Muay Thai is a popular sport that has been gaining popularity in recent years. This martial art is known for its intense physicality, requiring a high level of strength, endurance, and agility. But what about when your menstrual cycle arrives? Can you still train effectively during your cycle?
What is Muay Thai?
Muay Thai is a combat sport that originates from Thailand. It is a form of martial arts that utilizes punches, kicks, elbow strikes, and knee strikes to overpower an opponent. Muay Thai also heavily emphasizes the use of clinch work, which is when two opponents grapple and fight while standing. Muay Thai training is rigorous and intense, and it is no wonder that it is often referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs”.
What is Menstruation?
Menstruation is the monthly process in which the female reproductive system sheds its lining in preparation for a potential pregnancy. It typically lasts three to seven days and can be accompanied by symptoms such as cramps, headaches, and fatigue.
Understanding the Relationship Between Muay Thai and Menstruation
The Physical Process of Menstruation
Menstruation is a complex process that involves the release of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. These hormones play an important role in regulating the female reproductive system, and they also have a direct effect on the body’s ability to perform physical activities. During menstruation, the body is naturally going to be weaker and more fatigued than normal due to the hormonal changes.
The Effects of Muay Thai on Menstruation
Muay Thai is a very physically demanding sport, and the intensity of the training can have a direct impact on the menstrual cycle. Heavy exercise can cause a disruption in the hormones, which can lead to irregular periods, cramps, and other menstrual symptoms.
The Benefits of Training During Your Cycle
Even though it may seem counterintuitive to train during your cycle, there are actually a few benefits to doing so.
Training during your cycle can help to increase your overall strength and power. This is due to the fact that your body is naturally in an anabolic state during this time, meaning that it is more easily able to build muscle and strength.
The increased hormone levels during your cycle can also help to improve your endurance. This is because the hormones help to release more energy, allowing you to train longer and harder.
Improved Mental Clarity
The hormonal changes that occur during your cycle can also help to improve your mental clarity. This can be beneficial for both training and competing, as it can help to give you a sharper focus and increased confidence.
Tips for Training During Your Cycle
Training during your cycle can be challenging, but it is possible to do it safely and effectively. Here are some tips for training during your cycle:
Listen to Your Body
It is important to listen to your body and pay attention to how it is feeling during training. If you are feeling particularly fatigued or in pain, stop the activity and rest.
Rest and Recovery
Your body needs rest and recovery during your cycle. Make sure to take time off between training sessions to allow your body to recover.
Staying hydrated is important during your cycle. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet is important during your cycle. Make sure to get plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to fuel your body.
How to Modify Intensity During Your Cycle
Training during your cycle does not have to mean training at full intensity. You can still get an effective workout by reducing the intensity of certain activities.
Reduce the Intensity of Cardio Workouts
Cardio workouts such as running and cycling can be modified by reducing the speed and intensity. This will help to reduce the risk of overexertion and fatigue.
Reduce the Intensity of Strength Training
Strength training can also be modified by reducing the weight and number of sets and reps. This will help to reduce the stress and strain on your body.
Reduce the Intensity of Sparring Sessions
Sparring sessions should also be modified during your cycle. This can be done by reducing the intensity of the sparring, such as by using lighter contact or taking more breaks.
Reduce the Intensity of Drill Work
Drill work such as pad work and bag work should also be modified during your cycle. This can be done by reducing the speed and intensity of the drills.
There are a few preventative measures that you can take to help reduce the negative effects of training during your cycle.
Take Iron Supplements
Taking iron supplements can help to reduce the risk of fatigue and cramps during your cycle. Make sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
Wear Proper Protection
It is important to wear the proper protection during training. This includes wearing a protective cup for male fighters, and wearing a menstrual cup for female fighters.
Maintain Proper Hygiene
Maintaining proper hygiene is also important during your cycle. Make sure to wash your hands after training and use deodorant to reduce the risk of infection.
Training during your cycle can be challenging, but it is possible to do it safely and effectively. By listening to your body, reducing the intensity of certain activities, and taking preventative measures, you can train effectively during your cycle.
1. “Muay Thai Basics.” Muay Thai Guy, 25 Apr. 2019, https://www.muaythaiguy.com/muay-thai-basics/.
2. “Menstrual Cycle: What Happens?” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/understanding-the-menstrual-cycle#1.
3. “Muay Thai and the Menstrual Cycle.” Muay Thai Pros, 28 Apr. 2021, https://muaythaipros.com/muay-thai-and-the-menstrual-cycle/.
4. “Menstruation and Exercise: Benefits and Tips.” Medical News Today, 27 Mar. 2019, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326247.
Commonly Asked Questions
Can I do Muay Thai on my period?
If you’re feeling up to it, Muay Thai can be a great way to work through the menstrual blues! Although it can be more difficult to push yourself during your cycle, some ladies can handle it just fine. Everyone’s different, so just listen to your body and do what feels best for you!
How can I work out according to my menstrual cycle?
Train with your menstrual cycle in mind
- Don’t miss a beat in the first part of your cycle. …
- Be aware of potential tendon issues in your fertile days. …
- Don’t be too hard on yourself in the latter part of your cycle. …
- Take a break in the latter part of your cycle.
Can I get my sweat on while I’m on my cycle?
You betcha girl! It’s totally A-OK to work out while you’re on your period. In fact, you might find that you can push yourself harder and longer at certain points in the month than you can at other times. So go ahead and get your groove on – you got this!
Can I still box while I’m on my period?
Why not?! Your period doesn’t have to be your opponent! As long as you feel comfortable and have the energy, there’s nothing stopping you from throwing some punches and showing off your moves. So go ahead, show ’em what you got!