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Does Muay Thai Training Build Muscles?

muay thai athlete hitting the bag

Muay Thai is a full-body workout that will build muscle and can help you develop explosive strength, power and cardio. It’s also good for your core and legs, making it a complete exercise regimen. However, Muay Thai doesn’t build muscle like weight lifting does.

Muay Thai is a high-intensity workout for your whole body.

Muay Thai is a full-body workout that will improve your strength and endurance.

The training sessions are intense, but they’re also fun. Your muscles are built during consistent training whether it’s through pad work, rounds on the heavy bag, and even sparring.

You’ll use every part of your body to push through the workout, so you can expect to see results if you stick with it. Here’s why:

  • Your legs will be worked by the constant kicking motions used in Muay Thai as well as maintaining a strong stance for basic maneuvering around your opponent.
  • Your core will be strengthened as well because Muay Thai involves lots of twisting, turning and pivoting movements that require strength from the midsection area. The building of these muscles are important for good defense as well.
  • You’ll work muscles in both arms as well—from punching to blocking to elbowing—plus shoulders and back muscles get some attention too!

Your legs and core will get a workout.

Muay Thai is a full-body workout, and your legs and core will be working hard during each session. As you kick and punch, your legs are supporting the weight of your body, so they’ll grow stronger over time. Depending on the type of fighter you want to become, you may either want to be light on your feet, tank-like in stance, or anywhere in between. In any case, your legs need to build muscle to do this and will definitely be strengthened through consistent training. Practicing good technique is all you need to get started on building these muscles. Your core will also be used to stabilize your body while kicking and punching — which beats sitting at home on the couch watching TV!

You’ll develop explosive strength.

Explosive strength is the ability to exert maximum force in the shortest possible time. This is crucial for sports, self-defense and fighting (Muay Thai). You’ll develop explosive strength through explosive movements like punches and kicks.

Muay Thai is also aerobic exercise.

The aerobic exercise that Muay Thai provides is high-intensity interval training, which means you intermittently sprint and then rest. This happens when you train pad rounds that consist of 5 minutes of work and 1 minute of rest. This can help you burn more calories and improve your cardiovascular health. It also improves your body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently, which means you’ll be able to do more work throughout the course of your day.

Build strength with cardio training.

The most important part of any exercise routine is consistency. If you simply go through the motions of your workout, nothing much will happen. If you want to build muscle, whether it be in your legs or arms or chest or back, cardio training is an excellent tool for doing so. It can help you do this because it stimulates muscle growth in two ways:

  • By increasing blood flow and circulation through the body (which brings more nutrients and oxygen to muscles)
  • By increasing the amount of energy that is available for use by muscles


Muay Thai is an excellent way to build muscle and get a workout at the same time. It’s also great for cardiovascular health, so you don’t have to choose between one or the other! We can help you find a nearby Muay Thai gym that suits your needs with our directory of Muay Thai gyms in every state across America.

We hope that you have found this article helpful in your journey to learn Muay Thai. If there is anything else you would like to know or comment on please let us know by sending us a message! Feel free to check out our YouTube channel as well for other martial arts related content.

Find out how Muay Thai can be adapted to different fitness levels and goals.