Body shots are not easy to land on targets however these are still very important for boxers. Well-placed body shots can cause an opponent to lower guard, break down, slow down and these strategic punches can even knock out the toughest boxer.
These tricky shots require impeccable timing, precision, and body protectors are one of the best places to train these deadly punches, if not the best. Protectors help boxers practice these without hurting wearers and get simultaneous feedback about punches. In addition to these, you can master how to move during a fight by simply incorporating this equipment into your routine.
Reviews of Best Boxing Body Protectors
1. Venum Elite Body Protector
- Long-lasting Skyintex leather
- Covers most of the upper body
- Great shock absorbing foam
- Suitable for boxing, muay Thai
- Sturdy straps
This protector covers the upper body including organs, plexus and it does a great job to absorb the big impacts as it has three layers of foam to reduce it. So even if it is a big punch, body protectors don’t move too much after it. So this gear can be considered the best choice when it comes to protection.
Skyntex leather is known to withstand an endless amount of strikes and can be used for exhausting drills. There are also reinforced areas, which boxers tend to aim for, and it definitely is another factor for a long durability period.
It offers a bigger space for arms and the protector doesn’t get in the way while a trainer moves his hands or legs and these contribute to having smooth sessions. Also, I have not read bad reviews about straps, and this shows straps won’t get loose over time.
These qualities make it perfect for Muay Thai, boxing and you don’t have to break the bank with this high quality and protective equipment.
2. Ringside Gel Shock Super Protector
- Covers the entire upper body
- Slim protector
- Quality foam
- Synthetic leather
- Better target practice
- Fits well
Ringside’s boxing body protector covers most of the upper body including abs, chest, and spleen. This big boxing body protector allows different punching techniques and boxers can punch powerful as thanks to the coverage, there is less likelihood of missing a target.
However, it also has a dense foam type which makes the body protector lightweight and it is lighter than most body protectors. This helps you have a fluid session and also helps a coach to spend less energy while teaching you combinations.
There are red areas on the product and throwing different types of punches to these areas is actually easier as these areas are more noticeable and you can understand better where the punches land and improve the precision.
This is one of the go-to equipment of boxing gyms and Ringside Gel Shock Super Boxing Body Protector has been used in many boxing classes for a long time without any noticeable defect. Lastly, the straps can be adjustable and this range is more than usual which offers a great fit whether you are an adult or a kid.
3. Fairtex Leather Rib Guard
- Very sturdy
- Covers belly
- Suitable for heavy hitters
- Several layers of foam
- Easy to wear
This boxing equipment is handmade and one of the most durable ones out there. Several layers of foam make a good job of absorbing and distributing the impact within the layers. So high impacts don’t bother wearers and they can concentrate on how boxers move during drills, counter punches so boxers can learn as much as possible during sessions.
Fairtex Leather Rib Guard only protects the abdominal region and it is bulky. On top of these, it has a curved shape and this decreases the shock that coaches feel. These qualities are perfect for heavy hitters, building punching power, and definitely, Muay Thai fighters, who like to incorporate killer elbow combos into their routines, can consider this protector.
This protector with a hook and loop system can provide a close fit, doesn’t move much while learning defensive maneuvers, improves safety. This system allows you to wear this bulky protector within seconds. Also, this system and minimal coverage don’t hinder the ability to move and thanks to all of these, Fairtex can provide rigorous workouts.
4. RDX Boxing Body Protector
- Maya Hide leather construction
- Perfect for mobility
- Breathable material
- Can be used for various combat sports
- Suitable size for kids!
This one has full upper-body coverage and an ergonomic design. It provides a trainer to move arms without any restriction of movement.
Many RDX boxing products are made with Maya Hide leather and some examples are heavy bags, shin guards which can endure combat sports training for an extended period. These tend to last long years without any major deformation. Also, I have seen only a few complaints about the defects in the product and this is a great sign that you get your money’s worth.
This material lets a decent amount of air in, prevents excessive sweating, and provides a more comfortable training experience.
RDX T4 Chest Guard is CE marked which is a test done by SATRA. It is basically approved that this chest protector can handle the abuse, falls, etc. Thanks to the design, materials, and breathability, this boxing gear is built to stand the test of time.
Also, two different sizes are available and the smaller one can be preferred for teens.
5. ASTSTAND Martial Arts Chest Guard
- Covers a large area
- Dense padding
- Suede (Interior Material)
- Many colors available
- Cheap boxing body protector!
I always include one affordable product in my best of articles that can do the job without costing hundreds of dollars and I decided to include ASTSTAND Martial Arts Chest Guard in this one.
I could not find additional details about the synthetic leather however, it seems to hold up just fine for years. The thickness is around 2”. Thus, foam distributes the shock within 2”. This is enough for absorbing the shock, can give trainers feedback about where a punch lands and the intensity of strikes that are trained for setting up a body shot.
It covers the chest, abdominal region, and considering the foam quantity it is one of the bulkiest protectors yet it doesn’t hinder mobility. So the design should be the reason why this guard is one of the best sellers.
Considering the adjustability and size selections you can probably find a perfect fit with ease. Also, if you have a small body and the other proctors seem to be heavy for you, you can check out the ASTSTAND Chest Guard small model.
Benefits of Using a Boxing Body Protector
It Offers Safer Workouts
The first and foremost reason to use a well-padded body protector is to protect trainers, reduce the likelihood of injuries. Other than these drills, the only realistic training in which you can throw body shots, and try out basic boxing combinations is sparring. However, your partner or you do not have the luxury of having a boxing body protector’s protection during a sparring session. So, all kinds of injuries including cuts, sprains, fractures can happen.
A boxing body protector prevents these injuries from happening by dispersing the shock and staying in place. According to my experience, I have rarely seen anyone getting hurt during these sessions, and even if it happens, comparing to sparring injuries, these are minor ones.
So, beginners opt to choose these drills instead of sparring because they get familiar with boxing techniques while minimizing the risk of injuries and once they start getting bored with punching a body protector and think it is not intense enough, they start sparring.
Realistic Fight Environment and Defensive Drills
You can practice all the basic punches with a protector. However, the cool thing is that you can also throw body shots which are great for breaking down an opponent in a boxing match.
When a trainer incorporates a boxing body protector into a mitt routine, the trainer can teach body shots, various striking combinations, defensive movements, and distance controlling at the same time. For example, while you are throwing an endless amount of punches to a protector, the coach can attack with mitts and you can learn how to protect your head and prevent it from being an easy target.
Also, after throwing these combos, you can learn to defend the counter-attacks and keep in mind that the coach’s hands are positioned in a realistic way. This is a great opportunity to have more experience with defending these in a controlled environment and learning how to stay out of punches and slipping.
Also, you can actually win entire fights if you simply master controlling the distance! If your boxing coach is knowledgeable about this, you can get better at it just after a couple of drills without even stepping into the ring to spar. Controlling distance not only helps you mitigate the opponent’s punches but also gives you more chances to land your punches. This is especially useful for people who have a wide stance and are looking to land body shots.
Training with a body protector and mitts is not as good as sparring but you see how vital this is for boxers, right?
Precision in any striking-based martial arts makes a huge difference. For instance, good aim even helps boxers deliver a knockout punch and end the fight.
When you train boxing with typical boxing tools, you need to visualize the opponent’s body. However, while training with a body protector, you simply don’t have to. Because it is basically the opponent’s body. So you can train lethal liver shots and punches to the solar nexus which you simply can’t train elsewhere and develop strategies to punch these areas. In matches, these help boxers to receive more points from judges and win matches.
Throw more Combinations, Different Punching Techniques
Obviously, you have a big practice area, and some mimic human torso so you can try out various combinations. Boxers can’t train these combinations with most boxing tools as they can practice only a few basic punch types with them and this is not enough for matches and sparring.
Even during sparring, it is not possible to improve punching skills significantly. After all, your opponent is not going to wait around for you to punch whenever you want. If boxers prefer throwing basic boxing combinations like 1-2 jab-cross in a realistic fight environment and receiving instant feedback from a coach, this can only be done during mitt or a body protector drill.
In addition to these, coaches have different heights and there are a lot of body protector models which have different shapes, coverages, and thanks to the variations, you can improve your skillset at a faster rate.
The Buyer’s Guide
Leather: A lot of people really can’t afford many genuine leather protectors as the striking area of these products are large and this increases the price tag significantly and people are very reluctant to shell out a lot of money for protectors. Fortunately, quality synthetic leather counterparts can take a beating for long years and don’t hurt the pocket.
Padding: Whether you plan to use a belly protector or a protector, which covers all of the upper body, it should be super protective. After all, people will punch this gear repetitively. Also, many athletes prefer going full force while throwing these boxing punches in a realistic combat environment. So it is vital that these need to prevent injuries.
There are different foam styles. Some are soft, some are dense. Also, body protectors may use layered foam which enhances the shock absorption and distributes the shock more evenly than one layer of foam. These body protectors with multiple layers of foam are preferred by martial artists who incorporate kicks into their routines as these have more power behind them.
Inner Material: Good inner materials provide comfort for coaches during a workout. The material should be soft yet it should not slide and not irritate wearers. I have good experiences with suede and it definitely reduces friction between clothing and protector. It also does not cause rashes. But unfortunately, many companies aren’t willing to spend extra cash for details that many people are not even aware of.
Velcro, straps should be adjustable, period. Because not only it provides a better fit for coaches but also offers smooth training.
If it is loose, it can swing around and there may be space between a trainer and a protector. So hitting it may cause injuries, doesn’t let for repetitive punching, and does not feel natural. On the other hand, if it is tight, it may hinder a boxing coach’s ability to move properly and swing arms. You can see how this can ruin your precious time with your expert instructor, right?
If you look at the coverage of protectors, you can see that there are two main types of body protectors. The first one only covers the abdomen and may also cover the ribs. The second type is bigger and protects ribs, kidneys, belly, and chest.
The first type can be filled with a lot more padding. However, it covers less area and is small. So it still doesn’t weigh as much as the other type and you can move with it quickly. Thus these are mostly preferred for kicking and elbow strikes as thanks to the padding quantity, these can absorb the shock and withstand a beating better.
The second type allows you to strike a larger area. It is better suited for improving the punching accuracy and practicing unconventional shots like shovel hooks. Thanks to a bigger striking area, you are less likely to hurt wearers while practicing these difficult techniques.
Also, definitely read what customers are saying and choose one which provides freedom of movement for a smooth training experience.
Thickness and Weight
Thickness depends on padding type, how many layers of padding are used for a particular gear. Also, it is an important factor for shock absorption however more thickness does not guarantee the best protection. Foam quality, number of layers, and design also are contributing factors to reducing shock.
Body protectors should not be heavy and let trainers move around fast to develop footwork, teach controlling distance they change their positions in the training area all the time.
So these need to be light and protective at the same time. There is a delicate balance here. Because if it has a lot of padding or is too bulky, it can dissipate impacts to the highest degree but it would be too heavy for a fluid session. So, these products should be designed and constructed to have these qualities.
Cleaning and Maintaining a Body Protector
Well, you can’t throw this huge equipment in a washing machine, can you? Obviously, reading the label and following the instructions should be your first preference and the second one is using safe cleaning supplies like vinegar, soapy water. Pour one of these solutions into a piece of fabric or toilet paper and gently rub the exterior and interior of the protector with the damp fabric. Finally, let it air dry and don’t use a dryer especially if it is made of genuine leather as it can lower the durability period or completely ruin it
What do I Need to Wear While Hitting a Body Protector?
Definitely use boxing gloves with soft cushioning. These deliver less power to protectors while punching and offer safer workouts. Also, wear hand wraps underneath the gloves to prevent knuckle pain which can occur after throwing big punches to a protector as many are made of sturdy, tear-resistant leather.
What should a Body Protector Cover?
This depends on your needs.
If you are looking to do total body workouts or practice blows to various areas then invest in a protector that covers the entire upper body.
Or you may need a bulkier product for intensive kick sessions and only very sturdy ones with lots of padding can withstand these impacts over and over again. Belly protectors are quite useful for this as these are small and have enough foam to last for several years.
Should a Coach also Wear a Body Protector during Mitt Drills?
Mitt training has its own benefits and can help martial artists train defensive maneuvers, head movements and the important thing is that you can get feedback simultaneously. However, if a body protector is also incorporated, there will be more striking variations, techniques, strategies to work on during a drill.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Training with a body protector and mitts mimics a high-stress environment of fighting without sparring or actually fighting and body protectors keep both boxers and trainers safe while throwing combinations.
However, you can’t just buy one as there are a lot of factors to consider including design, durability that directly affect the quality of protectors. And this guide includes sufficient information about all of these to help you choose the best boxing body protectors for your needs so you can get the most out of your sessions.