If you’re like most nak muay, you have limited time to work on strength and conditioning for your muay thai. Fortunately, doing a kettlebell workout can yield amazing benefits for muay thai fighters in a relatively short amount of time. Not only that, but training with kettlebells will also dramatically improve your explosive power, muscular endurance, balance, coordination, overall strength and cardio.
Movements patterns done with kettlebell training can be very similar to the movements used in muay thai. Whether you’re punching, kicking, knees or clinching, all of those movements use the same biomechanics that you will use in the Kettlebell For Fighters Program.
Obviously as a fighter, you’re going to want to generate explosive strikes to dominate your next fight. The ballistic movements of kettlebells will help you develop that explosive strength and will give you more full-body power than most traditional weightlifting. You can also use kettlebells to train unilateral movements you see in muay thai as well.
Another important aspect of training with kettlebells is that fact that certain lifts can train the posterior chain in order to get hip extension and rotation, which is crucial if you want dynamic hips and powerful rotational movements for your punches and kicks. Kettlebell training is also great for shoulder stability and strength, something that is key for fighters.
This workout for fighters is designed to make you more explosive, powerful and stronger, while improving your core strength, muscular endurance and cardio. It is broken up into two sections:
Part 1 is your strength circuit. Make sure you use a heavier kettlebell that is challenging but will not compromise your technique.
Part 2 is your conditioning circuit, which will develop both you anaerobic system, grip and endurance. You will use the Tabata protocol for this circuit.
If you like this workout, then click here to grab the Kettlebell for Fighters 6 Week Strength and Conditioning Program.
Perform each exercise for the prescribed reps for 3 sets each.
1. One Arm Renegade Row – 10 reps per side
2. Bulgarian split squat – 8 reps per side
3. Figure 8 Uppercuts – 10 reps side
Perform the “Tabata Protocol” – 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds rest for the first exercise. Rest for 2 minutes and repeat the same 8 rounds for the second exercise. Should take 10 minutes total time.
1. Double KB Swings
2. Push Ups or Plyo Push Ups
Not only are renegade rows excellent for your upper back and lats but it also works the core and obliques.
The anti-rotation being worked in the obliques and hips translate into the power you need to generate when throwing knockout punches and strong kick. It will also help with avoiding sweeps and throws.
Because you are off balance with the Renegade Row, the abdominal muscles are working to maintain balance and stability.
Goblet Bulgarian split squat is an essential single leg exercise for the flexibility, stability, muscular and of course strength.
Muay thai fighters often suffer from knee problems, which this can be attributed to a lack of stability in the knee and/or dormant glutes, and strength in the quads.
The split squat can help with your clinch too. Holding the kettlebell in a goblet position requires you to have upper body isometric strength endurance, which you will tap into during clinch work and to keep your hands up later in the rounds.
The figure 8 uppercut exercise is awesome for creating rotational power. You can see that this drills movement is similar to a fighter throwing an uppercut punch. This movement really focuses on generating power from the legs and hips then transferring it though the core
This exercise is an amazing multi-joint compound movement that builds strength and endurance in the muscles along the posterior chain (ie. Glutes, hamstrings, abs, back extensors).
These are what we call the “Go” muscles, which are the ones that develop athleticism. If you want to hit harder, run faster, jump higher and be more explosive, then work the posterior chain. It is where you will generate, apply and sustain maximum power generation.
An incredible exercise for cardio and metabolic conditioning, kettlebell swing variations helps you to develop grip strength, core strength and strength endurance in the lower back.
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