Expert Guide, How To Hold Muay Thai Pads

In this blog, the team at Punch will share our top 5 tips on how to properly hold Thai Pads for Muay Thai training.

1. Stance

Your first skill to hone is your stance, when holding Thai pads, a strong, balanced stance is key to having a great pad session.
For a strong pad holding stance, keep your stance square with one foot in front, the other behind.
Your feet should be at least, shoulder-width apart & your knees should be slightly bent to ensure you’re balanced into the ground.
Your front foot should face forward & your rear foot pointing away at a 45 degree angle.
When catching any strike, bending your knees & applying equal force against each strike guarantees you can provide the right feedback & hold your ground, providing an excellent feeling on the Thai pads for both users.


2. Use a belly pad where possible.

Always pair a set of Thai pads with a strong, dense, comfortable belly pad.
Why do you ask?
A belly pad not only takes the stress off your body when trying to catch a multitude of punches, kicks, knees & elbows, it also assists with bracing & stabilizing your Thai pads against strong round kicks, knees & more.
If there is an opportunity to utilize this awesome tool, take it!


3. When holding for round kicks, turn your upper body 45 degrees & form the letter A.

When holding Thai pads for round kicks, keeping the Thai pads against your body is key to your safety & the kicker’s satisfaction.
There is nothing worse than coping a Thai pad to the chin or kicking a Thai pad with little or no feedback!
When catching a round kick, keep a strong stance as stated in tip 1. then turn your upper body 45 degrees towards the kicking side & bring your hands together.
Once the hands are against your chest, wing your elbows outwards against the body, forming the letter A.
With the addition of a belly pad, this provides a strong shield & fantastic target area for the kicker!


4. Keep your elbows in front of your shoulder where possible

Punches, elbows & knees require an equal amount of force to catch punches, elbows, kicks & knees properly.
In order to protect your joints, keep your elbows in front of your shoulders where possible. ( Excluding round kicks, utilise tip 4 for this technique. )
Failure to do the above can result in serious shoulder injuries to the pad holder.
As the shoulder is the most fragile joint in the human body, protecting this joint with good pad holding technique is a must for your longevity as a pad holder.
Similar to holding focus pads, keep your elbow infront of the shoulder to ensure your shoulder is protected & strong when catching strikes.

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5. Size matters!

With the basic holding techniques sorted, next comes the tools.
Thai pads arent all built the same size, nor with the same materials & features.
If you’re holding pads for a 55kg student or a 120kg student.
It is safer to utilize smaller or lighter Thai pads for the lighter student, while their speed should be faster than the heavier student, their power should provide less stress on the body.
The pad holder should consider wearing larger Thai pads with features suited to strong students.
Check out our range here for more information!


We hope the above tips have helped your pad holding skills & add more tools to your trade!
Thai pads are an amazing tool for the sport of Muay Thai & can develop students into elite level athletes.
If you have any questions regarding these tips,
Contact us via our chat software below!