Thursday, November 5, 2015

CROM’s Corner: Muay Thai For Life

by Chris Romulo

I fell in love with the art of Muay Thai 20 years ago.  The way I was able to find the art was as violently effective as the sport itself.  As a young, lost soul with very little direction and aspirations in my life, I found myself in a street scrap that left me with a broken nose, fractured eye socket and a crushed ego.  Till this day I am grateful to have the ability to talk about the experience since I could have easily lost my life.  With a new appreciation for breathing I set out on a path to make sure I never came close to that kind of situation ever again!

I found Muay Thai in a Navy Seal hand-to-hand combat course on a full page ad in black belt magazine.  I scraped together some money, ordered the VHS box set and had it sent to my mom’s house, which is how my Muay Thai journey began over 20 years ago!

Through this entire journey what has kept me able to train and coach well after retiring from competition in 2011 has been my mobility/flexibility training.  This type of work is sometimes overlooked for various reasons.  For one, it may not be as exciting as landing a tricky round kick in sparring or making the heavy bag scream for mercy, however it is indeed necessary.  Throughout my career I diligently kept my recovery/stretching an important part of my fight camps.  Though I have dealt with some injuries and ailments my rehabilitation process was just as meticulous as my fight training.  The adage “Train hard, fight easy” sounds glorious and triumphant.  In my opinion “Train Smart” is a more desirable way to think.  I want to be able to train Muay Thai for a very long time and while ring fighting brought me lots of memories and accolades, I will always consider myself a “Muay Thai Lifer”.  I want to be known as a leader in the sport in one way or another and to accomplish that, it must be done by setting an example for our community.

One thing I learned that has always resonated with me is the concept “don’t train for a fight, train to fight”…on a daily basis that is.

I train my body in a variety of ways: skill training, strength & conditioning, and recovery.  This helps keep training exciting and prevents overuse injuries (IE: Baseball pitchers and shoulder issues) by keeping your body sharp in all ways.

One way I do this, and it will be beneficial for any Muay Thai practitioner is practical lower body mobility/strengthening exercises.  I developed what I call the “CROMwalk”.  It’s a combination of a lunge and a cossack squat performed while moving forward or in a stationary position.  Both these movements will enhance flexibility and strength in your hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, glutes and calves.  This is especially important for Muay Thai since these are most of your “kicking muscles”.

Perform the “CROMwalk” in a “pressure for time” manner to gain a cardiovascular benefit as well.  Balance all of your training between skill work, strength & conditioning, and recovery to make sure your Muay Thai journey lasts a lifetime.



Visit Shred by CROM on YouTube to receive a complete breakdown of each movement along with the full length work out to follow along with.

Chris Romulo is a retired Muay Thai champion, Muay Thai & Strength & Conditioning Coach, owner of CROM Physical Culture and Creator of SHREDbyCROM™. After a total of 32 years of trial and error through fitness, conditioning, martial arts, sports, and “play” Chris has taken what works, sculpted away what doesn’t and painted a different way to engage in Physical Culture.

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