Life Hacks for Muay Thai Beginners
- a strategy or technique for managing one’s time or activities more efficiently.
When I started training Muay Thai, it was like entering a whole new dimension. I have never been sporty or athletic my whole life, wasn’t a fan of the gym and never did like working out much. And here I am, total convert and absolutely in love with Muay Thai. Fun as it is, there was a steep fitness curve at the start. There were literally bumps and stumbles along the way. But being the resourceful googling specialist that I am, I learned and picked up a few tricks along the way to help me manage with the many little quirks about training Muay Thai. If you’ve just started training, here are 7 life hacks to help with several different aspects of Muay Thai training that will immediately enhance your overall experience.
The Namman Muay
A whiff of this and I’m ready for some Muay Thai action. Amongst the various Asian liniment oils, this is my favorite. Some liniment oil can be too harsh for your skin. I have found Namman Muay to be gentle on the skin but yet potent as a liniment. This is the all-purpose liquid that you can use for massage to soothe your aches, bruises, and even to warm up your muscles for training. The scent is not too pungent and most people get over the smell once they experience the benefits of the oil. Once you start using them, there’s just no turning back.
The Blender Bottle
Water is vital for proper functioning of the body. If you have been training hard at the gym, you need to be getting at least 2-3 litres (and more) of water daily. A strenuous Muay Thai training session always leads to ample perspiration. You should always stay hydrated when you are training Muay Thai as a lack of hydration can lead to all kinds of health issues. So I make sure to bring a water bottle to all my trainings to hydrate during the short breaks in between rounds.
Rather than a simple water bottle, I use a blender bottle that comes with a nifty twist-n-lock storage. It is a clever little design attached to your water bottle, which is absolutely convenient to store protein powder or any kinds of powdered supplement. Nothing like a protein shake to recharge those muscles right after training.
I wasn’t gonna be talking about groin guards here but rather, private 1-on-1 training session with the trainer. Good form and technique lays the foundation for every fighter. You may not always get full attention from the instructor during group training and bad habits can form easily especially for beginners. The best way is to go for private lessons before bad habits form. This is also the best time to clear any doubts about techniques and what-nots about Muay Thai. It’s pricier than group sessions but with a good instructor, it’s really worth it.
The Cold Shower
Nothing like a good Muay Thai workout to activate your sweat glands into hyper mode. As we all know, exercise raises the body temperature and it’s the body’s natural mechanism to produce sweat in order to cool it down. This is perfectly fine until you need to get all dressed up to head back to work after a lunch-hour Muay Thai session. The profuse sweating seems to persist even long after your training.
It feels natural to head for a warm shower after exercise, as the warm water helps to soothe the tired body and helps in relaxing. But cold water will bring down the body temperature and effectively stops the overdrive sweat mode. In fact, it can also help to minimize inflammation and relieve DOMS (Delayed-Onset-Muscle-Soreness). I usually turn on the warm shower for a few minutes before switching to cold water. An absolutely relaxing post-workout ritual to ease me back to mortal life.
The Shin Rub
Shin bumps, knots and bruises are part and parcel of Muay Thai training. You don’t really get use to the pain because it is always going to hurt. But you will just get use to getting hurt. It’s also tempting to continue with training but it’s best to rest it off as it can get aggravated and lead to further damage. Do some boxing instead.
If you can feel a knot or a bump on your shins, apply some liniment oil and proceed to rub them out with your thumbs. Doing this dislodges the clot and speeds up recovery. This is going to be painful but if you leave them untreated, it can take a much longer time to heal.
The Gloves Deodorizer
The first thing I do when I reach home after training, is to take the gloves out of the gym bag to air. Airing your gloves allow the residual moisture to dry more easily. Don’t be tempted to leave the gym bag in your car, or unpacked. This lack of ventilation prevents excessive moisture from drying out and that promotes odor-causing bacteria growth. Air your gloves!
If there is already a hint of foulness coming from your gloves, fear not, because I know the perfect hack for you. Through the website’s readers, I got to know about the Meister Nunchuck gloves deodorizer. An affordable and effective solution for glove stench. It absorbs moisture and leaves an aromatic scent in your gloves. This highly popular device is a must-have for all martial artists, IMHO.
Your handwraps do more than protect your hands and wrists from the impact of punching. They soak up a good amount of sweat which would otherwise be sponged up by your gloves. Think of them as your first line of defense against stinky gloves. Use them for a couple of weeks and leave them unwashed, and they will stink to seventh heaven. I wash them once a week after about 3 training sessions.
When it comes to washing handwraps, there are 2 things to take note of: 1) Some hand wraps tend to bleed easily (especially brightly colored ones) so I soak and hand wash them in soap water separately. 2) I wash my hand wraps in washing machines by using a wrap bag. This minimizes fraying and makes it easier to separate after washing.
There you have it. Little tips and tricks to help you cope with the little snags of training Muay Thai. If you have any neat life hack to share with regards to Muay Thai training, please share with us by leaving a comment. Train hard, train smart!