4 important elements of an effective Muay Thai conditioning

Effective Muay Thai conditioning includes 4 major elements: strength and stamina workout, pads and bag training, sparring and shadow boxing and banana bag shin conditioning. This sort of training will enable you to compete with experienced opponents and to achieve a full potential as a fighter. Proper conditioning provides you with a solid base and physical fitness necessary to learn advanced fighting techniques and combinations. It also prepares you to withstand physical punishment in the ring.

Muay Thai conditioning exercises:

It is important to always start with a warm up and to stretch your body before extensive physical training. This way you will minimize the risk of cramps and severe muscle strains.

I recommend starting with 3-minute rounds and 1-minute break. When you build up stamina move up to 5-minute rounds and increase training intensity and an amount of repetitions.

  • Jump rope exercise: not only a good cardio workout but also a great exercise for foot speed and coordination.
  • sit ups are great for abs and core workout.
  • push ups: great exercise for developing your chest, shoulders and triceps muscle which in turn greatly increases your upper body strength.
  • heavy bag workout.
  • squats: main benefits of squats is to build your backside and your leg muscles.

Standard Thai pads workout:

10x with different combinations. Start with a 'jab, cross' combo and then follow it up with:

  • jab, cross, hook
  • jab, cross, hook, cross
  • jab, cross, hook, hook, hook, cross
  • left hook, right cross, left hook
  • right cross, left hook, right cross
  • thai pads holding for punches
  • thai pads kicking: ten kicks for each leg. Kick it as fast as possible
  • thai pads holding for kicks
  • thai pads knees
  • thai pads holding for knees
  • thai pad push kicks/front kicks
  • thai pads holding for push kicks: move forward the hip with each kick to increase the reach and the power of the kick
  • skipping: implement various techniques e.x. skipping on one leg
  • shadow boxing
  • sparring

and a LOTS of running inside and outside of a gym. It improves your cardio like no any other activity

More advanced conditioning exercises:

Warm up:

  • running: great cardio workout
  • skipping: for speed and foot coordination
  • burpees: one of the best bodyweight resistance training. Great for building overall fitness and stamina
  • explosive push ups: develops your chest, shoulders and triceps muscle
  • sit ups: strengthen the abdominal muscles


  • 3 rounds of shadow boxing
  • 5 rounds of fast combinations trained on banana bag: kicks, punches, knees, and elbows
  • 3 to 5 rounds of focus pads
  • 3 to 5 rounds of sparring
  • 3 five minute rounds with heavy bag with full power
  • 100 kicks for each leg on pads or bags
  • 100 knee strikes for each leg. Mix front knees and side knees

Shin conditioning

Shin conditioning is best achieved by kicking the banana bag and Thai pads. Hardening the bone, through the process called cortical remodeling, takes time but eventually, you will be able to deliver some hard kicks to your opponent's body and head. It will also make checking low kicks easier and less painful.

At the beginning, it is wise to use a softer Muay Thai pads or a less dense heavy bags and then to progress to a harder banana bag as conditioning continues. And then you can just go out and kick a banana tree like a real Thai fighter when you ready to move on.

Also take a look at:

Muay Thai conditioning: shins

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