Repetition, repetition, repetition. Muay Thai pad drills to hone your striking skills and cardio performance.

The best way to get better at something is to drill it over and over again.

Apply that principle to a striking circuit and you can practice technique at the same time as you test your endurance.

Though you’ll have to adapt your punches, kicks, knees and elbows compared to a pure Muay Thai artist with throws – a similar approach to a striking circuit will still work.

Focus on repetition of hard and fast strikes and you’ll be able to practice combinations and build up your gas tank at the same time.

Muay Thai pad drills workout by: Carlton Lieu
Muay Thai Grand Prix super lightweight champion and coach


Muay Thai pad drills: principles that make a great workout


muay thai workout


Make your combos simple

As soon as you start putting five or six strikes together in combos, your power is going to change and technique is going to go downhill.

Nail four hits, it’s much better.


Use a balance of power when striking pads

Your power should increase throughout the combo: 70%, 80%, 100%.

It’s rising, but it’s not light-to- medium-to-hard like 25%, 50% and 100%.

Hit the pad hard on every strike and finish with maximum power.


Form before force

The most important thing is technique, but you’ll reach a point where you’ll get fatigued and technique goes out the window.

When that happens, you’ll need the raw power to bang out all your reps.

Now that we’ve explored the principles that make a great Muay Thai pad workout, let’s get into the drills.


muay thai workout pad drills


The power circuit

• Make every round 3-5 minutes
• Rest for one minute between rounds and push yourself by doing 20 push-ups during the rest
• Make it more challenging by cutting your rest in half


Rounds 1 & 2: boxing

Do 20-30 reps of as many of these punching combos as you can per round

• Jab, cross, uppercut
• Jab, uppercut, uppercut
• Jab, jab, cross, uppercut
• Body jab, cross
• Jab, body cross
• Left hook, left body hook
• Left body hook, left hook
• Jab, jab, right hook
• Cross, uppercut, cross


Rounds 3 & 4: freestyle pads

Continuous rounds, mixing in all varieties of single shots and combinations.

Your pad man should make this as close to a fight as possible, hitting you back with punches and kicks. Get them to call for killer sets of 10-50 kicks throughout the round, too.

If you don’t have a pad man, freestyle on the bag.


Rounds 5, 6 & 7: low kicks

Finish with three rounds of an overlooked weapon, low kicks, in combination with punches.

They need to be hard and fast in MMA to make sure your leg isn’t grabbed for a takedown.

• Jab, low kick
• Jab, hook, low kick
• Low kick, cross
• Cross, low kick
• Cross, hook, low kick
• Low kick, low kick
• Low kick, left hook, low kick


Post-workout rewards from these pad drills



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