Functional Training for Muay Thai, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts

Train Hard but Be Safe!

Safety Tips for Students and Coaches

Kickboxing Safety

Cardio kickboxing is popular and fun, but there is a risk of injury. The American Council on Exercise suggests preventing injury by avoiding overextension on kicks, not locking joints when punching or kicking, not wearing weights or holding dumbbells when you work out which can stress joints, and not pushing beyond your present ability. This can apply to karate and other martial arts classes as well.

Knee injuries can be preventedKnee Injuries and Prevention

Knee injuries are something that most people deal with, espcially those involved in sports. Most knee injuries are caused from improper impact forces upon the knee joint because of improper lower body postural alignment. A good way to check if one has good lower body posture is to sit in a chair in front of a mirror.

Put a chair in front of a mirror and sit down slowly (as in take 8-10 seconds on the descent). Watch your lower body as you do the movement. If your feet look like they are slightly falling in towards each other or your knees are coming towards one another, you are one of the 'knee injury prone'. This is a sign of a few things going on in your alignment, probably that you have tight adductors (inner thigh muscles) as well as tight plantar flexors (soleus and gastrocnemius). This causes most knees to go in as well as most feet to flatten.


A good way to try and prevent knee pain is to 1) Stretch your legs more to loosen them up, in combination with 2) try squatting while keeping the weight on the outsides of the feet and making sure the knees stay apart, either over or outside (laterally) of the toes. Doing both those things will strengthen the outer thigh muscles (like the iliotibial band) and help your knees operate properly based upon your neuromuscular anatomy.

Ankle Sprain

Ankle sprains are the most common athletic injury and can recur because the ligaments, once stretched out, do not easily return to their original state. Make sure you do stretching and rehab after the injury to keep from spraining that ankle again. A few weeks off with proper rehab can keep the injury from hanging around for months, sometimes years.

Shin Splints

To prevent shin splints, strengthen the front of your lower leg by lifting the side of a weight plate with your toes (heel on the ground) or walking around on your heels, then stretch your calves. If you have mild shin splints, cut back on your running, ice afterwards, and check that your shoes aren't worn out. A severe case calls for time off running and a trip to the doc.

Back pains?Causes of lower back pain

Causes of low back pain: Low back pain is usually triggered by a combination of overuse, injury or strain to the muscle ligaments and or discs that support a person’s spine. Other causes of lower back pain could be caused by pressure to nerve roots, herniated disc, osteoarthritis, spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, fractures, scoliosis, osteoporosis or compression fractures. Less common causes of lower back pain could be ankylosing spondylitis, bacterial infection, spinal tumors, paget’s disease and Scheuermann’s disease. Pelvic inflammatory disease, aortic aneurysm, peptic ulcers, gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, urinary tract infection, kidney stones and prostate disease can also cause lower back pain. Please seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms: back pain with chest pain, pain or a feeling of squeezing or heavy weight on the chest, you have had a recent severe injury to your back and now you have loss of bowel or bladder control, weekness in the legs, tingling or numbness in the leg, buttocks, or genital area and if you have moderate to severe pain in you back immediately following an injury seek medical attention right away.

First Aid

Remember R.I.C.E.--rest, ice, compression, elevation--as first aid for joint and muscle injuries. Note that it's ice, not heat for the first 48 hours or as long as swelling is present. Even if you have an injury like a bad ankle sprain that requires medical attention, ice it right away, then go to the doctor, unless you can get to the doc in a few minutes.

Rotator cuff pains?Precautions for Sore Rotator Cuff

If you have shoulder/rotator cuff soreness, keep your hands where you can see them when working out. This means no behind the neck presses or pulldowns, no military presses, and no deep bench presses.

Rotator Cuff Training

Your rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that act together to stabilize the shoulder. It is referred to the 'Scapulohumeral' area of the human body (that attaching to your scapula and humerus bones), and hose muscles being your teres major, teres minor, deltoid, supraspinatus, infraspinatus and subscapularis muscles. Yes, those are all real; go check online if you don't believe me (they reside in the upper back). Let's figure out what that means to train your rotator cuff properly.

Most of the muscles in your Rotator Cuff musculature work internal and external rotation (turning your arm/palm in and out). This all has to be done through griping something. What I mean is, your rotator cuff muscles work when you exercise your grip. Most injuries come to your rotator cuff when quick explosive shoulder motions are done. Rotator Cuff injuries also arise a lot because of improper lifting techniques. If you are involved in a sport where you want to make sure you do not hurt your rotator cuff, work on your grip.

When you exercise, utilize your hands a lot. Don't wear those terrible wrist straps that help you lift more, but instead workout while holding weights so that your forearms also get tired. The more you grip things strongly and stress your muscles, the harder your rotator cuff muscles have to work, strengthening that musculature and preventing injury! I don't care if you just grab weights and hold them for a prolonged period of time, but use your grip as much as you can when you exercise so that you won't tear your rotator cuff.

Leg Cramps

If leg cramps are a problem for you, try drinking 8 oz of tonic water daily. The quinine in it can help reduce the frequency of leg cramps.


(This article is for informative purposes only. If you have existing physical injuries, please go see your physician or a professional doctor right away.)