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Awesome Full Muay Thai Workout Without Equipment

Two muay thai fighter competing in a fight.

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Regardless of their chosen discipline, among combat sports athletes around the world. Muay Thai is seen as perhaps the greatest standup striking martial art on the planet. So if you wish to get into the sport but for whatever reason don’t currently have access to a gym. Are there any recommended Muay Thai workouts you can do without equipment?

Having a Muay Thai workout that you can do without using equipment is very possible. Using the natural environment by doing bodyweight exercises, combined with cardio training. As well as working on your technique. Will pay huge dividends before you return to the gym.

So with that in mind, I wanted to take a run through many of the things I have done in the past to stay in shape outside of the gym. Combined with information from what professionals around the world do. I hope you will find it a useful resource for staying fit and sharp.

Muay Thai Workout Warm Up

So before you get into the actual workout it’s best that you warm up your body and this can be done in a whole heap of ways. From jogging to some minimal bodyweight exercises. Adding in a range of stretches that will free up your limbs.

Stretching Exercises

Stretching is a must in Muay Thai, as you are going to be doing techniques with your legs which will be sometimes pushed to their limits. So it’s important that you are fully limbered up before you go head-on into any workout.

  • Do stretches such as holding a pole with your hand. Keeping your arm at full length turn away and feel the stretch across your chest muscles.
  • You will also need to stretch out those legs, so do that by placing one foot out in front of the other. And crouch down on the opposite leg causing the hamstring muscle to stretch, then switch sides.
  • And a crucial aspect of kicking is stretching the crotch area. Do this by putting your leg on a good height, waist or chest. Then leaning toward the outstretched leg to extend that inner groin area.

Skipping Is An Essential Aspect

Skipping, I hate skipping and I hate it because it’s bloody tough. So while some may remember their school days and think it looks like a piece of cake. Skipping consistently for 10 – 15 minutes without stopping is draining.

Awesome Full Muay Thai Workout Without Equipment
Two fighters warming up by skipping rope.

But it’s absolutely necessary if you are looking to condition those shoulders, arms and legs. And that is why you will see it being done by any and all boxers, MMA and Muay Thai fighters.

It’s something you can even do in your own bedroom or in the park. Just find a good skipping rope give yourself some space and off you go.

The Full Muay Thai Workout

Finding a muay Thai workout routine that you are happy with and also gets the job done is the ideal outcome. You don’t want to set the bar so high that you are unable to achieve your goals.

But you also don’t want to set it so low that you can easily complete it and don’t gain as much as you should in the process. So I would recommend finding a balance somewhere in the middle.

Working Your Punching And Footwork

Shadowboxing and kicking are so important when working on your technique. Now while it’s not the same as training with another person. You can at least work on the moves you would be doing during sparring or a fight itself.

And it’s good to use a mirror to analyse just how well you are doing. With so many how-to videos out there on the best ways to kick and punch. We are really spoilt for choice.

So work on your striking and kicking combinations, as well as your defence. How to avoid punches and kicks, using footwork and jumping to move in and out of range. Like a cat, you should be ready to bounce at a moment’s notice.

Working The Knees For Clinching

Your knees are one of the best weapons in Muay Thai. And one of the techniques most closely associated with the sport its practitioners has become most famous for around the world.

Taking control of their opponent’s heads and being able to move them around before landing a knockout knee. But knees, much like body shots, are also used close. Allowing fighters to land some crushing blows to the midsection can often bring an end to the fight.

So use alternating knees and work on mimicking having an opponent in front of you. Clasping your hands as you would normally, then landing the knee up and through the guard. Which is great for muscle memory, so you are ready to go when things once again hit the gym.

Checking And Blocking Kicks

One of the key skills required in Muay Thai is kicking, so it’s important that you work on that during every training session. But what can be equally as important is the ability to actually block kicks from your opponent.

As while you may have the best kicking game in the world, Buakaw hasn’t got a patch on you! Well, you will still need to be able to check incoming kicks from your opponent.

Check the kicks by lifting your knee up and turning it out at an angle to your body. With the idea being that your shin stops the incoming strike.

But be warned, there is a huge difference between drilling and live sparring. As if your shins are not properly conditioned, checking can be extremely painful.

Using The Heavy Bag

If you are lucky enough to have a punching bag in your garage, then awesome. If you are even luckier and have a heavy bag even better again. You win the prize for the best home gym setup.

So what you should be doing with the heavy bag is working those punches and elbows. Chaining together those combinations will also include your knees and kicks.

And it’s crucial that you keep on top of things while not being able to spar. As sure as night follows day, your opponents will be. So when it comes time to compete, inside the ring you don’t want to be even a half step behind.

10-Minute Heavy Bag Workout For Muay Thai

Your Overall Fitness Levels

Look, while you might have all the technical elements down. You still may fall short when it comes to your overall fitness. So working on this part of your game is as important as anything else.

So use the gym-free workout routines which are all around you. As all you have to do is step outside your door and there are untold locations where you can get in that necessary workout.

Running For Cardio Workout

It’s actually quite strange how often you hear about fighters who don’t like to run. Not that they just don’t like it, but they don’t even do a lot of it? But cardio is the bedrock of good performances.

And so being in peak condition aerobically and anaerobically are key to performing to the best of your ability. So make sure to integrate running as part of your overall fitness regime.

Include some mid-range runs of several kilometres, but don’t turn it into a marathon. do enough to stay in great shape, but not so much that it breaks down the muscles you are building.

Body Weight Training

Bodyweight exercises are an excellent way to stay in shape while out of the gym. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the exercises you can do with your own body are often as good and better than those inside the gym.

As you can well imagine, most Muay Thai fighters who come from poor parts of Thailand never had any access to any fancy weight rooms. All they did have is their local environment and so had to make the most of their situation.

So use homemade chin-up bars, and weights made from bags of rice and banana trees for kicking. They would still go on to become some of the greatest fighters in their nation.

So don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do training at home with your Muay Thai workout. You just have to innovate and will find a way that makes sense to you and your schedule.

Doing Simple Chin-ups

One of the best exercises you can do, but often not done properly. Palm-in and palm-out chin-ups are an awesome all-around upper body and arms exercise that can bulk you up, naturally.

And even better is when you do them correctly and don’t skimp on the effort. Meaning full arm-length pull-ups. Allowing your arms to fully extend, then in a full range of motion lifting yourself up and your chin over the bar.

So you don’t have to do a whole lot of these to realise just how hard they are. But doing them in full range instead of only dropping slightly will help in building bigger and better muscles in the arms.

Use Plyometric Push-up Exercises

Building explosiveness in your punches is key to knockouts. So if you want to build that topping power, one great way is by using plyometric push-ups.

And you go about doing this in the same way as normal push-ups, but with a twist. Getting into position, lower yourself down until you are almost on the floor.

Then instead of pushing up slowly, push up with as much force as you can, exploding upwards until your hands leave the floor. Then back into a slow lowering of your body to the floor, rinse and repeat.

Explosive Plyometric Push-up Tutorial (basic to advance)

Do as many as you can to get an idea of your fitness levels. Then set the amount and repetitions you will do in each training session. Also, landing back on your hands can sometimes hurt your wrists, so try to do them on a padded surface like a yoga mat.

Dips Are Excellent For Upper Strength

Most local parks these days will have outdoor workout bars on which you can work. So if you can find some locally, add dips to your workout to build up your arms, shoulders and upper back.

You can also add some variations to the dips like doing leg raises to work on leg strength and those abdominal muscles. As you will have noticed that gymnasts have some of the best-conditioned bodies in all sports.

And with the vast majority of their work being done solely using body weight, the proof is very much in the pudding.

Doing Lunges and Squats Are Key

So don’t forget those all-important leg days. As Muay Thai is predominantly a kicking sport, your legs will need to be in phenomenal condition. And while we are not looking for big bulky legs like bodybuilders.

What we are looking for is strong well-conditioned legs. Able to kick non-stop through a fight and be able to take punishment from the opponent. So exercises such as squats and lunges will play a big role in helping with their development.

In Closing

In this day and age, having a great workout for Muay Thai you can do without equipment. This is the key to staying sharp and focused and ready for when you can hit the gym again.

And with so many ways you can stay fit and stay working on your skills. There is really no excuse for not staying on top of things and in the game. As you can imagine fighters all around the world are in the very same boat.

Being fit and ready for the next big challenge is key to your future success. So stay on top of it, stay ready by using some of these recommendations and things will turn out well. I wish you all the very best of luck and peace out.