Muay Thai Essentials: 9 Things to Remember When You Start Training
Tired of doing the same old physical routine? Perhaps it's about time to switch to a more challenging sport or hobby such as Muay Thai. The centuries-old national martial arts of Thailand has gained international recognition thanks to the intense combat-like movements used and the solid discipline followed by the teachers and fighters.
Whether you’re a martial arts enthusiasts, an aspiring athlete or a person who wants physical and mental challenges, you need to know the Muay Thai essentials first. With prior background knowledge, you can enjoy your training better.
#1 Physically prepare for the hardcore routine
Be warned: Muay Thai is a highly intense form of martial arts. You will most likely get injured if you don’t have enough preparations for it. Before you attempt to join a camp in Thailand or sign up for a Thai Boxing course at a local gym, you need to train in advance.
Needless to say, Thai boxing requires superb cardio fitness, so you must start improving this health aspect before anything else.
To boost your cardiovascular endurance, the American Heart Association suggests doing aerobic workouts such as jogging, swimming, dancing, brisk walking and biking. AHA recommends spending at least two and a half hours doing cardio endurance exercises each week to see results.
You also need to practice skipping at least three to five minutes before you start any of your regular workouts. Mastering the technique in using a jumping rope will allow you to strengthen your calf muscles and improve footwork.
#2 Find the right equipment for your hands
Like regular boxing, Muay Thai also requires the use of boxing gloves. While gloves are usually provided by the gym during each session, it’s better to have your own pair. Muay Thai Citizen says that a typical pair of gloves made from pure leather costs around $50 to 100.
There are cheaper options made from faux leather which sells at around $20 per pair. Go for a pair of Muay Thai gloves that provide enough cushioning and support on your hands and wrists.
#3 Learn the correct Muay Thai stance
Besides power and speed, your technique and stance can significantly affect your success in a Muay Thai ring. Instead of getting too excited about punching the heavy bag, focus on using light punches and building up your power and speed.
Check how your wrists look like when you throw punches. See to it that they don't bend at the wrong angles to prevent excruciating wrist injuries.
You should also check your kicks and hip twisting. If you fail to achieve the correct kicking position, you may suffer from feet swelling plus shin bruises. With constant practice, you will eventually learn the proper stance plus toughen up your shin and bones.
#4 Aim to keep yourself hydrated at all times
A lot of Muay Thai fighters struggle with dehydration, especially during training sessions.
Kombat Group shares a few tips to keep yourself hydrated every time you hit the gym:
- Before the scheduled training, drink enough water to reach the normal water content of the body.
- Drink at most 120 mL water or electrolyte-containing beverage every 20 minutes when you engage undergo a HIIT training.
- Consume beverages that contain carbs and electrolytes during and after the training.
- Avoid drinks that contain high levels of sugar and sodium.
Practice these tips as much as possible so you can avoid dehydration side effects such as reduced focus, power and endurance, light to severe headaches and impaired cognition.
#5 Don’t forget to eat a balanced diet
One of the most important things you need to succeed in every type of sport or workout routine is a proper diet. Even if you aim to lose weight through Muay Thai, you still need to eat.
Fuel up with the right amount of carbs and protein before you start training so you have an ample source of energy. You can also have a chocolate or malt drink for an extra energy boost.
An article published on Vice reveals that the typical diet of a local Muay Thai fighter includes rice, eggs, boiled vegetables and soup. Most fighters prefer consuming simple carbs for faster digestion and energy release.
#6 Learn from a professional
Surely, you’ll find a ton of resources that teaches some basic things about Muay Thai, but it’s always better to learn from the professional. With the help and guidance of a trained teacher, you will learn how to avoid getting injured.
You can also potentially speed up the learning process because you don’t need to figure out everything on your own. Your teacher will discuss the core principles of Thai boxing, the do’s and don’t plus other personal and practical tips that may be useful for your training.
Aside from learning the movements and proper stance, your trainer might also throw in tips on what food you should and should not consume during your workout. Yes, you may need to shell out money to get pro advice, but it’s all worth it once you see the results.
#7 Don’t be ashamed to ask questions
Feel free to ask questions about Muay Thai rules, the basic movements you need to master and other essential information that can help you improve as an athlete or fighter.
Muay Thai communities are very warm and welcoming especially if you meet those who train in Thailand. Members and other fighters generously share information and their experiences amongst each other for the sake of learning and camaraderie.
#8 Have enough time to rest
Obviously, the final tip on the list is giving yourself enough time to rest.
Remember, you can’t reap all the Muay Thai benefits such as improved muscle power and strength if you overwork yourself.
Even the best fighters out there spend enough time to rest and relax. Over straining your muscles will only result in lactic acid build-up and fatigue.
After your workout, go ahead and spend your free time doing other things that you love. Alternatively, you can sleep or jump in a tub of ice water to soothe your sore muscles.
#9 Embrace Muay Thai with all your heart
It’s not surprising why more and more people who are inclined to improve their health want to learn how to do Muay Thai. It’s one of the most hardcore combat sports in the world that provides you with the opportunity to work out your entire body. It’ll be a shame not to try it!
When you first start training muay thai, using training tools such as a reflex ball will help you improve faster! Also, if you want to look good when applying the advice above having some amazing muay thai apparel will help you to do so!