Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Muay Thai Helps Increase your Fitness Through Kickboxing and Exercise

Muay Thai is a form of kickboxing but it differs in not only the rules, but also the parts of the body that are allowed to strike an opponent. Muay Thai is also referred to the "Art of Eight Limbs" because a fighter is able to use their knees, elbows, legs and fists in a Muay Thai match, giving the fighter eight points of contact. More recently, Muay Thai has made it's way into the vocabulary of sport hobbyists through sports like MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) that feature many techniques used in Muay Thai fighting. Training for Muay Thai can be accomplished without the use of a traditional ring, but the fitness buff would benefit the most from having access to a gym with heavy bags and kickboxing/boxing equipment.

The Benefits of Having a Personal Trainer or Muay Thai Class

While it is entirely possible to train on your own and receive the fitness and weight-loss benefits from adding Muay Thai training, the most benefit (and least risk of injury) would come from having a fitness trainer monitor your form and technique. Kicking and punching in general are safe when performed at moderate to low amounts of force, but when exerting more force you risk injuring your ankles, knees, wrists and elbows. A fitness trainer that has experience in Muay Thai can show you how to properly wrap your hands, wrists and ankles if necessary to prevent injuries. Hand wraps are used by most fighting sports that involve punching, like an elastic bandage, they provide compression and padding to keep joints secure while striking heavy bags and punching pads. A personal trainer can also provide you with instruction on how to best manipulate your torso, hips and legs when kicking heavy and medium bags. A trainer can also discuss your fitness goals to better tailor a plan that includes Muay Thai in your everyday exercise routine.

How can Learning Muay Thai Benefit Your Fitness Goals?

Unless you have spent 3 minutes in a boxing ring punching and kicking at a non-stop pace you cannot truly appreciate the cardiovascular and muscular endurance required to exert continual force against and opponent or training partner with pads. Depending on the pace, some professionals estimate that training for Muay Thai can burn between 600 - 1000 calories an hour. Imagine burning almost a third of your daily calorie intake in the time it takes most people to have lunch during the day! Aside from weight-loss, the increased heart rate of training when you learn Muay Thai provides you with benefits that include an increased metabolism throughout the day, an overall increase in energy levels, and an increase in endorphin production that leads to mood enhancement. Some individuals may also want to learn Muay Thai to increase personal confidence and ability when it comes to personal protection. Even if you are not learning Muay Thai to become a fighter, you can add it to your training to increase your performance in other sports. Sports stars like Shawn Merriman (San Diego Chargers) have been know to add Muay Thai training to their off season regimen to benefit their performance in an unrelated sport.

Equipment Needed when Training for Muay Thai

Learning Muay Thai involves some added expenses versus just using the typical gym equipment. The basics needed are boxing gloves (usually sold in different weights in ounces), hand wraps (go on under the gloves), a jump rope (for warming up) and a combination of shoes and clothes that will allow for maximum flexibility, maneuverability and comfort. There are specialized Muay Thai shorts worn by fighters, but Muay Thai shorts are not necessary for the enthusiast. As stated earlier, the maximum training benefit will come from mimicking the actual movements of Muay Thai fighters by kicking and punching heavy bags. Like the name implies 'heavy bags' are bags that are heavy in weight and are generally suspended by chains from an overhead support. Kicking an object with substantial weight allows you to perform kicks, punches, knees and elbows with more force than merely striking the air. Once again, a personal trainer can determine what weight gloves you need as well as what other equipment is absolutely neccessary for your Muay Thai training goals.