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The In-Depth Guide to Muay Thai Thigh Conditioning

thigh bruises
muay thai thigh conditioning

Muay Thai is one of the most brutal striking martial arts in the world. Competitors take violent hits to literally every area of their bodies. Shin conditioning is a worldwide known topic, and there are numerous drills for strengthening.

But what happens to the inner and outer sides of the thigh? Nasty low kicks can paralyze nerves and end the fight quickly. Can I do Muay Thai thigh conditioning to strengthen the weak areas that take the greatest amount of damage?

Well, believe it or not, yes you can – I will guide you through this. Kicks to the legs are gonna hurt you less! I will be honest – the pain will never go away, but at least you can decrease it and finish the fight!

How To Recognize Thigh Vulnerabilities?

Learning the anatomy of your thigh is going to help you massively. Almost every fighter can handle bruising, purple legs, and violent hits… but a strike to the sciatic nerve paralyzes you and chops you down, which leads to a TKO victory for your opponent. So what the hell should I do to prevent this from happening?

There are three vulnerable spots you must pay attention to (hit yourself there if you don’t believe me), please mark those spots:

  • Put the hand on your hip and check where the middle finger ends.
  • Put your hand on the lower third of your thigh so your middle finger touches the lateral side of your knee. Check where the upper part of your palm meets the outer part of your thigh.
  • Put your right hand on the inner side of your left knee. Check where the beginning of your fingers touches the thigh.

Great, you know weak areas, now it’s time to get into the spirit of Muay Thai thigh conditioning!

Which Are The Best Ways To Strengthen The Outer Part Of Your Thigh?

Thigh and shin conditioning are apples and oranges. You must hit under different angles to aim at weak spots, your options are limited, but there’s no mission impossible.

Palm Or Punch Strikes

Hit your weak spots with your fists or palms. Start slowly, then increase the power of the strikes. You must be able to simulate the realistic strike under a realistic angle. Your thighs must get used to eating shots.

Wet Towel Striking

This is my favorite method. Soak the towel in cold water and fold it in half. Too long towels cannot target your weak spots, so I don’t recommend a beach or shower towel.

Start punishing the lateral side of your thigh. At least 10-15 hits, if you think you can handle the pain, hit harder. Then transition to the weak area of the inner side of your thigh.

Hint: If you want to simulate a realistic fight, soak the towel in warm or hot water. Your legs might turn red quicker. This secret tip of Muay Thai thigh conditioning will help you fight when your thighs turn red from kicks.

Mini-Baseball Bat Striking

You can buy this item in any sports store. It is very suitable for hitting your weak spots. Yet, if you have a policeman in the family, the nightstick might come in handy too.

Steel Pipe Striking

When you hit a metal object with your shin bone, it means your bone is strong like iron. You can’t affect muscle density that much, but at least you can learn to tolerate more pain. Steel pipe helps, but too hard hits could hurt you, so don’t go too far.

Will Strength Training Help?

Well, yes and no. Strength training will increase the muscle density of your thighs, but the sciatic nerve remains unprotected.

The power of your exposed areas will grow, but the three spots I mentioned will always stay critical. Yet, I will get to know you with some gym exercises that might lead to better pain tolerance:

  • Sumo squat (you can also do goblet squat or kettlebell version of the same exercise) – it strengthens both adductors and lateral areas of quads (thigh)
  • Standing adductor leg crosses – it targets the weak areas on the inside of your thigh
  • Jefferson squat – it aims at both adductors and the lateral side of your thigh
  • Seated hip abduction – helps the upper sensitive area of the outer side of the thigh.

How To Neutralize Damage?

Well, first of all, you need to learn to eat a low kick if and only if you have no other choice left. Don’t just stand like a log, follow my pieces of advice to minimize the damage.

Rule number one – when the opponent attacks the outer part of your leading leg, slightly crouch and shift your weight forward. It will prevent your nerve from being a direct attack. This protects the sensitive spot on the inside too. You can also rotate your leading foot to the inside or outside towards the rival’s leg to shorten strike trajectory, it reduces hit power.

Rule number two – rotate your leading leg 30+ degrees to the inside (depending on whether you’re orthodox or southpaw). The lateral side of your biceps femoris (hamstring) will take a hit after an outside low kick, which is way better than the lateral side of your thigh.

And finally, option number three (I can’t say a Muay Thai thigh conditioning rule, I don’t like this too much). If your leading leg is already in the air, raise it diagonally upward to the outside and try to touch the lower third of the front side of your knee with the elbow on the same side.

Even when you’re dealing with a top-notch Muay Thai low kick specialist, he’ll hit your calf or hamstring, which will protect you from unnecessary damage. Yet, this option leaves your other leg open, so a feint or a kick to the other leg might knock you off balance.

Do I Need A Partner?

Well, you can train lightly with your partner to discover the best defensive angles. Also, your partner is a great option for mini-baseball bat, steel pipe, and wet towel attacks as he can swing under different angles.

On the other hand, you can always go for a piece of equipment like thigh pads to protect your sparring partner and yourself.

He doesn’t have to hit you hard. Think like this – you know your moves, but you’re taking damage from another person – it is important to get the best out of Muay Thai thigh conditioning sessions.


Muay Thai thigh conditioning is an unexplored area of Thai boxing. Some coaches and fighters believe this is not important, but I disagree. A good low kicker will chop you down in the first round and you’ll lose the bout via TKO.

I advise you to combine the methods above and eat low kick only when you have to. You can strengthen your thigh but it’s always better to move or change the angle and protect sensitive spots. Too much leg damage will slow you down and turn you into a sitting duck in later rounds.

Last Updated on July 10, 2022 by Deni

Picture of Deni


Hi, I started training Muay Thai back in 2016 and fell in love with it. So I decided to create this blog in the pursuit of this passion and share my experience with you.

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