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What Do Wrestlers Wear Under Their Singlets?

Robert Green
Published: July 17, 2023
Updated: July 17, 2023

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If you've ever peered curiously into a wrestling match, you've likely wondered what sort of attire is suited for such intense, bodily contact sport, and more specifically, what wrestlers wear under their singlets.

Choosing the right attire is more than just about aesthetic appeal; it directly impacts performance, safety, and health concerns.

Wrestling Singlets

Understanding singlets—the norm in wrestling—begins not just with appreciating their form-fitting design, but with investigating what lies beneath them, beneath the mat-level surface. This article aims to provide insights into what wrestlers wear under their singlets.

Singlets, traditionally used in amateur wrestling, were designed to allow freedom of movement and easy identification of holding offenses during matches. These close-fitting, one-piece uniforms function to protect the wrestler's body, while simultaneously showcasing their physique.

Singlets vary in style—with differences in strap thickness, leg length, and fabric—depending primarily on the type of wrestling and personal comfort of the wrestler

Olympic wrestling singlet

A wrestler's undergarments, often shrouded in mystery for the uninitiated viewer, serve a significant purpose. They lend additional support, reduce the risk of injury and, crucially, add a layer of hygiene protection.

The right undergarments under a singlet can minimize chafing, control body temperature, and even enhance performance through better flexing of muscles.

It may come as a surprise that the choice of undergarments differs vastly among wrestlers worldwide. Primarily influenced by comfort, rules of the wrestling federation, and personal preference, wrestlers may opt for anything from compression shorts, jockstraps to athletic supporters.

The overriding criteria always lean toward ease of movement and reduction of friction.

The comfort offered by undergarments assumes significant importance. Not only do they aid in maintaining hygiene—by wicking away sweat and reducing bacterial growth—but they also contribute to a wrestler's overall comfort, directly impacting their performance.

The wrong undergarments can lead to discomfort, unwanted distractions, and adversely affect a wrestler's agility and strength.

Do Wrestlers Wear Underwear?

Yes, wrestlers wear underwear under their singlets. The type of underwear worn often comes down to personal preference and comfort, along with federation regulations. Options range from regular athletic briefs or boxer briefs to compression shorts or athletic supporters.

Wrestling Underwear

When it comes to wrestling and undergarments, there is no shortage of misconceptions and myths. Common belief proposes wrestlers wear nothing under their singlets. This is a falsehood. While rules vary across regions and competitive levels, the majority (keep in mind that there are always outliers) advocate for the use of suitable undergarments meant to ensure physical comfort, reduce risk of damage, and uphold modesty standards.

What about a cup?

When it comes to the question of whether wrestlers wear a cup under their singlets, the answer can be quite controversial. A "cup," or athletic supporter, is typically a hard plastic shell that is worn to protect the male reproductive organs from potential trauma during physical activities.

In theory, one may think that using a cup should be an automatic choice for a contact sport like wrestling. However, many wrestlers actually prefer not to wear one. The primary reason behind this decision is comfort and mobility. Most wrestlers find that a cup can restrict their movement, making certain grappling techniques more difficult to execute. Moreover, an improperly fitted cup or a slight shifting during a match can cause discomfort or even injuries.

Nevertheless, wearing a cup does offer undeniable protection from accidental hits or contacts during aggressive wrestling matches. Some wrestlers and their coaches hence insist on its use, especially for the novice levels.

It is also important to note that some wrestling organizations may have rules mandating the use of a cup or leaving it completely at wrestlers’ discretion. Meanwhile, others may prohibit its use altogether fearing that it might give a wrestler an unfair advantage, treating it equivalent to, say using an illegal brace.


The role of undergarments in wrestling is undeniably critical. They safeguard health, enable optimal performance, and maintain decency all while bracing a wrestler's body for the strenuous activity. It is imperative for wrestlers to make informed decisions about their undergear – choosing discomfort for the sake of aesthetics or unfounded tradition can result in unnecessary hindrances.

Next time when you bear witness to a wrestling match, remember, there is more to their performance than brute strength and dexterity—there's a well-thought out attire, especially chosen undergarments, contributing to their success on the mat.

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