Flexibility is key to being successful in Muay Thai and the one technique that could basically be the symbol of flexibility is the round kick.They say that the higher round kick is, the more flexible of a fighter you are and that’s true. If you can’t even perform a high arching round kick, then you clearly have a lot of work in the gym to do. But, training can only help you so much if you don’t stretch properly.
To help you with that, here are a few essential stretches that should gradually help improve your flexibility.
- Runner’s Stretch
Assume a lunge position and then drop one of your knees on the ground. Slowly, push your hips forward. You should be feeling a nice stretch on three different sections, mainly the hip flexor (rear and front leg), as well as the groins.
- Butterfly Stretch
One of the older stretches that’s common in many other types of sports. To do this, all you have to do is down with your butt lying flat on the ground. Put your hands on your heels and pull it towards your crotch. You can apply a bit more pressure if you use your elbows.
- Center Split
The center split is another classic stretch that many Muay Thai fighters are able to do seamlessly. Of course, you’re no pro yet, so you probably can’t do it fully. But, that’s okay. Almost every Muay Thai trainee has to go through the painful split at some point.
To do this, just slowly slide your feet away from your body. Try to go as far as you can without over exerting yourself. If it’s too painful already, then you may want to back up a little and stay there until you feel comfortable sliding further. You can also try putting your hands down for added support.
There you have it, three stretches that, if done correctly and often, should improve your flexibility a lot given time.
As a few added tips, here are a few important reminders before you go on to do any one of these stretches.
- Warm up. Try to do some light body weights or light jogging first before you try and do a few stretches. If you don’t, you’re putting yourself at risk of injury and that’s never a good thing.
- Breathe So many people tense up and stop breathing when you stretch. Don’t be like them. Instead of feeling tense, you should ease into the stretch and breathe as you go on.
- Go Past Your body will protect you from over stretching through a protective reflex of sorts. Try to ease past that point and hold the stretch for half a minute or so. This way, you’re slowly pushing your body to its limits.
- You’ll benefit a lot more if you stretch more often. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it.
Be consistent with your stretches and your training. Sooner or later, you’re bound to see the results of all your hard work.