You’re making a horrible mistake if you think you can only step inside the squared ring and boost your Muay Thai training with a sparring partner or via shadowboxing. Thai boxing is a complex martial art, and you’ll need a lot of Muay Thai training gear, especially when you decide to become the best.
Muay Thai is one martial art with the most significant number of legal moves. They call it “The Science of Eight Limbs” because you can get knee, elbow, punch, and kick your opponent. The ground game is prohibited, but professional fighters are ready to sacrifice everything to become the best.
This article will focus on all kinds of Muay Thai equipment that will help you put your performance to the next level in your own Muay Thai gym! Let’s get ready to rumble!
Muay Thai Equipment You Must Have For Gym Training
Muay Thai training gear is valuable due to many reasons, and we will focus on the most important ones:
It protects the specific areas of your body from injuries – shin guards, Muay Thai boxing gloves, and mouthguards… I could count the pieces of equipment all day long, your combat sports career would end up quickly because of the lack of added protection, plus you could harm your sparring partner;
Muay Thai training gear creates the realistic feeling of the fight – for example, you can train uppercut or overhand accuracy on a heavy angled bag;
Thai training gear helps you boost your cardio or work on a specific aspect of the game – for example, you can kick pads for two three-minute rounds or train powerful leg kicks on banana-shaped heavy bags.
Finally, choosing the proper piece of Muay Thai training gear might be rocket science, especially when you wear a critical size. For example, I’ve seen many fighters who can’t decide between size L and XL Muay Thai gloves because of the size of their hands. Of course, you should pick a bigger size because of the hand wraps.
We will try to reveal as many Muay Thai gear secrets as possible in this article. Please read carefully; I assure you that you will never make a mistake again. The great choice of Muay Thai fight gear will help you progress faster and get better at sparring sessions. This is not a joke! Why don’t you create your version of Thailand in your basement, garage, or living room?
Technically, heavy bags are designed for Muay Thai training, and every single piece of training gear you put on a heavy bag hanger could help you boost your performance. But wait, slow down now! I will describe the details of the technical Muay Thai training equipment so you can choose the best striking bag according to your needs and skill sets!
You must consider the bag’s fill and, of course, the shape of your Muay Thai training gear.
Let me ask you a question – can your Muay Thai heavy bags create iron shins? What is it made of – leather, synthetic, vinyl, or plastic? Because the leather bag is the roughest material, and you’ll get tougher and more challenging as you strike with or without Thai gloves.
Is the following important parameter filled with sand, foam/stuffing, water, gel, fabric/cloth?
If you want the best Muay Thai equipment for hard hits, I suggest a classic sand-filled one. Again, if you’d like more accuracy and swinging when hit with boxing gloves, the water-filled one will do the job for you. That’s why there are tons of Thai gear in the market – everybody wants to follow his goals!
A banana-shaped bag is more prolonged and will help you push your low kicks to the next level, while classic-style Muay Thai heavy bags swing more, and your strikes will be more powerful.
These training gear are designed to boost the power of your strikes. You might be slower with a banana-shaped bag, but when you hit your sparring partner’s leg, he’ll start limping.
Developing the rhythm while hitting is very important. That’s why heavy bags can simulate your partners. You can cut angles, control the space, and land short or long-range strikes, leading to the best performance of your life. Try it out with your training partner; you’ll see what I am talking about!
More osteoblasts will migrate to your soft tissue on the shins, so you’ll develop power while landing hard strikes. Super-hard bones are another layer of extra protection in the match. You’ll last longer against all foes inside the squared ring, even without shin guards. You can turn pro quickly when you strengthen your shins on time.
I’d advise you to spend a few extra bucks on a high-level piece of Muay Thai training gear, which will help you progress faster. Replacing the incorrect Thai gear costs time and money.
For example, a bag filled with cloth/fabric will last longer than one filled with sand, but sand leads to more brutal punches and sounds like an excellent solution for the world of mixed martial arts, where you battle with 6-ounce gloves. Your intentions matter. Please take this note seriously!
My favorite picks in the market are Outslayer, Fairtex, Everlast, Ringside, RDX, and Combat Sports. They have a lot of high-quality models, but I am always giving an advantage to banana-shaped training equipment because it leads to more potent inside and outside low kicks and the dangerous calf kicks from a half distance (if you plan to compete in mixed martial arts).
You will probably ask, “can I use a boxing glove for a Muay Thai training session” right? The true answer is yes, but only if you plan to work on the uppercut bag, teardrop, or classic-style models! Muay Thai and boxing are different types of combat sports. Thai boxing allows leg kicks and more technical punches, so you must adjust.
First, let me ask you a question – are you looking for a pair of Thai boxing gloves for competition, home workouts, sparring partner drills, clinching, or hard strikes? I know this is tough to answer, but before you purchase, make sure you know your intentions!
Expensive models offer some advantages over cheaper ones. Let’s list them now:
More excellent choice of designs and colors;
Better knuckle protection;
Better durability and competition performance;
Additional layers of protection when you’re covering up to defend from your sparring partner or when you land big bombs;
Shorter break-in period;
Better breathability – believe me, you don’t want to put a newspaper into your Muay Thai boxing gloves every two weeks. The odor can be so annoying and irritant.
Now you will say that I am super-complicated, but sorry, I need to ask you a few more questions.
Are you a pressure fighter who enjoys toe-to-toe brawls or a tactical specialist?
Pressure fighters take more damage in the sparring, so they should stick to thicker models in their training sessions.
Do you like angling and lateral moves or keeping the central line and cutting the cage/squared ring?
Fighters with limited skillset should take Muay Thai gloves with better protection for the index and middle fingers. In comparison, the masters of tricky game plans should give the advantage to the equipment with better protection for the lateral areas of the fist.
Do you prefer straight or wide punches?
You can throw straight shots with 8 oz punches all day long, and you’ll hardly hurt yourself during sparring. But try landing weaving overhand with tiny pieces of training gear, and you’ll end up in an emergency after a few training sessions.
Are you a beginner, an intermediate, or an advanced practitioner/competitor?
Advanced fighters know their criteria, while beginners can start their Muay Thai sessions with cheaper models.
Do you like to simulate realistic conditions? How many sparring sessions do you have per week/month?
Well, if you have at least one sparring session per week, I kindly advise you to purchase at least two pairs of Muay Thai gloves – one for uppercut or banana-shaped bag workouts and another for one to spar with your training partner.
My favorite picks in the market are Cleto Reyes, Hayabusa, and Winning for maximized layers of protection and injury prevention. At the same time, Fairtex works amazingly for clinching, sparring, and simulating realistic conditions. I’d always pay more for extra protection and better Muay Thai gear because giving money to doctors for surgeries costs way more.
Muay Thai Shorts
Muay Thai shorts are traditional training equipment for sparring sessions, bag workouts, and footwork/conditioning drills. It is a light item that helps you throw kicks and knees with style and make you look much better.
I’d suggest you buy at least a few pairs of Muay Thai shorts, especially if you plan to compete. Here are some other things that you should take into consideration:
It’d be awesome if you can purchase an item from Thailand, as the quality has to rock.
Pay attention to the brand. I am a fan of Yokkao, but Fairtex, Inside Style, Booster Fight Gear, and Top King are also great models of Muay Thai shorts.
I recommend you buy a pair of Muay Thai shorts made of satin or nylon for maximum quality. Of course, Muay Thai shorts are made of cotton, microfiber, or polyester. The nylon model is easier for fast drying but is heavily affected by sweat. Satin Muay Thai shorts are built to last.
Design is your personal choice. Do you like retro, simple, or new-era Muay Thai shorts? Answer that question, and you will know which is your perfect pair!
Price limits your power, but you can buy solid pair of Muay Thai shorts for fewer dollars. Just look for a proper fit, and the job is done.
I assume you will ask if you should choose between a boil-and-bite mouthguard or visiting a dentist and investing in a custom model that adjusts to the shape of your teeth.
Listen, boil and the bite is cheaper, but it might not shape properly. If it falls out of your mouth during the fight, it could lead to numerous problems.
I am a big fan of a custom-made gum shield. It costs more money, but a good mouth guard will protect your teeth well. Your jaw might snap, but your teeth won’t if the dentist does his job properly. The best mouthguard is one made by a professional.
Plus, boil and bite mouthguard doesn’t save you money, as fixing your teeth after hard sparring costs tons. That’s a myth!
Any pair of hand wraps will help you protect your arms during bag or pad work. You can mostly choose between 3.5 and 4.5-meter-long ones. I recommend you a longer pair of hand wraps because of extra protection.
Wrist support matters, especially when you land hooks, uppercuts, or overhands. Longer hand wraps lead to better wrist support, decreasing injury chances.
The great Muay Thai shin guards protect your legs from additional damage after hard sparring. I am a big fan of Fairtex and Top King shin guards, but any model could help your shins survive the dangerous shin-to-shin collisions.
Again, professionals only spar with Muay Thai shin guards. You must strengthen your bones, so hit bags or blunt objects without your Muay Thai gear. It will help you survive professional combat.
The comfortable t-shirt with Muay Thai shorts and boxers sounds like a great choice for your first Muay Thai session at home or in the dojo. Your t-shirt or trousers shouldn’t be too tight as they will limit your ability to kick or knee.
Extra Muay Thai Training Gear
I’d also recommend you some additional pieces of equipment. A good gym bag helps if you keep your training items stored or when you travel to your dojo.
The greatest piece of advice is to purchase one gym bag big enough to pack one pair of boxing gloves, one pair of Thai gloves, ankle guards, hand wraps, Muay Thai shorts, shin guards, a groin guard, and a mouthpiece. You ALWAYS NEED more protection in the training session!
Every dojo should have head gear and belly pads for a high-level workout session. You’ll need trainers or good and educated sparring teammates for pad work.
When you hurt yourself, the first line of defense is cream (unless you suffered a nasty injury). I like Bio Freeze, but any cream that cools you down works well. It is pretty helpful in gyms.
Skip rope to boost your cardio and footwork and put them to the next level. If you want to make the exercise harder, put your hand wraps, groin guard, ankle pads, and shin guards on, it will lead to more mistakes, but it’ll turn you into a beast inside the ring.
Timer For Rounds
Timers don’t cost much on eBay or Amazon, and you don’t want to turn your stopwatch on and off every time. If you think this is an extra expense, feel free to download the app for your phone, there are tons of them online. It works for jiu-jitsu or other martial arts too. 🙂
It helps you wipe the sweat during breaks, especially if you train in a hot state like Florida or Thailand. Put one towel in your gym bag.
How To Train Muay Thai At Home With No Gear?
I will quote the UFC fighter Yoel Romero – “when you believe, everything is possible.” I’ll be honest – you can work on some aspects of the Muay Thai game without a training partner, but you can’t get into the spirit of things without sparring. Yet, I will describe your options.
Please install a set of mirrors and let your creativity work. There is only one rule – look at yourself in the mirror while working and correct your mistakes. There are tons of videos online. 🙂
You can work core drills on the mats, but if you’d like to put it to the next level, think of buying a power tower or a Smith machine.
Also, you can purchase medicine and Swiss balls for the beginning of your sport strength voyage. You can even pack them in your gym bag. 🙂
Yoga & Stretches
Sometimes you’ll have to stretch and fish for the full range of motion, especially during Brazilian kicks or any kick that targets the opponent’s head.
I advise you to hold the position for at least 20 seconds to create plastic muscle changes. It will skyrocket the levels of your flexibility. Your partner can assist too.
Running laps is an old-school method, but you can also try the interval training method or combine short sprints with moderate or light running. These small businesses can put your stamina to a whole new level.
Muay Thai Equipment Frequently Asked Questions
How do you protect your feet in Muay Thai?
Ankle guards can help you protect your feet. But other than that, you can wear shin guards that cover the area of your feet, but it depends on the model. My advice – protect only during sparing sessions.
Do you need a punching bag for Muay Thai?
Of course, you can train powerful punches and elbows. You can’t base your game on kicks and knees only; you’ll get destroyed in the clinch.
Pads can help, but a punching bag is way more important, especially for beginners and intermediates in the sport.
Do I need shin guards for Muay Thai?
A good pair of shin guards are very important when you spar. Yet, if you’d like to smash pads or hit the bag, forget about a shin guard.
A shin guard is designed to protect, but you must strengthen your bones first. Don’t listen to me and you’ll be out of the game after two or three collisions.
How do you wrap an ankle for Muay Thai?
It is simple, just put on ankle pads, and you’re ready to go. That is the best way.
I don’t support wrapping your legs in bandages as it decreases mobility, but this is a free world, if you’d like to try it out, there are tons of tutorials online. 🙂