Cardio is of paramount importance for combat sports. Cardiovascular fitness is the difference between being gassed out in a fight or being able to last the whole 5 rounds. A great technique or fight IQ will not always help if your opponent has superior cardio. Therefore, it is essential to focus on cardio workouts aside from regular Muay Thai training. In today's post, we will be looking at three ways to increase our cardio in 14 days or two weeks.
Note: This article is not from a health professional, and when in doubt, check with your doctor before engaging in any of the activities mentioned below.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
The key to getting fit fast is doing exercises that push your cardio system as hard as possible in short bursts instead of doing slow and regular activities like jogging, which builds endurance and stamina.
Hill sprinting is one classic HIIT exercise. Exhausting, running uphill accelerates your heart rate close to its maximum in no time. Sprinting up a hill for 30 seconds, with short rests between, will burn as many calories as an hour of steady jogging. And the shock to the system of going all-out stimulates very rapid cardiovascular adaptation, and what better way to do hill sprinting than to go to Bukit Timah hill and sprint up the incline. It is sure to boost your cardio ability!
Calisthenics means exercises using your body weight instead of any external weights or equipment. Like pull-ups, push-ups, unweighted squats, sit-ups, burpees, leg raises etc. The number of exercises is unlimited, and many variations can be done to cater to the muscle group you wish to focus on. One good example of calisthenics is the Tabata workout, which feels similar to HIIT, going as hard as you can in a short amount of time. The important thing is that each set should focus on a different group of muscles than the previous set.
For example, if you do a set of push-ups, the next set should focus on your pulling muscles so that you can do inverted rows. And follow that up with dips and then pull-ups. Then maybe hit the abs with some leg raises before going back to push-ups again. This allows you to continue the workout without exhausting any particular muscle group, so you can keep pushing yourself hard. This puts massive demands on your cardiovascular system, which strengthens and increases your cardiovascular ability.
Muay Thai will get you fit quickly because the movements are done with power and are super demanding on your cardio system. There's an equal emphasis on the upper body, lower body and core conditioning. As you have noticed, the trend for improving one's cardio ability is to do high-intensity workouts in short bursts, and where else can you find this in almost every aspect of Muay Thai. Pad works, which makes fighter punch, knee, kick, elbow in 2 minutes for multiple rounds, increase participants' muscle endurance and allows them to engage in high-intensity activities at a greater pace.
Want to do all of these activities but not sure where you can do them? Over at The Jungle, we have HIIT & Muay Thai classes ensuring that you can always have a place to get your cardio worked on. Moreover, the gym is equipped with pull up bars and an open area to get your calisthenics done, so fret not!