Bumps, bruises, sprains – these are all frequent side effects of playing a sport as grueling as Ultimate Frisbee. To keep playing, sometimes something extra is needed. Ankle braces, knee braces, thigh wraps – these have all helped me play through minor strains and sprains. I’ve written about the best Ultimate Frisbee braces from my experience below.
Before I get started, I want to make it extremely clear that I am not a medical professional, and this article should not be taken as medical advice. If you are injured, please talk to your doctor about the best option for you.
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There is a lot of debate on whether or not ankle braces help, or hurt, the recovery of ankle injuries. I don’t have a lot of experience in the area, but I do know teammates that benefit from ankle braces, or even getting their ankle taped! Below are some of the most popular Ultimate Frisbee braces for ankles.
Med Spec ASO Ankle Stabilizer
The ASO Med Spec Ankle Stabilizer is one of the most common ankle stabilizers out there. Many athletes – not just Ultimate players – use this ankle brace for their play and recovery. The sizing is very flexible (it’s got laces like a shoe, and velcro). Yet it keeps a low profile, and fits inside any type of shoe or cleat! If you are looking for an ankle brace, this is the place to start.
POWERLIX Ankle Brace
If you are looking for something a little lower profile, or just more compression, check out the Powerlix Ankle Brace. This ankle brace, sold by size, allows more flexibility from the ankle, but still provides support. It is made of high performance fabric, and has texture on the outside of the sleeve to minimize slipping. This is a great option if you want an ankle sleeve.
Unfortunately, ACL tears and other knee injuries are fairly prevalent in Ultimate Frisbee. I have been extremely fortunate in never receiving a major knee injury, so I don’t have as much experience with heavy knee braces. However, due to a minor issue, I have worn a knee brace the last few years. Below are some of the more popular knee braces for Ultimate Frisbee players.
Knee Brace with Stabilizers
This is a quite popular popular knee brace for Ultimate Frisbee players. It keeps the kneecap open to stabilize it and let it breath. Gel pads surround the knee cap, protecting it and making it more comfortable. The brace has a “universal fit,” which is really closer to “one size fits most.” The loose sleeve slides easily over the leg and twin velcro straps keep it in place. Finally, the material is breathable, making it great for lots of running in Ultimate Frisbee.
POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve
The Powerlix Knee Compression sleeve is another great option for a knee brace if you want something a little lower profile. This brace comes in a variety of sizes. It is built with high quality material, fitting easily over your knee but providing compression and support at the same time. It has anti-slip surface on the inside, ensuring it stays up on your knee instead of slipping down your leg. Just be sure to find the right fit – a brace that’s too small or too large will impact your ability to play.
I’ve had all sorts of tweaks, sprains, and strains from playing Ultimate Frisbee. I’ve tweaked my back, hurt my shoulder, pulled a hamstring – and many more! If you are looking for other wraps or braces, these have been pretty helpful for me and my teammates.
BODYMATE Hip Brace
Hip braces like the one above are extremely versatile and useful. They can help with groin, quad, hamstring, or hip support and recovery. This one in particular comes in two colors (blue and black) and three size types. The velcro bands are able to fit most waist sizes, and it’s flexible to allow movement.
Elastic Bandage Wraps
Elastic bandages like the ones above have saved me a bunch of times out on the field. These bandages are great at compressing a muscle tweak or wrapping ice on an injury. Even if you’re not injured now, I would suggest throwing at least one of these in your Ultimate Frisbee bag. You never know when you might need one!
Ultimate Frisbee braces help when an injury occurs. But the best way to avoid injury is by preventing it. I’ve gathered some tips below on preventing injuries in Ultimate Frisbee.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
I’ve played in countless Ultimate Frisbee tournaments. Yet, at almost every single one, I have seen at least one person smoking. Ultimate is an extremely taxing sport for your body. If you are looking to improve your overall fitness, or even avoid getting injured, cut out any smoking or alcohol habits. Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Small, healthy decisions now will pay huge dividends in the future.
Ultimate Frisbee can get tiring! It’s not easy to enter a tournament on a weekend, and walk away feeling fresh without any prior practice. If you want to feel fresh after games or tournaments, begin working out on a regular basis. This can be as easy as going for a 30 minute jog every other day! Working out, even for a small amount of time each day, will quickly turn into better results for you on the Ultimate Frisbee field.
Get Your Sleep
One of the most neglected and ignored healthy lifestyle habits I have seen in Ultimate Frisbee, is sleep. Getting a good night’s rest before a game or tournament is imperative. Maintaining a healthy sleep cycle outside of Ultimate Frisbee is also very important. I have had many teammates, especially in college, who thought they could pull an all-nighter before an Ultimate Frisbee tournament. I’m guilty of this myself! Yet after a night of no sleep, the level of play the next day is very low. Go to sleep early before you play Ultimate!
If you do get injured, chances are a doctor will talk about physical therapy or rehab. These are exercises that will help you strengthen your muscles, without causing further damage to the injury. As always, seek medical advice from a medical professional! Websites like these can also help.
Other Ultimate Frisbee Gear
If you’re ready to play some Ultimate, check out this other Ultimate Frisbee gear!