An MMA fighter uses his feet more than any other body part, whether it be shifting his position for strategic advantages when facing an opponent, dodging punches, or delivering kicks as an offensive move during a fight. One swift kick can knock an opponent off his feet, and the feet and lower legs take quite a bit of abuse in the process. MMA shin guards are designed to protect these crucial areas, preventing injury while allow the fighter to move and use his legs freely without any restrictions.
This is especially true with kick boxing, or Muay Thai as it is often referred to in Thailand, where it is the national sport of choice. Muay Thai involves rigorous training, and there are a number of kicks, knees, and foot thrusts that a fighter uses to weaken and defeat his opponent. This is why Muay Thai shin guards are so important, since a competitor uses the legs so much more than in other types of MMA competition.
These guards protect all areas of the lower leg, including the knees, calves, shins, and ankles, safeguarding them from serious injury or fracture. In the old days, athletes had only straps and buckles to wrap around the hands, knees, and feet for protection. Since then, the technology in manufacturing protective equipment for fighters has come a long way.
Several vendors now offer MMA shin guards that meet UFC standards for protection and performance during championship matches, including Hayabusa Fightwear, Warrior, and Combat Sports. These companies use ergonomics and applied engineering to make functional protective equipment to improve the quality of the sport and help fighters have long-lasting careers.
Combat Sports is one of the better brands that designs top quality Muay Thai shin guards. Several superior models are available, like their Gel Shock Grappling Shin-Instep Guard. An inner gel lining offers maximum protection among other brands and the guard itself even has neoprene support and lining at the back to help the guards stay in place. They also carry youth guards for younger fighters and Ergonomic Shin Guards for a more basic look with dual hook and loop closures.
Hayabusa Fightwear is another quality brand name that always offers professional quality and utilizes the latest technology. Their Pro Shin-Instep Guards not only look sharp, but are shaped to fit well, protect well, and breathe well, while not being too heavy or cumbersome.
Regardless of the design, MMA shin guards should not hamper the individual – rubbing, pinching, or binding are signs of an ill-fitting guard that should be avoided. Concentration in the ring is of utmost importance, and fighters don’t have time to worry about equipment that doesn’t perform as well as it should or becomes a weakness that an opponent can capitalize on. It pays to pay special attention to these factors when fitting yourself for a pair of these all-important Muay Thai shin guards.
Likewise, if the guards are difficult to get on or off, the convenience factor is lost. Most vendors size their shin guards for the weight of the athlete, usually in either regular or large. A proper fit is paramount, as a competitor doesn’t want his guards to shift or slip off during an intense sequence of moves.
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