Start your Muay Thai training routine with basic warm up exercises and stretching
I do all of the following warm up exercises while jogging and for some of the streches I slow down and do them while walking but I never stop moving.
You don’t really need a stadium or a lot of space for it. You can do this in any regular Muay Thai or boxing gym. It’s a warm up so don’t run too fast. You don’t need to put on your gloves or shin guards at this time. I do suggest you put on your hand wraps to save time later.
Your focus at this point should be on warming up your joints and muscles to minimize the possibility of injuries during the training and sparring sessions that will follow up.
- Start with couple of rounds of pure jogging (100-200 m)
- (Keep jogging and) Slowly rotate your head clockwise (5 rounds). Then counter-clockwise. Keep your eyes open so you don’t knock yourself out. Put hands behind your head and pull your head down to your chest. Feel the neck stretch. Now put hands under your chin and push your head up. Feel the neck stretch again. Now stretch your neck to the left and right sides.
- With your hands touch all the parts of your face to warm it up: your nose, chin, around the eyes, ears.
- Let your arms rest on the side and rotate your shoulders. Start from back to front. Then front to back
- Move on to full arm rotations
- Now rotate your arms from elbows. 10 rounds in one direction and 10 rounds in the other direction.
- Put your hands together in front of you. Tie your fingers and rotate hands from the wrist. 20 seconds, both ways.
- Now stop running but continue walking and take a proper Muay Thai stance. Keep your arms in front of your face and keep moving with one foot forward. Now do rotations from your hip while walking. 7 repetitions both ways.
- Moving on with some muay thai stretches. Keep walking and on every step pull one knee to your chest with the help of your hands and stretch it. Keep the knee to your chest for 3 seconds. Then let it go and take the other leg. 5 times each.
- Now rotate your legs from the hip. Stand on one foot and lift the other foot 10cm from the ground. Rotate it from the hip inside out. 3 times. Now walk 3 steps and do the same with the other leg. Do this 5 times with each leg. Then the same exercise but start the rotation from outside in.
If you feel that it’s hard to memorize this warm up routine – just remember to start from the top and work your way down.
Once you’re warmed up it’s time to start working on technique
Muay Thai workouts
I like to focus the majority of time on polishing the technique (my own technique as well as my students’). You should also take a look at my article about muay thai techniques here – I go a bit deeper into Muay Thai techniques in that article.
Work in pairs, which is a highly recommended way to workout and has even become popular at prominent gyms. One will be throwing punches/kicks and the other will catch. Hold your gloves as the target and move around the ring/gym freely. Switch positions after one has completed the exercise 30 times. If you fight unorthodox (right foot forward) then change the left/right around accordingly.
Boxing workouts for your Muay Thai training
- Simple left-right. Focus on perfect technique, not power. Start the jab from the guard position and follow with the right cross. When you bring back your arm, make sure it’s back in the guard position in front of your face.
- Add another right punch – so it’s left-right-right. Follow up the first right with a second one as fast as you can and add some power to the second right punch.
- Left-right-left hook. Turn with your hip and your whole body when throwing the left hook. Make sure you don’t drop your hand after the hook.
- Right cross – left hook – left hook to the body. After throwing the left hook to the head go immediately for body. Your partner will use gloves or pads to guard himself.
Kicks – the power of Muay Thai over other martial arts
- Low kicks. Use your rear (right) foot to through a low kick to your partners front (left) thigh. Then your partner will do the same to you. Change turns after each kick. Don’t block the kick. Just take it in. Move around but don’t run away from the kick.
- Middle kicks. Throw middle kicks to your partners gloves. When guarding keep one hand right on the side of your body with zero air between your arm and body. Bring the other arm next to first hand and when the kick is coming push your hands away from the body towards the kick.
- Front kick.
Practice your knee strikes
- Move around and try to get close to your fight partner who is holding gloves close to the liver. When you get close through a knee in the gloves.
- Put your hands around your partners neck in a clinch and throw knees to the gloves. Left knee – right knee – left knee – right knee. Do it fast. 50 lefts and 50 rights.
- Jab – right punch – low kick. Classic combo. See the video below.
- Jab – right punch – left knee. Reach both of your hands when throwing the knee and try to grab your opponents head/neck and pull him closer to your knee.
- Middle kick – middle kick. Use your front foot to throw two middle kicks in a row. Follow up with the second kick as fast as you can. It almost doesn’t touch the ground.
Keep it short and make it the last component of your training session. It’s like a well earned dessert. Again, your focus should be on technique and not power. Try to throw as many combos as you can and not just single punches/kicks.
- First round (2 minutes) – hands only.
- Second round (2 minutes) – hands, kicks and knees.
That’s it. Your workout is over. Give yourself an applause and follow up with some abs exercises and stretching.
Do 5 minutes of abs workouts after every training and stretch your leg muscles. Make this a compulsory part of your Muay Thai workout routine. The stretching after workout will make you throw nice high kicks so don’t skip it.