Summary: Kickboxing is a form of martial arts that requires a specific set of training gear to compete or train safely and effectively. This article will explore the different types of kickboxing training gear needed, including gloves, shin guards, headgear, mouthguards, and apparel.
One of the most essential pieces of gear for kickboxing is gloves. Gloves protect the hands during training or competition and can help prevent injury to both fighters. Boxing gloves vary in size and weight and are usually measured in ounces. Most fighters prefer gloves between 12-16 ounces because they provide enough padding to protect the hands but are light enough to allow for quick movements. Velcro gloves are also popular among fighters because they are easy to put on and take off. Leather gloves are durable and long-lasting, but they can be pricey. On the other hand, synthetic gloves are less expensive, but they may not last as long as leather versions.
When selecting gloves, ensure that they fit your hands well. The gloves should feel snug but not too tight, and your fingers should be able to move comfortably inside the glove with no restrictions. Check for any signs of wear and tear, such as fraying seams or cracked padding, before buying them. Proper maintenance of gloves, such as cleaning and drying them after each use, can increase longevity.
It’s important to note that kickboxing gloves are different from boxing gloves. Kickboxing gloves are slimmer and shorter, allowing fighters to grapple and throw punches more easily. Boxing gloves are bulkier and thicker, providing more protection for boxers who focus mainly on punching and combinations.
2. Shin Guards
Shin guards are crucial for protecting the lower legs and shins from injury. During kickboxing, you will be kicking with both legs repeatedly, and without proper protection, your shins can become bruised, swollen, or even fractured. Shin guards are available in different sizes and materials, including foam, leather, or synthetic leather. They should fit securely around your calves and have padding over the shin bone to avoid injuries from strikes.
When choosing shin guards, check for soft, padded areas that conform to your legs’ shape and don’t slip and slide during training. Cheap shin guards tend to move around, and fighters find that they often cause more discomfort than not wearing them at all. High-quality shin guards will stay in place while offering full protection to limit injuries.
In addition to protecting the fighter wearing them, shin guards also protect opponents during sparring matches. Sparring partners will be less hesitant to throw kicks if they know you are wearing ample protection, ensuring a safer and more effective training environment.
Headgear is essential to prevent head injuries but is only required for amateur kickboxing competitions. However, many fighters wear headgear for training to reduce the impact of blows to the head and prevent cuts around the face area. Helmets come in various shapes, sizes, and levels of protection, similar to boxing gloves.
Look for headgear that offers ample protection for the forehead, temples, cheeks, chin, and back of the head. The headgear should be breathable and made of a lightweight material to avoid sweating profusely. The helmet’s construction should allow for modest airflow as well as being easy to clean and maintain.
If you are buying headgear for competitive use, you will want to ensure that it meets your sanctioning body’s regulations. Regulations may include mandatory use of headgear, as well as specifications on padding, construction, and style that must be met to compete.
Mouthguards are mandatory for most forms of martial arts, including kickboxing. A well-fitting mouthguard offers significant protection to the teeth, jaw, and head. Often made of silicone or rubber materials, mouthguards come in two types: ready-made or custom-fit.
Ready-made mouthguards are less expensive than custom-fit options but may not fit as snugly. Custom-fit mouthguards, on the other hand, offer a more precise fit, allowing for a comfortable experience and improved clarity while communicating during training or competition. However, they tend to be more expensive, require mold-making appointments, and can take several days to a week to receive your mouthguard once an appointment is made.
When selecting a mouthguard, ensure it fits correctly, doesn’t affect your breathing or speech, stays securely in place, and conforms to the mouth’s shape. Since mouthguards deteriorate over time, check for any signs of wear and replace them every six months to ensure maximum protection.
Last but not least, appropriate apparel is necessary for safe and comfortable kickboxing training. Shorts and shirts designed specifically for kickboxing can enhance movement ease while enabling fighters to stay cool and wick away sweat during intense training.
The most important factor when selecting attire is comfort, so avoid apparel that restricts movements or feels uncomfortable to wear—focus on breathable materials that will help with moisture management, avoid heavy clothes that cause overheating, and ensure that the clothing type you wear meets your gym’s guidelines and requirements.
Another essential part of kickboxing apparel is footwear. Many fighters prefer flat martial arts shoe or wrestling shoes. Both have thin treads for maximum grip without any sliding, which can be dangerous during training or competition. Shoes should fit snugly, support the ankles, and have proper ventilation to avoid prolonged foot sweating, blisters and other skin irritations.
Kickboxing requires training gear that meets specific requirements for comfort, safety, longevity, and effectiveness. Gloves, shin guards, headgear, mouthguards, and apparel play a crucial role in ensuring fighters’ safety during training and competition. Invest in high-quality gear that fits well, conforms to your body’s shape, and provides ample protection without weighing you down. Appropriate training gear is essential for enabling the fighter to perform at their peak and minimize health damage.