One of the main reasons why stretching is so crucial in Muay Thai is because it helps to improve your range of motion. This is crucial for Muay Thai practitioners as they need to be able to execute powerful strikes while still being able to move around quickly. Stretching also helps to prevent injuries by keeping your muscles and joints supple and flexible.
The most crucial stretch for a Muay Thai fighter is the one that “unlocks” his hips. Most of the fighters striking power comes from their hips.
Another benefit of stretching is that it can help to improve your Muay Thai techniques. By increasing your range of motion, you will be able to execute kicks and punches with greater power and precision. Stretching also helps to increase your speed and agility, which are both critical for Muay Thai practitioners.
Types Of Stretching
Before we tell you the best stretches for Muay Thai, you first need to understand the difference between different kinds of stretches. Dynamic stretching and static stretching each help you build flexibility, but they are not interchangeable. After you warm up, you should first do some dynamic stretches, like swinging your leg in front of you (similar to doing an axe kick) or doing hip rotations. After that, you can start with some static stretching, meaning getting into a position where you stretch the targeted muscle and holding that position for 10 to 15 seconds. And be sure to do some static stretching after each workout to release the tension in your muscle. Relaxed muscles will have better blood flow which will help them reduce inflammation and recover faster. In this article, we will mainly talk about the best static stretches for Muay Thai.
Grab hold of your foot and bring the heel of your foot to your glutes. Your knees need to be parallel to each other. Keep your knees forward. You should feel your quadriceps muscle stretching. Hold that position for 5 to 10 seconds and release your foot. Repeat the same with the other side
The stretching of the quadriceps muscle is important since you use the muscle every time you throw a low, middle, or high kick. You also use it when throwing a knee or blocking a kick. It is also one of the biggest muscles on your body, which means it is used quite a lot. Stretching it is a necessity.
The Hamstring and Glutes Stretch
There are two variations to this stretch. The first one is called the Piriformis Stretch, and it requires you to sit on the floor with your legs extended. Then you bring your left foot to the right side of your right knee. Then you twist your upper body to the left side and connect your right elbow to your left knee. Use the knee and the elbow as a support to get into a deeper stretch. Hold it like that for 5 to 10 seconds. Do the same with the other side.
The other variation you do is by standing upright. Bring one of your knees to your chest level. Then grab your knee with your hands and press it into your chest. You should feel the glute and the hamstring stretch. Hold it that way for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side. You can use the wall to lean on if you are having trouble with balancing.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Start by standing up straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Bend forward at the waist and place your hands on your thighs. Keeping your knees straight, slowly lower your torso towards the ground until you feel a stretch in the back of your legs. Hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat as needed.
Lunge With A Twist
Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with your right leg and lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Make sure to keep your left knee bent and don’t let it extend past your toes. As you lunge, twist your torso to the right so that your left elbow extends toward the outside of your right knee. Hold that position for 20 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
This stretch is great for loosening up your hip muscles and increasing flexibility in your spine. If you have any lower back pain, be sure to avoid twisting too profoundly. You should feel a gentle stretch in your hips, glutes, and lower back.
Lunge To The Side
This is an excellent stretch for your hamstrings and your adductors.
Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Take a big step to the right with your right foot, then lower your body down into a lunge. Keep your left leg straight and try to touch your right knee to the ground. Be sure to put your right foot flat to the floor. Push off with your right leg and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. To make the stretch more challenging, you can add a twist. As you lower into the lunge, rotate your torso to the right. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
There is no better way to practice and do the split than by doing the split. Start out standing upright with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower yourself by moving your feet further and further apart. Slowly you will lower yourself into the split position. Do not worry that you are not able to do a full split or even maybe half. Help yourself out by supporting yourself with your hands, slowly put less weight on your hands and more weight on your legs; by doing this, you will gradually work your adductors and make them more flexible. Eventually, you will nail the split position.
The Calf Stretch
Assuming you are standing, place your hands on a wall or other sturdy object in front of you. Step forward with your left leg and bend your knee while keeping your right leg straight behind you. You should feel a stretch in the back of your right calf at this point. Hold this position for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
As you become more flexible, you may need to move your feet further apart to maintain the stretch. You can also try placing your rear foot on an elevated surface, such as a step to increase the stretch. Remember to keep both knees pointing forward throughout the exercise.
The Cobra Stretch
The Cobra stretch is a great way to loosen up your lower back and help relieve any pain or discomfort you may be feeling. To do the Cobra stretch, simply lie flat on your stomach with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Slowly raise your upper body off the ground, using your arms for support if necessary. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds before slowly lowering yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat the stretch 2-3 times.
The most important stretches for a Muay Thai fighter are the ones that unlock the fighter’s hips and give the fighter the necessary range of motion. If your hips and legs are unflexible, you have no chance of having a good technique, and your kicks will be all but fluent. So stretch daily!