Muay Thai Vs. Kickboxing – Which Should You Choose?

While many of those who are born to thrive believe that kickboxing and Muay Thai are the same, both arts are vastly different upon a second look. Any personal trainer in Burnaby will tell you that there are universal techniques common to both arts but that’s about as far as the similarities go.

What is the Difference Between the Two?

Kickboxing is the generic term for the sport the uses combined kicking and boxing techniques. More organizations do not allow the use of knees and elbows believe it too brutal for a sport.

As a form of combat, kickboxing is deadly in the sense that it uses all striking techniques you can find in traditional arts like Kung Fu and Karate minus the more traditional moves. Strip of hindering moves from traditional arts, kickboxing set itself apart by incorporating techniques found only in Western boxing, hence, the term kickboxing.

Muay Thai on the other hand sprung from traditional Thai Boran which from the start uses the eight limbs to hurt the opponent. In fact, the term Muay Thai literally means “the way of the eight limbs.” Punches, kicks, elbow strike and kneed strikes are all good in Muay Thai. Some of its techniques are not allowed in kickboxing in fact, some would say that kickboxing is a more tamed version of Muay Thai.

Still the differences does not end there. Signature techniques not only by individual practitioners but also of specific schools, will show more of the specific difference between the two. Punches are delivered differently in both sports. In kickboxing, which borrows its boxing technique from western boxing, punches are delivered in more circular approach. Kicks in kickboxing are delivered more akin to Taekwondo and Karate, depending of course of the background of the fighter. In Muay Thai, where the roundhouse kick is more popular, it is delivered in a ramming manner as oppose to snapping.

Which One is Best for You?

This question is really difficult to answer. It all depends on you—the purpose for choosing the art and what you envision yourself to be.

As a form of self defense, both are equally viable. While most kickboxing gyms doesn’t allow knees and elbows, you can always develop it on your own and it’s not really that big of a deal. Although these techniques are staple in Muay Thai, there’s really no stopping your from learning it.

You might miss the defense part of these techniques, and I can tell you that Muay Thai really excels here. But close quarter boxing is also where kickboxing excels and where most Muay That fighters struggle with.

As far as workout is concerned, both offer routines that can kill a horse. If fitness is what you’re looking for, you can choose either of the two and you will get there. Aside from that, most gyms nowadays offer cross training and if you’re a keen observer, you will notice that both arts have evolved into becoming more like each other.

How to prevent common Muay Thai injuries

Muay thai is a part of the fighting industry where pro, amateur, and weekend warriors have gravitated to because it gives a great exercise, teaches functional movement, and can be used for self-defense. Many Muay Thai gyms have sprouted all over the world with practitioners increasing in number each day.

However, as with any fighting sport, Muay Thai athletes are no stranger to injury. The amount of force delivered from a punch even with gloves or the kicking leg delivered by an opponent can cause an injury if the hit is clean.

The injuries can be minor from black eyes to blisters. There are also serious injuries involved where fighters suffer a bruised rib, broken bones, or concussions due to the blows they sustained during a match.

There are also training injuries that might happen which involve a strained calf or a sprained ankle. Muay thai emphasizes constant movement which can lead to such injuries if the body is placed in an awkward position.

For an athlete, injuries are a part of the game and they’re willing to take all the pain associated with it to continue with the sport. While the passion is admirable, injury prevention during training should also be a priority for muay thai fighters to keep them from compromising their future in the sport. Here we have some suggestions.

Learn to cut back

Overtraining can be a serious detriment to the progress of an athlete. With overtraining comes injury, where athlete continue to train hard and don’t listen to their body that it’s already breaking down. Some even go on with their training despite having a nagging injury.

Training hard should be accompanied with training smart. Even Muay Thai fighters should learn to cut back with their training especially if they see small injuries here and there. Proper planning and execution of the training regimen should be emphasized by the trainer.

Body Recovery

A strong body makes a strong athlete. Muay Thai fighters should also incorporate exercises and methods that allow their body to make a full recovery from all the training or even from injury. Mobility work is a priority in Muay Thai gyms which allow the muscle to get strong and flexible to not only move well but also can take a hit.

A massage every now and then will also relieve sore muscles from training and competition as well. It facilitates good blood flow which allows the muscles to get stronger each day. Having a massage therapist will really help in preventing injury for a Muay thai athlete.

Choosing the right kind of protein powder for your body

If you are looking for the best results, then choosing the right kind of protein is key.  There are so many options out there that simply make it so hard to pick.

Some questions to ask

Before getting started, there are some questions you should ask yourself to help you decide which is the best protein powder for you.  You see, protein powder is very convenient and easy to prepare.  All you need is the powder, water, and a shake bottle or so.

But before you go to the market, make yourself the following important questions:

  • In what moment will you be taking the protein. If you say after a workout, maybe a whey isolate is the best choice since the body will digest it quickly.  In the case of you needing it as a quick supplement or substitute of a snack, then a casein protein powder is a good choice since amino acids are delivered slowly to your body.
  • Will you mix with water or milk?  Some powders have better results with milk, while a few may be better digested if dissolved in water or juice.
  • What is your main goal?  Since you are a kickboxer, probably your primary goal is to gain muscle.  If you are taking the protein powder to reduce fat and sleep better, then you are probably looking for a protein that is 100% protein, which no carbohydrates.

Types of proteins

Unfortunately, one might say, there is more than one type of protein and each one has a different purpose.  This list will help you decide which protein works best for you and how.

  • Whey concentrate is probably the most affordable type of protein. It is very likely for you to find this protein in most shelves of supermarkets.  Whey concentrate can be used as a pre and post workout and even between meals.  It is not recommended for use at night.
  • Soy protein is good for those looking for a more vegetarian diet.  The truth is that it is loaded with enormous benefits to its users.  Isoflavones support a healthy cholesterol diet.  It also speeds up metabolism by boosting thyroid hormone input.  It can be used for pre and post workout and between meals.  Not recommended for use at night.
  • Whey isolates are a bit more expensive option. Isolates are one of the quickest absorbing proteins.  They are perfect for anyone on a carb diet as they contain very little to no carbs.  Whey isolates can be taken as pre and post workouts.  The speed up muscle recovery and growth.
  • Hydrosylate protein is the highest quality type of protein out there, hence more expensive.  It is pretty great to your digestive system.  You can take it as pre and post workout.
  • Milk protein isolate is usually taken with other types of protein.  Not recommended to use at night, it can be taken anytime during the day.  It is full of amino acids contained in both casein and whey protein.

We recommend you take a look at Workout N Recover for full details on the best protein powder and if you should use it or not.

What you need to Practice Muay Thai in your Backyard

Are you planning to practice Muay Thai at home, in the backyard? That definitely sounds like a great idea. You don’t have to go out, stuck in a traffic and waste some time just to get to the gym to practice. You can set up a good practice area in the backyard.

With that however, there are several things that you need to make it happen. You’ve got to setup some stuff around to make your place conducive for training and practice. If you think setting it up at home is such a great plan, then let’s take a good look at some ideas how to get started.

Backyard Practice

Using your own backyard to practice is such a great idea. The Backyard Site has more ideas about how you are able to make your backyard as useful as possible. So when it comes to setting up a good practice area, you know that you’ve got a lot of things to do. First, you need to clean and clear the backyard area. You need enough and a safe space for sparring and practice drills.

When you decide to practice Muay Thai in your own backyard, which would mean savings on your part. You don’t have to go anywhere just to practice. You can even some of your friends practice with you at home. So as you’ll have a sparring partner. So what are things that you need to get started?

Punching bags. You surely need this for your bag workouts. Lots of kicks and punches require a bag to take them. Of course you can buy it from any fitness store, but some people are good enough to make their own punching bags at home, a cheaper option. Not to forget that you’d need to have a sturdy platform where you can hang the bag. Or a big branch of a tree will always come in handy.

Foam matting. This is one thing that you need to have to make your backyard Muay Thai gym favourable. Remember that hard flooring may not be good enough when you’re practicing for it might hurt you or damage your joints when training. You can find a way to have them outside your backyard.

The Essentials.  Of course, most of all you need to have all the essential stuff and equipment needed such as a pair of gloves, head gears, shin guards, hand wraps, elbow and knee pads, and hand wraps, etc. These are the things that you need especially if you are planning to fight or compete. You need to get used to wearing them.

More Ideas

Before you decided to buy some of these stuff, you might to check out the kind of practice that you want to do at home. Some people may need some gym equipment to do some workout routines. It depends on your practice structure. You can start with the basics equipment though. Then eventually if you think you need more stuff in your backyard Muay Thai gym, them that’s the time for you to purchase some other equipment.

 

Braces for Injury Prevention

Braces for injury prevention? That’s probably the question that you have in your mind. But yes, though you might think that wearing braces only works if you have injuries, but a good number of people are wearing braces for protection and prevention of severe injuries.

There are several conditions which may require someone in wearing braces. It is even more important for those who are into extreme sports and activities. It can either be a knee, wrist, ankle or shoulder brace that you can use.

Wearing Braces

Commonly, athletes, sport people and those with some related conditions and illnesses which need support to avoid possible injuries. So whether it is a simple strain, sprain or arthritis, wearing braces is something that you need. The effectiveness of braces is already proven and most physicians would recommend their patients to use.

For sports enthusiasts, wearing a reliable ankle support would make a lot of difference. It gives them the peace of mind that they won’t be hurting their ankle while on the game. Most of the time, they would decide to wear braces if they started to feel a little of pain every time they do some extreme activities. Wearing braces, a knee brace for instance will keep them from getting worse injuries which often starts with little pain.

For health reasons, braces are also recommend by doctors. For the elderly, for pregnant women or even those who are suffering from musculoskeletal conditions. Braces will avoid things to get worse. It also helps them move well and to alleviate the pain. With the protection it provides, you can be sure that your knee or your arms are covered.

What to use

Since there are many different kinds of braces, it is important also that you know what to use for yourself. Unless you have a good knowledge of it, make sure to consult a physician before you would decide of wearing a brace. You can also get more information beforehand. The www.braceaccess.com will actually give you all the braces information that you need.

With all the braces available, knee braces are the most common ones. You probably can see a lot of people wearing knee braces. Runners and marathoners are the ones who are most likely needing to wear braces. Their knees went through a lot of exhaustion, thus it needs to get the right kind of protection and support.

If you also spend a lot of time in front of the computer working, you are most likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, in which you would need to wear braces to avoid too much pain and further injuries. When that happens, consult the doctor to find the best suited braces for you.

Braces for Injury

The main advantage of wearing braces is it avoids further severe injuries. The moment that you feel a bit of pain after a long distance run, after a basketball game or an extreme activity that you do, make sure to consult the doctor first. Never make your own decision on getting a brace for yourself. It’s better be sure than sorry.

 

How to Properly Stretch and Prepare for Kickboxing

In whatever sports that you’re into, you definitely understand the real importance of proper stretching and warm-ups. Proper stretching and preparation helps you to improve your performance. But most of all, it’s a great way to keep yourself from getting into serious injuries.

kickboxing

If you are into kickboxing, the importance of proper stretching is even greater. Kickboxing, also called Muay Thai is one challenging sport in which it requires you to exert more power and energy. Given that, you are one inch away from getting hurt and injuries. In order to help you perform better, proper stretching and exercise routines are needed.

Getting Started

For newbies, getting started with kickboxing can be quite a challenge. It requires strength, power, endurance and whole lot more. Yet if you are really up for the kickboxing challenge, then know the following tips to begin with.

First off, find a trusted instructor. You certainly need to go some series of trainings, or probably you’ll have to attend classes. Next is to know your own capability. What you can handle. That way you aren’t pushing yourself too much, which will end you end getting injuries.

We all started are newbies, and mastering the art of kickboxing requires time, effort and determination. You also have to do regular workout and exercises. Not to forget about wearing the right gears for protection. Lastly, expect the unexpected. Feeling the pain is common when you’re just starting out, but all will pay off eventually.

Stretching and Preparing

strethcPreparing your body for action is always the first step. Proper stretching is important because it conditions your body and be ready for some real kickboxing action. It also keeps you away from straining too much if your body is well prepared.

The main reason why you need a reliable instructor is you need to have someone that could give you the right stretching ideas to get your body ready. Don’t forget that a good stretching program will help you improve flexibility, endurance and it prepares your muscle for the kind of fight that you’re soon be into. A good kick boxer is flexible enough to avoid blows and kicks.

Stretching samples:

Squatting. Done by standing, with your feet wide apart. One leg is straight with toes pointing forward and the other leg is bent, toes pointing on the side. Start lowering your groin towards the ground while resting your hands on the ground and on your bent knee. Remain on that position for few seconds, repeat.

Stomach Rotating Stretch. Lying with your face down, bring your hands closer to your shoulders. Then put your hips on the ground. Start rising up by straightening your arms while facing forward. Then bend slowly you one arm and rotating the shoulder towards the ground.

There are still a lot of stretching exercises that you can do. You can ask your instructor about it or check out some video exercises if you want to do the stretching on your own.

Backyard Boxing Exercises

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro boxer, there is one thing that you both are wanting to do, that is to be able to exercise and train regularly. Getting into boxing is no joke. You need to be on your best physical state if you want to be the best. And the best way to do that is to do proper and regular training exercises.

boxing2

For beginners, you probably don’t have enough resources to start with for you to be able to put up your own gym or training studio. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop from there. Do you know that you can actually utilize your own backyard and be able to perform the boxing exercises that you need?

Be the Best

Be the best! That’s what we all wanted to achieve. Since you are in boxing line, you know that in order to be the best boxer, you need to learn and to train. Learning would mean knowing all the necessary tactics and strategies. Winning the game is not always about your physical skills, a bit of intelligence is also required.

When it comes to keeping your body fit and ready for boxing, constant training and workouts is needed. There are some series of exercise routines that are proven effective to help boxers develop the kind of body that they need to handle all those punches. Most of these exercises cover a lot punching, hitting, as well as defense.

It’s also necessary to have a good sparring partner. For most boxers, they find sparring as one effective way to develop. It is where they were able to do the actual fight and test their own ability before they even step into the ring. Seeking help from a professional boxing coach is important though. That’s the only way that you can be sure that what you are doing is right.

Backyard Boxing Exercise

sparringFor beginners, they can always take advantage of their own backyard to practice and exercise. The Thebackyardsite.com will actually give you some ideas how to make your backyard conducive for workout and training exercises. Backyard training can be a cost-effective and less stressful way to achieve the fitness that you need for boxing.

In order to get started, you certainly don’t have to build a gym or buy some equipment in order to exercise at home. You can start with a good cardio exercises in which it doesn’t require you any equipment. For instance, you can run around the backyard or use your outdoor benches to do some crunches. To make it even exciting, you can even use tree branches to do some pull-ups or hang some punching bags so you can use.

If you have a sparring partner, that would make things easier. Clean up a certain area in your backyard. Even out the ground create a mini boxing ring where you too can do your sparring sessions. Less expensive and you’re even closer to your home and your family. No need to go out and spend some longer hours at the gym or studios just to keep your body fit and ready for your first or even tenth boxing match.

 

The Health Benefits of Kickboxing

More and more people are starting to come into their senses and becoming conscious about their body and health. For that very reason, many are trying to find the most effective way to help them lose some weight and get great shape.

kickboxing

Kickboxing is probably one of the options that you have. It is considered as one amazing workout method for many, even for women. Since it is a high-energy exercise, it is proven to burn some fats and calories. For the benefit of those who aren’t familiar with kickboxing, read on and see what is it really and how it can benefit you.

Kickboxing – What is it really?

Well, with how it is called, it is obvious that kickboxing is a combination of boxing and martial arts plus aerobics. For that reason, this kind of workout is definitely fun and entertaining. It is a perfect weight loss and fitness program because it is known as a high energy workout.

According to professionals, kickboxing was proven to burn 750 calories in a span of an hour. That’s a pretty good number especially if you are trying to cut off some belly fats. It does muscular toning, improves cardiovascular strength and endurance.

Remember, unlike other weight loss workout programs, kickboxing is a bit advanced. That’s the main reason why sport therapy support suggests that you need to do regular simple exercises first. Always do warm ups beforehand. Since kickboxing can be tough for some, you might end up getting injuries if you don’t do things right.

The Health Benefits

Since you will be exerting a good amount of endurance, determination and energy, it is important that you condition yourself by having the best ideas how kickboxing can benefit you and what’s in it for you.

Tones your Body. It can be an intense and dynamic type of workout. It involves lots of punching and kicking, thus, it helps to tone your upper and lower body.

kickCardiovascular Improvement. What’s more important than having a healthy heart? Kickboxing is proven to help increase the heart rate. It can entirely keep your cardiovascular system in good condition. Make sure that you know the art of proper breathing.

Learn Self-defense. This is probably one of the reasons why many women are starting to consider kickboxing. Learning the sport will definitely help you learn methods how you are able to protect yourself. As a result, it can offer empowerment to women.

All in one workout. Many fitness experts consider kickboxing as a full body workout. That would mean that it can target every part of your body. It is a combination of almost all workouts. Thus, you don’t need to do other routines to complete the deal.

It’s pretty obvious. Kickboxing is such a great way to lose weight and get the body that you want.  However, it might not work for everyone. Keep in mind that kickboxing will require you good amount of determination and consistency. You need to do it regularly and continuously. Getting the body that you always dreamed of definitely would happen overnight. If you have the goal, the determination and the energy, go for it!

Muay Thai Training at Home

Essentials for the Home

MTH_cropMany people enjoy muay thai, but it’s not uncommon for someone who loves muay thai to have a really busy schedule and perhaps play other sports as well. Although we always recommend training at a club or gym that specializes in muay thai and are run by knowledgeable trainers, sometimes this just isn’t possible. If you do decide to do most of your training at home, we suggest learning the basics at a gym first, just to try and prevent the formation of terrible habits like bad technique. In any case, we want to outline a couple strategies for creating a cheap and effective muay thai workout at home, or at least something similar enough to it.

Muay Thai and Boxing Gloves

Depending on what your exercises consist of and the types of bags you’re hitting, you may need particular styles of gloves. Boxing gloves are very common and there are a wide variety available in North America. Muay thai gloves are also common, just slightly less so. Boxing gloves tend to offer more protection and stability (usually), but muay thai gloves are much better for close range combat and being able grab. We find this site to has some great information about the best boxing gloves and muay thai gloves available.

Jump Ropes

Having a good jump rope is arguably the best value purchase you can make when it comes to muay thai training. A jump rope can be used for warm up, during your actual workout, cool down, and just squeezing in a quick workout when you have a chance. Jump ropes are very affordable, they take up hardly any space, and they are really easy to learn. We recommend every athlete has one in their arsenal, not just fighters. Please check out the same site for the best jump ropes under $20.

Punching Bags

Aside from cheaper speed bags, most punching bags are a bit more expensive than the above listed equipment. Additionally, often times you will need to set up a stand or hanger as well. Although it can be extremely convenient to have one in your own home, it may also be rather impractical, or may anger your significant other. Something a lot of people also don’t consider is the fact that the footprint needs to account for the punching bag AND you moving around it, so often times people think they have more room than they actually do.

Therefore, we would suggest inquiring around to local gyms and fitness centers about possible use of punching bags. This could be a cheaper alternative to signing up at a muay thai gym, and a good way of figuring out how much space you need for a bag at your own home, and maybe even what type of punching bag you prefer.

Summary

Generally speaking, the best way to start out with setting up your own home gym for muay thai is to start small. Get the essentials (mats, gloves, rope, maybe punching bag) and gradually work your way up. This may mean that you start out with more general workouts at home first, but it will save you from getting items that you need to return shortly after and just allows for better planning overall.

 

The Muay Thai Experience

Interested in Muay Thai?

MTT

You should be! Muay thai is an incredible sport that requires mental and physical fitness, focus, discipline, and a willingness to learn. Muay thai is one of the most respected sports in the world and has been increasing in popularity all over the world.

Muay Thai in North America

Muay Thai is definitely becoming more and more popular in North America. Where once boxing dominated the combat sport landscape, now it is merely part of skyline where MMA and other forms of martial arts dominate. This has led to an increased knowledge base among North Americans, and simply becoming more educated about muay thai has appeared to have resulted in a marked increase in popularity.

There are numerous muay thai gyms across North America, particularly in larger towns and cities. If muay thai is something you are interested in, we highly suggest visiting a local gym and asking for some information or a quick tour. We find that most trainers are thrilled to show their facility to prospective athletes, and they are usually pretty straight up about things.

Lots of people are intimidating to begin a combat sport without previous experience. It’s easy to say that everyone starts somewhere, but muay thai is different than other sports in that there seems to be a much greater sense of community. Moreover, in North America, most people who sign up at a muay thai club or gym usually don’t have any experience.

Additionally, do not worry if you are not in shape, as you will get in shape. Some people think that since they are currently athletes in different sports, that they will become accustomed to a muay thai workout immediately. This is not the case, as it is so completely different from most other sports. Muay thai is very specific, and no matter what your general fitness level is, you will have to become accustomed to the sport-specific techniques before fully participating in an individual workout.

Traveling to Thailand?

Although we haven’t tried this ourselves, we have some very close peers that have experienced training in Thailand for a 6 months to a year, and all have said it’s amazing.

We recognize that simply shipping out to a foreign country and beginning a training program for at least 6 months may not be the most practical route for some, but if it s something that is possible, or you are thinking of traveling south east Asia, then we highly recommend that you at least consider spending some time training in a local muay thai gym. This will offer a true authentic training experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself within the amazing sport that is muay thai.

Furthermore, these gyms often have a lot of travelers who are doing the same thing, and the gyms are used to this. One may think that by joining a gym you are throwing out the ability to travel, but keep in mind that you will meet lots of traveler at the gym, as well as friendly knowledgeable locals. Many who go this route find that they less like a tourist aimlessly traveling around, and more like a visitor who is accompanied by knowledgeable locals and fellow travelers.

Summary

We realize this may be a stretch for most, but for some this may represent an ideal option for traveling and experiencing a culture in a totally unique way.