Although we would all love to be in the gym, training Muay Thai seven days a week, the realities of modern life make that almost impossible for most us. When we have to work late, or attend important appointments, we have to kiss goodbye to that 6pm training session with our favourite instructor sometimes.
But just because you can’t make it to the gym, doesn’t mean you can’t train.
Training at home may not be as good as training at the gym, but you can still get a great workout for technique, cardio and stamina with the right approach.
Here are 4 tips to help you get maximum results from your Muay Thai home training sessions.
Get a skipping rope
Whilst you may not have the budget or space to kit yourself out with a fully equipped Muay Thai gym at home, there a few essentials you should pick up that won’t break the bank.
A skipping rope is an absolute must if you want to train Muay Thai at home. It’s one of the most valuable pieces of kit you will own – allowing you to train cardio, leg strength and rhythm all at once. And best of all, it will only cost you a few bucks.
If you’ve trained Muay Thai for any time at all, you will know that skipping plays a huge part in every fighter’s training regime, and skipping regularly at home will improve your game greatly.
If you have the spare funds to buy a punch bag, and other expensive gear, then that’s great – but the skipping rope is vital, so make sure you have one.
When training in the comfort of your own home, it can be hard to get into the zone and push yourself to your limits. At the gym you are surrounded by fellow fighters, and the buzz of the environment gets you through those gruelling drills. When you are at home on your own, it can be difficult to replicate that mindset.
Be sure to start every session with the intention of training as hard as you would at the gym, and set yourself targets that you want to hit for all parts of your workout – especially the strength and fitness aspects. Find yourself a music playlist that gets you in the mood to train hard, and make sure that you have enough of it to last your entire session.
It’s also helpful to imagine that your coach or training partner is there with you, holding you accountable for your actions. If you’re struggling towards the end of an exercise, and thinking about not doing those final 2 reps… Imagine what they would say to you!
Have a pre-written routine
Don’t wait until you’ve stepped in your door at 8pm to start thinking about what your training routine will look like. Scrabbling around online and scouring your memory for workouts will cost you a lot of valuable time, and may even discourage you a little.
Write out 2 or 3 routines today, so that you have a few options of well-planned Muay Thai sessions that you can jump straight into the moment you get home.
An ideal routine would look something like this:
- Light warm up and stretch
- HIIT style exercises (burpees, press ups etc.)
- Shadow boxing
- Drills (switching focus between technique, speed and power)
- Warm down
- Deep stretching
Each section will need to be broken down into more specific detail, including exercises, reps, time limits etc. so that you have targets to aim for.
You can also find some pretty good combat sport workout routines on YouTube and other social channels.
Warm up and stretch properly
One of the first things that people drop from their training routine when they want to save time, is warming up and stretching. This is a big mistake because it can hinder performance and cause injury.
Always start with a dynamic warmup that involves light full-rotation movements and very light stretches before you start skipping, to warm the muscles up.
At the end of your training, you need to perform deeper stretches and hold them for 30 seconds or longer to prevent stiffness, bad posture – and to improve your flexibility.
Darren Mitchell is a Muay Thai enthusiast and writer for the BestMuayThai blog. Darren has trained Muay Thai for several years at gyms all over the world alongside some world-renowned fighters and coaches.