Muay Thai Bodyweight Routine for Developing Power and Strength

The 21 Minute Upper Body Challenge

muay thai bodyweight workout for fighters

This workout is created by Mike Rao of

You must know how important it is to have a strong upper body for both men and women (especially as Muay Thai practitioners).

But besides just helping improve the power in your strikes, a strong upper body also helps prevent injuries as an individual ages, especially when performing basic functions in everyday life.

Even movements like mowing the launch, carrying groceries, or even simply bending over to pick something up can be a struggle, especially if you hurt your back or lack the proper strength.

It’s obvious that having more muscular strength prevents injuries, but we also know how important it is for our confidence to not only look good, but FEEL good too. This means that developing toned arms, abs and shoulders that are not only functionally applicable to your Muay Thai training, but are aesthetically pleasing too!

As a nak muay we all know the importance of the clinch, right?

Well, having a strong upper body allows you to have more power in movements (like the clinch) that require a good dose of upper body strength. Not only that, but having this type of strength also gives you to deliver your weapons with more speed and power… and we all want that!

So, do you want a simple, effective bodyweight routine that

Try this bodyweight workout that I personally use to help develop my upper body strength and sculpt my core. This routine does not require access to any special equipment and can be done right at home in your living room! Its fast, fun and more importantly, a great way to work your upper body!

This program uses the FSK-Method, an innovative and breakthrough training method designed by me, Mike Rao. Learn more about this special training method to burn fat and build muscle check out the 12 week program at

Upper Body Muay Thai Bodyweight Routine 

Round 1 (Repeat 3 Times)

Each round is 3 minutes so you will repeat each exercise twice.

Take a 30 second break in between each round.

Exercise 1 – Push-up Knee (30 Seconds)

This exercise you are going to perform a normal push up and when you come up from the push-up, take your knee and touch your elbow with it. When you perform the push-up it’s important that you take your time and ensure that you keep a neutral spine during the push up. Complete as many reps as you can in the specified time (30 seconds).

Exercise 2 – FSK-12 Walk-Outs – (30 Seconds)

Start by holding the push-up position, making sure that your spine is neutral, look forward and slowly walk your hands out until a point where it is difficult to stay elevated.

When you are walking out, make sure you do not allow your hips to sway left and right. Engage your core, brace your abs as if someone were about to hit you. This core engagement keeps your hips from swaying back and forth. Walk out to a point you are comfortable and then punch the air four times. Walk back to the starting position.

Exercise 3 – Skip Knee Plank – (30 Seconds)

Start by holding the push-up position, making sure that your spine is neutral look forward. Place sliders under your feet so that your feet is able to slide back and forth. If you don’t have sliders and are on a hard surface, just take off your shoes to be in your socks. If you are on carpet, you could also use a piece of paper towel.

Hold the push up position as you slide your legs in and out in an alternating motion. During this exercise, make sure you focus on keeping your core engaged and that you keep your lower back flat. 

Round 2 (Repeat 3 Times)

Each round is 3 minutes so you will repeat each exercise twice.

Take a 30 second break in between each round.

Exercise 1 – Mountain Climbers (30 Seconds)

Start in a push-up position. Make sure that you are facing forward with a neutral spine. Bring one leg up beside your hand, as you return that leg bring the other leg up. Make sure you focus on keeping your back straight. Complete as many as you can in the 30 seconds specified.

Exercise 2 – Blast Push-Up – (30 Seconds)

Start in a push-up position. Slide your hands back approximately 1 feet back so that your body “Pikes” up at your hips. Now, as you perform each rep, bend your legs so that you enter a frog position, then when you are in the “down” position, lengthen your legs as you lower your body into the bottom of the push-up position. Complete as many reps as you can in the specified time.

Exercise 3 – Chin Up – (30 Seconds)

For the specified duration perform chin ups until failure. When performing each chin up make sure to focus on keeping your chest out and squeeze your shoulder blades back. When you pull yourself up make sure you are bringing your chest to the bar, or at least your chin over the bar. Take a break if needed, and use an assistant band if required.

Give this upper body bodyweight circuit a try and see if it’s something you can add to your Muay Thai training routine!

Mike Rao is the founder of the FSK-12 (, the 12-week breakthrough program that has changed the lives of thousands of his clients using the FSK-Method.

Mike is also North American Muay Thai Champion and a USMTO (National) Open Class silver medalist as well as a personal trainer with over 10 years of experience. In addition to his titles, he was also team Captain at York Muay Thai in Toronto, Ontario where he helped lead and coach a team of fighters to numerous provincial and national tournaments. He specializes in boxing/kickboxing based work-outs to help his clients lose weight as well as build muscle.

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