Unorthodoxx explores the importance of women boxing and wearing a pelvic guard in competitions and sparring.
It started whilst watching a sparring spectacle
The boxing gloves pound into her abdomen, a slight grunt escapes, but she keeps on using her elbows to catch the flurry of punches her opponent is landing with venomous accuracy. Finally, the aggressor eases off to catch their breath, and the tables turn as the two dance around the ring in the third round of intense sparring.
“Time” is at last called.
The two young women touch gloves and then embrace one another before pulling off their gloves and head guards. Once they have exited the ring, they grab their bottles for water before removing their gum shields and sitting down next to one another.
All aggression has passed.
They begin talking about the tactics they each took in their spar and exchanging compliments and tips from their respective perspectives.
Everything from the sparring and the two chatting appears perfectly normal. Apart from one thing. Now seated one of the girls is sporting a large bulge in their shorts. The protective box she is wearing is a male groin guard. Whereas, the other is not wearing any protective gear as apparent by the lack of padding around her waist.
Why is neither woman wearing a pelvic guard? Why would one wear a male groin guard? And worryingly why would one be wearing nothing?
These questions have been ones that Unorthodoxx has been working to answer over the past several months.
We began by talking with our UX Squad, a group of women boxers that is a mix of novice, elite and professional boxers, to find out what they are using and why.
We found out they were predominantly using men’s groin guards because there was a lack of a suitable alternative. Others, such as the one who went without any protection, stated that they felt there was little need for them to wear one and their coach had placed little emphasis on them to wear one. We found this response alarming.
Despite the obvious appendage that separates men and women, the internal anatomy of males and females is quite different. This (AGAIN!) is due to our childbearing ability but also the complex number of internal organs we host that are controlled collectively by our pelvic floor muscle.
1. Protect your pelvic floor muscle.
The anatomy in our nether region is fronted by our pubic bone which sits in front of our bladder, uterus, and bowel. Although the bone is hard, the organs behind it are made up of tissue and are controlled by the pelvic floor muscle. The pelvic muscles work with your back and ab muscles to hold your core and control your bladder. The repetitive high impact of boxing can damage these tissues leading to Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PDF). PDF is the weakening of the pelvic floor muscle and can affect one in three women. In women, this is most often caused by pregnancy, menopause, and high impact sports.
A 2002 study found that 32% of women in the UK had symptoms of urinary incontinence in the previous 30 days. Protecting this area can keep us ladies feeling confident to laugh, run and even sneeze!
2. Other contact sports are responsible, boxing can be too.
Several studies have noted the correlation between increased damage to the pelvic area and high impact sports that involve jumping or weightlifting or high impact.
As boxing has been relatively slow to introduce women into mass participation, with the arrival of women boxing only gracing the Olympics in 2012, it has also been slow to accommodate our differences.
Thankfully, times are changing. However, there remains a large educational piece to be taught to coaches and boxers alike on the physiological difference between of men and women and the measures needed to protect each.
In other high contact impact sports such as hockey, and high-risk sports such as cricket, it is common for women to wear pelvic guards. These sports have long welcomed women into their sports and have taken measures to protect those participating. It is time it became commonplace in boxing too!
3. Keep it sexy, keep it confident ladies!
Avoiding damage to the pelvic region can even benefit us during our intimate moments too! With a strong, damage-free, pelvic area we can enjoy better, longer orgasms due to increased blood flow and sensitivity, which results in longer tensioning and friction.
Introducing Unorthodoxx’s Pelvic Guard
Since we began researching the importance of wearing a pelvic guard for women boxers, we also began looking into how we could offer a pelvic guard that women will wear for protection but will also feel is flattering in competitions and does not hinder their performance. We began with our usual prototyping process exploring what we wanted a pelvic guard to do, how we wanted it to feel as we boxed and finally how we wanted it to look. The result was a fresh new design of pelvic guard designed for women boxer by women boxers.
Our pelvic guard is crafted with premium quality leather with specialised padding designed to protect the pelvic, the liver and the kidneys. With a corset-style elastic and laced back this pelvic guard is designed to provide the protection, comfort and agility women boxers deserve.
Check out Unorthodoxx's Pelvic Guard here.
About Unorthodoxx and our Women's Boxing Gloves
Unorthodoxx is the UK’s first Women’s Boxing brand that has been created purely for women and has exclusively designed women’s boxing gloves and women’s boxing clothing.
Our products and equipment is designed to offer the ultimate fit, protection and durability for female boxers and combat sports fighters. From novice beginners to elite competition Unorthodoxx fight gear offers the best women’s boxing gloves, clothing and equipment.