Selecting Kickboxing Equipment
Physical Therapy in Merced & Atwater for Kickboxing
Welcome to Yosemite Physical Therapy's guide to selecting kickboxing equipment.
We recommend a few general considerations for selecting your kickboxing equipment in order to protect yourself and minimize injury while kickboxing.
As with any sport, headgear protects the brain, skull and face from impact and can seriously lessen the impact of any blow to these areas.
Kickboxing gloves are designed to both protect your hands and to absorb some of the impact of the blow being delivered. Using a good quality glove that is designed for the purpose you need it for (sparring, competition, or bag/focus pad work) is very important so engaging the assistance of a kickboxing sporting expert when choosing your gloves is recommended.
Hand wraps are used to protect the small bones in the wrist and hand from injury. As with gloves, the use of wraps protects not only yourself, but also your opponent by absorbing some of the energy of the punch. Wraps come in different materials as well as different lengths. Which material you choose depends on what is most comfortable. These days most wraps are made with an elastic component that increases comfort. Smaller hands should use shorter wraps to avoid extra material being cumbersome.
Mouthguards are designed to absorb some of the impact from blows to the jaw and teeth and are mandatory to be worn when kickboxing. Standard mouth guards are available in most sporting stores, but they tend to be bulky and do no provide good protection due to their inability to mold to individual teeth configurations. A moldable plastic mouth guard is also available in sporting stores and is a superior alternative to the standard mouth guard. These types of guards are made from a soft moldable plastic that can be melted in hot water and then placed in the mouth so that they mold to the shape of the teeth. These guards can still feel bulky and therefore may interfere with breathing, however, they are recommended above the standard guard. If you are an avid kickboxer it would be worthy to get a custom fitted mouth guard to provide maximum protection. These guards are made by a dental professional and molded from a special shock absorbing material. Custom mouth guards mold exactly to the fit of the individual boxer's mouth anatomy and therefore provide maximum protection.
An athletic supporter is an important piece of equipment for males in any contact sport and kickboxing is no exception. The jockstrap and cup provide solid protection to the genitalia which in turn reduces the number and severity of injuries incurred due to impact to this area. It should be well fitted and feel comfortable when kicking and moving. If possible, wear similar underwear when training as to those you would wear in competition just to ensure the athletic supporter always feels comfortable.
Chest protectors are worn by women but are not mandatory in all styles of kickboxing or under every federation’s rules. Chest protectors should fit snug but not rub or irritate the skin when punching or kicking. Again, the assistance of a sports equipment specialist familiar with kickboxing is crucial to choosing chest gear that provides adequate protection while at the same time feels comfortable for you.
Shinguards, or sometimes called shinpads, protect the sensitive bony area of the shin. The use of shinguards in kickboxing varies with the different styles of the sport as well as with the rules of the different sanctioning bodies, however for many styles of kickboxing shinguards are mandatory. Unlike shinguards for other sports, kickboxing shinguards are made of a different material and are designed for a different purpose so be sure to buy those made specifically for kickboxing. Most shinguards also offer protection down over the front of the ankle and onto the top of the foot which greatly assists in decreasing injury to these bones, particularly the small bones of the foot.
The clothing you will need for competitive kickboxing depends on the rules of the organization you will competing under as well as the style of kickboxing you are partaking in. Either long pants to the ankle or shorts are required for male kickboxers however no shirt is worn by male kickboxers. Females kickboxers also wear either long pants or shorts, but will also wear a form fitting long or short tank top.
No shoes are worn for kickboxing.
These are just general guidelines as fluid requirements will vary depending on the environmental conditions and your body size. Remember, the more fluid you lose through sweat, the more you will have to replace. To check that you are adequately hydrating, you can weigh yourself before and after your training or fight. If your weight remains the same then you are likely to be well hydrated. Also, remember that by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated, so drink frequently and don't let thirst alone determine your fluid intake.