Important Hygiene Tips for Contact Sports – Let’s Keep It Clean!

At Element, we prioritise the well-being of our members and strive to maintain a safe and hygienic training environment.

Like most things in life, this requires a team effort of robust cleaning practices on our end combined with the personal responsibility and vigilance of our members.

To help protect you and keep our training environment clean, we have our gym professionally deep-cleaned at the start of every week. Additionally, we disinfect our training areas and equipment after each session, and our staff undertake additional cleaning throughout the week.

We understand that martial arts may be many people’s first experience with contact sports. To assist you, we have compiled a list of best practice tips to help keep you training and on the mats.

Cleanliness:

  • Shower immediately after each training session (within 30 minutes) to thoroughly clean your entire body, paying special attention to areas prone to sweat accumulation and those that have come into skin-to-skin contact.
  • We highly recommend using specialised antibacterial soap, such as our Roll Clean soap available at the front desk. However, there are many brands available online so pick the brand that is right for you.
  • If you work a physical job or are dirty from work, please shower before training.
  • Avoid sharing towels, clothing, equipment, or personal items with other members.
  • Wear footwear when off the mat area, especially when in the toilets.
  • Minimise touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth, during training to reduce the risk of introducing bacteria or fungi.

Training Gear and Equipment:

  • Always wear clean training gear and DO NOT wear the same gear for multiple days. Consider changing between if doing multiple sessions back to back.
  • Purchase your own gloves, shin guards, etc., and clean them with antibacterial spray or wipes after every use.
  • Use a wet bag to keep your used training gear separate from your clean gear and/or clean your training bag regularly.
  • We recommend washing your training gear separately from your other clothes and adding an antibacterial and antifungal hygiene laundry rinse.
  • Pro tip: Wash anything with velcro in a delicates bag or separately to avoid it ruining your rashguards.

Skin Protection:

  • Keep your skin clean and dry, as moisture and sweat create an environment conducive to bacterial and fungal growth.
  • Regularly trim and clean your nails to reduce the risk of scratching or tearing the skin, which can lead to infections.
  • Avoid shaving and/or exfoliating before or on days you are training.
  • Clean and care for any open wounds, cuts, or scratches. We recommend adding a step to your shower routine to cleanse any scrapes with an appropriate cleaning solution.
  • Avoid training with any open wounds, and cover them with a clean, waterproof bandage before participating in training sessions.
  • Consider wearing long-sleeve rashguards and tights under your gear to minimise skin contact.

Regular Check-ups:

  • Monitor your skin regularly for any signs of infection, such as redness, itching, rashes, or unusual sores. If you notice any concerning symptoms, consult a healthcare professional promptly.
  • Refrain from participating in training if you have a suspected skin infection or ringworm until you are fully healed (wound fully healed and red area has disappeared) and/or have received medical clearance.
  • Please inform us if you develop any skin infections so that we can take any necessary steps. We will keep this information anonymous.
  • If coaches notice any suspicious marks, they will discreetly advise you. You may be required to sit out the rest of training and seek medical assessment.

Note: Our policy at Element is that you cannot participate in training until any issues are fully resolved and healed. Some online posts may suggest returning to training after 2 days of treatment, but this is incorrect and not in line with best practice.

By following these important hygiene practices, we can collectively reduce the risk of skin issues within our combat sports community. Your commitment to proper hygiene is crucial to ensuring a safe and healthy training environment for all members.