Why Wear an Athletic Supporter?

Updated July 19, 2017

The wearing of an athletic supporter, also known as a jockstrap or cup, has declined in popularity in recent years, even among professional athletes.


An athletic supporter is basically an elastic belt with a groin pouch worn by men engaging in athletic activity. Athletic supporters generally come in either a 1- or 3-inch waistband. The pouch, which can include a cup, is designed to lift and support the testicles while helping control of unwanted movement. Attached to the bottom of the pouch are two straps which pass between the legs, split across the lower buttocks then up the sides to join the waistband, helping to hold the pouch down and in place.


The best and most common way to wear an athletic supporter is as your first layer of clothing. Compression shorts can be worn to hide the straps that the legs are placed through. The cup goes in the front and can be adjusted for comfort by pulling the supporter up and placing the penis in a comfortable position. Most men report the most comfort with the penis pointing down. This position can become a problem if the penis becomes erect, but this can be fixed through minor adjustments.


Wearing an athletic supporter can prevent injury to the testicles. When engaging in contact sports like football or sports with balls flying at high speeds, it is important to protect the groin area because testicles are not protected by muscle or bone and can be easily injured. For example, trauma to the groin area can cause ruptured blood vessels or tearing of a testicle. According to an article featured on the Better Health Channel, if an athlete suffers a severe injury, the testicle may be damaged beyond repair and might have to be removed. As long as one testicle remains functional, fertility will not be affected.


When choosing an athletic supporter, the only size that is important is the waistband, not the cup. Although there is no correlation between the size of a man's waist and his penis, the cup size does get larger as the waistband size goes up. The fit should be comfortable and not too small or too big. Remember the waistband will be wider then the ones you find on your average underwear, so it can offer more support. Visit,304,30.html for more information on picking a jockstrap.


The modern athletic supporter was created in 1874 by Charles Bennett of the Chicago sportswear company Sharp and Smith. Bennett originally called his invention the "bike jockey strap," in order to capitalise on the current bicycle craze. It eventually became an important part of sportswear for cyclists and horseback riders. Athletic supporters were later mass marketed under the name athletic supporter by Sears and Roebuck in the early 1900s. The Bike Company founded by Charles Bennett claims to have sold over 300 million athletic supporters to date.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Mindy LaVergne is a writer, blogger, fitness enthusiast, and producer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Since 2005, her professional work has appeared on,,, CosmoGirl!, and Austrian Tourism's 2010 travel campaign. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in both psychology and journalism from New York University. She also is currently studying to obtain her certification as a personal trainer.