Today I’m gonna answer the question: Can You Use A Compression Shirt For BJJ? I often wear regular compression shirts to my no-gi BJJ Training.

Especially at the beginning, since I didn’t have any rash guards yet. If you are at the beginning stages and don’t have rash Guards, don’t worry – they come later.

So, in the beginning, compression rash guards are fine; they do their job. I still wear them occasionally when I run out of rash guards.

Even though it’s smart to buy yourself some BJJ rash guards, there’s nothing wrong with wearing your compression shirt to practice. Let me explain why.

Can You Use A Compression Shirt For BJJ: on the left I'm wearing a Hayabusa Rash Guard and on the right I'm wearing a nike compression shirt

Are Compression Shirts Good for BJJ?

So, you’re into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and you’re thinking about what to wear. Sure, you’ve heard of rash guards, but what about compression shirts? Are they any good for rolling on the mat?

First off, what do compression shirts do? Well, they help with blood flow, keep your body temperature steady, and give your muscles extra support. They’re also quick to dry and can help stop bacteria from spreading. 

In BJJ, you’re up close with your grappling partners. A compression shirt can help protect you from getting rashes thanks to its tight fit. Plus, it isolates the sweat, so you don’t feel wet and icky. Also, it doesn’t hold you back or limit your movements.

So, can you use a compression shirt for BJJ? I’d say yes. Compression shirts are a good pick for BJJ. They offer more than your average gym shirt and are useful for your no-gi training sessions.

What’s the Difference Between BJJ Rash Guards and Compression Shirts?

Let’s look at what sets BJJ rash guards apart from regular compression shirts.

One big thing is how heavy the fabric is. BJJ rash guards have this extra thickness that offers more protection during grappling. Compression shirts are usually thinner. They’re strong but less thick than BJJ Rash Guards. 

Rash Guards also often have a waistband that helps to keep it in place. A good fit for your BJJ Gear is important. Compression shirts don’t have that. So you’ll find yourself adjusting your compression shirt more often than a Rash Guard.

Also, Rash guards are named for a reason: they keep you from getting rashes when you’re up close on the mat. Compression shirts’ primary function is not to protect your skin. But they still offer some protection!

Lastly, BJJ rash guards come in all sorts of cool designs, even ones that show off your belt rank. Compression shirts are more about function, not fashion. They work well, but they won’t win any style points.

So do you need to wear a rash Guard for practice? Yes, but not all the time. I still use compression shirts when my Rash Guards are in the washing machine.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Compression Shirts?

  • Allows for free movement
  • Absorbs sweat well
  • Cheaper than Rash Guards
  • Breathable
  • Warms muscles
  • Helps blood circulation
  • Thin fabric
  • Plain designs
  • Limited protection against rashes
  • No waistband to keep it in place

Can You Use A Compression Shirt For BJJ? Final Words

So, to wrap up – yes, you absolutely can wear compression shirts for your no-gi BJJ training. They offer protection, absorb sweat, and look similar to Rash Guards. So when you’re first starting, you should be fine wearing them.

Still, as time passes, I recommend you buy yourself rash guards. They offer more protection, are made specially for BJJ, have cooler designs, and are the ones allowed in BJJ competitions. With regular compression shirts, you won’t be able to compete. Rash Guards are the way to go long-term, but I know they are expensive.

So I train 5-6 times a week – sometimes, all my rash guards are in the washing, so I use my compression shirt. So start with compression shirts and then slowly reduce the use of them the more serious you get about BJJ.

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