Why Do People Use Knee Sleeves for Lifting?

By
Caleb Ulffers
August 19, 2022
Why Do People Use Knee Sleeves for Lifting?

Have you ever walked into a gym and noticed people wearing compression wraps around their knees? These are typically referred to as knee sleeves

People primarily use knee sleeves for extra support while doing intense exercises that put a lot of stress on their knees. Knee sleeves can be especially useful for CrossFitters who often do exercises with lots of bending movements such as olympic lifts, squats, and wall ball exercises. Knee sleeves can also be useful for those who have experienced minor knee injuries and want support that doesn’t limit their range of motion.

This article will discuss what knee sleeves are, who might benefit from wearing knee sleeves, when to use knee sleeves, and which reputable knee sleeves to purchase. 

 

What Are Knee Sleeves? 

Knee sleeves are a type of brace that can help support your joint. They create a brace-like sleeve that slides over the knee without all the straps and limited range of motion that often comes with wearing a knee brace. 

These sleeves provide compression, increased circulation, and support to the knee when doing activities that can cause knee tension such as weight lifting. Compression is usually the main feature of these sleeves, as it increases the blood flow to your knees, which can help reduce swelling during and after your workouts. That said, it’s essential to remember that knee sleeves should never restrict any movement or mobility. 

 

Who Could Benefit From Wearing Knee Sleeves?

It’s common to see knee sleeves worn by competitors in contests such as Olympic Weightlifting, Crossfit Games, and other strength-related competitions. When thinking about using a knee sleeve, consider if you will do any daily physical activities that put pressure and stress on your knees. This is especially important if you suffer from knee pain or knee instability. 

Many individuals who lift heavier weights or do compound exercises can benefit from wearing knee sleeves. These sleeves provide more stability and structure to help support the knees when pushing or lifting heavier weight and completing complex movements.

This is why CrossFit competitors or Olympic weightlifters often use knee sleeves. They want that added boost of support that helps push them to reach their goals or earn the gold. 

Even individuals who are not involved in competitive weight lifting can benefit from wearing knee sleeves. If you enjoy lifting weights and incorporating strength training into your daily workout routine, you might want to consider adding a knee sleeve to your gym bag.

Think about other supportive equipment used in the gyms, such as wrist wraps or lifting belts for your back. These are extra supportive measures that many athletes take advantage of while strength training — not only to prevent injuries, but to get maximum results when lifting heavier weights. Knee sleeves are just another tool used to attain your goals while gaining a little extra support for your knees. 

 

When Should I Use Knee Sleeves?

Knee sleeves should be utilized while performing specific power lifts. A research study was conducted regarding athletes who utilized knee sleeves while completing back squats. This study revealed that the loaded weight on the knee joint was reduced when athletes used knee sleeves. 

The sleeve fabric served as a physical barrier between the calf and thigh and decreased knee joint angles. The end results showed that the subjects who wore the knee sleeves increased their weight on their one max rep. 

Other specific exercises that an individual could benefit from while wearing knee sleeves are deadlifts, snatches, front squats, hang cleans, and squat thrusters. Many of these exercises put an enormous amount of pressure on your knees. Utilizing knee sleeves not only helps with knee support and compression but also knee recovery from these exercises. 

For example, knee sleeves are extremely popular amongst CrossFit athletes due to the amount of pressure and stress the knees take in those intense strength training workouts. Using knee sleeves helps to reduce the swelling and ease the pain, which in turn allows athletes to train heavy multiple times a week with fewer issues. 

 

Things To Consider When Purchasing Knee Sleeves

It’s very important to do your research when purchasing knee sleeves. You’ll need to look into many different variables to knee sleeves, as some are specified for powerlifting, CrossFit, or just simple compression. Below is a list of things to consider when purchasing knee sleeves that will best fit your workout regime and specific needs: 

 

Durability

You’ll need knee sleeves that will last you long-term, otherwise, it may become expensive to replace your knee sleeves multiple times a year. Solid materials to look for include neoprene, mesh, and solid foam. Other materials can be flimsy or poorly, which won’t offer the support you’re looking for or stand the test of time. 

 

Comfort

Ensure the knee sleeves you purchase fit what you need. The last thing you want is to purchase knee sleeves that are too tight and cause restrictions on your movements while working out. Be sure to research the size, material, and thickness before purchasing. 

 

Cost

You may not want to just purchase the cheapest knee sleeves you can find. Make sure to find reputable knee sleeves with solid reviews and recommendations from other athletes, as poorly made knee sleeves will not benefit you or your workout needs. 

 

What Are Some Good Knee Sleeve Options?

Below is a list of recommended knee sleeves: 

  • Rehband 7051 Original Blue Knee Sleeve: This sleeve offers a good balance of compression, support, movement-freedom. The material is high quality and durable. 
  • Iron Bull Strength Knee Sleeves: This sleeve is made from a high-quality neoprene and has a great design for support and stability. 
  • hookgrip 3.0 Knee Sleeves: This option is well designed for CrossFit training and provides strong support and compression for your knees throughout your workout. The variety of sizes allows for the perfect fit while you are at the gym, without any sagging material.

 

In Summary

Overall, knee sleeves can benefit anyone with an active lifestyle. Whether you have a previous injury, need a little extra support, or feel you could use an extra push to reach that big goal weight ,knee sleeves are something to consider adding to your daily gym gear. And with Haven Athletic gym duffles, you can always be sure you’ll find your gear easily to slip on and off as need.

If you do CrossFit, powerlifting, and weight training multiple days a week, you may want to consider utilizing knee sleeves to provide extra support and meet your training goals.

While we all want to be our strongest in the gym, our ultimate goal is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Utilizing knee sleeves is a great way to keep yourself in the gym with an added measure to help prevent injury. 

So go ahead, do your research, and purchase knee sleeves that best fit you and your workout regime!

 

Sources: 

Knee Pain: How To Choose the Right Knee Brace for Your Child | HealthyChildren.org

Knee compression sleeves: Options, FAQs, and more | Medical News Today

Effects of Knee Sleeves on Knee Mechanics During Squats at Variable Depths | Old Dominion University

The Advantages of Knee Sleeves: What They Are and When to Wear Them | Breaking Muscle

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