Muay Thai conditioning routine: 4 important conditioning tips

Effective Muay Thai conditioning includes 4 major elements:

  • Shin conditioning

A solid conditioning routine provides you with the physical fitness necessary to learn advanced fighting techniques and combinations. It also prepares you to last 5 rounds in the ring and to withstand physical punishment during a fight.

Muay Thai conditioning techniques

Muay Thai conditioning exercises:

It is important to always start with a warm-up and to stretch your body before your workout session. That way you will minimize the risk of cramps and severe muscle strains.

I would recommend starting it with a 3-minute workout with 30 secs. break. Once you build up stamina you can move up to 5-minute rounds and increase the intensity and the number of reps.

  • Jump rope workout: not only a good cardio workout but also a great exercise for foot speed and coordination.
  • Sit-ups are great for developing your abs and strengthening your core.
  • 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: the main benefit 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

For more combinations take a look at 3-count and 4-count Muay Thai combinations and Basic Muay Thai combinations.

Standard Thai pads routine:

  • 10 sets of basic 2-count and 3-count punching combos.

    When it's your time to hold pads, take an overhand swing after each combo to force your sparring partner to evade
  • 10 elbow strikes for each arm
  • 10 kicks for each leg. Kick pads as fast as possible
  • 10 knee strikes for each leg
  • 10 Push kicks [theeps] for each leg.
    Move your hips forward with each strike to increase the reach and the power of your kick

And then you swap with your Thai pads holder.

More advanced conditioning exercises:

Start with a warm-up. Bodyweight exercises are great for that:

  • Running: it's a great cardio workout. Regular running is a must if you want to significantly improve your stamina
  • Rope jumping: warms up your legs and abs. it is also a great speed and foot coordination drill
  • Burpees: one of the best bodyweight workouts. Great for building overall fitness and stamina
  • Push-ups: Warms up your upper body and help to develop your chest and shoulder muscles
  • Sit-ups: warms up and strengthen your abdominal muscles

For more Bodyweight workouts take a look at Bodyweight workout routines.

Advanced Muay Thai conditioning routine:

  • 3 rounds of shadowboxing
  • 5 rounds of solo combinations trained on a heavy bag. Utilize combos with kicks, punches, knees, and elbow strikes
  • 3 to 5 rounds with Thai pads:
  • 100 kicks for each leg
  • 100 knee strikes for each leg. Mix front knees and side knees
    • 3 five minute rounds with a heavy bag:
  • 100 kicks for each leg
  • 100 knee strikes for each leg. Mix front knees and side knees
    • 3 to 5 rounds of sparring

    Shin conditioning:

    Shin conditioning is best achieved by kicking punching bags and Thai pads. The main goal is to make your shins harder so you can deliver some hard kicks without getting injured in the process. It will also make checking low kicks easier and less painful for you.

    Be persistent, it won't happen overnight. Your bones are getting harder in a process called cortical remodeling which may take even years to complete. But don't worry you will notice changes after a few months if you stick to the shin conditioning routine.

    Initially, it is wise to use softer Thai pads and softer heavy bags. When you're ready you can progress to kicking much harder banana bags.

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