Endurance, 5 Training Secrets of Muay Thai

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By Ken Artuz


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Endurance and Muay Thai!

Endurance training is a staple in Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing. Muay Thai is a martial art rooted in Thailand. It is a combat sport well-known for emphasizing striking techniques, including punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. Muay Thai is also known as the “Art of Eight Limbs,” It utilizes eight points of contact, unlike other striking arts that only use four.

Endurance is a critical component of any combat sport, including Muay Thai. Fighters must be able to perform at a high level for extended periods, whether during a fight or training. Endurance training is an essential aspect of Muay Thai training and involves exercises that improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular perseverance, and mental toughness.

Muay Thai fighters are known for their incredible endurance, which allows them to fight for long periods without getting tired. In a typical Muay Thai fight, rounds can last three minutes, with a minute break. Fighters must have the stamina to perform at a high level during each round and recover quickly during the break.

Several exercises target different body areas when building endurance for Muay Thai fighters. These exercises include running, shadowboxing, pad work, bag work, skipping, sparring, and strength training. Each movement has unique benefits and is crucial in improving the fighter’s endurance. In this article, I’ll cover five exercise types Muay Thai fighters use to build their endurance.

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Training with Running

Running is an essential part of Muay Thai training, and it is one of the best endurance exercises used by fighters to increase their stamina. Muay Thai fighters typically run long distances ranging from 3-6 miles to improve cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance.

Since running is low-impact is a convenient and effective way to improve endurance. It also helps improve lung capacity and oxygen intake, which is crucial for training or fighting in a sport like Muay Thai.

  • Steady-state running: Muay Thai fighters can incorporate several types of running into their training routine. The most common type of running is steady-state running, which involves maintaining a consistent pace for a long time. Whether outdoors or on a treadmill, steady-state running improves cardiovascular fitness and endurance.
  • Running intervals is another type of exercise commonly used in Muay Thai training. Interval training involves alternating between periods of high-intensity running and rest. This type of training is particularly effective for improving cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance, as it forces the body to work harder and recover faster.
  • Hill running is another running exercise that is popular among Muay Thai fighters. Hill running involves running up and down hills, which helps improve leg strength and endurance. It also helps develop mental toughness, as it can be challenging to run up steep hills for an extended period.

Running Benefits, In Summary

In addition to the physical benefits, running provides several mental benefits for Muay Thai fighters. Fighters must maintain focus and concentration when it comes to fighting and training, which is why running can help them accomplish that.

Overall, running is a crucial component of Muay Thai training, and it is an effective way for fighters to improve their endurance and stamina. By incorporating different types of running into their training routine, Muay Thai fighters can develop the physical and mental toughness they need to perform at their best.

Artuz Fitness Endurance, 5 Training Secrets of Muay Thai Fighters
Photo Credit: Ken Artuz

Endurance, Jump Rope For Better Sports Performance

Skipping rope is a popular exercise that offers a range of benefits for Muay Thai fighters, including improved cardiovascular fitness, coordination, and agility. Researchers have studied the effects of different techniques on kinematics and dynamics of motion to identify the optimum rope-skipping methods. Let’s take a page of their endurance training and apply it to your fitness goals.

Here is some additional information on skipping rope to help your training:

  • Finding a suitable length rope is essential for the proper form and training effectiveness. Using too long or short a string can hinder learning and adequate jump rope form and cause an unnecessary impact on the rope. There are general guidelines for jump rope length, and it’s crucial to find the right size based on your height and skill level.
  • Try learning the motion of skipping without a rope first, as it helps develop the necessary coordination and rhythm for jumping with a rope. Place your wrists at the midline of your body and practice hopping on the spot. Jump only 1-1.5 inches off the ground and work on developing a consistent rhythm and foot placement.

Despite its benefits on strength, stamina coordination, and enhancing performance, skipping rope can stress the plantar and Achilles tendon. Therefore proper technique is vital for avoiding injuries and maximizing the benefits of the exercise. Stretching and massage can help alleviate discomfort and prevent injuries.

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Photo Credit: Ken Artuz

Shadowboxing For Endurance Training

Shadowboxing is a solo exercise that boxers and martial artists use to practice their striking technique without a partner. By imagining an opponent, a shadowboxer can hone their footwork, timing, and rhythm, as well as their combinations and defensive moves. This practice is beneficial for developing muscle memory and improving the flow of movement in a fight. Additionally, shadowboxing helps Muay Thai fighters to increase their speed and power, as they can focus on perfecting their form and generating maximal force with each punch or kick.

Placement of hands and feet, body position, and weight distribution are crucial to shadowboxing success. Muay Thai fighters aim to stay light on their feet, constantly moving and changing angles to simulate real fighting scenarios. Additionally, it is crucial to incorporate head movement and defensive techniques such as slips, ducks, and rolls. These movements help Muay Thai fighters become more elusive and avoid taking unnecessary hits in a real fight.

How To Shadow Box

There are several ways to perform shadowboxing, depending on your goals and experience level. Some Muay Thai fighters prefer to shadowbox with a mirror, allowing them to observe and correct their technique. Others may choose to shadowbox while visualizing a specific opponent, which can help them to prepare for a future fight or develop a particular game plan. Regardless of the approach, shadowboxing should be performed regularly as part of a Muay Thai fighter’s training routine to maintain and improve their skills.

Artuz Fitness Endurance, 5 Training Secrets of Muay Thai Fighters
Photo Credit: Ken Artuz

In addition to improving technique, shadowboxing also provides excellent cardiovascular exercise. As Muay Thai fighters move around, throw punches and kicks, and dodge imaginary strikes, they burn calories and help to improve endurance and stamina. These actions allow Muay Thai fighters to go longer and harder in training and real fights. Furthermore, combining shadowboxing with other exercises, such as skipping rope or running, can create a high-intensity interval (HIIT) training session that is both challenging and effective.

Shadowboxing can be a great way to warm up before a training session or fight. By going through a few rounds of shadowboxing, fighters can get their blood flowing, increase their heart rate, and mentally prepare for the challenges ahead. By doing shadowboxing, you can help to reduce the risk of injury and improve overall performance. With all these benefits in mind, it’s no wonder that shadowboxing is such a popular and effective training technique for Muay Thai fighters of all levels.

Artuz Fitness Endurance, 5 Training Secrets of Muay Thai Fighters
Photo Credit: Ken Artuz

Heavy Bag Endurance Benefits

Heavy bag training is an excellent way to improve physical fitness, build strength, and release stress. This training involves striking a heavy bag with various punches, kicks, and knee combinations while improving power, speed, and endurance. Heavy bag training is a full-body exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the legs, core, and upper body. It requires proper technique, coordination, and focus, which can help improve overall martial arts skills. You can train on the heavy bag at home or a gym, and it is suitable for all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced athletes.

One of the most significant benefits of heavy bag training is that it helps to build power and explosiveness. By hitting the bag with full force, you are challenging your muscles to exert maximum effort, which helps to increase strength and power. Additionally, the constant movement and shifting of weight during heavy bag training can improve your balance and stability, making you less prone to injury during other physical activities.

Another benefit of heavy bag training is its excellent way of relieving stress and tension. Hitting the bag can release pent-up emotions and frustrations, improving your overall mood and mental wellbeing. It is also a great way to boost confidence and self-esteem, as you will see noticeable improvements in your technique and strength over time.

Artuz Fitness, 5 Training Secrets of Muay Thai Fighters
Photo Credit: Ken Artuz

Let’s Create A Circuit!

Circuit training is a form of training that consists of combining different exercises and performing them in a circuit. Various aspects of Muay Thai improve through circuit training. For example, a circuit exercise would focus on technique, such as shadowboxing or pad work, and exercises that work on conditioning, such as jump rope or burpees. Circuit training has benefits for improving overall fitness, strength, endurance, and specific Muay Thai skills.

Circuit training targets specific muscle groups and improves overall athletic performance. This type of training involves performing a series of exercises with minimal rest periods between sets. Each exercise in a circuit has a specific order and several repetitions per exercise. After completing one round of the circuit, the process repeats several times.

Circuit Training Tailor Intensity

Doing circuit training without equipment or a few equipment units is possible. Adding equipment like resistance bands, dumbbells, or kettlebells increases the intensity of the activity. Circuits make an excellent option for people who don’t have access to a gym or who prefer to work out at home. Bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, squats, and lunges, can be incorporated into a circuit training routine to build strength and endurance.

When designing a circuit training routine for Muay Thai, including exercises specific to the sport is paramount. A technique improvement program can include activities that improve balance, footwork, and coordination. Exercises that focus on explosive power, such as plyometrics or sprints, can be included to strengthen striking ability. Additionally, exercises that target the muscles used in Muay Thai, such as the quadriceps, glutes, and core, can be included to improve overall strength and conditioning.

Circuit training is a versatile and effective way to train for Muay Thai. By incorporating exercises that target specific aspects of the sport, athletes can improve their overall performance and build strength and endurance. Additionally, circuit training can be done with little or no equipment, making it a convenient and accessible option for athletes at all levels.

Artuz Fitness, 5 Training Secrets of Muay Thai Fighters
Photo Credit: Ken Artuz
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