"Boxing looks like the most barbaric sport, but when you think about it, it requires a great mastery that takes years to develop."
You have finally opted for Thai boxing, the seemingly dangerous fist-fighting sport that borrows from martial arts and is closer to the free fight/MMA style than Western boxing...
Great choice! But make sure you are up to the task, because training in muay thai is hard, with harsh blows and many targets left exposed to punches and kicks. You will have many punches and kicks to learn before you can enter a real clash in the ring.
To inspire you, we have put together a typical session in Thai boxing, one you can even engage in alone at home. It can obviously be adapted depending on what you are looking to work on at that moment.
Are you registered in a boxing club or have a private coach? It doesn't matter--these basic exercises will complement your other workouts!
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Numbers two and four could be switched in this typical Thai boxing session. After a little strength training, punch a bag for about two minutes then go back to some more ab and glute exercises before returning once more to the punching bag, and so on.
Of course, you may find it difficult to train for boxing every day, especially if you multiply these exercises. But, every other day or every three days would be very good!
Everything will depend on where you are working on your boxing skills.
If you are alone at home, you will be forced to turn to shadowboxing - which, though it is effective and basic, can be frustrating.
The important thing is to get in shape, physically and spiritually: don't doubt yourself, even if you don't look like a champion, it's good to pretend that you are and get yourself pumped up!
1. What Equipment Will You Need for Thai Boxing?
You will need to be shirtless in front of a referee, but when training you are free to wear what you want, whether it is a track suit or Thai boxing shorts + a T-shirt in order to be more comfortable.
You will need boxing gloves (with, possibly, under-gloves or bandages as well), a speed bag, a punching bag, a punching ball, a towel to wipe your sweat, and socks or slippers (depending on the floor of the room you are boxing in), a mouthguard, and even some protection (shinguards, for example) if you are boxing face to face with a partner.
This is not too much, considering what is always needed when practicing boxing of any kind! Don't forget though that it's mainly your motivation that matters.
It might be good to watch some videos on boxing then...You'll soon see what we mean.
2. After Warming Up, Time to Get Going
The warm-up is essential in order to avoid injuries and make your exercises effective.
Between fifteen minutes and half an hour will do, and make sure not to forget any area of your body. Star with jogging followed by some light boxing sequences in shadowboxing mode.
A successful warm-up should make you feel hot and sweaty, but not too tired.
It can be extended by a little cardio if you want a harder session (jogging 10 to 15 km...). If you are diligent, you can remember this for next time and always repeat the same warm-up.
With your heartbeat switched to "action" mode, you can now take that energy and become particularly dynamic.
This is the time to hit into the speed ball and revise the basics while letting off steam!
The ideal is to follow the classic on and off methods of sports training, with a resting period of a minute and thirty seconds (rather than two minutes) and three minutes (which is much better in the long run).
3. Calm Things Down a Bit And Review Your Boxing Technique
Now, devote yourself to the technique by calmly repeating it in slow motion if necessary as to better remember your moves, and if possible in front of a mirror, so that you are aware of the gestures you learned in your last lesson.
In Thai boxing, there can be many gestures - from the roundhouse kick to the classic uppercut, to the kick to the knee...The list goes on, with kicks you probably learned from your favorite video games.
Once you have revised the different moves, move on to active learning by learning new gestures, including footwork moves. After you've finished this, move on to combinations and sequences and make sure you are developing smooth moves - those that will surprise a challenger and make him fly!
If you are lucky, you will have a partner or coach with you to show you what you are doing right or wrong. If not, you can always film yourself and send your file to your boxing instructor or submit it to seasoned boxers on a forum.
4. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
Physical fitness does a lot for your Thai boxing and your ability to rack up victories in the boxing ring.
Being fit and powerful is important for the offensive, but also for the defensive. If you are robust, you will have less of a chance of experiencing a KO.
Clearly, you will never get into combat sports without doing some weight training. Moreover, weight lifting combined with a healthy diet will allow you to find and maintain your best fitness weight. We know that weight classes are at the heart of muay thai competitions.
Weight exercises (see boxing fitness here) are also conducive to developing self-control and self-confidence.
5. Box the Thai Way!
Thai boxing is a martial art, where the importance of morale and the mind cannot be denied!
If you don't have enough money to buy weightlifting machines, you can use your own body resistance to do the following: pushups, pull-ups, jumps, squats, abs. Don't forget that cardio-boxing is great for getting in shape too.
There aren't a million secrets enabling perfect abs...Some of it has to do with your body. You can also opt for a specific program which will help your shape.
According to your size and level, you can proceed to a real fight with a partner (without looking for a KO) and enjoy some sparring (a confrontation that does not have the violence of a regular match) or working on your defense moves (the defender is padded and receives the shot in his hand).
In any case, it is important to have a partner so that you not only have someone to box with but also a referee and someone with whom you can debrief on everything afterwards: your qualities, your faults, the good and the bad of each adversary.
6. The Importance of Rest and Recuperation for Thai Boxers
Recovery begins right at the end of your boxing workout, with some stretching to mirror your warm-up and touch on all of your muscles and joints.
Stretching both maximizes the effectiveness of your bodybuilding efforts while preparing your tissues and muscle for the next work out.
Other aspects of resting have to do with your diet, which must be healthy, balanced, and mostly protein based (the best is to meet with a professional dietician and find a diet that is perfect for your metabolism) and sleep: forget sleepless nights and club outings late at night! No more hangovers if you want to succeed with boxing.
Sleep a long 8 hours every night if you want to be at the peak of your abilities.
7. The No Sweat Kind of Boxing
If rugby players have the reputation of celebrating their victories with an abundance of beer, muay thai boxers will celebrate by extending their training at home.
Studying does not entice you and the prospect of theoretical boxing courses aren't tempting to you?
Well, you should know that it is useful to observe boxers in order to learn new things and to practice your own training. If you are content with the same partners day in and day out it means you are not progressing and will never excel.
Otherwise, there is the possibility of being the spectator at a real fight, but there are not many in the UK. If there are, they are on weekends.
You can also get your inspiration from group classes.
Check out these tips on taking your boxing fitness to the next level.
Get in great shape with fitness boxing!
See here 10 steps for your boxing fitness training.
Find all you need to know about Boxercise here.
Do you know what shadow boxing is?
Look at these 7 great boxing exercises.
Opt for combat sports - the best kind of cardio!
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