If you’ve been practicing Muay Thai for a while, you’re probably familiar with getting hit and injured, maybe too familiar. Muay Thai can be fun and all, but getting kicked in the sternum is arguably less fun. That’s where body protectors come in. They encase your body and keep it protected during training, so you can keep going for much longer.
A Muay Thai body protector is generally a sleeveless body vest with padding in the chest, waist, and stomach area. The ideal body protector is a perfect combination of comfort and protection.
In this article, you will learn about the benefits of body protectors, the best body protectors to use in Muay Thai, and the things to consider when buying a body protector.
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Last update on 2023-02-06
How Does a Body Protector Help During Muay Thai?
If you’re still unsure about whether to get a body protector for training, the following are some reasons to get one:
- Protection– This is the biggest reason to get a body protector. The body protector will absorb most of the shock from your partner’s hits and punches. Muay Thai can be a dangerous sport, so you need an excellent body protector to minimize injuries and train safely. When you add sparring gloves into the mix, you can train in the truest and safest sense of the word.
- Better than a heavy bag– Practicing with an actual partner with a body protector on is considerably better than hitting a static punching bag. Since your partner stays mobile and moves around the stage, you get to practice skills that are more applicable in competitions. But since you don’t want to injure your partner (or do you?), it’s better to work with a body protector.
- Technique– A body protector stops you from worrying about injuries and keeps you focused on honing your craft. Since your training partner is in less danger of being injured, you can afford to go a little harder on your hits. It also helps to improve your proprioception and spatial awareness.
- Defense– In Muay Thai, a good defense is as important as a good offense. Since you are not working with a heavy bag that floats there and takes it, you are getting a better chance to work on your defense skills.
- Senses and accuracy– A lot of Muay Thai depends on the accuracy of your hits. You need to know where to hit and how hard to hit. With body protectors, you can target precise body parts, and most importantly, you receive feedback on your strikes.
What To Consider When Buying Body Protectors
So, what are the factors to consider when buying body protectors? It’s essential to get a protector that is right for your body type and your training needs.
- Quality: The quality of your body protector determines the quality of your Muay Thai training. If a body protector is made of low-quality, it will offer less protection and wear out much faster. An excellent body protector has top-notch stitching and is made out of durable, consistent material. You probably know this, but the best quality body protectors are made from real, authentic leather. You can find good synthetic options, but they won’t hold up as well as the real deal.
- Size: The size of the body protector is a significant factor when choosing one. The protector must be large enough to cover the vital areas and still light enough to provide unimpeded mobility. A body protector that is too large quickly turns a light training session into an intensive cardio workout. You should aim for the right balance of protection and mobility.
- Padding: The padding is the major reason you’re buying a body protector. Different kinds of protectors serve different purposes and the thickness of the padding often reflects this purpose. Some protectors are best suited for taking punches while others are designed for kicks. If the padding doesn’t offer sufficient protection for your training needs, you should consider other options.
- Fit: Fit is also very important when selecting a body protector. A high-quality body protector with the perfect amount of padding won’t matter much if it doesn’t fit snugly around your body. It is likely that the body protector you get will be worn by more than one person. So, it makes sense to choose one with adjustable straps.
- Affordability: Body protectors run the gamut from dirt cheap to very expensive. The best protectors usually cost more, but not always. It’s possible to find a body protector with the right balance of affordability and usability. A good protector can last for years, so feel free to tweak your working budget a bit.
Product Review: The 5 Best Muay Thai Body Protectors
Now that you’re aware of the things to look for in a good Muay Thai body protector, let’s consider some excellent product options
This brand of body protectors is made from Oxford fabric and features an ergonomic design that provides a comfortable experience during training.
One of its major selling points is that it includes XPE foaming and a bamboo chip inside the protector to offer better shock absorption. It has a strap on the back that allows it to be adjusted for proper fit. The protector is lightweight and maintainable while providing needed protection.
It is suitable for mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, and boxing. It also comes in three colors and has a unisex design. The Wesing Body Protector you can currently find in the large and extra-large options.
One of the best-looking options on this list, ASTSTAND Chest Guard, is an excellent combination of style, comfort, and protection. I enjoyed using this to practice. It is designed with an elastic, adjustable strap to provide a better fit and protection. Polyurethane leather is used in the protector’s design to provide more durability and the inside is lined with EVA to enhance shock absorption. Comfort is ensured with thick suede inside the protector that minimizes friction when it comes into contact with the skin.
It comes in four colors: black, blue, red and gold. It is also available in three sizes: small, medium, and large.
Ringside is a well-known boxing gear and training equipment brand that has been in the business for over thirty years. They make gloves, heavy bags, protective gear, and other equipment for contact sports.
The Ringside Gel Shock Super Body Protector is made from synthetic leather and includes Ringside’s patented Gel Shock Technology padding for protection and shock dispersal. This body protector is usable in boxing, Muay Thai, and mixed martial arts (MMA). It completely extends over the upper torso and offers total core protection for sparring and training.
It features adjustable straps at the back and is available in black and red colors. Some people have complained about the padding being minimal and nearly not enough, although I did not experience this while using it.
Established in 1999, RDX is a famous sporting gear brand with products for boxing, weightlifting, yoga, Muay Thai, and mixed martial arts. RDX is a brand dedicated to excellence in sporting equipment.
The RDX body protector is usable in boxing, Muay Thai, mixed martial arts, Taekwondo, etc. It features faux leather in its construction, making it wear-resistant, and holds it together even after multiple uses. It includes a triple padding structure, an ‘eva-lution’ sheet that disperses shock, spongex padding to diffuse impact strikes, and a shock dispersion sheet.
This body protector extends over the entire torso and covers the chest cavity. The curved design ensures that mobility isn’t impeded and impact is evenly distributed. It includes adjustable straps at the back to ensure that it fits perfectly and a buckle for convenience. One fantastic feature is that the interior is sweat-absorbent to ensure maintainability and to provide much-needed comfort.
GINGPAI BOXING is a sports company specializing in product design, development, production, and sales. It’s a household name and company, which company owns multiple brands related to boxing, taekwondo, karate, mixed martial arts, and other contact sports.
The Boxing Chest Guard can be used for Kickboxing, Sparring, Boxing, and Muay Thai. It is made of synthetic leather and includes an EVA liner for shock absorption. The material is wear-resistance and breathable. I like this because I have to worry less about sweating a lot. There’s an adjustable Velcro design on the back of the protector.
It is available in black, blue, and red color options and comes in small, medium, and large sizes. It’s really comfortable to use, and it doesn’t even feel like it’s made from synthetic leather. However, the padding can wear out easily as it is not so thick.
In conclusion, body protectors are vital in Muay Thai. There are numerous options available. It’s up to you to select the one that suits your needs and budget. Let me know in the comment below which one is your favorite or if you have some other recommendations.
Last Updated on May 23, 2022 by Deni