The worst injury you can get in MMA, BJJ, or any other contact martial art has to be an injury to the shoulder. That makes life a living hell for a while. The number one contender to this “champion” injury is an injury to the shoulder. Here, there are not just plenty of ways to get hurt, but also plenty of different structures you can injure.
Moreover, a hurt shoulder translates to the ability to do exactly nothing. Training aside, a tweaked, or seriously injured shoulder will prevent you from doing anything. In fact, even laying down is a problem.
When it comes to returning to training, that shoulder has great chances of ending up injured again. Unless you secure one of the Best MMA and BJJ Shoulder Braces for yourself. Today’s focus will be on shoulder support for MMA and BJJ students, and the best braces that make a difference.
The shoulders are joints that are easy to get hurt even under the best of circumstances. In MMA, BJJ, or any other grappling sport, a shoulder injury can spell the end of your career just as easily as a knee injury. Together, those joints can really affect not just your MMA or BJJ career, but your overall quality of life. Training with a shoulder injury is not just difficult because of the pain.
The anatomy of the joint is such that taping it up to relieve pain is notoriously difficult. However, there is some specialty protective and supportive gear out there that’ll allow you to train. Not many regular shoulder braces are strong enough to help you with your training but we guide you to the best BJJ and MMA shoulder braces of 2021 that can.
What to Look For In A Shoulder Brace
A shoulder brace needs to compress and support your shoulder. It is as easy as that. However, you need to be aware of a host of different factors as well. Does that brace restrict, or support movement? Is it appropriate for the type and, more importantly, the severity of the injury that you’re nursing? Are you just coming back from injury or trying to train with a fresh one? How about price, brand, material, etc? The best BJJ and MMA shoulder braces are capable of them all.
Let’s start with support. Shoulder injuries heal properly only when you manage to rest the shoulder. That includes the recovery period as well, and in particular, training with a tweaked shoulder. To that extent, the first priority is keeping your joint tightly together. that means preventing further dislocations, as well as subsequent muscle, tendon, and/or ligament tears. Shoulder braces come in different shapes and sizes, according to what they need to protect.
Some braces are heavy-duty and will keep your shoulder in place without a glitch. they are, however, impossible to train with, and you need to wear them while resting. Looser shoulder braces mean you can move more thanks to compression but you get less support. This is a trade-off you always need to consider.
Adjustability is also a huge aspect of shoulder supportive gear. A brace needs to fit snugly but also encompass all shoulder tissues in order to provide relief. Furthermore, if you’re going to train with one, you need it to be breathable and moisture-wicking. That means high-quality materials that are friendly to your skin and will last through the rigors of MMA, BJJ, or grappling training.
Best MMA and BJJ Shoulder Braces
The shoulder braces guide has one main goal – to help you keep your shoulders pain and injury-free. that said, these braces are usually not a preemptive piece of gear. That means that wearing a brace on healthy shoulders won’t do too much good. Quite the opposite, in fact, as it may weaken your shoulder structure.
On the other hand, a brace is not a solution for severely dislocated shoulder, muscle/ligament/tendon tears, or other serious injuries. Anything in between, though, and one of the best shoulder braces of 2021 is going to have a major impact on your training.
There’s also one aspect to wearing a shoulder brace that you might not know. it takes a while to get used to wearing one and training with one. Moreover, if it is a restrictive brace meant to prevent you from taking your shoulder too far, you might find it uncomfortable at first. Allow for an adjustment period and never try and work through a shoulder brace, or it won’t do you any good. With that in mind, let’s move on to the reviews.
1. EVS SPORTS SHOULDER BRACE
The EVS sports shoulder brace is the first entry in our best shoulder braces for MMA and BJJ in the 2021 guide. This is a shoulder brace that provides high levels of support while also allowing you to train. As such, it is perfect for small rotator cuff injuries, or muscle sprains and tears. Moreover, it is very comfortable to wear and not bulky at all.
The EVS sports shoulder brace is a brace that delivers maximal compression and support. It features innovative materials that provide great breathability due to mesh panel integration. TPR gripper pull-tabs further make things easier.
The brace is extremely easy to pull on and take off, and it fits both the left or right shoulder. An adjustable arm closure system means you can fit just about any size arm into this brace.
The main closure system is via X-strap technology that eliminates chafing. Available in sizes small, medium, extra-large, and XX-large. Consult the measurement chart to figure out exactly what size is perfect for you.
The Babo Care shoulder brace takes things up a notch, compared to the EVS sports brace. This one, although not really heavy-duty, allows for much more shoulder stability than the previous one. It also covers a wider range of injuries, but also comes with more movement restrictions as well. Still, it is one of the best tools you can use to make sure you train effectively with a faulty shoulder joint.
The one thing that immediately stands out about this shoulder brace is the pressure pad. It allows you to add an ice pack or a hot pad on the brace just as you finish training. In cases of tendonitis, this is an irreplaceable feature. The material is extremely breathable Neoprene that’s ultra-comfortable and lightweight.
There is a combination of ultra-strong Velcro straps and high-grade plastic buckles that allow for maximal adjusting. The brace fits the left or right shoulder and works just a well for both sexes. It provides great support and top compression, reducing pain, speeding up recovery, and protecting your shoulder from further harm. Comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Whenever you read “Shock Doctor” you can rest assured that you’re getting the highest quality protective gear for combat sports. Their shoulder support brace is right up there with their best product. It offers amazing levels of stability and aids in the recovery of injuries common to BJJ, MMA, and grappling training, like AC, sprains, and rotator cuff injuries.
This shoulder brace can fit both men and women, but it is designed for men and usually fits them much better. When it comes to ligament injuries (which are the most common with combat athletes) there’s no better brace than this one. Sprains, tears, joint instability, etc. all benefit from this brace. The anatomic design ensures the strap can fit on either shoulder. It is made from soft lycra, combined with N-Tex airflow technology to keep moisture out.
There are two chest straps that help adjust the fit perfectly. A Multi-position X strap stabilizer provides options to position the brace for maximal stability and compression. Available in 5 different sizes. As far as the best shoulder braces for BJJ and MMA that allow you to train while offering maximal protection are concerned, this one is a clear winner.
If the Shock Doctor brace is a better fit for men then this one is all about helping the finer half with MMA and BJJ-related shoulder issues. The Strong AID shoulder brace is a lightweight, comfortable, adjustable shoulder support brace. It is irreplaceable when it comes to dislocations, rotator cuff trauma, or any serious shoulder injury.
IF you’re looking for the perfect balance of shoulder support and shoulder compression, this is the brace for you. The Strong AID shoulder brace support is a triple-stitched, high-quality brace with premium Velcro grips. it is extremely comfortable, breathable, easy to wash, and quick to dry.
Given that it is extremely lightweight you can wear it both over or under your MMA or BJJ rashguard or a shirt. It is even comfortable enough to sleep with. It fits either shoulder with plenty of adjustment options. Available in S/M and L/XL as well as black, grey, or purple color. Comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.
The usual post-injury recipe is RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Well, the McDavid Thermal shoulder brace allows for them all, providing one of the best recovery tools you’ll ever find. Many things land it among the best shoulder braces of 2021, but the freedom of movement it offers is definitely its best trait.
McDavid is a brand that has been providing the highest-grade sports protective gear for almost half a century now. This is a grade 1 injury brace, meaning that if you have something serious, you should opt for one of the heavier duty braces in our guide. Any shoulder inflammation or minor trauma up to dislocation is covered by this brace. The material is latex-free neoprene of the highest class, providing not just compression but also thermal properties.
The lightweight, unrestrictive, and breathable design means you can wear it for long periods of time. A hook and loop closure system with straps allows for maximal adjustability. Fits on either shoulder and is perfect for both men and women. Comes with a McDavid guarantee of quality and satisfaction.
Fintech’s shoulder brace is another shoulder brace that has an extended purpose. It provides great stability and aids recovery in many different ways. Perfect for both training, resting, or sleeping. As far as the best Jiu-jitsu and MMA shoulder braces go, this one is by far the most versatile one. In fact, this is a sort of a hybrid of all the other braces we reviewed above.
The Fintech Shoulder Brace has several qualities. First up, it offers strong, high-grade stability to the shoulder joint. Then, it provides not just overall pressure, but specific pressure as well, to soothe shooting pains. It both speeds up recovery and protects from further injury. For a lightweight, Neoprene brace this one provides exceptional levels of stability and covers just about every injury.
Moreover, it features a pocket that can hold a hot or cold pack, depending on what you may need. The highly adjustable brace can be worn on either shoulder. It fits both men and women and is available in two sizes (S/M and L/XL). Comes in black, mint, or pink and with a 45-day full refund guarantee.
Training Around shoulder Injuries In MMA and BJJ
It would be unprofessional and irresponsible of me to advise anyone to train with an injury. Even more so when that training is MMA, BJJ, Grappling, or other combat training. Of course, this also includes strength and conditioning as well. However, under certain circumstances (upcoming fight, major tournament, an injury that’s not too serious) this can be done. In those cases, protecting the vulnerable/injured shoulder is of paramount importance.
The first thing to remove from MAM training might be a surprise one – contact work. However, this does not mean sparring. On the contrary, light MMA sparring, particularly striking is fine, as long as you’re wearing one of the best shoulder braces from our guide.
Impact training, the likes of focus mitts or bag work, is entirely out of question. In sparring, you can go as light or as hard as you want. and use stance, motion, kicks, and, carefully, clinching, to mitigate the stress on your shoulders. Shadowboxing is another aspect of striking you can safely train, just mind the explosiveness if the shoulder is still tender.
For grappling training, certain technical stuff and even position sparring are perfectly ok. Full-out grappling matches and in particular, takedowns, are out of bounds for any type of shoulder injury. Pushups are out as well as is heavy bench pressing. Light upper bodywork, chin-ups, and lots of resistance bands work is the norm. A shoulder injury is also a great opportunity to get you running and increase your aerobic capacity as well.
Do not take shoulder injuries lightly because they can force you out of Mixed Martial Arts or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu completely very fast. If you have any ache or pain, give it a little rest. Or, even better, pick up any of the best shoulder braces for 2021 to make sure you resolve your issue and do not cause further damage to the shoulder. After all, shoulder injuries usually require time and patience, and training without a brace is only going to complicate things.