Muay Thai Techniques- Conditioning

Muay Thai is a devastating form of self-defense that is also widely practiced as a sport. This art requires that the practitioner has the strength, stamina, coordination, and skills needed to be able to utilize his entire body as a weapon. Due to the extreme physical nature of muay thai, a high level of fitness is required of its practitioners in order to be able to skillfully employ Muay Thai techniques in a manner that will bring about the best chance of victory, whether in a self-defense situation or during the practice of muay thai in its sport form. Before one can begin the practice of this art, one must have a base of adequate fitness in order to be able to effectively practice the techniques.

Strength training is a very important component in the conditioning of a muay thai practitioner. Weight training is used to develop and strengthen the muscles of the body of a muay thai practitioner. The bench press is one such training exercise that is used to develop the power of the chest and triceps, which are crucial in the development of powerful blows. Push-ups are also used as a method of developing the muscles needed in the execution of punches and elbow strikes. A wide variety of sit-ups are used to develop and strengthen the muscles of the core, which help to protect the practitioner from the impact of opponents’ blows to the midsection, as well as to increase the power generated in kicks. Muay Thai practitioners strike heavy punching bags in order to increase the power and speed of punches, elbow strikes, kicks, and knee strikes.

Muay Thai practitioners develop their reflexes and timing by rapidly striking speed bags. Practitioners also train with double-end bags, which simulate the movement of a fast moving opponent.

Practitioners develop their stamina and endurance by running up and down hills at a rapid pace. Practitioners also job for long distances of up to 10 miles as a method of increasing their lung capacity, as well as the stamina and endurance of their legs. Jumping rope is a common method of stamina and endurance development, which also has the benefit of developing timing and hand eye coordination. In addition to traditional training methods for improving stamina and endurance, many practitioners have added swimming to their conditioning regimens.

Body hardening and conditioning are methods that muay thai practitioners use to toughen their bodies for the rigors of this sport. Practitioners kick banana trees in order to strengthen and harden their shins. Practitioners are struck repeatedly with bamboo rods throughout their entire bodies in order to harden themselves for the high impact sport of muay thai. Some practitioners strike banana trees with their fists and elbows in order to toughen them. Body hardening and conditioning are extreme Muay Thai techniques that set muay thai apart from most mainstream sporting activities.

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