Do you know why Muay Thai core workout exercises have always taken center stage when it comes to training? Core conditioning continues to gain traction in the popularity department in various disciplines. Known to be the source of power and stability, a well-conditioned core always delivers sharper movements and more herculean impact during a strike. But while many think that a core workout is synonymous to simply developing 6-pack abs, there is a lot more to discover when it comes to a Muay Thai core workout.
What Makes It Effective?
Core training in Muay Thai does not only focus on one’s abdominal muscles. Efforts must also be done on your lower back, obliques, hips, and glutes. In a way, all muscles that include your core must be conditioned to make the spine more stable allowing for more agility, strength, support, and power during a move. When not conditioned properly, it can lead to body pains, and worse, unfit to fight. From improving stability and balance, to making more effective and powerful strikes, as well as resistance to body shots when in combat, the following core exercises can be included in your Muay Thai training to ensure success.
- Planks. While crunches and sit-ups are all-time favorites among core workout exercises, planks continue to rise in popularity as it delivers more results with less risks. Crunches and sit-ups are known to put some strain on the back. Side planks and planks, on the other hand, not only focus on the abdominal muscles, but also on the obliques, lower back, and glutes for a more complete muscle workout. Seasoned Muay Thai fighters also do one-legged or one-armed planks, superman planks, and all sorts of planking exercises as they progress.
- Wheeling. Instead of sit-ups and crunches, many fighters in Muay Thai condition their core via an abs wheel. This simple-looking equipment helps target the abs and lower back for a more stable posture and excellent spine position. You may find it quite challenging at first, but totally refreshing and effective as you progress.
- Exercise Balls. Using both stability balls and medicine balls are excellent choices when conditioning one’s core. Where medicine balls improve coordination, speed, agility, balance, reflex, power and strength, stability balls focus on strength, balance, and recovery. These physio balls are often incorporated in various core training exercises for more effective results.
- Hip Exercise. Often taken for granted, hip exercises are crucial to developing a Muay Thai fighter’s core strength and stability. Hips are actually essential in leg lifts as well as in stabilizing the spine and keeping a balanced posture. When exercising the hips, using a mini resistance band for side-step or clamshell exercises will give both hips and glutes a jolt.
- Upper Body Strengthening. Make good use of either parallel bars, or a pull-up bar to amp your core conditioning training. This can include hanging leg raises, hanging knee raises, and so on. These workout routines also help shape-up the shoulders, back and arms to give a Muay Thai fighter a total strengthening workout challenge.
- Kettleball Workout. Another popular Muay Thai core workout piece of equipment is a kettleball. From goblet squats to windmill exercises, the aim is to stabilize your core by trying to throw you off-balance. This practice engages all core muscles allowing for more strength and stability.
- TRX. Another popular core conditioning workout that continue to rise in the Muay Thai training arena is Total Resistance Exercise. Composed of mobile and highly durable suspension bands, this type of suspension training aims to develop balance, flexibility, strength and stability. Aside from Muay Thai and MMA, various pro-athletes have also been known to train with TRX to improve their performance.
Without a doubt, these Muay Thai core workout exercises are tried-and-tested by many professional fighters. In addition to these, traditional training centers in Muay Thai also include “body shots,” which are done by repeated kicking to a fighter’s mid-section by a coach or training buddy. This will condition the fighter’s body to withstand body punches, kicks, and what-have-you during a fight. All in all, a core training workout routine must be included in your Muay Thai training regimen to ensure success.