When it comes to buying Muay Thai training gear, your only limit is the size of your budget – and the size of your gym bag.
Most new practitioners of the sport can get by with very little, but once you establish yourself, you will find that collecting Muay Thai equipment is just as much fun as practicing “the art of eight limbs” itself.
Here are nine pieces of equipment you need in order to get started in Muay Thai.
Gloves are very important because they protect your hands and your sparring partner.
Your gym may have gloves lying around, but it is vital to buy your own for two reasons: hygiene and familiarity.
Preferably, buy them in person so you can try them on. It is important to make sure the gloves fit snugly and have sufficient wrist support and padding.
“There are many sizes to choose from, and it is important to get the pair you feel is correct and appropriate,” ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion Stamp Fairtex says. “For athletes, get a pair which follows the rules of the promotion.”
Muay Thai Shorts
The last thing you want to do is show up to a Muay Thai class in basketball shorts, so get a pair of Muay Thai shorts.
Muay Thai shorts are made with enough room in the thigh and groin area so you can get your kicks off.
When trying a pair on, throw a few kicks to see if they fit you well and give you the space needed to kick.
Mouthguards help protect your teeth. There are many types of mouthpieces, and for an amateur, the best one to get is the boil-and-bite kind.
However, the most common issue about a boil-and-bite mouthguard is that it does not fit entirely well at times, which is why professional athletes get custom fit mouthguards.
Though you will not need a custom mouthpiece for everyday training, you might want to invest in one for added protection.
Ankle wraps help support your ankles. They are not necessarily the first thing you would add to your gym bag, but if you want extra support for your ankles, grab a pair.
One athlete who never forgets his ankle wraps is multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion “The Boxing Computer” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex. The global icon often sports a pink-colored ankle guard on his left leg to signify his power side.
So, if you are looking to add some style to your garb, then mix and match your ankle guards.
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Your hand is made up of 27 tiny bones, and hand wraps will protect them – and the soft tissue surrounding them – from injury.
Hand wraps also cast your hand, ensuring your fingers and wrists do not move when punching.
When buying hand wraps, invest in a quality pair as they will last longer and offer better protection.
Aside from buying a quality pair of hand wraps, you should also know how to wrap your hands the right way.
Shin guards add a thick layer of protection to the top of your foot, shin, and instep. Sizes may vary, so it is best to try them on before buying.
You may not need shin guards during your first class, but you will eventually use them during sparring and drills.
Instead of waiting, keep them in your gym bag so you are ready for the day you are invited to a Muay Thai sparring class.
While most male athletes prefer to train in shorts, women should get a top that does not hold too much sweat.
Stamp, for instance, always checks her training gear before class.
“For ladies, your top should be sleeveless, fitting, and comfortable. If you’re not too sure, get one that is produced specifically for Muay Thai training,” the lifelong martial artist says.
“Also, get a good pair of sports bras, which gives you three benefits – to support your breasts, comfort, and breathable material.”
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Believe it or not, the secret tool for most Muay Thai athletes comes in the form of Namman Muay, or boxing oil.
Most nak muay use this oil to warm their muscles up before training. It is also perfect for a post-workout massage.
No one wants to get splashed with sweat during pad work or sparring.
If you are a person who sweats a lot, then have a towel nearby to wipe yourself during rest periods – your training partner will appreciate it.
Most regular gym-goers and martial art students carry one with them. You should do the same.