by Don Heatrick
@donheatrick

One Championship has been doing a great job of showcasing not only the fighters, but some of the behind the scenes training footage as well.

And I’m often asked to comment on some of the exercises that have been shared on social media.

And here’s one I was asked to comment on recently…

Med Ball Chest Throw Against The Floor

It’s an interesting variation of a chest throw, that’s now directed at the floor – rather than either at a wall, or to a training partner

Now, you should never take an exercise out of context of the overall training program, or the individual needs of the fighter… but I’ll share my initial thoughts here…

Firstly, this exercise is only practical if you have a non-bouncing ball – or you’re going to smash your face in!

And I speak from personal experience there!

That said, this exercise is a good way of targeting an explosive upper body pushing pattern while engaging your core to support it.

And this could be used in a more general block of training, further from a fight.

Now The Bad News

I personally wouldn’t use it closer to a fight, because there are some foundation differences in the movement that makes it less Muay Thai specific… and that’s not a problem further from a fight.

But to explain what I mean…

This Floor Chest Throw trains a pattern of upper body push combined with hip and knee flexion 

You can see that he’s bending here into the hips and the knee as he’s extending his arms.

That’s not a  particularly functional pattern for  Muay Thai fighters…

Which would normally pair hip and knee extension (straightening the hip and knee) with an upper body pushing action, for example while punching.

And in Muay Thai, hip and knee flexion (bending at the hip) is normally paired with an upper body pull, for example in the clinch and while kneeing.

Better Choices

So Depending on the purpose of the exercise, my preferred versions of this for Muay Thai fighters would be either:

Chest Pass Against A Wall

A chest pass horizontally against a wall, to pair hip and knee extension with a horizontal throw – like punching

So you can see as he (in the video) throws out horizontally, the hips and the knees extend

Ant that’s completely different to the previous exercise (Floor Chest Throw), where the hips and the knees were flexing as your were extending your arms.

Floor Slams

Or another exercise that I would also like for Thai boxers is a vertical slam into the floor…

And again you can see (in the video), as that pulling action comes in, the hips and knees actually flex.

So that pattern again, is more functional for Muay Thai.

If all I wanted was a power-endurance exercise, where a quick ball return was key, then that chest throw against the floor would be an option (if I didn’t have a wall to throw the ball at).

Now there are lots of exercise variations that you could use, and they all have a place in a fight camp, depending on what your training age is, and where you are in your fight camp – how close you are to your fight.

I hope that sharing my thoughts on this exercise will help you choose the exercises for your training program, and understand why.

And feel free to add any questions or comments you have below this article.

Don Heatrick

Founder of Heatrick Strength and Conditioning

Don Heatrick is a family man from the UK, former mechanical design engineer, European Muay Thai silver medallist, former pro Thai boxer (ranked 4th in UK while aged 40-years), a Muay Thai coach, podcast host, and the go-to expert on Muay Thai performance training with over 25 years of coaching experience.

Don helps ambitious fighters and coaches take their game to the next level by bridging the gap between Strength & Conditioning, Performance Science, and Muay Thai.

Follow Don Heatrick on Instagram:

@donheatrick

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