Muay Thai is a combat sport that uses the different body parts as weapons in fighting. This sport requires maximum physical strength and stamina to be able to successfully defend oneself from the opponent. And like other competitive contact fighting sports, Muay Thai focuses heavily on the right body conditioning.
Muay Thai fighters have to undergo special training programs to promote the fitness and toughness level required for the competition. Some of the conditioning activities performed includes running, rope jumping, shadowboxing, body weight resistance exercises, abdominal exercises, medicine ball exercises and as necessary, weight training.
The fact that Muay Thai fighters or boxers rely a lot on kicks using the shin bone, this part of the body should be well conditioned to repeatedly hit hard objects without hurting the boxer. Cortical remodeling is a process where the shin bones are hardened to prepare them from the hard kicks that will be thrown during the fight. Shin conditioning is designed to increase the fighter’s pain threshold and not to kill the shin nerves as commonly misconstrued.
Shin conditioning may be achieved by kicking the heavy bag or the Thai pads. It takes time to get your shins conditioned to hard kicks. For beginners, it is best advised to use a softer Muay Thai pads or a less dense heavy bags then gradually shifting to harder pads and bags as the training progresses. Training with coaches on heavy bag, focus mitts, Thai pads and sparring are all part of a daily training regimen in many rounds, usually of 3-5 minute periods with 1 to 2 minute rest in between.
Muay Thai Pad Training
Muay Thai pad training is a cornerstone of Muay Thai conditioning and this involves practicing kicks, punches, knees, and elbow strikes with a trainer. Fighter should wear thick pads which cover the forearms and hands. These Muay Thai pads are designed to absorb the impact of the fighter’s strikes. In actual Muay Thai fights, the pads will allow the fighter to react to the attacks of the opponent’s pad holder. A belly pad worn around the abdominal area of the trainer will allow the fighter to throw some straight kicks or knees to the body anytime.
This is a conditioning activity required by every Muay Thai fighter or boxer. Sparring three times per week with full protective gear on will keep their skills sharp and help condition their body to the attacks and strikes when fighting. Sparring sessions in five rounds of five minutes per round is done three times a week.
Sparring is one way to test skills, range, technique, timing and strategy against an opponent. As a conditioning activity, sparring is often a light to medium contact exercise in order to prevent the risk of sustaining injury if sparring very hard. Sparring can enhance specific tactics and strategies such as clinching, in close fighting, cutting off the ring, or using reach and distance to keep an aggressive fighter away.
To condition and train the boxer’s hand speed, punch combinations, punching power, timing, defense, and counter-punching are done with focus mitts. It may also be used to practice elbow strikes.
When looking for a Muay Thai training gym, these elements must be present to ensure right conditioning. The sport entails a lot of physical but correct training to achieve a fighter’s full potential in learning the sport. Muay Thai have different training levels depending on the fighter’s willingness to learn and advance into the sport; basic training is appropriate to those who just wants to learn the sport and learn some self defense and the advance training goes out to those who really wants a career in Muay Thai.