The most important component of any session is to minimise injury risk when Muay Thai training. To state the obvious, we can’t train effectively when injured and if we can’t train effectively we can’t progress. We can’t improve. Injury prevention is key to progress.
Wrap Your Hands & Wrists
Your Muay Thai trainer should wrap your hands and wrists at the beginning of each training session. Wrapping serves to support the wrists, protect the knuckles and helps absorb hand perspiration. If training alone, punching the heavy bag for instance can put high stress on the wrists. So learn how to self-wrap.
Warm Up Properly
Who has trained without a significant warm up? I’m sure most of can raise our arm in guilt. Too often we don’t treat the warm up period seriously. We skip it altogether or rush through it impatiently. Bad move. Give the warm up the attention it deserves. It can be 5-10 minutes of light cardio exercises like skipping, treadmill, star jumps, jogging etc combined with a couple of minutes of unders and overs (continuous short range uppercuts and straight arm jabs and crosses). I call them little punches. They should be light and about midrange speed. Not too fast and not too slow. Finally, a good warm up finisher is shoulder rotations. Big and little circles. Then you should be good to go.
Avoid Excessive Repetition
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) can affect muscles, ligaments, tendons and/or nerves. And whether the RSI is from overuse or poor technique, medical intervention may be required.
Prevention is unquestionably better than cure — so importantly, don’t overdo any movement. Always mix it up and keep it varied. Doing 1000 continuous jabs for example ain’t recommended. To minimise injury risk when Muay Thai training means to do it smart. Train so you’re good to come back one hundred percent tomorrow.
Hitting the Heavy Bag
Punching or kicking the heavy back in the garage or backyard may be convenient and positive for burning calories and improving fitness but not if it results in injury to your wrists, shoulders or feet. Whether it be poor technique, no wraps, overuse or a combination of all three, training on the heavy bag unsupervised can be counterproductive to your Muay Thai growth. And be warned, injured wrists, shoulders and feet can be notoriously slow to heal. With this in mind, work the heavy bag intelligently — move around it, mix in footwork with precise strikes. Don’t try to thump or kick the bag into tomorrow unless your technique is rock-solid correct.
Low Roundhouse Kicks First
Executing low roundhouse kicks before high kicks is recommended. Low kicks put less strain on hamstrings than push kicks or high kicks so it’s a good idea to begin low. Work your way up.
We should all strive to minimise injury risk when Muay Thai training. And the good thing is that most injuries are preventable. Removing carelessness, awareness of RSI and ensuring a sensible warm up should cover it. Of course, injuries can happen even when you think you’ve covered all bases. Nothing is full proof.
Train hard. Train smart.
Yours in Muay Thai,