Any good Muay Thai training always consists of the same fixed procedures and ingredients. It does not matter whether Muay Thai is trained for self defense, fitness or the ring. The following training components should be present in each good Muay Thai workout and be an integral part every Muay Thai training.
The basic Muay Thai Training
Mental principles for good and successful Muay Thai Training:
- Self-discipline: Nobody forces you to train Muay Thai. Self-discipline is paramount. Without this you will not get successful.
- Listen to your body: Set always realistic targets and listen to your body.
- Train yourself in patience: Good things come to those who have patience. Also, this is a golden rule in Muay Thai training. The basic steps are learned quickly though, to perfect them is the art!
- Find out your strengths: Not everyone has the same strengths and what works for others must not good for you. Find out your strengths and promote them! Try to minimize your weaknesses through perfecting and training.
- Enjoy the workout: Go with fun and interest to training. So you will learn faster and make faster progress.
Physical principles in Muay Thai Training:
- Do not eat immediately before the Muay Thai training. Between meal and exercise always should gone good 2 hours.
- Always warm up your muscles to avoid injuries.
- Wear good sneakers for running. Avoid hard undergrounds and protect your ankles and joints. Also for skipping, you should always wear good shoes.
- Wrap your hands also for training. So you protect your joints. Toughen your hands is not necessary in any way!
- Drink enough water! But not too much during the Muay Thai training. It’s best to drink small amounts at regular intervals (less than half a glass per round break). This prevents dehydration, especially in hot weather training.
- Pay attention to your breathing: Proper breathing is very important especially in fights. Train to breath optimal. With the wrong breathing techniques you loose unnecessary endurance.
- Stretch yourself after each workout
- Take at least one day off a week. Give your body enough recovery time.
Fitness Muay Thai Training Basics
Every Muay Thai Fighter, should have a certain basic fitness, which should be continuously trained. You always keep a basich fitness level and raise it only before competitions. With these exercises you keep yourself on high level fitness:
- Running: Running is essential to train and build your stamina and endurance. In addition, it strengthens the leg muscles. Running should be an essential part for any fighter of the daily Muay Thai training. The running distance should be at good 5-10 kilometers or not less than a period of 30 minutes.
However, running is not mandatory in Muay Thai training. It’s only up to you, but your condition will benefit extremely.
Muay Thai training Running Style: To strengthen the leg muscles optimally you should run on your toes always in small steps. This benefits your stance and help you to be light-footed in combat. However, these running style charges the ligaments and joints stronger. Therefore, you should preferably run only on soft grounds on your toes.
- Skipping: The rope jumping is an integral part of Thai Boxing training. It also represents a good alternative for those who don’t like running. You should do some skipping after each run. If you’re not running, you should do instead 30 minutes skipping.
The skipping improves endurance, timing, coordination, breathing and concentration and is thus a useful tool in basic Muay Thai training.
- Muay Thai Fitness Training: In addition to jumping rope and running a general fitness training is essential. This can take place at the end or beginning of a training session or can be also done in blocks during the training program. Alternatively, the general fitness training can be executed in the round breaks.
The general fitness training involves optimally: Crunches (100-200); Pull-ups (as many as possible); Pushups (50-100); Knee bumps against the punching bag (300); Teep- Kicks (100 left and right) and Kicks (200 left and right).
The Muay Thai fitness training strengthens the muscles, increases the impact strength and the endurance and speed.
Specific Muay Thai Training
The specific Muay Thai training is the part where you learning and refine the Muay Thai techniques and helps to apply these later effectively. In specific Muay Thai Training you study combinations and sequences.
- Shadow Boxing: The Shadow boxing is essential to learn and practice new techniques. In shadow boxing, it depends on the perfect movement and the right technique. In this case, you should also always combine several moves together. Initially it is advisable to warm up and perform the movement slowly and correctly as possible. Gradually, the tempo can be increased until the full combat speed is reached.
Tip: Imagine during shadow boxing always your enemy. Imagine where you want to hit him. So you can use in the fight your movements optimally and automatically.
- Shadow Sparring: Shadow Sparring is often performed with the legs. It is all about to block the training partners kicks and to improve your foot control. The shadow sparring promotes the ability to block kicks and knees to the legs and may cause the decisive advantage in battle. Beginners should wear shin guards to prevent injury. If professionals do shadow sparring, it does not rarely look like full contact.
- Bag Work: In the Bag Work Training you apply your techniques against a target. The Bag Work Muay Thai training promotes the strength and power of kicks and punches and besides you will automatically get rock hard shins. Always vary kicking styles at Work Bag Training between jabs, low kicks, middle kicks, knee joints and high-kicks and train all aspects this way. Bag Work Training should always take place in rounds of 3 minutes. The optimum is a round number of 5-8.
- Pad Work / Thai punch training: The Muay Thai training with Thai Pads is the training type that comes closest to a real fight. The coach carries over the complete protective equipment. He can be attacked like a real opponent because he wears the full guard equipment like shin pads and the belly protector. The trainer always calls for new combinations. The punch training is the most exciting but also most exhausting Muay Thai training part. It extremely improves fitness and strength. In addition, the coordination and the sense of distance to opponents is trained as well. Even the Thai Pad training will be done in rounds. So it is close to real fight.
- Sparring: The sparring is in fact a training battle. To avoid injury, often the sparring partners wear protective gear during training session. Especially in the preparation phase for a fight a sparring injury would be fatal. Sparring exercises all aspects of a Muay Thai fight. Not infrequently on more professional levels of boxing the fighting-style of the next opponent is copied from the sparring partner.
- Clinch Training: Clinching is an indispensable part of Muay Thai. Therefore, clinching in Muay Thai Training plays a big role. The skills and handles are trained, which allow the enemy to control and to put effective knee kicks on his body and head. Clinch training is most effective when it is performed with a skilled clinch fighter.
Strength training is a good addition to the normal Muay Thai training. So especially weak parts of the body can be promoted and strengthened. Strength training should be done in consultation with the coach and completely stopped a good week before a fight.
Special training methods in Muay Thai Boxing
- Muay Thai Training in rounds: Often Muay Thai is trained in rounds. In this case, the round time may vary depending on the level of fighters fitness between 3 to 5 minutes. After a round, take a break of 30-60 seconds. The basic training can also be intensified easy. So increase the round times to 7 or 8 minutes. In the round breaks then active recreation in the form of shadow boxing or sit-ups instead of / push ups can be done.
- Imagine your opponent: Throughout the whole Muay Thai training, whether shadow boxing, punch training or heavy bag workout you should always imagine your target. Imagine the nose, stomach, legs or chin on every shot before. So you connect the movements visually and can quickly respond to gaps in combat and you will be able to counterattack quickly.
A complete Muay Thai training plan can be found here
A Muay Thai training plan for athletes in fight preparation is here