Muay Thai Conditioning Techniques that Challenge Beginners (Part 2).

Muay Thai Conditioning

In combat sports like Muay Thai, it pays to be in top condition at all times. Professional fighters have no choice but to train on a regular basis, perhaps five to six days a week with “two a day” sessions that would put most NFL practices to shame.

Now, my intention is not to scare you off with an overdose of conditioning work. Obviously, beginners and intermediate Muay Thai students will not want the intensity and drilling offered to battle-hardened combatants. Still, there are some basic things that you can incorporate into your daily lives that will definitely make a difference.

In this article, we will focus on two more important conditioning techniques for beginners: Body weight exercises and Abdominal exercises.


A. Body weight exercises.

What could be more convenient for a Muay Thai athlete than exercises that require NO dumbbells, NO exercise balls, and NO machines! In fact, many body weight exercises don’t require any equipment at all, although as you advance as an athlete, you are encouraged to introduce items to increase the degree of difficulty.

Here are three (3) of my favorites:

1. Pushups: A classic exercise from high school gym class, the U.S. military, and all points in between. I’ll give you the basic description here, keeping in mind that there are thousands of variations to try out later on.

Muscle Groups Worked: Chest, triceps, shoulders, wrist

Lie on a flat surface face down and place your hands three feet apart while holding your torso up at arms length in the prone position. Then, lower yourself down until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale. At the lowest position, breathe out and press your upper body back up to the starting position while squeezing your chest. After pausing at the top contracted position, you can lower yourself downward again to continue for as many repetitions as needed.


2. Lunges: Cross-trainers, yoga practitioners and Muay Thai fighters alike swear by this lower body (leg) exercise.

Muscle Groups Worked: Thighs, buttocks, hamstrings.

Stand on flat surface and step forward with one leg and bend down until the front knee is at a ninety degree angle and the back knee nearly touches the surface while keeping the upper body straight. Then, push back with the front leg to the original standing position and repeat the exercise with the alternate leg. Follow a right leg, left leg sequence.


3. Burpees: Arguably, the most versatile bodyweight exercise in the world, incorporating push-ups, plyometrics (jumping), and cardio. Best described as a full body, strength training, and aerobic exercise.

Muscle Groups Worked: Legs, Shoulders, Abdomen.

Standing straight, drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back, while keeping your arms extended. Then, immediately return your feet to the original squat position. Jump up and return to the original position.


B. Abdominal exercises.

1. Sit-Ups: A combat sport classic for working the abdominals and other core muscles.

Muscle Groups Worked: Abdomen, Hip flexors, rectus abdominus, and also work the obliques

  • Lie on your back on a flat surface. Keep your feet flat on the floor and hands close to your head and the knees bent.
  • Use your abs to curl your upper and lower body off the ground, exhale as you reach the top until only the buttocks remain on the floor.
  • Lower your body back to the floor as you inhale.
  • Repeat as necessary.


1. Basic Plank: A combat sport classic for working the abdominals and other core muscles.

Muscle Groups Worked: Core muscles (abdominals, shoulders, back).

On a flat surface, lie on your stomach and lift your body by keeping the toes and forearms on the ground. Hold for fifteen (15) seconds to start with. Repeat as necessary.


2. (Lying) Leg Raise: Strength training exercise, especially good for the lower abdomen.

Muscle Groups Worked: Abdomen, Hip Flexors.

  • Lie flat on the floor with your legs extended in front of you off the end.
  • Place your hands under your glutes with your palms down. This is your starting position.
  • Extend your legs outward. With your legs extended and straight with your knees slightly bent but locked, raise your legs until they make a 90-degree angle with the floor.
  • Exhale as you perform this portion of the movement and hold the contraction at the top for a second.
  • Now, begin inhaling while slowly lowering your legs back to the original position


Putting it all together in a Muay Thai Workout Routine

  • 1

    10-15 Minutes of Road Work

    Start with a light jog to get your heart going and to warm up your muscles, stopping occasionally to shadow boxing for 30 sec.

  • 2

    3 Rounds of ShadowBoxing

    3 minutes, 1minute rest. Grab a set of 1-3 lbs dumbbells and shadowbox focusing on proper technique, or practice the ones that need the most work.

  • 3

    3 Rounds of Pad Work

    3 minutes, 1 minute rest. Get a partner that knows how to hold the Thai pads and have them take you through your favorite techniques and combinations, whilst testing your guard and defensive skills.

  • 4

    3 Rounds of Heavy Bag Training

    3 minutes, 1 minute rest. Practice your Muay Thai techniques on the heavy bag, making sure you work not only offense, but also your defense and footwork techniques as well.

  • 5

    Muay Thai Basic Conditioning

    Reps x Sets Push-Up 20 x 2
    Lunges 24 x 2
    Burpees 20 x 2
    Sit-ups 50-100 Total
    Leg raises 20 x 2
    Basic plank 15 seconds x 2

  • 6

    Cool Down & Stretch

    10-15 minutes. Focus on stretching all the major muscle groups; Arms, stomach, back, neck, and legs.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Please leave comment below, and tell me your thoughts…


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  • kruznik

    Reply Reply November 3, 2014

    how many days i should train in a week?

  • Viviana

    Reply Reply October 23, 2014

    Sit-ups 50×100? Really?

    • Weezy

      Reply Reply December 24, 2014

      50 TO 100. Not 50 sets of 100

  • Jitender

    Reply Reply April 26, 2014

    Iam a big fan of muay thai .so thankyou for introducing me with these exercises

  • Wayne Blackman

    Reply Reply February 17, 2014

    I fell in love with Muay thai a couple of years a_o. Because of my a_e 65. I am too old for the rin_. Self defense i am not too old. I would like to teach Muay thai one day. I think i may have ten years of trainin_ left in me.
    Wayne Blackman

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