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I practice WTF TaeKwon-Do and would like to keep track of heart rate during training sessions.

I have seen the advice about the effectiveness of fitness trackers, and I'm convinced about the effectiveness of heart rate monitoring. So my question is more specific about how practical or safe is to wear such trackers.

Wrist mounted HR devices don't seem appropriate, and probably won't be allowed by my instructor.

A chest mounted device, seems seems a good option: while in practice it's not expected to be hit on your plexus, and when sparring with contact we use chest protection vests.

To avoid the problem of having the chest strap move out of place, I found a t-shirt with included sensors and a mount for the sensor device, designed for running.

Is there any advice against using a chest based heart rate monitor?

  • Explained (I hope) differences from the possible duplicate question – Daniel Reis Jul 11 '17 at 8:04
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    Yes, that works for me. Thank you for taking the time to do this. Up vote coming your way. – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Jul 11 '17 at 8:05
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    UPDATE: yes, I talked to my instructor, and he advised me a wrist HR sensor. I got one, use it 24h, wear an elastic band over it during trainings, and am very happy with that choice. – Daniel Reis Apr 25 '18 at 22:17
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I am a TKD instructor (ITF - so no chest protectors)

I wear a wrist based monitor to teach and let the students do so to train - They must sign forms taking responsibility for any damage to the device (or themselves because of the device).

To avoid hurting anyone else they must take them off for partner work and sparring.

First thing I would do is talk to your instructor - if you are not insured to train wearing the device then do not wear it. If you are using a fitness app add a rough approximation in manually after the class - or leave it as it is safe in the knowledge you have done more fitness than the app says.

As for the chest straps, look at triathlon friendly ones if they stay in place whilst swimming cycling and running then they should stay in place through TKD also. Study the reviews on Amazon or similar as well - some straps chafe or are generally uncomfortable.

If you can see them in a shop then look at how far much the sensor pads stick out and whether they have other bumps/ridges as part of the design, most of these items are not designed for being hit - so look for something that wont stick into you when hit or be an awkward shape for the person kicking you (Under the chest protector this is less of an issue - but the chance of it pushing between your ribs etc. is still valid) - Ideally larger surface area and as flat (to your chest) as possible to spread the impact.

Make sure your instructor and club first aider know you are wearing the strap and make sure they are happy for you to spar wearing it.

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