One of the most valuable pieces of training equipment for a martial artist is a good groin protector.  If you ever plan on having kids or want to have more kids, the groin protector can protect you from serious injury to your family jewels.

These are often called groin protectors, groin guards, or groin cups. Note, these are not the same as the boxing no foul groin protectors, which are specifically designed for boxing and are a full padded abdominal belt that you wear around your hips. Those protect your kidneys, liver, lower abdomen, and groin.

Groin cups or protectors are only designed to protect the groin area and nothing else. As such, you’ll be required to wear groin cups in Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and MMA matches. They are optional but recommended for hard sparring matches too. For boxing, you wear no foul protectors instead.

Why You Need a Groin Protector?

If you ever plan on having kids or want to have more kids, the groin protector can protect you from serious injury to your family jewels.

And if you plan on competing — either at the amature or professional level — you will be required to wear a groin cup during the match, so you might as well get used to sparring with one on.

Back when I started training MMA in 2005, I realized first hand how important groin protectors really are. Nothing can be more debilitating than taking a hard shot right on your groin. The moment a low blow lands, your entire body will shut down as you fall into a fetal position. If you ever want to see a grown man cry, hit him below the belt.

The low blow is the one shot that will drop the biggest and baddest fighters out there. Some of the toughest guys, will go down the fastest at a shot below the belt. Unless you are a Chinese monk, who specifically trains to endure the pain of a groin shot, you better wear a groin protector in training.

I even knew someone who had one of his testicles rupture (not making this up) when he was playing baseball, so there are serious injuries that can result from low blows. In some sport like Krav Maga, low blows are actually practiced in training. So keep this in mind if you ever face a Krav Maga fighter on the street – nothing is off limits.

A good groin protector will ensure that you can withstand a direct hit to your groin, without dropping like a little boy on the playground. While you will still feel some shock, there is a night and day different to how it will affect you.

Top Pick at a Glance

Diamond MMA Cup widiamond-cupth Compression Shorts

While there are a few good groin protectors on the market, Diamond MMA cups offer the best balance of comfort and protection.

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The Diamond MMA cups have a compression short system that ensures that your cup stays in place when you are training. This is good if you train BJJ and roll around on the mats or you are a striker who likes to stay on your feet.

If you don’t like wearing compression shorts you can get the Diamond cup in a jock strap version. Most people prefer the compression shorts, but they do have the jock strap as well.

One of the reasons why a lot of people like Diamond MMA cups is because they are one of the best fitting MMA groin cups you will find on the market.

Diamond cups were designed by Stanford engineers and have been renowned as the best Protector Cups on the market. Even the jock strap itself is made from higher quality materials and designed so it doesn’t shift around.

Final Word

Buy It……This is the best groin protector on the market

When you switch from another brand to the Diamond MMA Cup you will notice a huge step up in quality and comfort. If you look up the reviews on Amazon you can see why it is the highest rated groin protector on the market.

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If you happen to train BJJ, don’t be fooled and think that you don’t need a groin protector either. I can’t tell you how many awkward positions I’ve been in, where I found my ‘junk’ being pushed up against the guy I was rolling with. Without a groin protector, there is nothing separating you and your rolling buddy.

Wearing a groin protector when you roll, can in fact give you some leverage when it comes to cranking out an armbar against your opponent.

The point I am trying to make here is that no matter what combat sport you train in, the groin protector is an essential training component for every guy. Even girls should consider buying a female groin protector if they plan on competing.

Types of Protectors for Combat Sports

There are two general types of groin guards: Guards that go underneath your shorts that you wear instead of underwear (jockstraps or compression shorts) and guards that go over your shorts.

The groin guards that go over your shorts are designed for Boxing because you don’t need much movement in your legs to throw kicks etc. Since Boxing only utilizes your hands, protection over your shorts is good enough to stop most damage.

Groin protectors that go underneath your shorts give you the most versatility because they are much tighter. This means you can roll around on the matt or jump around and still have your groin guard in place.

Jock Straps vs Compression Shorts

Within the category of protectors that you wear underneath your shorts, there are two other variations you will encounter. These variations are groin protector jock straps and compression shorts. Jack straps are designed without underwear and only cover your groin. This is good if you want to wear your cup below or over your underwear.

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The groin guard compression shorts are underwear that has a built-in compartment for the guard. This makes it easy to put the guard in and take it out when you are not wearing it. The downside is that the fit might not be as good because you don’t tie it up like the jock strap. Overall, this is the easiest way to wear a protector and works for most people.

Most of the companies that make groin protectors make a jock strap version and a compression short version. Since everyone has their own preference when it comes to how they wear it, this gives you both options.

When Should You Use a Groin Guard?

The only time you need to use a groin guard when you are training Muay Thai is during sparring and clinching. Because you cannot predict when one of your sparring partners is going to hit you low, you need to have it there just in case.

If you know that you are going to be sparring in class, make sure you bring your protector to training or even wear it. That way you won’t “forget” to put it on. For whatever reason, I’ve found that whenever I forget to wear my groin guard, that is the day I get kicked in the nuts. I’m not sure if the universe is just playing a joke on me, but this is always the case.

Having your groin guard in your gym bag always is going to ensure that you have it easily accessible whenever your plan on sparring or clinching.

The most dangerous people you can spar or clinch against are the guys who are unable to control their techniques. People who don’t have good control over their techniques, are a danger to you and your family goods. You need to make sure that you keep everything protected so you don’t regret it later.

If you train BJJ I would automatically wear the groin guard to class. There is too much contact made when you go for a submission, that you should keep a groin protector on. Not only will it save you from any mishaps, it will also save your rolling partner from having your junk in his face.

Groing Guard Buying Factors to Consider

When you are purchasing a groin guard there are several things that you should consider. The following are some of the key things you need to look at when buying a new groin protector.

Comfort and Fit

One of the most important factors you need to think about in a groin guard is the comfort of the guard. Some of the cheaper guards offer good protection, but they usually come at the cost of comfort. If you buy a guard that is not comfortable, you are less likely to wear it in training.

The comfort of the guard will depend largely on the design of the protector. Because everyone has a different body type and build, no cup will fit the same on two people. Everyone will have their own preference when it comes to what cup is the best for them.

The best way to get a gauge on the comfort of a groin protector is to look up reviews and see what other people are saying. By reading the reviews you can see what people like and don’t like about the cup.

Size

The cup size you choose will depend on your waist size. Every brand will have sizing directions that will help you determine what size of shorts you should choose. You want to make sure you don’t get a size too big, otherwise you may have the cup move around when you are training.

Some groin protectors have a one size fits all cup that allow you to adjust the straps for the ideal fit. These cups do not come with a jock strap and are designed to be worn over your underwear.

Protection

The job of the groin protector is to protect your groin from impact. If the groin protector is made from a hard material, most of them do this job well. The difference in protection among the different brands is often minimal.

While most brands advertise themselves as having the best protection, I have yet to see a groin protector that has broken before. Maybe in a sport like baseball, where you are throwing a ball at 90 mph, then you would notice a difference in impact resistance among the major brands.

Price

The last thing we should talk about when it comes to groin guards is the pricing of the guards. If you go to the local sports store and buy a cheap groin protector, it will probably set you back around $20. This will give you a decent enough protection, but the comfort and fit are probably lacking.

Conversely, if you want a premium groin protector it can cost upwards of $80, to wear something that provides you the best protection and fit. This may seem like a lot of money, but that is a small price to pay to buy something you will use for years to come.

If price is a big deal for you, then buy a cheap brand and it will get the job done. If you can live with the guard being a bit uncomfortable and moving around a lot, then you can get cheap brands. However, if you can afford to spend the extra money, I recommend you get one of the brands that I recommend below.
Brand

You can’t mention the word groin protector without bringing up the brand Shock Doctor. This is by far the biggest brand in the industry. They have been around for decades and make products for the masses. My first pair of groin guards was a Jock Strap from Shock Doctor.

The thing about Shock Doctor is they don’t feel great when you wear them, but they are the cheapest ones. If you can spend double the money, you get a much better groin protector. I haven’t included Shock Doctors on my list of brands because the other brands are better.

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These brands are focused only on groin protectors and have designed products that are created by athletes, for athletes.

Since you aren’t going to be wearing your groin guard out in the open, the brand itself doesn’t matter. It all comes down to your fit and comfort of the guard.

The Best Groin Protector for MMA

diamond-cupDiamond MMA Cup with Compression Shorts

The best groin protector for MMA training is the Diamond MMA Cup with compression shorts. This cup has the best blend of protection, comfort and overall fit.

Click Here to See Latest Reviews on Amazon.com

The 4-jock strap system is designed to keep everything in place and will save you from needing to adjust the strap.

The Diamond cup is designed for absorbing the impact of strikes when you are sparring and it will also stay in place if you use it for rolling around in BJJ. The reason why this is the best cup is because it provides flexibility around the edges of the cup, which makes sure it doesn’t hurt you when you grapple.

When you compare Diamond MMA cups to their biggest rival the Shock Doctor, there is not comparison. Diamond is hands down better than Shock Doctor in every way. Even though you are paying more money for Diamond cups, you are getting a better product.

Something that sets Diamond apart from other designs is the co-molded elastomer design coupled with their polycarbonate core. This ensures you get a mix of comfort and protection.

Diamond cups were designed by Stanford engineers and have been renowned as the best Protector Cups on the market. Even the jock strap itself is made from higher quality materials and designed so it doesn’t shift around.

Final Word

Buy It……This is the best groin protector on the market

When you switch from your Shock Doctor to the Diamond MMA Cup you will notice a huge step up in quality and comfort. The only other cup I would recommend is the Lo-bloo cup that is similar to the Thai cup. This gives you a lot of protection, but isn’t as comfortable as the Diamond cup.

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Best Groin Protector for Muay Thai

Lo-bloo Thai Cup 2.0

lo-bloo-mens-cupIf you want a groin protector that fits like the ones you use in Thailand (Thai steel cups), the Lo-bloo is the best option available. Lo-bloo has created a unique one size fits all system that allows you to adjust the straps, just like the Thai steel cups you wear in the ring.

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I found that these cups give you a bit more protection near the bottom of the cup, but they don’t feel as comfortable because you have to tie the strings around your back.

The difference between the Lo-bloo and Thai steel cups is that this is an ergonomically designed cup so it fits better.

This groin protector is made from a plastic material that has ventilation holes. The groin guard fits over your underwear and can easily be wiped down after you are finished using it.

This is the cup that is most like the traditional Muay Thai steel cups. If you want to know how it feels wearing the steep cups, this is a good option available.

Final Word

Buy It……If you want a cup similar to Muay Thai steel cups

The Lo-bloo is a cup that is designed for the Muay Thai market. They have specialized and created a cup that is like the Muay Thai steel cups that you wear in competition.

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Best Groin Protector for Women

lo-bloo-female-cupTough Female Groin Protector Cup by Lo-bloo

When my girlfriend had her first Muay Thai fight she was worried about trying to find a groin protector to use in her fight. Apparently, it hurts like hell when girls get kicked in the groin. Fortunately, one brand has decided to solve this problem by created a groin protector that women like.

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While there are other groin protectors out there for women, the Tough Female Protector cup has received a lot of praise from female fighters in the Muay Thai circuit. The girls seem to love this protector because it provides good protection while being comfortable.

I’m not going to pretend like I’ve used this cup, but I’ll put this recommendation down because of all the good things I’ve heard about from people I know.

Final Word

Buy It

If you are looking for a female groin protector, then this is your best bet. It is the most popular one among the female fighters in Thailand.

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Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing a quality groin protector it is worth spending a bit more money and having something that you will be happy wearing during training. Nothing is worse than wearing a groin guard that is shifting around and chafing the side of your legs.

In some worst-case scenarios, the groin cup can completely fall out of place causing you to stop doing everything.

Something I’ve learned over the years is that quality always cost more. If you want to wear a good groin protector, you will need to spend more than the cheap Shock Doctor brands. Once you get used to wearing a quality cup, you will never go back to any other brand.

While everyone has their own preference, the Diamond Cup is the best cup on the market for overall use. Unless you are looking for a Thai style cup, the fit and comfort of the Diamond Cup are second to none.