While your goal may not be cage fighting, Muay Thai, traditional Thai kickboxing, should still be one of your options for fitness and conditioning. Muay Thai differs from traditional kickboxing which focuses solely on kicking and straight punches, traditional Thai boxing includes striking with knees and elbows and requires rotational movements that will help you develop a strong core, mobility, balance and coordination.
You will train offensive techniques including:
Plus defensive techniques including:
Muay Thai requires excellent full body conditioning, and though fitness for competition is often the primary goal, you can use Muay Thai training as fitness training to develop body strength, sparing skills and self defense, and to train the body and mind to act and react quickly and instinctively.
You will use all parts of your body during training, your head and neck, shoulders, arms, elbows, and hands, with intense use and training of your torso, waist, and hips, thighs, knees, shins, and feet. More importantly, your heart and lungs will adapt to endure long and strenuous sessions of training. Muay Thai training should not be limited to men, but should be used and enjoyed by women, both in the gym and in your home gym.
Those who are attracted to Muay Thai training find it exciting and challenging, far from repetitive. The constant movement required by training is ideal cardio, builds endurance, plus muscle tone. Your workout can be easily changed to prevent boredom, and to provide additional challenge as you attempt to follow the changes of routine.
Some of the movements you will practice and learn include:
Kicks – high kicks, low kicks and front kicks.
High kicks involve stepping forward off the left foot, and pivoting to the left with your heel coming off the ground. Followed immediately by rotating the hips towards the direction of your left toes, as your right leg is brought around to strike the target with the shin. The power of this kick is generated by your hip rotation and your high kick will strike the target between torso and head. High kicks require great strength and flexibility and develop strong hips and hip flexors. You will practice your kicks on protective Thai pads or the heavy bag.
Elbows – cross elbow, hook elbow, uppercut and hammer elbow.
The standard boxing stance is used for both right and left elbows, with the left foot staying forward. For a cross elbow elevate the point of elbow to above head height, then rotate the shoulders as if your were throwing a jab or more specifically a cross punch; the elbow will then follow down and strike the target with force. Striking point should be the bone at the end of the elbow.
Knee Strikes – high and low.
Low knee strikes require explosive power while high knees provide excellent conditioning. Knee strikes develop core stability as you keep your torso upright as you strike.
One of the greatest advantages of Muay Thai training is the use of all muscle groups. You will be constantly moving, while turning, and twisting as you strengthen, tone and burn fat as you develop a lean and defined body.