There is always a certain degree of threat or injury involved when it comes to sports. Football, swimming, gymnastics, rowing, and several other single and team sports have seen cases of injuries. Some of the most common kind of injuries include Patello-femoral syndrome that involves knee and leg injuries, shoulder injuries, golf elbow sciatica, and concussions. Although it looks like that some of the sports are a lot more dangerous as compared to others, it is hardly the case. Any sport, if performed correctly with all the necessary precautions, and needed equipment minimizes the risk of occurrence of all types of mishap. When it comes to MMA Head Guard and Abdominal guarder any other full-body combat sports, there is always a risk of injury and mishap. The seriousness of the threat is similar to all other sports. Despite that, there is a common notion that combative sports are more dangerous than all other sports. The main reason behind this belief is that we general associated controlled combat with a fight and analyze the risk based on that perception.
This piece of writing deals with the importance of protective gear during MMA sparing, and how does it help with the protection?
Importance of sportswear and equipment in MMA
Like any other game, sportswear and protective gear are of utmost importance in MMA as well. It is crucial to use the gear even at the beginner level. It helps prevent several injuries and possible long term complications that come with playing sports. Here is how protective sportswear protects you.
- Prevention of concussions resulting from hard blows
- Avoiding damage due to the accidental kicks to the sensitive areas
- Protection against cuts and contusions
- Safety from the possibility of the hairline and large fractures
- Reinforcing joints with adequate support to prevent the dislocation
What is a head guard?
Head guard, as the name suggests, is the protective instrument that offers protection to the head. Although it is not purely MMA gear, it is sometimes used during training and even the matches to prevent head-related injuries. In addition to that, the protection is not restricted only to the head. The padding also supports the face and the jaw area.
As MMA fights and trainings are not primarily restricted to the head and face blows as in boxing, players sometimes don’t go for the headgear. If you are a beginner and want to avoid over the time damage to the head, then the headgear is a good option for use.
What does it do?
Here are some of the functions of the head guard during MMA training and fights.
Reduces the impact of the blow
The guard is helmet-shaped, and contains thick padding inside around the head region. It also has a supportive function to the head and headrests firmly inside the cavity of the guard in the term of boxing equipment. In addition to that, it also helps reduce the blow of punches which can sometimes be fatal and result in internal damage.
Jaw and gum protection
The guard also has the filling around the face and especially the jaw region. It hinders the lower jaw free movement. As a result, any fracture to the low jaw due to the strike is prevented. Immobility also helps with the tongue biting and prevents it’s biting and cutting.
Face cuts and bruises
Although the guard does not cover all of the faces, it prevents the direct impact. It creates a cavity, so any opponent who is aiming for the face hits the guard, and face remains protected. It also minimizes the bruising of face and cuts resulting in the accidental strong punches.
What to look for in the head guard?
One of the most important things to look for in the head guard is its size. It can hinder your vision if it is too big, and it can hurt you if it is too narrow. For mature and grown adults, the size of the head remains the same. One helmet lasts for a long time. If you are a teenager or adolescent, then there is the possibility that your head size is fluctuating. You may need to switch sizes if the helmet becomes too tight.
Another thing you should look for is a strong chin strap. If Velcro tape is faulty and doesn’t firmly stick them helmet can get loose. If that happens during a fight, you might not have the time to readjust it. Thus, it is crucial to buy a helmet with a functional chin strap. The strap that fits will also offer support to the lower jaw and prevent its free movement.
Foam padding inside the helmet is another thing to look for. If it is a loose-fill or if it is not thick enough, then it can do more harm than good. A faulty filling will leave your head vulnerable to the punches and blows. Always look for firm padding that is thick and offer adequate support to the head and entire face.
What is an abdominal guard?
For the protection of organs in the abdominal region, MMA fighters use Abdo-guard. There is a wide variety of variation present on the market. Some of these also come with the abdominal or belly guard. It is usually inner wear shaped padded guard with the belt that you wear around the waist. There is also cup-like guards available, but those are for cricket and other sports. They serve the function of protection of the groin region.
What does it do?
Here are some of the main functions of the abdominal guard as the protective gear.
Protection of the groin
The first function of the belt is to offer safety from the direct hits on the groin area. Although it would be a foul, sometimes accidents can occur result in the direct kick. The head guard and abdominal guard region contains a large number of nerve endings and neurons associate with the pain sensation. Even the smallest hit can cause immense pain. That is why the abdominal guard is a necessity in combative sport.
Safety against blows on the stomach
Some these belts also contain thick padding for protection of the stomach. These parts are particularly sensitive because they are not surrounded by the skeleton system. The cavity is prone to internal bleed outs and lacerations that can become life-threatening. That is the reason why protection of the area is a necessity during training and fights.
Prevention of internal bleeding and damage
The abdominal area can sustain life-threatening injuries and can cause fatal internal damage. A sharp blow on the area can result in the knockout, and the player will not be able to recover immediately. Abdominal guard prevents that from happening and absorbs the intensity of the kick into the padding.
What to look for in the abdominal guard?
It is necessary to know that the equipment that you are buying is comfortable to wear. The object of the right size always has a good comfort level. Make sure the straps are not too tight and don’t pierce the skin during the movements. Moreover, it is ideal that the padding is not too hard to cause the discomfort and itching of any sort.
Another thing to look out for is the material of the guard. It should be functional enough to do the intended job. Consider the filling inside the belt and the guard. It should be hard and protective. If the filling is loose or not thick enough, then it can lead to faulty protection. As a result, there can be bruising in the area.
Lastly, the type of belt is also crucial. It mostly depends on the kind of protection that you require. If you need belly protection too, then padded belts with stomach covers can work. For only groin protection strapped belt with no stomach, support is ideal. One important thing to remember is that head guard and abdominal guard are used in other sports as well. For instance, the ones used in cricket are more firm and often carry a cup-shaped. Thus, make sure you only buy the guard that MMA specific.
Thus, we can conclude that nearly all sports come with the fatality of some sort. It does not make the sport dangerous or life-threatening. Not all players sustain serious injuries. Moreover, sports specific equipment and protective gear is the key to avoid anything grave.
In the case of MMA, head guard and abdominal guards are of utmost importance. Whether you are training or participating in the match, it is crucial to use them for the protection. Usage during training also helps the player to adapt to wearing the gear and perform with it. Lastly, always keep all the factors mentioned above before making the purchase. It will help you get the right kind of equipment.