When it comes to fight warm up exercises, back stage at shows, I often see fighters missing out on truly priming their bodies for explosiveness.

Well, today I’ll share a two exercise protocol that will amp you up, both physically and mentally in a total of just 8 to 15 reps!

by Don Heatrick

Muay Thai Pre Fight / Sparring Warm Up Exercises

I know.

You’re thinking, 8 to 15 reps to turn on your bomb-dropping Monster-mode sounds like BS!

But, let me explain how you can do this…

A well known warm up protocol in S&C circles uses the acronym RAMP – which stands for Raise, Activate, Mobilise, and Potentiate. 

RAISE refers to increasing your heart rate, and fighters already do a good job of that.

ACTIVATE refers to switching on key muscle groups that can be sleepy and under utilised in athletic movements. That’s another area most fighters could do better with, but I’ll save that for another day.

MOBILISE refers to increasing your range of motion at the joints and dynamically lengthening muscles to access your highest kicks and fastest movements.

POTENTIATE refers to neurally switching on your central nervous system, to conduct nerve impulses efficiently and with sufficient signal strength to electrically fire your most explosive muscle actions.

We can exploit a phenomenon that sports science nerds call PAP, or Post Activation Potentiation. This is where we’re going today.

On fight night, you don’t have either much room or equipment. You require a simple but effective protocol to potentiate explosive actions and fire up your CNS without triggering fatigue, to leave you the most explosively powerful you can be.

I’ve condensed this to just one set, of two exercises, performed one after the other. Each rep must be executed as a single, maximum velocity, explosive action. Don’t rush between reps. And if your reps starts to slow, reduce the number of reps

The objective is to reach the highest movement velocity – imagine a speed gun is measuring every rep.

Don’t turn this exercise into a power endurance one, by either doing too many reps, or repeating reps too quickly.

Remember the objective is peak velocity. And here are the exercises…

First, the Surfer Get Up activates the muscles of the anterior chain running down the front of your body, including the pecs, hip flexors, core, and quads. Hit 3 to 5 explosive reps and move on

Second, the Tuck Jump activates the muscles of the posterior chain running down the back of your body, including calves, hamstrings, glutes, lats, and the erector spinae either side of your spine. Bounce out 5 to 10 reps and you’re done.

You get in, explosively hit the reps, and get out again before you begin to fatigue and slow down.

Then, check in on your mood and mindset. You’re brain will be flooded with Dopamine and Norepinephrine (or Noradrenaline). You’ll be buzzing, and your eyes will be lit up like high beam headlights!

And this surge typically lasts for up to 8 to 12 minutes. Give this a try within 12 mins of your next sparring session, and see how it feels – just be careful you don’t take someone’s head off!

And before you go, check out the video for some solid detail on how to perform those two exercises.

Here are the key points from this week’s video resource…

  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 00:29 – RAMP Warm Up
  • 01:14 – PAP (Post Activation Potentiation)
  • 01:37 – Two Exercise Potentiation Protocol
  • 02:39 – Mindset Mojo
  • 03:13 – Surfer Get Up Exercise
  • 04:55 – Tuck Jumps Exercise

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: https://www.instagram.com/donheatrick/

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