Kickboxing is a form of martial arts that has gained attention through weight-loss programs, aerobics videos and competitions throughout the United States. Kickboxing is a sport that men and women participate in that provides a cardiovascular workout, as well as teaches self-defense. Before taking on a kickboxing class, invest in the right gear to keep you safe and comfortable.
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Comfortable clothing, such as sweatpants or other active wear, is recommended during kickboxing training. The clothing needs to be loose enough to allow full movement in the arms and legs during each of the kickboxing movements.
Gloves are necessary when kickboxing to protect your hands and provide some protection to your opponent against the force of your hits. Different gloves can be used depending on whether you are training, aerobic boxing, sparing or fighting.
Soft gauze bandages are commonly wrapped around the hands beneath the gloves, with hand bandages being limited to a maximum length of 3-1/2 m during fights. Hand bandages protect your wrists and hands when sparring, hitting a practice bag, or during fights.
Properly fitted head protection is also needed when kickboxing. Taking hits to the head or hitting your head on the floor can cause serious damage to your brain. Wearing kickboxing protective headgear helps absorb shots to your head.
Dental protection is also needed in case of taking a direct hit to the face or hitting your face on the ground. An inexpensive mouth guard may only protect the upper teeth, but The World Kickboxing Association recommends an individually fitted tooth-protector or gum shield. This ensures that the shield will fit properly in your mouth and because it will fit the upper and lower teeth can help protect you from losing teeth, breaking your jaw or even concussion.
Groin protection is also recommended, especially for men, but is also available for women. Groin protection varies from the basic athletic supporters with a built-in cup, or full compression shorts with a built-in groin protector.
For women who are kickboxing, chest protection is also recommended because the breast area is more sensitive than a man's chest. Chest protection can either be full wearable breast guard, or bras with built-in or removable protective hard shell cups. Men can wear chest protectors too during training and sparring.
If you have longer bangs, or longer hair in general, you will want a hair tie or headband that can help hold the hair out of your eyes and face. This ensures that you can see, while at the same time allows you to focus on the sport without having to brush your hair out of your eyes.
Shin guards are usually only used for training purposes. They are compulsory for amateur kickboxing bouts, but not always during professional play.