10 Best Muay Thai Pad Work Drills To Build Your Endurance

10 Best Muay Thai Pad Work Drills To Build Your Endurance
Muay Thai Tuesday

Muay Thai pads are one of the tools you can use to build your endurance while improving your techniques and fluidity. Muay Thai fighters spend a considerable amount of their time training hitting pads with their coaches and training partners.


10 Best Muay Thai Pad Work Drills To Build Your Endurance

Pads give you different targets each salvo and a good coach will mix in some offensive techniques so you get to practice your defense while throwing punches.

Let’s jump right into our list of effective Muay Thai pad drills:


1) Jab, Cross Burnout

The jab, cross is one of the first combinations Muay Thai fighters learn, and it’s effective at all levels of the sport. It doesn’t look like much, but throwing your jab and cross fast and hard gets tiring real quick.

Ask your training partner to sporadically throw some offense as you throw your combinations to make you play defense as well. Aim for one-minute rounds when you’re first starting and work your way up to three-minute rounds.


2) Roundhouse Repetitions

Have your training partner hold pads and fire off ten roundhouses as hard and fast as you can. Switch stances and repeat with your other leg. Ask the person holding pads to throw in some offense like leg sweeps from time to time to keep you defensively sharp.


3) Jab, Low Kick

Here’s a combination that’s highly effective in Muay Thai and other combat sports like mixed martial arts. It’s a basic combination that you’ll probably find yourself using often inside the ring so you might as well perfect it while working on your endurance.

Fire off a hard jab and immediately follow up with a low kick aimed at the back of the thighs or calves. Keep repeating the combination for 60 seconds before switching stances and performing it with your other side.


4) Low Kick, Cross

Here’s another basic combination Muay Thai fighters and MMA fighters use often. Start with a hard low kick and immediately follow that with a cross to the face. Keep repeating the combination for a minute and switch sides when you’re done.


5) Lead Hook, Lead Hook To The Body

This combination can leave an opponent unable to continue when done correctly. It starts with a fast lead hook to the head, which is followed by a powerful lead hook aimed at the liver. Make sure you keep that in mind when working on pads. Perform the combination for a minute and switch sides.


6) Jab, Body Cross

The cross to the body is an excellent way to mix things up during your fights and it’s a great way to create openings for your other punches. The cross to the body should be quick to avoid getting countered but should be thrown with ill intentions. Start off with a jab then immediately throw a cross to the body. Work the combination for a minute, switch stances, and repeat in your new stance.


7) Alternating Knees

Get into a clinch with the person holding pads for you and start working your knees with both legs. Don’t just go through the motions, instead control your training partner’s posture and fire each knee with everything you have.

Go for as long as you can and try to work your way up to three-minute rounds.


8) Alternating Roundhouses

This drill involves throwing a roundhouse with your power leg, switching stances, and throwing another roundhouse from your rear leg in the new stance. Keep going until you can’t lift your feet off the ground anymore. That will be probably less than a minute if you’re new to the drill.

Set a benchmark and try to work your way up to three minutes. Remember to throw each roundhouse as hard as you can to get the most out of the drill.


9) Alternating Low Kicks

This drill involves alternating low kicks with combining roundhouse kicks for as long as you can before getting tired. Make sure you put everything you have into each kick while maintaining good technique. You’d be shocked to find out how quickly fatigue creeps in. Aim for three-minute rounds.


10) Jab, Hook, Low Kick

Here’s a more advanced combination that keeps opponents guessing. Fake a swift jab towards your opponent’s guard, then throw the hook and low kick as hard as possible. Keep going for a minute before taking a break. Keep trying to push your limit until you can go for as long as three minutes.


Getting The Most Out Of Bag Work Drills

Getting good at Muay Thai is all about repeating techniques until you get to a point where they become part of your muscle memory. The best way to improve your skills at anything is to do it over and over until you reach your desired skill level.

Keep that in mind the next time you decide to hit some pads to improve your endurance. Always use good technique when drilling and don’t get sloppy defensively. How you train is how you fight.

Aim to throw your strikes hard and fast when hitting pads for endurance. This uses up more energy and gives you more of a cardiovascular workout.

Keep your combinations simple if you’re new to hitting pads. Many people start losing their form when putting more than four strikes together so start with basic two or three-strike combos before moving on to more advanced techniques.

Good form is paramount when training especially as fatigue creeps in. Good technique often goes out the window when fighters get tired. Try to fight that as hard as you can when you start feeling winded as you train. You want to get your muscle memory to the point where your technique doesn’t change much even when you’re fatigued.


Get To Work

Pad work is an effective way to improve your power, form, and endurance. Make it a regular part of your training program since many of the things you do during pad work carry over into real fights. It’s best to let a qualified instructor hold pads for you if you’re new to the sport so you don’t end up picking up bad habits.


You may also like: 

5 Ways To Set Up A Head Kick In Muay Thai