We can see the first wrestling tournaments in Sumerian Scriptures which were written almost 5000 years ago. Basically, two competitors try to gain a superior position by utilizing wrestling techniques and pin each other on mats to win a match.
Wrestling requires a great amount of strength, agility, reflexes, and it is considered as one of the toughest martial arts if not the toughest. So whether you are a beginner or not practitioners need various equipment to prevent injuries and these should adhere to the rules and regulations of tournaments.
Below, I included all of these and why you need them. After reading about the essential gears, you can have a look at the optional ones if you are not a member of a wrestling club and one of them is used by many great wrestlers regularly during their workouts and for tournament preparation.
Wrestling Equipment List
1. Wrestling Shoes
These shoes provide grip, balance, and mobility to help a wrestler successfully perform difficult moves like takedowns. Also, it is built to prevent ankle injuries and support your foot during a session.
It is definitely the most important wrestling gear which affects wrestling performance. So do not hurry while deciding the brand, types of shoes to buy. Because one shoe can be perfect for a particular wrestler but it might not be for another as their style might differ.
While choosing your shoes, check out what real wrestlers say about models and the fitting as this can help you make your decision easier.
2. Wrestling Headgear, Ear Guard
This demanding combat sport can cause various injuries including the infamous cauliflower ear as wrestlers fall, hit their heads to the ground during wrestling training all the time. To avoid these injuries, headgears are used. Ideally, wrestling headgears cushion these blows and reduce the impact as much as possible.
Ear guards usually have neck, chin, and head straps. Chin straps tend to be adjustable for providing a better fit. Ears should not touch your head which can cause issues while taking forceful blows to the head. Also, absorbing shock is done efficiently by materials as headgear needs to be lightweight to allow you to move your head quickly and provide adequate protection for the ears.
This equipment shouldn’t slide or impede the vision in any way. So wrestlers can perform well on mats and it doesn’t jeopardize the wrestler’s or the opponent’s well-being. This is actually both about the design and materials. The headgear should not lower the peripheral vision and the materials need to wick the sweat rapidly so it doesn’t affect your vision by getting into your eyes.
Lastly, this gear’s other purpose is to allow you to hear the coaches’ valuable feedback and instructions.
3. Wrestling Singlets
These one-piece revealing garments are made of smooth fabric which offers a wide range of freedom of movement to execute wrestling moves perfectly. Singlets are quite tight, usually end just above the knee. Ideally, a singlet offers a snug fit and after wearing, it should not have extra fabric to be grabbed.
Lycra, nylon, spandex are common materials to produce a singlet. These materials can stretch without deformation, are comfortable and suitable to wear in wrestling. If the design and materials are good these don’t get heavier during a workout and let some sweat escape without being uncomfortable.
Countries can choose either red or blue color in World Championships Tournaments. The other colors are some or all of the country’s colors which are selected by that particular country and make up the remaining %70 of the garment.
Also, women’s singlets and men’s singlets have different length and neckline requirements. Thus, these can’t be used interchangeably.
Mouthguards cover gums, teeth. These are made of ethylene-vinyl acetate or thermopolymer material. These reduce the intensity of delivered impact by absorbing and distributing the shock. The other purpose of the mouthpiece is to help your lower and upper jaw align. So the shock is distributed evenly and this decreases the likelihood of fractures.
Basically, these do not only prevent dental injuries but also protect the jaw and brain by absorbing the impact during a full-contact sport like wrestling. So wrestlers wear them to prevent injuries when they take a hit to the face, fall on the mats, etc. There are two types of mouthguards which are custom-fitting and boil and bite. Also, some people prefer double mouthguards over single ones as these offer more protection.
Kneepads tend to be made of polyester, EVA, and rubber. These have enough foam to lower the impact when knees hit the mats. It prevents rashes, mat burns, irritations, and offers more comfortable sessions on mats.
Kneepads provide freedom of movement, allow a wrestler to perform all the techniques. The design is suitable for the knee’s unique shape and really flexible as while defending takedowns or doing other advanced wrestling techniques these need to stretch a lot. Also, it should not slip and be comfortable at the same time during training.
Let’s continue with optional equipment as these are not necessary if you have a wrestling gym membership. Because these places already have these. However, if you think of setting up your own wrestling training area, definitely consider these for performing moves in a safe training environment and learning this grappling martial art properly.
Mats provide cushioning for wrestlers when they fall on them. Tiles are filled with foam and the exterior is generally made of vinyl as wrestling mats are built to stand repetitive falls and compression. These tend to have a texture type that doesn’t allow the mat to slip and prevents injuries.
Basically, mats create a safe training environment for wrestlers to practice. These absorb the impact of takedowns, other wrestling techniques and mitigate them while providing a smooth training surface to provide grip for practitioners.
The materials are easy to clean and most mats tend to be easily carried for convenience.
7. Mat Tape
Whether you are wrestling in a home or wrestling club this intense sport requires a solid training area as very dangerous techniques are performed by powerful wrestlers so the mats should stay solid, attached.
Mat tapes keep the mats together with high sticking power so the training area does not have any gaps. This adhesive product tends to be reusable and adjustable as you can make a mistake or miss a gap or two while using it.
8. Grappling/Throwing Dummy
Some grappling dummies can be used for wrestling techniques and these come in handy especially for wrestling throws. This is a great opportunity to try new-learned techniques on a dummy that mimics a human and weighs heavy enough.
Definitely, consider a dummy that the arms and legs can be manipulated as these improve the variation and allow you to practice more techniques. You can also make it ideal for your own body to perform takedowns.
The Cost of Wrestling Equipment
Wrestling is one of the most inexpensive martial arts without a doubt and below you can find the price range of the gears are needed for wrestling.
Wrestling Shoes: 40 dollars – 210 dollars
Wrestling Headgear: 20 dollars – 70 dollars
Singlets: 9 dollars – 110 dollars
Mouthguards: 5 dollars – 100 dollars
Knee Pads: 7 dollars – 80 dollars
Mats: 60 dollars – 384 dollars
Mat Tape: 9 dollars – 18 dollars
Grappling Dummy: 18 dollars – 700 dollars
Also if you decide to get private lessons from a wrestler, the hourly rate varies between 30 dollars and 150 dollars. Wrestling schools’ annual cost is In the range of 1300 dollars and 4000 dollars. Obviously, the reputation of the club and the expertise of instructors affect the price greatly.
Above you can find every wrestling gear you need to train wrestling. I also included why you need to have these essential items and how these gears like ear guards can help you complete intense wrestling drills safely. So definitely pay attention to the information above and only step on the mats when you have all the right equipment.