Sports Science-Based Research on the Sport of Muay Thai: A Review of the Literature
Keywords:Muay Thai, physiology, biomechanics, psychology, physical conditioning
AbstractThis article aims to provide a systematic review of the sports science-based research that has been done on the sport of Muay Thai boxing. The first phase of the process involved a search made using several research databases, using specific keywords. Muay Thai related articles that were selected were then reviewed and categorized into classifications based on their major area of study. The second phase involved a critical review of 14 published articles that fell into the 4 major areas of study in sports science (strength & conditioning, sports physiology, sports biomechanics, and sports psychology). This critical review provided insight and discussions into approaches, limitations, and conclusions of each research publication, and how they may relate to each other. From the review, it can be concluded that Muay Thai sports science-based research has been far from sufficient. The near non-existence of physiological, biomechanical, and psychological findings limits scientifically-based strength and conditioning applications which, if implemented, may improve performance and reduce risk of injury. Future studies should focus on current Muay Thai athlete profiling (physiologically, biomechanically and psychologically) at all levels, to provide baseline findings which are much needed when developing strength and conditioning programs. Research concentrating on interventions should then be focused on.
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