Probably everyone who has ever been to the gym has seen athletes in tight T-shirts with an unusual print. Such clothing is called a rashguard, and its uniqueness is not that it allows you to emphasize the relief of the torso, although for some athletes this quality is the main one. What is a rashguard for? How to choose it? How to take care of him? Our article is devoted to the answers to these questions.
From the history
The benefits of rashguards have been appreciated by athletes around the world. The demand is great, and today they are produced by several dozen companies. The variety is striking: sizes, prints, long sleeves or short sleeves, male and female. There is no reliable information about who the idea of creating such unusual clothes belongs to. Two versions are known.
According to the first, Australian jitters borrowed a rashguard from surfers. It was very comfortable for them, it was warm to do the whole day at sea in special clothes. It wrapped around the torso, without interfering with training and protected the skin from scratches (about the board) and from the scorching sun on hot days. Jitters who have surfed from time to time noticed that the clothes they wear under the wetsuit during BJJ training allow them to make a good grip (hands do not slip over a sweaty body) and do not scratch the skin on the sand.
However, Jiu-Jitsu is different from surfing, and a slightly different T-shirt was needed, but with similar characteristics. Their production was launched by the Bad Boy company, which sponsored the BJJ competition in Australia in the 1990s (at that time this sport was just emerging and actively gaining popularity here).
According to another version, the rashguard was first produced by Under Armor. She was tasked with creating special clothing for American football players. Their games and trainings were quite intense, they had to change up to 10 T-shirts. We needed those that could pass water (in this case, sweat), dry quickly and keep warm. The specialists of the company stopped their choice on a material called polyester. And over time, the rashguards made by them became popular not only among football players, but also among wrestlers (BJJ, MMA, grappling).
Today, various manufacturers use fabrics such as polyester, spandex, nylon, bamboo fiber to make this type of compression garment. Polyester has a higher density, spandex stretches better, and bamboo fabric is much like cotton (it stretches worse, but allows the skin to «breathe») and serves as a reliable protection against bacteria. Over 70% of microorganisms trapped in such fibers die within 24 hours.
What is a rashguard for?
Many athletes wear this type of clothing in everyday life simply because it helps to accentuate the bumpy muscles. But since it is primarily intended for sports, it has characteristics that will help the athlete to achieve high results both in the gym and in competitions.
Its advantages over conventional cotton T-shirts are as follows:
- the fabric is impregnated with a special solution, and creates reliable protection against various kinds of diseases caused by bacteria;
- a rashguard protects the skin from possible scratches, burns, which may appear even if the training takes place on the tatami;
- retains heat well, which means that the body and muscles will not have time to cool down during the break, the risk of injury is minimized;
- the material absorbs moisture well and allows the skin to «breathe»;
- it is elastic, which is why it deserves the definition of «second skin».
How to choose
The size. Rashguard, like any other clothing, comes in different sizes and when choosing the right one, be guided by the conventions: S, M, L, XL, etc. Different manufacturers have their own criteria. For example, a T-shirt in size «M» by one company may be small, and sewn by another company — at the right time. The ideal option is to try it on before buying. Clothing should not hinder movement and should not be loose. In the first case, it will not allow you to train productively, and in the second, it will not perform its main function (to keep warm).
Compression garments can be short-sleeved or long-sleeved. In the latter case, make sure that the length is suitable. If you go in for percussion sports (boxing) and use Velcro gloves, remember that in this case it is better to choose with a short one. The reason is more aesthetic than practical: Velcro will ruin the presentable look of the sleeves.
Women are also involved in martial arts, but there are few who are passionate about, for example, MMA. Accordingly, there are few companies that specialize in sewing protective equipment and make rashguards specifically for women, taking into account their anatomy. There are only a few such manufacturers, but you can choose the right model.
Density. Depending on the sport for which the rashguards are intended, they may be more durable or less durable. For surfing, you do not need special strength, since in this case protection from the cold and the scorching sun comes to the fore. If the T-shirt is purchased for training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, mixed martial arts or grappling, then special attention should be paid to the density of the fabric and the seams. It must be flexible enough to withstand the stress generated. Flat seams that stretch well and do not chafe are ideal.
Print Made specifically for training or martial arts competitions, these rash guards feature distinctive prints and vibrant colors. The pattern is applied to the fabric in different ways. For compression garments, thermal transfer (thermal transfer) or sublimation printing is used. In the first case, the drawing loses its integrity over time, «breaks up» into small parts and exfoliates. In the second, the paint penetrates deep into the fibers and the pattern remains even after many washes. The worst thing that can happen to him is he will become faded.
Often, fighters, participating in competitions, wear a T-shirt with an aggressive print. Their goal is not only to emphasize their fighting spirit, but also to make a terrifying impression on the opponent. The variety of colors and patterns allows everyone to choose the right option.
Some manufacturers make rashguards specifically for BJJ No Gi workouts. Color spots on clothes (in the area of the shoulders, sides, arms) indicate the color of the belt (white, blue, purple, brown, black). But the color scheme is not the only feature of these T-shirts: they have triple (the most durable seams) in those places that are most exposed to stress.
How to wash a rashguard
Compression garments are not cheap, but the price often matches the quality. With proper care, the item will last a long time. It is made of synthetic fabrics, the main drawback of which is the appearance of puffs. It is almost impossible to remove them without damaging the fabric. What to do in this case? Accidentally catching on the protruding edge of a sports equipment is one thing (accident). To make a lot of Velcro puffs on shorts or boxing gloves is another thing (in some cases, unwillingness to notice the obvious). Velcro sports equipment is convenient and should not be discarded for fear of ruining the rashguard. Despite the fact that a well-groomed appearance matters, your main goal in training should be, above all, the results achieved. It’s easy to find a way out. Just choose compression garments with short sleeves or Velcro.
When you return home from your workout, immediately disassemble your bag so that things don’t «accumulate» an unpleasant smell of sweat. The rashguard should be rinsed in warm water without soap, gently wrung out with your hands, hung on a clothes hanger and dried upright. It is strictly forbidden to strongly squeeze (twist) and dry near heating appliances. The best option is to wait for the shirt to dry at room temperature. If you go to workouts often, buy two rashguards. Both once a week should be washed with powder at a temperature not exceeding 1 ° C. Use a delicate (hand) wash.
Why is this kind of respect required? Clothes are made of synthetic fabrics, which lose their positive qualities in hot water. If you wash a rashguard like a cotton T-shirt, it will either lose its compression properties, or it will simply “shrink”.
Rashguards were first made at the end of the XNUMXth century. As we already mentioned, different sources indicate different firms: «Bad Boy» and «Under Armor». Today, in addition to them, are known:
- Venum, etc.
Let us consider in more detail.
«Bad Boy» Is an American company founded in 1982. Initially it made clothes for surfers. At the end of the last century, it began to produce sports equipment for jitters. Later, MMA and grappling fighters appreciated its benefits. For two years in a row (2010-2011), the company’s products were recognized as the best in the world for mixed martial arts (according to the World MMA Awards). It is distinguished by high quality, antibacterial impregnation of fabric, restrained recognizable design (a stern look of a bad guy) and a wealth of choice (not only T-shirts, but also shorts, pants). The clothing is suitable for intense workouts in the gym and outdoors.
«Under Armor» Is an American company founded in 1996. Its founder set himself the goal of creating such clothes in which it would be comfortable to play sports. The main goal is to make sure that the muscles do not cool down throughout the workout, and the body does not sweat. The company began to produce compression garments, in particular rashguards. The creators used an innovative approach and today their products are considered one of the best. It is appreciated for its high quality and durability. The Under Armor brand is recognizable; professional athletes around the world make the choice in its favor.
Hayabusa Is a Canadian company popular all over the world. Its products are appreciated for their high quality, which is achieved through the use of modern technical achievements. One of the features is design. The print on clothes is the path of the warrior, the history of the samurai, which is presented in a modern interpretation. Sublimated printing is used. The fabric is made using the X-static XT2 technology (silver threads are woven into the main fabric, due to which most of the bacteria are killed). The seams are strong and can withstand any stress. The price is high, but the quality is worth it.
Distinctive feature of compression garments «Fixgear» — thin cloth. Despite this, it is durable, although it is difficult to characterize it «for centuries»: some athletes note that after a year of intense training, the fabric was wiped. However, all this year, the seams withstood intense loads, and the rashguard itself created comfortable conditions for practicing martial arts. The design is presented by a wide variety of models (bright and restrained colors): both young people and older people will choose a suitable thing.
Another company founded by professional athletes — «Venum»… Her homeland is Brazil. A team of jitters worked to create the most comfortable compression clothing for BJJ and MMA. By carefully monitoring the quality of the products, they were able to achieve their goal. Rashguards «Venum» are made of fabric with increased wear resistance. They are comfortable, nothing hinders movement, and the skin «breathes».
So, a rashguard is a compression garment that is designed primarily for sports. It is made of synthetic fabrics that reliably protect against bacteria, absorb sweat well, and dry quickly. They keep the muscles warm and keep the muscles cool, which in turn reduces the risk of injury.