Kemo Marriott muay thai workout ()Kemo Marriott muay thai workout () © Copyright

Fight fitter

If Muay Thai is a bit of you, then get on the front foot with Kemo Marriott’s speed, power and agility workout

Science is finally catching up with one of the oldest martial arts in the world: Muay Thai. Like most combat sports, modern strength and conditioning techniques are usurping the old, somewhat worn, methods, and professional fighters are favouring a balance of gym time with ring work.

As our understanding of new conditioning techniques grows, our desire to improve increases. That’s why holistic coaching expert Kemo Marriott advocates putting in the work that stays truest to the movement patterns of your chosen sport.

Marriott has devised a Muay Thai workout using a ViPR bar (or just a sandbag) and a heavy bag. Try this twice a week if you want to be stronger and faster in the ring.

It’s a circuit-based workout, so do each exercise to time (30 seconds) fitting in as many reps as possible, then move on to the next exercise until you finish a circuit. For each circuit completed, shave ten seconds off the rest period between exercises, but continue taking two-minute breathers between rounds. Finish with an all-out assault on the heavy bag for four rounds.


A workout employing speed, power and agility for practitioners of Muay Thai – Thai kickboxing – or any other multi-limbed martial art


Because you need the ability to strike, move and stay balanced, while under the extreme pressures of a fight


Using specific exercises that will not only strengthen key muscle groups for speed and power, but also reinforce vital movement patterns that you need mid-contest

Vipr bag strikes

VIPR bag strikes Kemo Marriott 

Abdominals & Obliques

Technique: Holding a ViPR bar at chest height, keep your elbows close tucked into the ribcage and adopt a staggered stance. Strike the bag at the side, allowing your hips and shoulders to rotate, generating as much power as possible. Switch sides and repeat.

30 secs AMRAP // 60/50/40/30 secs rest // 4 rounds


Single-leg ViPR Strikes

Single leg VIPR strikes Kemo Marriott  

Quads, Glutes, Abdominals & Obliques

Technique: Hold the ViPR bar at chest height, keeping your elbows tucked in. Raise one knee, turn it out to the side, and point your foot down. Strike the bag, controlling the movement with the same side as lifting leg.

30 secs AMRAP (each side) // 60/50/40/30 secs rest // 4 rounds


Rotational Burpees

 Rotational burpees Kemo Marriott

Abdominals, Hip Flexors, Glutes & Quads

Technique: Stand, then drop to a press-up position. Pop yourself up by lifting the hips and pushing your chest up, before bringing your legs forwards to a squat position. Jump and rotate 180 degrees before executing again.

30 secs AMRAP // 60/50/40/30 secs rest // 4 rounds


Bag Kicks

 bag kicks Kemo Marriott

Quads, Glutes & Core Strength

Technique: Assume your stance, and start by pivoting on your non-kicking leg, then lifting the other and striking the bag. Rotate your shoulders and arm, rolling over your striking leg to generate more power. Kick at a comfortable height continuously for the duration, then switch legs.

30 secs AMRAP (each side) // 60/50/40/30 secs rest // 4 rounds


Single-leg ViPR Lean

 Single leg vipr lean Kemo Marriott

Obliques, Abdominals & Deltoids

Technique: Hold the ViPR at chest height, with the elbows tucked in close to the rib cage. Lift one knee up, pointing the foot down and balancing on one leg for the duration of the exercise. Using one hand, push the ViPR up and over your head in an arc, keeping the opposing hand glued to your rib cage.

30 secs AMRAP (each side) // 60/50/40/30 secs rest // 4 rounds


Freestyle bag strikes

 Freestyle bag strikes Kemo Marriott

High Intensity Interval Training

Technique: Use the bag to finish up your session with four rounds of high-intensity work to ramp up your metabolism post-workout. Use a medley of kicks, knees, punches and elbows at a high workrate, and be sure to increase the intensity to maximum for the last ten seconds of each round.

30 secs AMRAP (each side) // 60/50/40/30 secs rest // 4 rounds

Photos: Tom Miles

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