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Muay Thai Elbow Pads 101: All You Need To Know To Choose The Best

As you may know, the elbow strike technique is one of the most dangerous body weapons in Muay Thai, and it can deal a deathly blow to your opponent in one strike. Sure, it might look cool doing it with bare elbows, but having elbow pads will protect you and your sparring partner from sustaining serious injuries in the long run. So if you’re new to the sport or just want to learn more about elbow strike training and find the right pads to spar with, then you’ve come to the right place.

Also Read: The top wraps you should use for Muay Thai

Basics of Using Elbows in Sparring

The elbow strike is usually practiced as a means of self-defense, and is rarely used in the ring due to it’s dangerous nature. So it’s incredibly important to get the sparring etiquette for this technique just right, before you attempt it.

  • Communicate your intention to use elbows with your partner: It’s important to let your partner know in advance that you want to use elbows while sparring, so that they know to expect it. Failing to communicate with your partner will not only negatively affect your relationship, but your sparring as well. So be open about your training goals and make sure to always keep the communication lines open.
  • Use Elbow Pads: Using them will help protect you and your partner from sustaining injuries while sparring, and they’re especially important for novice practitioners. Although they don’t provide complete protection, they still defend against the maximum impact of the blow.
  • Use Headgear for Intense Sessions: As mentioned, they do not provide complete protection, especially for an all-out session where you’ll be focusing on throwing elbows hard. So if you plan on going hard on your sparring session, then it’s better to wear headgear as an extra precautionary measure.
  • Exercise Control: It’s important to stay composed whenever you use elbow strikes, and try to avoid hitting your opponent with an onslaught of hard-hitting elbows on sensitive areas. Maintaining control will help prevent knock-outs and broken bones, so be sure to control your strikes.

Usual Problems

As with any product, using them comes with it’s own set of challenges but one of the most pertinent complaints from practitioners is the fit. For one, they’re not really made to fit everyone and what this means is that if you’re on the heavier side, then you might find it a bit difficult to find a size that fits.

(Check out these awesome headgear you should be using instead)

Also, they can sometimes slide off unexpectedly while you’re sparring, causing unnecessary injury to you or your partner. So it’s important to ensure that you get a nice tight fit. On the other hand, a too-tight fit can be a problem as well as it decreases the flow of blood to the elbows.

Deluxe MiM Foam

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This pair is made from a cushy MiM foam, while the outer sleeve layer is covered with a heavy knit Neoprene. They’ve got a comfortable fit and provide pretty decent protection for your elbows. They also come in different sizes to accommodate all the various weight sizes that fighters come in.

Why It’s So Popular:
– These come in three different sizes from regular to large and extra large
– They’re sold in pairs instead of a single
– The padding provides excellent protection for sparring
– Thanks to the non-stretch neoprene, these typically stay put for longer

Keep In Mind:
– Unfortunately these are not suitable for someone with bigger arms and even if you have small arms you have to go a size up
– The manufacturer doesn’t offer a sizing chart


Venum Kontact

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These Venum Kontact ones are made from a premium quality type of cotton with Velcro lining to ensure that they stay in place. They come in different colors so you can choose to go with either the black, blue or red one. They provide ample protection for light sparring and the padding is soft but effective.

Why It’s So Popular:
– They’re washing machine friendly
– They come in pairs
– You have three different colors to choose from
– Soft and comfortable
– They make for ease of movement when they fit well

Keep In Mind:
– The one size may not fit all.
– The padding may not be enough for hard hitting


Ring to Cage

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Ring to Cage is a well-known brand and these are especially designed for the Muay Thai enthusiast. They’re made from heavy knit fabric with a foam padded interior and a hook & loop strap to make sure they don’t move around. They fit quite comfortable, and the fabric does stretch to conform to your size.

Why It’s So Popular:
– They come in different sizes from small to regular, large and extra large
– The foam padding is injection molded for maximum protection
– They fit comfortably
– You can fasten them to stay in place using the Velcro strap
– They’re sold in pairs

Keep In Mind:
– May move around a little


Fairtex

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These shock absorbent ones are made from 100% nylon material with a high density foam padding and a stretchy elastic sleeve. They come in red and blue colors, and are so comfortable that you can easily wear them throughout your training session without feeling them at all.

Why It’s So Popular:
– These fit really comfortably and do not move around
– Suitable for intense sparring sessions
– They make for ease and flexibility of movement
– Available colors include red and blue
– Provides great protection when sparring

Keep In Mind:
– They only come in one size


RDX

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The RDX one is made from a soft synthetic fiber with convenient Dri-Fit moisture control. The interior is padded with lightweight Carbon Fiber and it has a across-over Velcro strap, which makes for a secure fit no matter what your size. Speaking of which, sizes here range from small to medium, large and extra large, and it is quite durable and hard wearing.

Why It’s So Popular:
– Color options include black, blue, white and red, with a nice RDX design
– The cross-over Velcro strap secures it tightly without restricting blood flow
– Features Dri-Fit moisture controlling technology which wicks away sweat to keep you dry
– Provides excellent protection
– It’s built to last
– Comes in pairs

Keep In Mind:
– It’s quite bulky compared to others


Conclusion

There you have it, a complete guide to getting the right Muay Thai elbow pads and how to get the most out of them. Now you should be confident enough to know what works for you and remember to stay safe when sparring.

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