6 features to consider when choosing MMA shorts

MMA training often requires a good pair of fighting shorts. Choosing MMA shorts can be a struggle and if you train often within the week, you might even need more than one pair, in order to be able to change into fresh shorts until you do your laundry.

Fighting shorts are not mandatory for all MMA, but it can certainly make your training better. The comfort of wearing fighting shorts that do not restrict your movements shows in the quality of your training. Many MMA beginners start without fighting sports and use regular sports shorts. However, as they gain experience and master more complicated moves, they come to realize that regular sports shorts are limiting their performance.

Moreover, fighting shorts are made to last despite the hard training, grappling and tatami friction, compared to regular sports shorts made for running or for training at the gym.

The marketplace proposes a great variety of fighting shorts and you may have difficulty to choose. Here are some suggestions on what you could consider when choosing fighting shorts.

1. Unlimited movement

In all MMA it is important that you can freely perform wide and strong movements. The last thing you want is to try that new kick and feel your shorts cutting you at the thigh. Unlimited movement is what all fighting shorts aim at, and they can achieve this by the following features:

  • Flatlock seams: this is a sewing technique that makes seams less thick. Therefore you feel them less and they won’t cut you at body contact. In fighting shorts, seams are also placed where they are less likely to cause friction during training.
  • Double seams and/or stretch zones where the shorts are more likely to receive pressure and tension, like at the crotch or between the legs. This feature means that you don;t need to worry that a wide kick might result in your shorts tearing at the seams.
  • Split seamsat the sides of the shorts: these allow for all kind of kicks, including side kicks, without the shorts material restricting your movements.

2. Technical fabrics

Your fighting shorts should be made from lightweight, dry fit technical fabrics that:

  • are sweat and moisture repellent
  • dry quickly
  • allow for ventilation.

Such technical fabrics are based on spandex (for tights), polyester, nylon, or microfibers.

3. Protecting from friction

A good pair of fighting shorts should protect you from friction and injury, by:

  • Being pockets free. Fighting shorts should not have pockets, like common sports shorts do.  This makes them lighter, but also safer for you and your opponent. If you have pockets in your shorts, the foot or fingers of your opponent could get in it, causing injury. Pockets also make grappling material.
  • Being metal / plastic free. Fighting shorts should have no zippers, buttons or any other hard item that could cause bruises when you fall or provide grappling to your opponent.

4. Fitting well, closing securely

If you choose classic fighting shorts, you should make sure they fit snuggly on your waist. A good pair of fighting shorts should not have visible drawstrings. Rather, these should be on the inside. The waist should be elastic and an additional closure, like a velcro closure, ensures that you won’t lose your shorts in action.

If you go for tights or compressions shorts, you should make sure that they properly fit your cup for groin protection. Some shorts even have a special pocket for fitting in, ensuring that it stays in place during training.

Fighting tights and compression tights may look alike but they are not. Fighting tights are usually stronger and thicker than compression tights and they aim at being durable and not providing gripping points to your opponent. Compression shorts aim at keeping your muscles warm in order to facilitate rehabilitation after the training. Some fighters like to wear compression shorts like undies and wear a a pair of MMA shorts on top of them.

… there are still a few more thing to consider before choosing MMA shorts…


5. Requirements of your specific martial art

When you choose a pair of fighting shorts, you should take into consideration the requirements of the specific martial art. Every type of fighting shorts is better for different fighting arts.

For example, classic fighting shorts are good for Kick Boxing or Muay Thai, as they combine free movement and good ventilation. Tights are better for contact fighting like BJJ, as your opponent cannot easily grapple you from them. Muay Thai have also special shorts, which are shorter and have a wide elastic waistband compared to classic fighting shorts.

Finally, there are hybrid shorts that combine the advantages of tights and traditional shorts.

6. Express your style

Fighting shorts are available in a great variety of colors and designs, going from simple to eccentric styles. Made from printable materials, their designs do not fade or break as log as you follow the laundry instructions.  You are therefore certain to find a pair of shorts that fits your style and preferences in colors and designs.

Choosing MMA shorts is important for an athlete and there is no reason why you should not express your style and aesthetics while MMA training. In fact, many fighters choose their own designs. If you would like a custom design yourself, come to Athlon: we will creat ir for you.

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