Muay Thai is a form of close-combat martial arts that originated over several hundred years ago in Thailand, where it is now the national sport. This martial art form uses eight points of contact on the body during combat, making use of punches, kicks, elbow strikes, and knee strikes. Other forms of martial arts generally only use fists or feet.
Muay Thai continues to increase in popularity, both as a sport and as a way to stay fit. It requires strength, agility, and skill and makes a perfect workout. If you’re considering learning Muay Thai, you’ll want to get the proper equipment. Necessary equipment includes hand wraps, gloves, a mouth guard, and shin guards.
Not sure if Muay Thai is the sport for you? Check out some of the ways Muay Thai could benefit your health!
Improved cardiovascular performance
Muay Thai is both aerobic and anaerobic, which means it provides a killer cardiovascular workout. You’d be constantly moving during workouts, and not just in repetitive ways. Workouts are varied and all parts of the body are used.
It’s a very demanding sport but over time your body will adjust, and you’ll see an improved cardiovascular performance. The benefits of good cardiovascular health include lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and a stronger heart.
Improved core strength
The rotational movements of Muay Thai, such as striking, defensive movements, and clinching all strengthen your core. Your core muscles are not just your abdominal muscles, but all the muscles located on your trunk.
Improved core strength not only helps you deliver more powerful punches and kicks, but it also helps the spine. Core muscles are the ones you use while stabilizing, moving, and rotating your spine. Your spine can easily become injured because of poor posture or body mechanics if you don’t have good core strength. If you’re prone to backaches and have already tried massages and better mattresses, it might be time to focus on improving your core strength.
Having a good core also increases your stability and balance. You’ll get really good at standing on one leg while kicking with the other during your Muay Thai workouts.
Kicking, kneeing, and punching movements promote increased mobility of your joints, especially your hips. Having healthy joints now could save you pain and medical concerns later on in life. Having flexible joints also allows you to lower your risk of injury, have a faster recovery time after workouts, and have better blood flow.
If you find your joints aching during Muay Thai, you might need to do some additional stretches to increase your flexibility. Staying hydrated also helps your joints, because dehydrated joints often lead to injuries.
Certain techniques also require you to bend and maneuver your body, improving the overall flexibility of your body. You’ll start seeing differences in your posture.
Improved mental health
Muay Thai relieves your stress and aggression in a healthy way that doesn’t hurt anyone. It allows you to detach from the worries of life because you have to stay focused on training or risk getting punched in the face. Having such an intense focus on what you’re doing doesn’t leave room for worry or stress.
Like all forms of exercising, Muay Thai will also result in an increase in your serotonin production and release. Serotonin is a chemical in your brain that boosts your mood, decreases anxiety and depression, and leaves you feeling happier.
While any form of martial arts can help when you need to defend yourself, Muay Thai provides you with the opportunity to know how to use your knees and elbows in addition to your fists and feet. If you ever find yourself in a position where your hands are tied together, you could easily elbow them in the face to escape.
Muay Thai also teaches how to clinch, a technique that will allow you to hold your attacker still while you attack. You’ll also learn how to escape from someone else’s clinch.
Knowing how to defend yourself with Muay Thai could allow you to escape if you ever find yourself in a threatening situation, even if your perpetrator is much larger than you.
If you’re looking to participate in a form of martial arts that comes with a number of health benefits, Muay Thai could be the answer! When you first start out, you’ll want to find the level of workout that best meets your fitness needs. If working with a trainer, you’ll also want to fill them in on your physical health and let them know of any medical concerns before you begin training.
Do you participate in Muay Thai already? What are some of the benefits that you’ve seen?