Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a physically challenging martial art, so having the right equipment will help keep you safe during training.
If you stay safe, then you will have a much more enjoyable experience at the gym.
With that in mind, here are seven essential pieces of equipment you need to get started in BJJ.
#1 A Gi
A gi consists of a heavy cotton top, drawstring trousers, and a rank belt. Your pants and top are normally the same color.
The purpose of the gi is to protect you from any scrapes or skin burns you could potentially get while grappling.
Therefore, it is important to select a gi with the right material and fabric for both safety and hygiene purposes.
Look for gis that are made specifically for BJJ. They should have triple stitching at the seams, which helps them last longer under the constant stress of gripping and tugging.
Also, pick a gi that has been treated with anti-microbial and anti-odor compounds. And always clean your gi as a courtesy to your teammates.
#2 Rash Guards
Whether you train with or without a gi, you will need to have a good rash guard.
Your rash guard goes under your gi, and it helps protect your skin from scrapes and skin burns. A rash guard also keeps your body warm and helps your muscles stay supple while grappling.
Rash guards are made of polyester and spandex, two materials that are useful in soaking up the sweat before it seeps into your gi.
This keeps you clean and comfortable, and it prevents any bacterial growth.
#3 Athletic Tape
Your fingers play a huge role in gripping, and they will be under a lot of stress during training.
Before every training session, use athletic tape to protect your fingers. The tape can help support your finger joints and prevent injuries.
Without special care, your finger joints can swell up from the constant tugging and pulling. This can lead to arthritis.
In addition to that, taping your fingers will help fortify your grip and give you some extra grip strength, which will be useful when you grapple with your training partners.
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#4 A Mouthguard
A mouthguard is another piece of equipment you will need for BJJ. It helps protect your teeth, arches, lips, and gums during heavy sparring.
Mouthguards usually come in two variants – “boil and bite” or custom-made.
“Boil and bite” mouthpieces are pre-formed, but they can be molded into a better fit by boiling and biting down on it.
Although custom-made mouthguards are more expensive, they are properly fitted to your teeth alignment. This will create a more comfortable fit and allow for better breathing.
Whether you are recovering from a knee injury or just want added protection for your knees, then it would be wise to invest in a pair of kneepads. They are extremely useful.
The friction from frequent rolling or grappling in BJJ can cause serious scabs or burns on your knees.
As the skin is noticeably thinner in those regions, kneepads can keep your knees covered and protected when grappling or executing takedowns.
Most kneepads can be comfortably worn underneath your gi trousers. Look for a comfortable size that supports your knee, but does not restrict your mobility.
#6 Muscle Spray
BJJ is a full-body workout.
Because of that, it is common to experience sore or tight muscles after a grappling session. This can affect your performance and training, if left untreated.
That is why every BJJ practitioner should invest in a muscle spray. Muscle spray can prevent inflammation in muscles when a massage is not an option.
#7 A Foam Roller
A foam roller is an excellent device for post-training recovery.
Using a foam roller will help loosen up tight muscles, which happens after extended periods of training.
The long term benefits of foam rolling include increased flexibility and reduced post-workout soreness, both of which help prevent injuries.
Most foam rollers are compact, which makes it easier to throw in your bag and bring to the gym. Couple foam rolling with regular stretching and you will notice improvements in your posture and flexibility.