Muay Thai Stance: Everything Explained

Something that goes unnoticed in Muay Thai is the stance. The Muay Thai stance is an extremely important part of the fighting style, which must be routinely practiced.

Here is a breakdown of how to properly stand in a Muay Thai stance. Read below to learn the important tips for holding a Muay Thai stance and the benefits of developing a good one.

Is There a Muay Thai Stance? 

To the untrained eye, there doesn’t look like much of a Muay Thai stance in Thai boxing. The stance in Muay Thai is unique to the martial art/sport and enables the patented strikes.

The Benefits of a Good Muay Thai Stance

A good Muay Thai stance is everything in Thai boxing. Here are the benefits of holding a good Muay Thai stance.

Do All Muay Thai Styles Use the Same Stance?

All Thai boxing styles mostly use the same Muay Thai stance. They may differ on the preferred striking methods, but there’s nothing really different about the fighting stance.

How to Stand

You will continuously drill your Muay Thai stance when developing your Thai boxing skills. Here is how you stand in a proper Muay Thai stance.

Feet Placement

In proper Muay Thai, your feet are placed at or slightly smaller than shoulder-width apart. Your lead foot will be placed slightly ahead of your back foot.

Light Feet 

You must keep your feet light to have a good Muay Thai stance. If you train with heavy feet, your movement will be slowed and telegraphed. That’s why you must stay light on your feet while practicing Thai boxing.

Heels Up

A way to stay light on your feet is to try and remember to keep your heels off the mat. Not tip-toeing, but your heels are slightly up with your weight on the soles of your feet.

How to Move in a Muay Thai Stance

Moving in a Muay Thai stance is simple but requires training. Here’s a basic guide for moving in a Muay Thai stance

  • Move Forward: Your lead foot steps for, and your back foot follows. Try to keep your feet light and try not to drag your back foot.
  • Move Backward: To move backward, your back foot moves first, and your front foot follows. The tips for moving your foot also pertain to moving your back foot.
  • Move Left: Your left foot moves first, followed by your right foot. Keep space between your feet; don’t let them touch or cross.
  • Move Right: Your right foot moves first, followed by your right foot. The tip for moving your left foot also goes for your right.
  • Turn: Turn your lead food in the direction you want, then turn your body with your back foot following behind. The same rules for not dragging your feet also apply to turning.
  • Side Shuffle: To shuffle out of danger in a Muay Thai stance, stand square and shuffle in the direction you wish.  Don’t let your feet touch or cross.

How to Practice Your Muay Thai Stance

There are ways you can practice and improve your Muay Thai stance. Here are ways you can practice your Muay Thai stance.


The classic way of practicing and improving your Muay Thai stance is by doing rounds of shadow boxing. Visualizing that you’re in a fight as you move and perform different techniques.

To improve your stance, you can do rounds of Muay Thai shadow boxing focusing on your movement with no punches. Just moving around the ring or mat, focusing on properly moving in a fight.

You can do numerous types of footwork drills to improve your footwork in your Muay Thai stance. They can be as simple as drilling out to step forward to connect all of the movements together. Watch the video above for some of the best Muay Thai footwork drills.

Hybrid Shadowboxing/Footwork Drills

Trainers often blend together shadowboxing and footwork drills to improve the stances of their fighters. They might instruct their students to focus on a certain movement during shadowboxing rounds.

Muay Thai Kick

How Do I Choose My Muay Thai Stance?

For new Muay Thai students, you choose your Muay Thai stance by what hand you write with. Right-handed students make their backfoot their right and vice-versa if they’re southpaws.

As you gain more experience, you may choose how you stand depending your best attacks. If you’re left-handed but have a good right kick, you may choose to stand in a conventional Muay Thai stance.

The Benefits

A good stance is everything in Thai boxing. It allows you to move fluidly and react faster. Everything from your strikes, movement, and defense will improve from having a good Muay Thai stance.

Important Tips to Rember

The Muay Thai stance is everything in Muay Thai. Here are the important tips and details to remember.

  • Feet Placement: In a Muay Thai stance, keep your feet around should-width a part or less.
  • Keep Space Between Feet: Keep space between your feet in a Muay Thai stance. This will enable you to be balanced and move faster.
  • Don’t Stand Flat-Footed: Never stand flat-footed in a Muay Thai stance. Always keep light feet to react quicker.
  • Heels Up: Try not to keep your heels off the mat to enable you to move and react quickly.
  • How To Move: Remember the basics of moving in a Muay Thai stance. Move your lead foot first to move forward, and move your back foot to move backward. Also, turn your lead foot in the direction you want to turn.
  • Knees Bent: Keep a slight bend in your knees in Muay Thai stance and try not to stand straight up.
  • Don’t Cross Feet: Never let your feet touch or cross while in your stance. You’ll be unbalanced and easy to hit.

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