Do Wrestlers Wear Cups? Here Is The Truth

The groin is perhaps the most vulnerable area in most contact sports, and wrestling is contact as well as a combat sport, so protecting the groin is crucial. The standard uniform for wrestlers is the wrestling singlet, which resembles a one-piece bathing suit without any protection underneath.

Do Wrestlers Wear Cups?

Wrestlers don’t wear cups under their singlets unless they’re built into a jockstrap, compression shorts, or other protective gear expressly allowed in wrestling bouts. In some cases, male wrestlers can wear a t-shirt under their singlets, while women wrestlers can wear sports bras underneath.

Luckily, the rules of wrestling prohibit groin shots which keeps participants safe for the most part. However, it’s crucial to don some form of protection as accidents are bound to happen, and you need to stay well-protected.

How Do Wrestlers Protect Their Groin Area?

To protect their groin area, wrestlers can choose to wear a jockstrap, compression shorts, or regular briefs to give them adequate support during a match. Though they can’t wear cups during matches, they have the freedom to put on a cup during practice bouts to help prevent injury while training.

All of these options serve specific purposes. Keep reading as I discuss them in detail below. 

Jockstraps Protect a Wrestler’s Genitalia

Jockstraps have been a standard athletic support gear for years now. They are designed to stabilize and protect one’s genitalia while allowing free range of movement during any physical activity.

The standard jockstrap comes with an elastic waistband that secures itself to your hips. The elasticity allows for a tight fit while preventing any restriction in mobility.

A jockstrap also has two elastic loops fastened to the waistband to put your legs through. These elastic loops are designed to secure the genitalia while allowing a complete range of movement.

The most crucial part of the jockstrap is the portion covering the groin area. Most often, it’s a fabric pouch that holds everything in place while providing adequate breathability.

Some jockstraps are fitted with a hard plastic cup, woven expertly into the design for protection during intense contact sports like wrestling. This design is the way cups are allowed – as part of the standard wrestling uniform.

Compression Shorts Allow for More Movement Freedom

Compression shorts are a newer form of athletic support wear and have slowly gained popularity in recent years. 

These shorts are made from flexible, stretchy, breathable fabric that sticks to your body yet allows for a complete range of motion. Compression shorts help secure the groin area by stabilizing the genitalia and preventing injury during a match.

Often, compression shorts are the more popular choice of undergarments for wrestling. They are preferred because they are free from the elastic straps that sometimes dig into the skin during movement.

Some compression shorts come with built-in cups for added protection during contact and combat sports.

Briefs Give Wrestlers More Comfort While Wrestling

Briefs have been a wrestling favorite for generations as they allow free movement and give an opponent little to grab onto during a wrestling bout.

However, it’s important to remember that briefs provide the least protection as they are not as secure as jockstraps or compression shorts.

While cups can restrict mobility and make fighting uncomfortable, wrestlers can still protect their groin area by investing in a jockstrap or compression shorts that come with built-in cups for protection.

Best Cups for Wrestlers

The best cups for wrestlers are built into either shorts, briefs, or a jockstrap. This is because it ensures the cup won’t move around during practice. However, the cup must be removable for washing and to allow for some motion as you spar. Ideally, it should be breathable to help promote airflow.

If you’re looking for protection during a wrestling match, the following are my top recommendations, all from

Shock Doctor Compression Shorts

This pair of compression shorts come with a vented, bio-flex cup that fits seamlessly with most athletic frames, offering unrestricted movement and breathability.

The lower part of the cup is designed in a way to occupy a more natural position between the legs which provides a more comfortable fit during intense activity.

The compression shorts are made from moisture-wicking fabric, and the cup itself is designed to prevent sweat accumulation. This design ensures that the wrestler stays comfortable and mobile throughout a match.

With this pair of shorts, you get the benefit of total protection with the added advantage of muscle compression.

Shock Doctor Ultra Pro Jockstrap

Shock Doctor designed the compression shorts for those who prefer to wear them, but there’s nothing like donning a jockstrap before a wrestling match. And they’ve got one that will give you the protection you need for the fight.

The Ultra Pro Jockstrap comes with a comfy micro-knit waistband for easy mobility. Its groin section is covered by an anti-odor stretch mesh and comes with a protective cup that fits in snugly. 

Mueller Athletic Support Brief    

This athletic brief from Mueller is perhaps one of the few briefs designed to accommodate protective cups. The cup slips easily into the groin area and is highly flexible, with rubber edges, allowing for a wide range of movement and unparalleled protection.

It’s interesting to note that this piece is a ‘compression brief’ and stretches over your skin, offering free movement through the duration of any activity.

McDavid Athletic Supporter

For those of you with a smaller budget, McDavid’s offers a supportive jockstrap with a protective cup to keep you safe during a wrestling bout. 

Its simple design and flexible cup make this piece a comfortable fit during any form of intense activity. 

While many wrestlers actively choose to avoid cups as they restrict mobility, wearing a protective cup can keep you safe during a match. 

And with the innovation in sportswear today, you can get compression shorts, jockstraps, and briefs with a built-in cup holder to keep you safe during a match. 

So invest in one, and you’ll be able to take your training to the next level without worrying about injury. 

Interested in Wrestling? Check Out My Recommendations

Looking For Gear To Use When You Train?
If you are interested in training Wrestling, here is some of the gear I recommend:
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Best Mouth Guard
Best Wrestling Shoes
Best Groin Protection
Want To Learn To Fight, But Don’t Want To Go In Person?
CoachTube has online training videos for Wrestling, Boxing, MMA and more. And best part is you can do it all from your home allowing you to go at your own pace. Check them out here.
Interested In Training Other MMA Fighters?
Click here to check out the MMA Conditioning Association and see what you need to become an MMA conditioning coach and begin training fighters.


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