5 Muscle Groups That Strengthen Through Muay Thai Training

5 Muscle Groups That Strengthen Through Muay Thai Training

a muay thai student practicing with a trainer

5 Muscle Groups That Strengthen Through Muay Thai Training

Muay Thai is one of the most powerful martial arts out there that also doubles as an intense workout. Also known as the “Art of Eight Limbs,” it can help you build muscles for both strength and aesthetic purposes without bulking too much. From the legs and core to the upper body and hips, our Muay Thai gym in Downtown Toronto can help you transform.

Here are 5 muscle groups that strengthen through Muay Thai training:

1. Leg Muscles

In Muay Thai, leg training is the foundation for powerful kicks and stability. The primary muscles that are targeted include the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

Quadriceps: Every kick and knee strike in Muay Thai engages the quadriceps. With regular training, you can build more defined quads. These muscles also support your stance and movement, essential for maintaining balance.

Hamstrings: Kicking and kneeing actions also strengthen the hamstrings. These muscles help in extending the hip and bending the knee, which contributes to flexibility and better balance.

Calves: The constant movement, whether it’s shuffling, jumping, or pivoting, works the calves intensely. Strong calves contribute to explosive power in kicks and quick footwork and boosts your agility and speed.

2. Core Muscles

Like any other workout regime, you need a strong core to generate a powerful punch and balance yourself. Muay Thai helps you strengthen the abdominals, obliques, and lower back muscles.

Abdominals: Every punch, kick, and knee strike begins from the core. Muay Thai training involves a lot of twisting and turning, which targets the abdominal muscles. With the right diet, you can achieve a well-defined six-pack.

Obliques: The oblique muscles assist in rotational movements and stabilization. Muay Thai’s twisting motions, such as in hooks and roundhouse kicks, engage the obliques. It builds better-defined side muscles and improves rotational flexibility. 

Lower Back: A strong lower back supports overall core strength and stability. Movements like clinching and throwing knees are recommended as they engage the lower back muscles to improve posture and reduce the risk of injury.

a muay thai student in a gym

3. Upper Body Muscles

You’ll use your upper body during punching, elbow strikes, and clinching. Key muscles include the shoulders, chest, and arms.

Shoulders: Shoulders endure a significant amount of strain during training. Punching and elbow strikes target the deltoid muscles, which will help you build strong shoulders needed for more powerful and faster strikes.

Chest: The chest muscles, particularly the pectorals, are engaged during punching and clinching. A strong chest not only drives powerful punches but also helps in controlling opponents during clinching.

Arms: The biceps and triceps are continuously worked through various striking and defensive techniques. Training in Muay Thai develops arm strength and endurance and higher blocking ability. 

4. Back Muscles

Back muscles contribute to proper posture and of course, deliver those powerful strikes. The muscles you should focus on include the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and rhomboids.

Latissimus Dorsi: Strong lats support powerful strikes and improve the ability to control opponents during clinching.

Trapezius: The trapezius muscles, located in the upper back, are activated during striking and defensive movements. 

Rhomboids: Located between the shoulder blades, the rhomboids contribute to scapular retraction, stabilization, and overall upper body strength. 

5. Hip Muscles

The hip muscles, including the glutes and hip flexors, are needed for the kicking power and agility. 

Glutes: Powerful kicks rely heavily on the glute muscles. They are engaged in every kicking motion, so the stronger your glutes are, the more explosive your strikes will be. 

Hip Flexors: The hip flexors are involved in lifting the knee for kicks and knee strikes. Strong hip flexors means higher and more powerful kicks.

Ready to unlock strength in these muscle groups? Come join us for a class at Montrait Muay Thai this week!