If you’ve been watching a recent competitive wrestling tournament, you may notice that the wrestling singlet leaves little to the imagination.
Here are what wrestlers most commonly wear under their singlets:
- Groin cup
- Compression shorts
- Boxer briefs
- Nothing at all
Keep scrolling to learn more about each option and how each has their drawbacks!
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Some wrestlers do wear jockstraps under their singlets because they enable the wearer to have good freedom of movement while keeping a man’s bits and pieces together in one neat pouch.
A jockstrap is also the precursor for wearing a groin cup if they want.
Many wrestling coaches will recommend the team members to wear a jockstrap because it keeps their package neatly together while not restricting their hips in any way since the main strap only goes around the waist.
Some coaches even believe that wearing a jockstrap enables a wrestler to perform better because it increases testosterone.
Testosterone fuels muscles to become more robust and efficient and elevates adrenaline around the body.
Jockstraps first came around in 1874 as a solution for cyclists to move their packages up and away from the bicycle seat to reduce friction and discomfort.
Nowadays, jockstraps are used for a variety of combat sports and football like the NHL.
This lifting up and away from the body has been reported to reduce the temperature of the testicles by a small amount.
The temperature change allows more sperm cells to produce, potentially resulting in higher sperm count and reducing infertility.
Jockstraps were once a standard sporting tool for wrestling but now a lot of competitive wrestlers choose not to wear them since they can be quite embarrassing to be caught seen in them.
2. Groin cup
Do wrestlers wear cups? Sometimes! Fighters in different combat sports can sometimes wear a protective cup, wrestling being one of them.
A protective cup can be placed inside a jockstrap pouch, worn with compression shorts, or even under the singlet alone—though it may not work as well.
While a protective cup can help protect its wearer from sudden strikes directly to the groin area, it can be potentially harmful to use them purely in wrestling.
The attire of a singlet is relatively thin, and wrestling can involve grabbing opponents in between their thighs to keep control or pick them up and throw them, among many other groin-concerning movements.
Because movements can be so unpredictable, wearing a cup is often a no-go for competitive wrestlers.
The cup could easily get dislodged from its ideal placement, and if the wrestler is grabbed or thrown at an unfortunate angle and lands on the cup it could cause a lot more damage.
This is why many wrestlers don’t wear a groin cup at all as they’d much rather have freedom of movement and not have any doubt in their mind about the cup moving out of place.
3. Compression shorts
Plenty of wrestlers today will wear compression shorts under their singlet.
In fact, some wrestling tournaments require compression shorts to be worn because singlets are easily torn and revealing genitalia to a TV audience.
Compression shorts are an excellent option to continue allowing free movement with the added safety that there’s an extra layer protecting your pride.
They’re also really good at keeping a tight neat package so your bits aren’t moving around too much.
But that’s not the only reason to use compression shorts, as they can offer various health and performance benefits.
Compression shorts help increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles used most by a wrestler.
Wrestlers constantly use their glutes, thighs, and hip muscles constantly to shoot, lift up, throw, and manoeuvre around their opponent.
Great hip power is highly necessary for lifting up a heavy wrestling opponent and keeping your back off the floor.
With compression shorts, the extra blood flow in those areas could give that extra 1-2% of burst power and stamina to win.
Wearing compression shorts in wrestling can also help the muscles fatigue less, provide a lower chance of strain or injury, and reduce muscle soreness.
Another option that is similar to the compression shorts is the Jiu-Jitsu spats.
Spats are similar to compression shorts and rash guard gear, they could also prove useful in wrestling training or competition.
Most Jiu-Jitsu spats are full-length, meaning they reach right down to the ankle.
But there are some variants that are used by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners that are short, similar to the length of a wrestling singlet.
These are worn for compression benefits but also to help reduce the discomfort, damage and potential infection from regular friction burns inside grappling.
This means spats could also be used as an option to wear under a singlet and give additional support to hold your package and keep things neat.
5. Boxer briefs
Some wrestlers just don’t feel comfortable without something being worn underneath their singlet, but find compression shorts or the jockstraps too uncomfortable.
Wrestlers do wear underwear and that’s where the humble boxer brief comes in to give a basic layer of collecting a man’s package together
Boxer briefs aren’t going to offer much in the way of stopping them from being completely torn off like a compression short, though.
But some competitive wrestlers don’t like the feeling of compression shorts as they can feel too tight, hot, and restrictive of movement.
6. Nothing at all
Plenty of wrestlers choose to wear nothing at all under their singlet.
Having the maximum movement ability for competition is the most important thing to some.
Some wrestlers aren’t concerned with what people think or how much they can see, either, and are proud to show every bit of themselves to win the match.
Certain competitions could have specific rules that change the requirements on attire and so some organizations may force a competitor to wear something under their singlet—they may have no choice.
Wrestlers often fight with incredible ferocity, pulling and throwing each other around the mat, so it’s not uncommon for singlets to get torn.
When a competition is presented in front of a crowd or perhaps the entire nation before watershed TV time, accidental nudity becomes quite the problem.