How to Train Muay Thai Skills Outside the Gym

How to Train Muay Thai Skills Outside the Gym - Muay Thailand
Practicing Muay Thai is best done in a well-equipped gym with knowledgeable coaches and enthusiastic partners. However, that doesn’t mean your learning is restricted to a gym setting. There’s various ways to diversify and accelerate your learning of the sport in the comfort of your home, while commuting or in a public park. In this article, we look at a range of ways you can do so, and thereby build your overall competence in Muay Thai by spending time on the sport outside of a gym or formal training setting.
Dedicating time and mental energy to learning the sport outside of the gym has several benefits, not least the fact that it will increase the speed of your learning. After all, you become what you think about the most of the time, so if you’re constantly thinking about Muay Thai outside the gym and then focus 100% energy and effort while inside, you will, with time and consistency, become great at it. Additionally, thinking about and practicing Muay Thai outside the gym gives you plenty of opportunity to be creative and experiment, which is not always possible in the gym.


Is it possible to effectively train Muay Thai at home?

Yes, it is possible to train Muay Thai at home effectively. You can practice shadow boxing, footwork drills, cardio exercises, and even work on technique using a heavy bag or pads with a partner. Consistent training at home can help maintain and improve your Muay Thai skills. Training Muay Thai at home can be an effective way to supplement your gym sessions and enhance your overall skills.

Dedicating time and effort to practicing Muay Thai at home not only accelerates your learning but also allows for creativity and experimentation that may not always be feasible in a gym environment. By staying consistent and focused on your training both inside and outside the gym, you can potentially elevate your performance and mastery of the sport. Whether you are a beginner looking to build a solid foundation or an experienced practitioner aiming to refine your skills, training Muay Thai at home offers a range of benefits that can complement your gym sessions. It provides you with the flexibility to work on specific areas of improvement, fine-tune your techniques, and enhance your overall fitness level at your convenience. With dedication and consistent practice, honing your Muay Thai skills outside the traditional gym setting can be a rewarding and effective endeavor.


Study the sport

There are various approaches to learning anything, yet one tried and true method is combining methods with a consistent study element. Studying does not have to be time intensive nor does it need to involve spending countless hours in front or a screen or set of books. It is an iterative process which you can build into your daily life, during the times you would normally spend watching TV mindlessly, commuting to/from work or when you have a spare 5 minutes in the day. 

Studying Muay Thai can be done by watching fight videos, technique videos, fighter interviews and more. There are even books, blogs (like this one), and so much more written content on the web and in physical format that can form part of your study material. What’s key is that you are attentive and focused on the study material, analyzing it and thinking about what you can take from it. With hard work and dedication to studying the sport, you will begin to understand the techniques and strategies used by top fighters. Consistently think about how it can help you learn something new or bolster what you already know, whether it's through videos, books, blogs, or even an app dedicated to Muay Thai.


Shadow boxing

Often every gym training session includes a degree of shadow boxing. It’s beneficial for many reasons, not least the way it helps you warm up and freely think about movement and striking. This, and considering the fact it requires no equipment and very little space, is why you should frequently shadow box outside of formal training – whether it be as a warm up to a longer exercise session or simply something to get your mind and body working. Either way, it is one of the best ways to build your understanding and skills outside of the gym as it enables you to visualise, experiment and improve.

By doing so, you will arrive at your gym sessions with ideas around striking, combinations, defence, offense, movement and more. This preparation will help you maximise your gym sessions too and enable you to consistently refine and improve both in and out of the gym. 



A useful ways of learning new skills, developing existing ones and getting unique perspectives is by talking about Muay Thai with fellow fighters and practitioners. Building a network, whether in person or virtually, of like-minded individuals with whom you have interesting conversations, where you can ask questions, contribute with ideas and debate, is a fruitful way of building your overall competence.

You can start by doing so at your gym. You will find conversation comes naturally there and is easy to get involved with. Outside the gym, expand your horizons and engage with people on platforms like Reddit and Facebook. Both platforms have a wide range of relevant groups dedicated to the sport where people contribute media, ask questions and share opinions. While you can learn by sitting on the side-lines and observing, don’t hesitate to pose a question and get the opinion of others on something you are deliberating. You’ll be surprised at how quickly and thoroughly people engage. You can get some great insight from people this way.


People networking at a table


Develop your cardio

A key component of your Muay Thai effectiveness and ability to develop your skills in the gym is your cardio. If you cannot train intensively for prolonged periods, nor mentally focus on complex techniques due to exhaustion, you are missing out on learning and development and may even develop bad habits. Remove that potential barrier by building your cardio outside of the gym.

Daily exercise is key to overall good health and using the days in-between training sessions as cardio focused sessions will contribute to that good health and your Muay Thai ability. There are a wide variety of ways to build cardio. Running, skipping, pro-longed shadow boxing and cycling are most popular for Muay Thai practitioners.

Write down combination and technique ideas

It is often said that if you write things down, you’re more likely to remember them and recall what you wrote down when you need it. For most people, this applies best when writing things down by hand, so get yourself a notepad and pen dedicated to your Muay Thai learnings.

A good starting place is writing down some key techniques/combinations that you practiced in the gym earlier that day. That way you build a record of what you’ve practiced and can refer to it later for ideas. You can supplement this by writing down things you’ve seen online or watched others doing and want to practice yourself at some stage. You then build a list of things to try out in shadow boxing, freestyle pad work or bag work.

Taking this approach helps ingrain things into your mind and saves you having to remember things that you want to try out. Instead, make a record and take a quick look through before your sessions for inspiration.


Equipment needed for effective home training

For effective home training in Muay Thai, minimal equipment is required. If you have the space, invest in a quality punching bag for striking practice, ensuring it is securely hung. Make sure you wear hand wraps and quality Muay Thai gloves to maximise protection and minimise risk of injury. Additionally, a jump rope is valuable for improving cardio and footwork. Consider incorporating resistance bands for strength training. These basic items, coupled with dedication and focus, can elevate your skills when training Muay Thai at home. Reflect on your training by keeping a dedicated notepad for jotting down combinations and techniques. It serves as your personal training log, capturing key learnings from gym sessions or online sources to refer back to for inspiration during solo practice.