1) You Can Spar Harder and Longer with Shin Guards on
If you have ever sparred without shin guards, then you know how much more careful you are trying not to get kicked in the shins. It’s very hard for a fighter who is used to going all out during a workout to suddenly stay back and try not to hit the person in front of them. Shin guards open up an entire realm for fighters to work their striking at full force throughout a long workout without having to worry about getting kicked in the shins and injuring themselves.
This also allows you to spar longer because there is no need for breaks between rounds when one fighter gets too tired or wants a break.
Shin guards allow for safety and force sparring to go hand in hand. If you wear shin guards when practicing Muay Thai or MMA, you can rest assured that your shins are protected from any accidental kicks during the workout while also being allowed to go all out with no limitations on how hard or long to strike if both fighters agree.
Shin guards are also permitted in most Muay Thai or MMA competitions, so if you plan on fighting at any point it is a wise idea to invest in some shin guards that will offer protection during the fight.
2) You Can Get More Kicks In With Shin Guards On Than Off
It may sound strange to say this but your kicks actually do more damage with shin guards on. When you kick, the person wearing shin guards feels much less of an impact than when you land a kick without them. This is because there are three main areas that absorb the impact when someone kicks:
The front side of your leg The top part where your shins meet in your foot The backside of your leg. The front of the shin is protected by the shin guard, so it doesn’t feel as much impact when you kick. The top part where your shins meet in your foot has a little bit more flesh there than on the other parts to absorb some of that impact before it reaches the bone and pain receptors; this area is still covered by the shin guard. The backside of your leg doesn’t have any protection when you kick so it feels a lot more impact than if you had on shin guards.
Shin guards allow for much more powerful kicks to be thrown during practice or in competition because they protect both parts that absorb impact and one part that actually hurts from contact with the other person’s shin.
3) Shin Guards Don’t Get in the Way With Kicks Or Punches
Since Muay Thai and MMA are striking sports, it is important that your kicks land correctly without being blocked by something getting in the way of the landing. That is one reason why wearing headgear for sparring isn’t recommended because it can block your vision and get in the way of kicks. This is why shin guards are recommended to be worn for all types of sparring because they don’t limit you or hinder your movement when kicking whether it’s an uppercut, hook kick, roundhouse kick, push kick, or anything else that requires a forceful strike with your foot.
You don’t have to worry about shin guards getting in the way when you throw a punch either since they are attached to your legs and aren’t up around your head like protective headgear.
4) Shin Guards Are Good For Conditioning Your Legs for Kicks
One of the best ways to get into shape is by doing sprints or other types of cardio exercises. These are good for getting your heart rate up and making you sweat but they don’t do much to help improve the muscles in your lower body.
Switching between sprints or doing long-distance runs, then wearing shin guards while kicking on another can be a great way to strengthen not just your shins, but also the muscles in your calves, quads, and hamstrings that are used when kicking. This will not only help to improve lower leg strength but can also give you more power behind kicks since these muscles work together with other parts of your legs when throwing a kick or punch.
5) It’s your safety that matters most
Shin guards might seem like they’re just for decoration or preventing injury, but the truth is that you should wear them because it’s safer than not wearing any protection. If you kick another person in a sparring session and your shin guard hits their foot instead of their shin, there isn’t going to be much pain involved for either of you. However, if that person kicks without wearing shin guards and hits your foot with their bare shin there is going to be a lot of pain involved on both sides as well as an injury for the person who wasn’t protected by anything.
A punch or kick can land correctly even when throwing it slightly off-target so hitting someone’s foot instead of their shin isn’t always going to happen. However, if you’re sparring with someone who doesn’t wear shin guards and they hit your foot instead of the top or front part of your leg it can damage not just bones but also ligaments which will only lead to a lot more next time you practice Muay Thai or MMA.
Shin guards can also save you from injuries like this and keep your legs in tip-top shape for future sessions.