Simple tips that will speak for themselves, so let’s kick it! My top 10 Tips for Muay Thai Beginners:
In my own experience, just straight-up running has been the most effective exercise routine to improve overall performance. Running will power up your endurance and stamina, and you will see results within a short period of time. The best routine is to incorporate both long-distance running with sprint interval training. My tip is to go for running track as the impact on the knees is lower. Alternatively, swimming or stationary bike cycling are kinder on the knees but still effective towards building stamina too. If there is still some time leading up to your first Muay Thai class, a couple of weeks of running can build up a reasonable level of fitness.
muay thai ranking system
2. Get the Best Muay Thai Gloves
You can usually use the gloves at your gym but they are going to stink much so you are far better off with your own pair. You also want to stay away from iffy gloves like the nameless generics from big sporting stores or any cheapies less than $20. Just so you know, the best gloves aren’t necessarily the most expensive ones. In my opinion, the best gloves should offer you protection for your hands with adequate padding, firm wrist support, comfortable fit without being too loose or overly snug, and a design that pleases your eyes. Not forgetting a price tag that fits your budget. Go with gloves from the Thai brands (e.g. Fairtex, Twins, Top King) and you are all set for action.
muay thai clinch techniques
3. Wrap Your Hands
ALWAYS Wrap your hands. Wrist injuries are common among Muay Thai and boxing beginners because the soft bones and tendons of the hands take time to be conditioned. One of my early wrist sprains took an entire month for it to be fully recovered because I wasn’t punching correctly and I didn’t pay much attention to wrapping my hands. Hand wraps are your first and most important line of defense against hand and wrist injuries so don’t scrimp on it. Learn to hand-wrap by watching instructional videos.
4. Work on Your Form
Focus on your form and technique (not power/speed). Many people start out over-enthusiastically with their fists of fury and end up with hand or wrist injuries. Instead, start with light punches especially at the heavy bag, and then slowly build up speed and power. Make a fist firmly and land your punches correctly with maximum contact on your first two knuckles. Also make sure your wrists are straight and not bending at awkward angles.
The same goes with kicks. No beginner is spared from shin bruises and swelling feet. The key to the roundhouse kick is to twist your hip adequately, and connect with the right part of your shin. However, it has to be said that “Pain is the best teacher”, and that instant feedback you get with a poorly executed kick is the best lesson. With regular training, your shin and shin bone will toughen up in time to come. Don’t rush it.