When it comes to training Muay Thai it is important that you focus on multiple aspects of training to ensure you get better.. While technique and timing are extremely important, you should also be working on your conditioning and cardio to ensure that you can last a 5 round fight.
This guide is designed to help you get better at muay thai. It is a complete guide that will cover a common place where people train – at home. This guide will provide you with specific workouts and exercises that you can do at home that will improve your technique.
Why Train at Home?
A lot of people are living in places that don’t have muay thai gyms nearby or have gyms that have bad reputations that they choose to avoid. If this is the case, there is no reason why you shouldn’t do your training at home. With the money you save from paying a gym membership you can put it towards a trip to Thailand 🙂
If you don’t have the luxury of having access to a muay thai gym in your area, training at home is the next best thing. There are a number of drills and exercises that you can do to ensure that you are improving your muay thai techniques and condition. While it is always more advantageous to have an instructor go over your technique, there is no reason why you can’t get better on your own. Try and find a partner to train with to work on sparring, clinching and even hold pads for each other.
Smart Tip: Look up our Muay Thai PRO training guides if you want to improve your technique.
Warm Up Before Training
The first thing you should do before you start training at home is warm up and stretch before training. I like to do a short run before I start to do any time of training to help get my muscles lose and ready. You can also use a skipping rope or even do jumping jacks. Anything that is getting blood into your muscles is doing the job. Once you have warmed up for 10-15 minutes it is time to start stretching. Here are a few stretches that you can do before training.
- Rotate your neck left and right and up and down – this can help get your neck muscle lose if you have a partner that you are going to clinch with.
- Swing your arms in a circular motion clockwise and counter clock wise for 30 seconds each direction. This will help you loosen your shoulders and get some blood flowing in your arms.
- High Knees and Butt Kicks – Either standing in a set position or jogging forward lift your knees to the your lower chest touching your hands. Butt Kicks require you to put your hands on your rear and lift your leg behind you to touch the hands.
- Front and Side Splits – Try and work on increasing the flexibility in your groin area to get your legs ready for kicks. Doing the splits can help you warm up and increase your kicking height.
After you have completed your warm up you should then try and go in front of a mirror and work on your shadow boxing. Shadow boxing is something that everyone must do in order to improve their Muay Thai techniques. It will help you work on your timing, footwork, techniques and combinations. If you are shadow boxing for the first time, you will feel and look strange. Don’t worry about how you look, just focus on improving yourself.
Try and find a large mirror to stand in front of while you are shadow boxing. Shadow boxing in front of a mirror will allow you to imagine an opponent standing in front of you. You can look at your punching and kicking techniques in the mirror and see if you are snapping your punches back or even see if your opposite arm is up protecting your chin. The mirror will give you a deep look into your technique so it is important to do lots of shadow boxing.
One of the keys to shadow boxing is to make it simulate a real fight. Try and imagine that there is an opponent trying to punch and kick you. Use your shadowboxing to block and counter attack the different strikes that your opponent is throwing at you.
Shadow box for 10-15 minutes and try and work on different things while you are shadowing. This is essential for home training because you have to look for your own mistakes in your technique.
Hitting a heavy bag is an essential component to training at home. If you don’t have one, you need to get one. This is necessary if you want to get a good workout in at home. When you first hit the bag it will probably feel strange, but trust me, it will take years before you start to resemble those professional fighters you see on TV. Don’t sweat it. Just keep on working hard.
Use a training bag to work on all of the different muay thai techniques. You should be focusing on your punches, kicks, knees and elbows. Hitting a bag will help you work on your movement when the bag is swinging back and forth, it will also help you with coordination and timing.
Try and have an idea of a specific technique or combination that you want to work on before you start training. This will help give your mind something think about while you are training. You always want to be thinking about what your doing while you training, going into auto mode is a great recipe for sloppy technique.
One of the major benefits of hitting the bag is that you will have a good work if you are going hard. You should try and bring a timer and hit the bag for 3 minute rounds, to simulate the length of a fight. Go hard for 3 minutes and take a rest for a minute. Repeat this process with a set amount of rounds that you want to complete. I would recommend hitting the back for 5-8 rounds if you don’t have someone to hold pads for you.
End with Strength Training Exercises
If you are training at home you should definitely add some strength training to your workout. Basic strengthening exercises like pushups and pull-ups can drastically improve your muay thai conditioning. Here are a few exercises that you can do at home to help you build your endurance. You can read our detailed strength training guide (and specifically our strength training for Muay Thai) for more information about how to lift to better your Muay Thai strength.
- Pushups – Try and start out doing 20 pushups x 3 sets. You should adjust the number of pushups that you do depending on your starting strength.
- Pull ups- Pull ups are extremely effective in building arm strength that can translate into your clinch
- Burpees – Burpees are great for conditioning and making you tired, use them to your benefit.
- Situps – Situps are a must if you want to condition your stomach. Rotate different types of situps into your routine so you are never used to the exercise you are going to perform.
Using the previous exercises is a good start if you want to start training at home. While there is no supplement to pad work training with a trainer, this is the next best way to improve your muay thai skills.