T Nation

Strength Training for Muay Thai


#1

Are there any exercises with direct carryover to Muay Thai movements? I’m thinking mainly about the clinch and a situation like this:

I think weighted chin-ups/rows would really be beneficial for the clinch, and maybe even bench in this case (horizontal push during the throw). Technique is the priority, but I think strength, especially in the clinch, would be really beneficial as well. I’ve seen some different exercises for it but I don’t know how effective they are:

Has anyone observed any noticeable improvements in clinching/grappling after strength training?


#2

Any athletic endeavour is easier and more forceful with additional strength.

Any increase in strength will carry over to your sport. You neednt worry about specific exercises for specific sports; all you need worry about is avoiding lifting having adverse effects on your sports training.


#3

Definetly listen to fighters about fighting.

But that looks like a cool way to do some chin ups. Everybody is going to do lots of chins and pull ups. Wide grip, narrow grip, neutral grip, weighted, unweighted, on rings. This looks kinda like V-Bar chins or rope chins. Good to have in the rotation to keep things fun.

I’m going to try some, thanks for posting that.


#4

[quote]Iron Condor wrote:

I think weighted chin-ups/rows would really be beneficial for the clinch, and maybe even bench in this case (horizontal push during the throw).
[/quote]

Horizontal pushing strength is irrelevant for the movement you’re referring to, just as it is sort of irrelevant for throwing a right cross. All the power in these movements comes from twisting the hip at some point during the technique and having a well placed foot so that your upper body can transfer force into the other guy. What the upper body does in this throw is mostly the clinch holding the head close and pulling down as the attacker pivots around

With that said, if you are going to do some basic strength training you should work all the horizontal/vertical pushing movements and horizontal/vertical pulling movements, as well as doing lower body work for the posterior chain and anterior chain. But don’t get to thinking that horizontal pushing strength is the weakest link you need to bring up


#5

[quote]Facepalm_Death wrote:

Horizontal pushing strength is irrelevant for the movement you’re referring to, just as it is sort of irrelevant for throwing a right cross. All the power in these movements comes from twisting the hip at some point during the technique and having a well placed foot so that your upper body can transfer force into the other guy. What the upper body does in this throw is mostly the clinch holding the head close and pulling down as the attacker pivots around[/quote]

That makes sense, thanks.

I’m interested more to gain an advantage rather than to fix weak links, because that’s a technique issue as you say.

Being strong all round is obviously beneficial in many ways, but my interest is mainly in chin ups. I rarely see anyone doing them weighted, even at my MT gym. Most go for high reps or with minimal weight attached for slightly lower reps. If you train with heavy weighted chin ups (I am close to 2x bodyweight) would you not have a big advantage against someone who just does bodyweight for reps? You would essentially be nearly twice as strong as them in that position.


#6

As far as the chins go: a lot of guys I know who go for heavy singles moan about some jacked up elbow.

Maybe there is something primal about it…just some bro science: it’s quite normal to pick up and carry heavy things. And to push away heavy thing. But pulling yourself up with alot of weight attached isn’t something I see happen a lot.


#7

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:
Any athletic endeavour is easier and more forceful with additional strength.

Any increase in strength will carry over to your sport. You neednt worry about specific exercises for specific sports; all you need worry about is avoiding lifting having adverse effects on your sports training. [/quote]

Best advice…in simplest form. Muay Thai clinch is more complex than just the “plum.” Better suited learning the leverage first from various positions,imo.

If you’re have to rely on strength too much in a dominant position…you might be better suited transitioning and using your opponents strength against them.

I do think posterior chain work would be most beneficial for situations that involve preventing and transitioning out of certain positions. Such as being on the receiving end of what most associate with the clinch…plum. Using those muscles to prevent you posture from being demolished.

Just my chain of thought.


#8

[quote]Big_Boss wrote:

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:
Any athletic endeavour is easier and more forceful with additional strength.

Any increase in strength will carry over to your sport. You neednt worry about specific exercises for specific sports; all you need worry about is avoiding lifting having adverse effects on your sports training. [/quote]

Best advice…in simplest form. Muay Thai clinch is more complex than just the “plum.” Better suited learning the leverage first from various positions,imo.

If you’re have to rely on strength too much in a dominant position…you might be better suited transitioning and using your opponents strength against them.

I do think posterior chain work would be most beneficial for situations that involve preventing and transitioning out of certain positions. Such as being on the receiving end of what most associate with the clinch…plum. Using those muscles to prevent you posture from being demolished.

Just my chain of thought.[/quote]

Eh, I know posturing like that is taught a lot as a counter to the common Plum clinch, but there are other effective (IMO more effective) methods that don’t require the same degree of neck/hip strength.

That said, hip and core strength are pretty much beneficial for any athletic endeavor and definitely so for fighting. This strength allows you to effectively connect your upper and lower body into one cohesive power unit; without it your techniques will never work the way they should.

Like Donny said, don’t over complicate things and try to get too specific (outside of your actual sparring/drilling). Traditional free weight exercises (squats, deads, ohp, bench, rows, roll-outs, etc…), Oly lifting (clean and snatch variations), gymnastics strength training/bodyweight exercises, “Primal strength”/“Dinosaur training”/strongman training, pretty much anything that can be used to systematically and progressively overload the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems to illicit positive physical adaptations.


#9

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]Big_Boss wrote:

[quote]donnydarkoirl wrote:
Any athletic endeavour is easier and more forceful with additional strength.

Any increase in strength will carry over to your sport. You neednt worry about specific exercises for specific sports; all you need worry about is avoiding lifting having adverse effects on your sports training. [/quote]

Best advice…in simplest form. Muay Thai clinch is more complex than just the “plum.” Better suited learning the leverage first from various positions,imo.

If you’re have to rely on strength too much in a dominant position…you might be better suited transitioning and using your opponents strength against them.

I do think posterior chain work would be most beneficial for situations that involve preventing and transitioning out of certain positions. Such as being on the receiving end of what most associate with the clinch…plum. Using those muscles to prevent you posture from being demolished.

Just my chain of thought.[/quote]

Eh, I know posturing like that is taught a lot as a counter to the common Plum clinch, but there are other effective (IMO more effective) methods that don’t require the same degree of neck/hip strength.

That said, hip and core strength are pretty much beneficial for any athletic endeavor and definitely so for fighting. This strength allows you to effectively connect your upper and lower body into one cohesive power unit; without it your techniques will never work the way they should.

Like Donny said, don’t over complicate things and try to get too specific (outside of your actual sparring/drilling). Traditional free weight exercises (squats, deads, ohp, bench, rows, roll-outs, etc…), Oly lifting (clean and snatch variations), gymnastics strength training/bodyweight exercises, “Primal strength”/“Dinosaur training”/strongman training, pretty much anything that can be used to systematically and progressively overload the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems to illicit positive physical adaptations. [/quote]

Well…yes…lol. It was just an example correlating to subject of this thread. I was also talking posture in general…not posturing as an escape. Considering that my main point was about getting proficient at the actual balances…leverages of clinch work.


#10

I am not terribly experienced in muay thai, but I can tell you that the pressing movement with the biggest carry over to hitting/pushing against another person is the standing overhead press with a barbell (push presses are good too). Bench press is a good lift for upper strength and hypertrophy but the mechanics are far different than pushing a person; your feet aren’t your main base and you push completely horizontal to your torso. If you pushed an opponent away at that angle you would fall over backwards.