does muay thai build muscle?

Does Muay Thai Build Muscle?

Muay Thai is a martial art that can not be overlooked in today’s world for multiple reasons. People are interested in learning it because of its self-defense applications and its health benefits. Some even have a goal of competing in it. One question that many people have is whether or not Muay Thai helps you build muscles. In this blog post, we will take a look at what type of muscles are exercised during a Muay Thai training session and whether or not those muscles are built through training.

The average Muay Thai practitioner is healthier and more muscular than the rest of the population. Muay Thai helps you build muscle and endurance through several methods. Muay Thai practitioners develop good muscular strength in order to keep their balance and produce damaging and powerful kicks and punches.

Muay Thai training sessions typically involve a lot of cardio. This means that you will be exercising your heart and lungs and your muscles. Cardio is important for overall health, but it also helps to build endurance. When you are doing a lot of cardio, your body starts to adapt and becomes better at using oxygen to fuel your muscles.

Muay Thai training is a full-body workout, which means that you are working out all of your muscle groups when you train. This is beneficial because it helps to prevent injuries and imbalances in your muscles, which can develop from one-dimensional training like in a regular gym.

This adaptation process is what helps to build endurance in your muscle over time. As your muscles become more durable, they can also take greater volumes of work. This directly helps you work more on your strength and power production, and as a result, your muscles will grow to keep up with the demand.

While Muay Thai does involve some cardio, it also includes a lot of strength-training exercises. These exercises help to target specific muscle groups and help them to grow stronger. The most common muscle groups that are exercised during Muay Thai training include the chest, traps, quadriceps, neck, biceps, triceps, and maybe most of all, your calves. By targeting these muscle groups, you can help to build overall strength and muscle mass.

The Calves

Maybe the muscle that will grow the most during your Muay Thai training will be your calves. This is because they are responsible for a lot of the movement and power in your legs. Strong calves can help to improve your balance and stability, as well as your kicking power.

Bouncing on your toes for one or two hours a day will give you big, powerful calves that will help you produce great kicks and knees. And the hours and hours of jump rope work or running will only add to their size. And who doesn’t love a good-looking pair of calves?

The Chest

Maybe you are wondering how Muay Thai helps build chest muscles. To keep it simple, every time you throw a jab, cross, hook, or uppercut, your chest and shoulder, are the primary movers of your hands. They are what generates the power of your punches. You will throw more than 200 to 300 punches in a single session, and those easy but small repetitions will add up over time.

The other factor that impacts your chest development is the endless pushup variations you will be doing during your training. You will most likely be doing a lot of regular pushups, Spiderman pushups, Hindu pushups, and much more. You will be doing many variations of pushups, but you will also do a lot of volumes that will significantly impact your chest development.

Trapezius Muscle And Neck Muscles

The trapezius muscle and the neck muscles are the most important muscles in your body when it comes to preventing brain damage and getting knocked out. Yes, you read that right. These muscles keep your head stable while receiving punches and kicks; by doing that, they keep your brain from bouncing all around your skull. This will also make you less prone to getting knocked out.

There is a reason why professional martial artist, from wrestlers to MMA fighters and boxers, all train their necks. A prime example of this would be Mike Tyson, he probably had the genetics that helped him have a massive neck, but hours of working on his neck muscles surely helped out.

If nothing else, doing some “neck crunches” for 5 to 10 minutes after every training session will go a long way in helping you build a strong and durable neck.

The trapezius muscle is just an extension, or the connection between your neck and your back; it plays a major role in keeping your neck and, therefore, your head stable. Your trapezius muscle will grow just by you holding your hand up to your chin for hours on end during your Muay Thai training sessions.

Weight Loss

Muay Thai training is not only good for building muscles but also helps with weight loss.

Muay Thai is a full-body workout that helps to burn calories and promote weight loss. Muay Thai can burn up to 300 to 700 calories in a single workout session. It is also a high-intensity workout, which means that it can help to boost your metabolism. It will provide a small boost in your metabolism, but a worthwhile non the less. If you are looking for a workout that will help you lose weight, then Muay Thai is definitely the way to go.

You will understand soon enough why Muay Thai fighters have very little body fat, not just before an upcoming fight but all year round. The endless hours of intense training keep their calories in balance and help them maintain their weight with little additional effort.


Overall, Muay Thai is a great way to build muscle. It exercises a variety of different muscle groups and helps to build both strength and endurance. If you are looking for a workout that will help you build muscle, then Muay Thai is definitely worth considering. Give it a try and see for yourself.

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