Muay Thai Training at Home
Is it possible to train Muay Thai at home? In some situations, that may be the only option for many people. I understand there are people living outside of metropolitan cities, who stay hours away from any decent Muay Thai or fight gym. And then during days like these with the COVID-19 outbreak, gyms are closed and in my country, gathering is actually outlawed. Training Muay Thai at home becomes the only option available.
It can be challenging, especially for those of us accustomed to working out in the gym. But just because the world stopped doesn’t mean the grind does. Or if you don’t have access to a good gym near you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train on your own.
It was a difficult week of adjustment for me, and inertia to overcome but once I kick-started the process of training daily little by little, it becomes part of routine.
In this article, I will review the ways in which you can train Muay Thai at home, review some training gear that you might consider acquiring as well as some of the best online training resources available. Let’s get right to it!
How to Train Muay Thai with No Gear
Let us first consider the best ways to train without any partners or equipment. If training gear is priced out of your budget, there are still many alternatives that you can consider and workouts to do to improve your game and also that you don’t lose all your gains. These are the workouts that I have included as part of my personal routine.
After a quick dynamic stretch, I get right into shadow boxing. To put it simply, shadow boxing is basically fighting an imaginary opponent. It is a good way to warm up, while working on footwork, combos and essentially your imagination.
Focus on quality over quantity, making sure you get the technique and form right. Muay Thai is all about muscle memory so if you shadow box sloppily, you will fight sloppily too.
For me, I usually do 3 sets of three-minute shadow boxing. At some of the Thai gyms that I have trained at, this can be anything for a single 3-minute round to 10-minute round. Push yourself to be creative, push yourself to keep going even if it gets tedious. Check out this shadowboxing workout by Sean Fagan (the Muay Thai Guy):
Strength training is an important part of Muay Thai and almost every session at a Muay Thai class ends with sets of weighted or body-weight exercises. Strength training contributes to devastating striking power and improve muscular endurance, both of which very important as a fighter.
You will find weights at almost every Muay Thai gym so if you own a set of dumbbells and barbells, you already know the drill. Bodyweight exercises can be very effective with adequate volume. Some of the most common, popular and effective bodyweight exercises that I incorporate in my workouts include push-ups (different variations), crunches, planks, leg lifts, squats, heel raises, and mountain climbers.
I also really like pull-ups which is great for building grip strength, arms, core and back muscles. You can have one installed cheaply at home on your doorway.
There are many apps for guided bodyweight exercises and I use Madbarz for my workouts. Check out my review here. In the meantime, it’s the Muay Thai Guy again with some bodyweight workout:
If you are not blessed with naturally-born flexibility, then daily stretching is important. My work is sedentary and I sit in front of the computer for many hours everyday. My hips are tight and my high kicks are unimpressive. A stiff body is also more prone to injuries. This is where Yoga comes in.
A growing number of Muay Thai gyms are modernizing their operations and including a variety of classes in their program. Yoga is almost always one of them.
One of the misunderstood perceptions of Yoga is that it’s a feminine exercise but it is more than that. Having been to the Yoga classes at my gym, I can tell you that it can also train your core and strength.
The best part is that there are tonnes of free Yoga resources on YouTube. Here’s one by Shane Fazen on Fighttips:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, just straight-up running is one of the best ways to up your game.
It’s hard to convince anyone to take up running because it just isn’t a very exciting or interesting exercise. It’s plain right monotonous and boring. But the benefits are real and I have come to enjoy it from the challenge of clocking longer distances and faster timings.
Running is both physical and mental. It helps to build cardiovascular, muscular and mental endurance. It is included as part of a daily training routine at every single Muay Thai camp in Thailand. If you want to fight like the Thais, then you need to train like the Thais and run.
Training Gear for Muay Thai at Home
The right tool for the right job. For the best training results, having the right equipment can go a long way. They can also make a workout more intense and fun. Here’s a look at some equipment for your home gym setup:
- This long full length heavy bag is top quality and highly rated for professional and amateur boxers
- Solid bag made of durable synthetic leather construction is easy to clean and will hold up to your most powerful assault in your home or commercial gym
- Punching bag is filled to 100 pounds and measures 13-inch x 72-inch with heavy duty chain included
- Perfect heavybag for boxing, MMA, Muay Thai and contact sport athletes alike to practice kicks, footwork and punches
- Build strength, tone and condition your body with a muscle building aerobic workout, training and the right fitness equipment
If there is no chance of you having someone to train with, then the heavy bag is certainly your best friend. Bag work is an intense workout that can help you work on your technique, power, stamina and balance.
The banana bag is by far, the best Muay Thai training equipment if you are on your own. You can go full power, and work on conditioning your hands or shins without the need for a training partner.
Check out my review at “Best Muay Thai Heavy Bag” on finding the right heavy bag. When it comes to heavy bag workouts, it is best to train with a structure so you don’t just go at the bag like a wild dog. Again, Sean Fagan is the go-to guy. Here’s a great 20-minute heavy bag workout or you can check out my review of Fagan’s Heavy Bag Blueprint 2.0.
- Safely train leg and knee strikes with ease with this light weight punch shield made of durable leather construction
- The curved design creates a tighter fit and better accepts leg strikes making this an essential tool for all styles and disciplines in your home or commercial gym
- This pair of kick pads has two forearm support straps and a reinforced riveted handle to ensure balance and stability
- Protect your MMA athletes while fight training with this solid focus target curved kick pad pair
- These Fairtex MMA, Muay Thai, Kickboxing standard pads are sure to aid in premium training in your martial arts classes
Kick pads are the ultimate training gear for Muay Thai. It’s just not the same without them. If you live with someone who trains Muay Thai, then these are the gear to have for your home training. It’s a no-brainer.
Additionally, having someone to train with is mutually beneficial as you can motivate and push each other as opposed to training on your own. Grab a family member, or a neighbor and strap on a pair of pads. Find an open space and you’re good for an hour of pad-smashing fun.
For those of you training on your own with no one to hold pads for you, kick pads (or belly pad) can still be viable by tying them to a lamp post or tree if you have access to one. They may not be as effective but can work out to be more affordable compared to heavy bags.
Check out my review at “Best Muay Thai Kick Pads” on finding the right kick pads.
Muay Thai Online Tutorials
You’ve got your gear, you may have your training partner, now what? (I have a full article dedicated to learning Muay Thai online that you can read HERE)
Muay Thai Guy
Sean Fagan aka the Muay Thai Guy offers one of the most comprehensive library of training courses on the web with over 200 HD videos. I have included a couple of Sean’s training videos in this article (above) but if you want the full deal, the complete package, he has a number of online training programs that I highly recommend.
Sean’s programs are most suited for beginners, intermediate level and amateur fighters. There is a wide range of courses from heavy bag workouts, boxing, kicking drills, and many others. Course fees (one-time) range from $19 and up to $250 for the full package as well as a VIP monthly membership where you get exclusive access to all the training videos, courses, fight/sparring breakdowns and so much more!
Try it out with a 14-day free trial using my link below or check out my detailed review for more information.
UK legend, multi-time world champion, low-kicking bad-ass. Liam Harrison has fought the likes of legends such as Saenchai, Anuwat Kaewsamrit, and Singdam Kiatmoo9.
For those looking to up their Muay Thai game, Liam has hundreds of hours worth of training videos on his website. Access to the library is on subscription model and costs £11.99 per month or £89.99 per year. He gives clear explanations on different techniques, giving insights into the mind of a true champion on an elite level. You won’t find this anywhere else.
About Your Diet
With lockdown in effect, and not many places to go, it’s easy to succumb to boredom eating and make frequent trips to the fridge. I know I do that a lot. Ice-cream is especially tempting and sinful.
Poor choice of diet is only going to contribute to deterioration of fitness which is a key element of a Muay Thai training program. As such, I have resolved to make healthier choices for my meals and snacks. Instead of ice-cream, consider greek yogurt with honey; instead of chips, opt for mixed nuts; instead of cookies, go for whole grain or digestive biscuits; try herbal tea instead of soft drinks.
Every little mindful choice you make will add up. Stay woke.
As I quoted at the start of the article, “just because the world stopped doesn’t mean the grind does.” With the right mindset, the right equipment, and online resources, training Muay Thai at home is a great way to get the work done even when you are away from the gym. When there’s a will, there’s a way. Keep calm and stay strong.