and don’t cut corners. Punches, kicks, elbows, knees, teeps, blocks, movement, footwork, everything in sync, just like in a fight.
Don’t hurry, but don’t slack. Use the gym mirrors if possible, check your stance, balance, position, tempo and techniques regularly and correct them where necessary.
If you are not sure on style, check online for many great videos of top Thai fighters shadow boxing as guidance, and try to emulate them. Nuff said!
Most think “pads done, sparring done” and it’s time to head home. Wrong! It’s time to clinch!
In Thailand, morning and afternoon sessions generally end with at least 15 minutes clinching, often longer. Shark tank style, with 8 fighters in the ring if possible, no breaks and changing partners every round or so. Sounds like hell, and it is, but if you want to train like a champion, get your clinch rounds in – daily.
Again, check out a few videos online to get a better idea of what is going on, start your sessions with maybe 5-10 minutes on full, then build over time until you can happily hold your own for 15 minutes per session. Try for once a day first, then build your stamina and conditioning to eventually handle two full sessions a day. Congratulations, pro level!
4. Core strength exercises
Core exercises strengthen your core muscles, all super important for improvement in posture, a strong back and hence also improving your Muay Thai. Google “core excercises” and you will find dozens of different and easy no frills ways to mix up your daily routine by adding a few new exercises. Planking is not the only core strength exercise hahaha!
Improve your core strength and you will also reduce your chances and risk of injury, you will improve your running and also reduce your stiffness after training. Get the work done and you will see faster recovery between Muay Thai sessions and quickly recognise many detailed improvements in your Muay Thai technique.
As in all sports, quality rest and regeneration are imperative to keep your performance levels consistently high. It all starts with diet, moves on through your training routine and is topped off by getting enough rest and allowing your body to regenerate your energy levels.
Are you getting your daily sleep routine sorted? How much sleep do you need to feel good? Can you sleep well daily? How regular are your sleeping hours? Ask yourself these questions now! And get yourself on a pro level sleep routine, your body will thank you for it and your performance will explode!
These and many other questions should all be part and parcel of your regular Muay Thai training, if you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact us at the gym.
Finally, don’t forget to make it all fun, we at Punch it Gym Koh Samui also put fun up top of the list, so come along and enjoy your Muay Thai training holiday with us, anytime. Check out our gym website for more details, hope to see you soon!