Practicing any discipline of martial arts is a great way not only to get in shape but to also develop self-confidence and self-defense. However, training takes its toll on your body. There’s always a risk of injuries as a result of constant wear and tear. Therefore, protecting yourselves at ALL times is essential. If you are specifically looking to pursue boxing, MMA, Muay Thai, or striking in general, or love coaching, you must understand that body shots hurt a lot. To keep your body in elite shape and avoid getting hurt, you should have the best boxing body protector with you.
Why Should You Use Boxing Body Protectors?
To protect your body against the heavy hitters in training, sparring, or otherwise, you will need to have the best boxing body protector in your kit.
First of all, a boxing body protector is like a vest without sleeves, which provides padding to your chest, waist, and stomach. The protection can vary depending on the body protector you are using, however.
The padding ensures that the impact of punches and kicks on the body remains as minimum as possible. Apart from being used as a means of protection in sparring, it is also used by trainers to allow their students to work on the body.
Punching bags are a great way to develop your skills, but no matter how much time you spend training with a punching bag, it won't take you to the next level alone.
Benefits Of Boxing Body Protectors
Having the best boxing body protector with you comes with a whole lot of benefits.
Realistic Fight Simulation
The most important benefit of using a body protector will be that it allows you to experience a realistic fight simulation. You can go toe-to-toe with your partner without having to worry about getting hurt.
You and your training partner can conveniently polish your defensive as well as offensive skills. The biggest advantage of having a body protector is that you can go full strength in training without much hassle.
Working On The Body
The importance of working on the body cannot be emphasized enough. There’s no doubt that headhunting is very popular among strikers. But there’s something truly beautiful about knocking your opponent out with the perfect body shot.
Apart from helping you practice that killer blow, a body protector allows you to target the body through a combination of strikes. For example, the jab to the body is one of the most effective punches in boxing. The shot keeps your opponent guessing as he/she will constantly be thinking about what’s coming next. Moreover, it forces them to drop their guard, which allows you the openings you need to go for the head.
Keeping the best boxing body protector in your kit is a surefire way to practice body shots, and step up your game.
Improved Punching Technique
Although bag work enhances strength and improves technique and stamina, it also comes with a lot of limitations.
The margin of learning and improvement is much higher when you are sparring with a partner or training with a coach. That’s simply because there’s no alternative to a human body.
Sparring is super essential for you to enhance your boxing skills. However, when two competitors are going at full strength against each other, or you’re coaching an aggressive fighter, someone can get hurt if necessary precautions aren’t taken.
A body protector also plays a crucial role in helping a striker improve their technique. Bodywork requires you to strike a real target, and therefore, body protectors allow trainers and practitioners the liberty to train at full strength without the risk of injuries. Practicing with a body protector also allows a boxer to develop muscle memory and enhance accuracy with body punches.
Protection For Trainers
If you are a sensei to professional boxers or MMA fighters, you know better than anyone else that they hit hard. As a trainer, you should always make sure that you aren’t directly at the receiving end of their brutal strikes. They are going to go heavy on you, so you better watch out.
The most important function of a body protector for trainers is to keep them safe from heavy hitters. It is extremely dangerous if you’re practicing without it, as it could lead to injuries.
Body protectors also allow trainers to assess their pupil’s striking repertoire. They can understand better how their student is doing in terms of technique and efficiency, which ultimately leads to amendments and improvements.
How To Choose The Right Boxing Body Protector
Using a body protector will surely enhance your experience inside a boxing gym, but having the right one will simply make things a whole lot more exciting. There are a number of ways to judge the criteria of a good body protector.
Size And Weight
It’s obvious that you need a body protector for your boxing or martial arts classes, but since they are like vests, they should be light yet effective. Having overly bulky and heavy padding can empty your gas tank quickly.
It also stops you from moving as fluidly as you would want. Whether you are a coach or a boxer sparring with your partner, having lightweight and solid padding is what you truly need.
Finding the perfect balance between weight and durability is key.
Durability And Material
Durability is another important criterion you need to consider before purchasing body protectors. Your body protectors are going to get a beating day in and day out, inside the gym. Therefore, the paddings should be able to absorb the full impact of a punch to keep you protected.
First and foremost, the padding must be stitched perfectly so it keeps together. Then, the materials need to be of good quality to stop the product from ripping or tearing. The most durable protectors are made from pure leather. However, synthetic leather is a great alternative and has become very popular in the past few years.
Synthetic leather is a great choice because it’s lighter than pure leather and it stays up easily. Body protectors made with synthetic leather are also easier to take care of, as you can easily clean them with an antibacterial cleaner. However, one key drawback of synthetic blends is that they wear out faster than pure leather.
Adjustability And Price
If you’re training in a gym with shared boxing equipment, you must ensure that your body protector is adjustable so it can be used by multiple people.
But if you are purchasing it solely for your own personal use, it’s essential to make sure that it fits like a glove. If the protector is too loose, it will swing around the trainer or practitioner’s body.
Finally, the quality you require totally depends on how much you’re willing to spend. Typically, if you are spending your hard-earned money on something, you’d want the best quality in return. The same is the case here as prices vary as per the quality of the product.
If you are looking out for a cheap body protector, you must make sure that it meets your requirements.
Padding and Fitting
Two other important factors to consider when buying a body protector are padding and fitting. Body protectors that are well-padded and can reduce the impact of punching and strikes should be prioritized. Typically, the more layers of padding a body protector has, the better suited it will be for you.
You should also pay attention to the fitting of the products because a lot depends on it. An unfit body protector won’t be able to fully absorb the impact and can leave you hurt.
The 5 Best Boxing Body Protectors
Choosing a body protector can be a daunting task. But there's no need to worry because we have got you covered. Here are the five best boxing body protectors for you to choose from.
The Ringside body protector should be one of your top choices if you want the best return for your money. The product guarantees you good protection, as it is durable, and comes with a supreme gel shock cushion. It helps in shock dispersal.
This body protector fully covers your upper torso. It's as tough as they come and it's made from synthetic leather. The body protector comes with variable padded shoulder straps and adjustable seatbelt nylon straps.
It is also a lightweight but heavy-duty product. Whether you train boxing, Muay Thai, or Mixed Martial Arts, it is the right choice for you at a very reasonable price. The product is also water-repellant and is designed to take round after round of punishment yet come back for more.
The Title gel body protector uses gel shock technology that incorporates layers of high-quality three-inch padding, which allows maximum absorption of the impact of strikes. The product comes with fully adjustable nylon shoulder straps, and unique adjustable gel shoulder pads, which literally make it a perfect fit for you.
The product also provides moisture-wicking, transporting the sweat away from your skin through capillary action. Sweat moves out of the surface of the fabric and evaporates through it without cooling you down significantly.
It acts as a thermal regulator to keep your body temperature under control. It is also a lightweight product, which doesn’t hinder your speed and movement at all.
The Contender Fight Sports body protector is seriously well-padded despite being smaller than its counterparts. So much so that many Muay Thai and MMA fighters have this product on the top of their list.
Another advantage of this product is that despite being heavily padded, it is a very lightweight product, weighing around three pounds.
With this product, practitioners can train for hours without much trouble, and remain light on their feet throughout the training session. It also comes with quick-release buckles, which means that it is super easy to put on and take off.
The only drawback of this product is that it is small and doesn’t fully protect the upper body, particularly the chest region. All in all, it’s a good product and is a good value for your money.
If you are looking for a top-quality Muay Thai body protector, then the Combat Sports Dome Air Tech belly pad should definitely be considered. The body protector comes with Dome Air technology. DA technology ensures that the belly pad protector is very effective and capable of absorbing the impact of kicks, punches, and knee strikes.
The belly pad is made with synthetic leather, therefore, it’s very durable. Another key point to note here is that the belly pad features a buckle strap for its closure, which makes it super easy to fasten and unhook.
Many fighters prefer this belly pad over its counterparts such as TopKing or Fairtex. And the main reason for this is that it feels more lightweight. The belly pad’s price is also very reasonable, which makes it a great value for your money considering unique features such as Dome Air Technology.
If you are looking for an MMA body protector or another Muay Thai one, this Ring to Cage belly pad is another excellent option for you. The Ring to Cage belly pad is well known as one of the best body protectors out there as it is specifically made for heavy hitters.
The Ringside body protector comes with multiple shock-absorbing layers of foam padding. This protector also has a durable metal buckle, with a triple-layered strap, which makes it fit perfectly.
The belly pad is extremely effective at absorbing and then dispersing impact from punches, kicks, and knee strikes. Most importantly, it's made out of rugged synthetic leather and is a super lightweight belly pad.
Commonly Asked Questions
1. Can I hit a body protector with no boxing gloves?
Yes, you can, but no, you shouldn’t. Just like body protectors guard your body, hand wraps and gloves are made to protect your knuckles, wrists, and hands from injuries. If you want to condition your hands for punches, you can strike a punching bag with bare knuckles from time to time. But using hand wraps and gloves is still recommended because it will save you from unnecessary damage.
2. How dangerous is it training without a body protector?
Training without a body protector is very dangerous. Body shots are excruciatingly painful as they can easily rupture your liver, break your ribs or cause internal damage. Most professional fighters would prefer getting knocked unconscious than getting a clean shot to their liver. Although a training session hardly has the threat level of a real fight, there’s still a major risk of injuries if you don’t use a body protector and another necessary padding.
If you're serious about honing your boxing, Muay Thai, or MMA skills, you need to step out of your comfort zone and spar with a training partner or train with a coach that has focus mitts and body protectors.
We have already mentioned the five pads and protectors above. But if you're still finding it hard to pick a winner, we’re here to help.
For athletes looking for the best boxing body protector, the RingSide Gel Super is the best choice. It covers the major portion of your upper body and is durable. Although it's a little expensive compared to the others mentioned in this article, it'll be worth the money spent.