10 key training tips to help be a good kickboxer
- Warming up / Cool down
- Shadow Boxing
- Free weights
- Bag Work
- Pad Work
- Speed ball
Warming up / Cool down
It is important to run, skip or bounce on old truck tyres (which is helps improve balance) for at least 15 minutes as a warm up to begin every Muay Thai training session. The idea is to build up a sweat and prepare your body for the vigorous exercise to follow. It is not necessary to spend an excessive amount of time in stretching during Muay Thai training unless you are trying to achieve an extreme level of flexibility or are unusually stiff as a result of a sedantry lifestyle. A suitable routine of around 15 minutes will prepare your muscles for training. And dont forget to do some gentle warm down exercises at the end of each Muay Thai training session. This will help your joints to remain supple. A proper warm up and cool down routine will protect you from injury.
Running is essential to develop stamina and toughen the legs. Running is best done in the early morning and should vary in distance day by day. At least one day a week should be a rest day. Try to avoid running on concrete roads or pavements, though it is not the end of the world if this is your only option. Be careful when running on uneven surfaces and wear good shoes. Running on sand and in shallow water can be good occasionally. Steadily increase the distance you run each day. If you are not fit enough to run, then begin with a brisk walk and steadily build up. Dont use a lack of fitness to delay your start on Muay Thai training. Joining a club will help with motivation.
Skipping is an integral part of Muay Thai training, it is an excellent way to warm up the body if you are not running, and also helps develop stamina and co-ordination. Skip by rounds, keep your mind relaxed and alert. When skipping hop from one foot to the other dont bounce on two feet.
Shadow boxing is essential to learning the proper Muay Thai technique. Shadow boxing in front of a mirror allows you to observe and correct your movements. When shadow boxing do not shorten the punch or kick, remember to use your full range of movement. Even top level Muay Thai fighters begin their training routine with a shadow boxing warm-up.
Incorporate the use of dumb-bells into your Muay Thai training routine. It will help to build strength. Lighter weights with many repetitions is best. Free weights work better than fixed weight training machines as they do not limit your range of movement, but you need to train carefully to avoid injury. Training with very heavy weights is good for body building competitions, but not the best way to train for a Muay Thai fight. Normally Thai boxers do not want to increase their body weight.
Working on the hanging bags will build power and stamina into your kicks and punches as well as toughen your body. Kicking the bags often is the only sensible way to condition (that is de-sensitize) your shins. Aggressive methods of training such as using bottles or other very hard objects to condition the shins is not recommended, and also not neccesary. This kind of training may cause unnesseccary injury to the bones in your legs. At Horizon Thai Boxing camp we fill our bags with scraps of cloth, not sand which is very hard, though still expect some bruising (girls especially) if you are a novice.
As you progress in the art of Muay Thai boxing, you will learn to use the strikes learnt against Thai Pads. Your Muay Thai trainer wears a set of Thai pads, a stomach pad and shin guards which allows you to attack him as if he were an opponent. Full power striking of the Thai Pads is a tough part of Muay Thai training and an amazing workout. Pad work will develop your footwork, co-ordination and spatial awareness. Pad work is a very distinctive and essential part of Muay Thai training.
Use of the speed and punching balls will increase your co-ordination, and will help to build your shoulders necessary to maintain a strong guard.
Once you have a comprehensive foundation in place you will be ready to participate in controlled sparring. This will form the major part of your Muay Thai training routine. At Horizon Thai Boxing Camp we have full protective gear available for use during Muay Thai training sessions.
After demonstrating proficiency during Thai pads training, stand-up grappling techniques practised with a partner provides the final step between sparring and fighting. During this part of Muay Thai training you will learn to control your opponent by trying to lock his arms or neck in a clinch. From this position it is possible to deliver the knees, or knock your opponent to the floor. This is a very tough aspect of Muay Thai training. These drills are done at the end of each Muay Thai training session prior to the final shadow boxing warm down.