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Why do Muay Thai fighters have big legs?

Updated: Feb 5, 2022

Why do Muay Thai fighters have big legs?

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If you’ve been in a Muay Thai gym, or you’ve been to see Muay Thai fights, you’ll have likely noticed that everyone had big, muscular legs.

Muay Thai fighters have big legs due to the amount of kicking and kneeing that they do, which is constantly working the legs and building lean muscle. They also run often, which too will build lean muscle and help to build big legs.

If your legs aren’t quite as big as some of the other fighters in your gym don’t worry, as long as you are consistent with your training your legs will grow in no time at all.

In this article, we cover everything around Muay Thai fighters having big legs, and also offer some tips that can help you build the muscles in your legs.

Does Muay Thai help build big legs?

Training Muay Thai will help you build big legs, and establish more muscle in your legs. However if you are wanting bodybuilder size legs then you will need to lift weights also.

As the legs are the primary striking force in the legs which means that when training you will be constantly using your legs which will in turn build muscle in your legs and make them bigger.

One thing that Muay Thai fighters also do often is run, running is a great way to build up your thigh and calf muscles and if you are running often you'll no doubt increase the size of your legs.

Are big legs important for Muay Thai?

The size of your legs doesn't matter in Muay Thai, if your a smaller fighter who has smaller legs, then you'll be fighting people of a similar size with similar size legs, so don't get intimidated by some of the guys in the gym who've built monster legs over the years.

Do Muay Thai fighters shave their legs?

Leg shaving is popular amongst Muay Thai fighters. Some say it is to prevent hair stubble from grating against a sparring partner’s skin, causing a rash. Others say hair-free skin is easier to bandage in case of cuts or wounds.

How to prepare your legs for leg kicks in Muay Thai

We've all be there, when you first start training Muay Thai and your shins turn black and blue which leaves you wondering if this is normal, well, the good news for you is that it's completely normal, and it will stop as you continue training.

Your shins will naturally build up a level of resistance as you continue to hit pads, spar and kick the heavy bag, and before you know it you'll not notice the pains in your shins that you did when you start training.

As a fighter, you'll need to take your shin conditioning to the next level once you start to prepare to fight without shinguards, the natural conditioning you've built up from training won't be enough to fight without shin pads. Below we've put together our tips on conditioning your shins.

  1. Play sparring without shin guards: Play sparring without shin guards is a great way to prepare yourself for your first fight without shin guards and to help build up shin conditioning. It'll help you get used to the feeling of shin on shin contact at a light touch and it'll help build up that bone density in your shins. The key to successful play sparring is that your and your partner keep things light and playful and don't go to hard which will result in an injury.

  2. Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D: Calcium and Vitamin D are key to helping your body with bone development, make sure your getting plenty of both to keep your shins nice and strong!

  3. Kick the heavy bag: Kicking the heavy bag is a great way to help condition your shins. Start off light, build up your tolerance to kicking the bag and build up the power over time.

Tips on building bigger & stronger legs for Muay Thai

Make sure your doing your roadwork

Running is one of the best ways to build muscles in your legs. You should mix up longer runs of around 10km and shorter runs focused more on speed. Hill sprints are also a great way to help build bigger & stronger legs for Muay Thai.

Don't skip out on skipping

Skipping is a fantastic way to get your legs working, use skipping as a great way to warm up and start building those leg muscles!

Use the correct exercises to build your legs

Squats, lunges and deadlifts are great weighted workout exercises are great for building your legs for Muay Thai. They are also exercises which will help you build strength and explosive power for your kicks.


Big legs aren't the be all and end all of being a Muay Thai fighter, however if you train hard, eat correct and be consistent you will build muscle in your legs and develop a lot of strength and explosive power from your Muay Thai training.

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