If you were ever a competitor in sports in your past life, knees have likely caused you a little bit of an issue in your weight training later in life. And, if you are over the age of 30, you’ll probably have heightened joint pain post-lift. Knee sleeves are a popular piece of equipment among powerlifters and weightlifters for their many added benefits. Best use cases:
- Squats (traditional, split squats, lunges)
- Leg press
- Box jumps / step-ups (knee-focused cardio exercises)
Knee pain is no fun, plain and simple. There are plenty of exercises that you can still do to prevent knee and joint pain, but if you want to continue to grow and remain healthy with major lifts like squats, knee sleeves can help. Knee sleeves keep your knees compressed when you put heavy pressure on them through weightlifting or exercise. The compression soothes joints and adds additional elasticity support to help you with your exercise.
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Why do you need knee sleeves?
Knee sleeves can provide several benefits when worn during squatting and other knee-focused exercises:
- Support: Knee sleeves provide support to the knee joint and surrounding structures, helping to keep the knee stable during squatting movements. This can help to reduce the risk of injury and improve overall joint health.
- Warmth: Knee sleeves help to keep the knee warm, which can improve circulation and help to reduce stiffness. This can help to improve range of motion and overall performance.
- Pain Relief: Knee sleeves can help to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, and patellar tracking disorder.
- Compression: The compression provided by knee sleeves can help to reduce inflammation and swelling in the knee joint, which can improve recovery time and reduce the risk of injury.
- Improved Tracking: By compressing the patella and keeping it in the correct position during movement, knee sleeves can help to improve patellar tracking, which can prevent knee injuries and pain.
- Placebo Effect: Knee sleeves can also have a placebo effect, which can help you feel more confident and secure while squatting.
It’s important to note that knee sleeves are not a replacement for proper form and technique when squatting. Knee sleeves should be used in conjunction with a well-designed strength and conditioning program. We’d always recommend consulting with a doctor, physical therapist, or personal trainer before using knee sleeves.
How to use knee sleeves
Using knee sleeves is relatively simple. Slip the knee sleeve over your foot and pull it up your leg until it is in the correct position (centered) around your knee. Gently adjust the knee sleeve so that it is centered around your knee and there are no wrinkles or bunches. If you are already sweaty it may be a little more difficult to pull it up over your leg, but you can still keep it in a secure position once it’s on your knee. You can fit them over a small shoe or sock, but it’s not really possible to fit them over larger shoes, especially if you have big feet.
When you take off the knee sleeves, gently pull them down your leg and off your foot (over the sock / small shoe). Knee sleeves typically have a snug fit and can be difficult to put on and take off, especially if you have a larger knee or have difficulty with fine motor movement. It’s important to select the correct size for your knee circumference to ensure a comfortable fit. I am 6’2” with average size legs and size Large fits my knees perfectly. Some knee sleeves have a slip-on design which makes it easy to put on and take off, but it is important to check the product specifications before purchasing.
It is important to note that knee sleeves are not intended to be worn all day, or honestly even throughout your full workout. You should keep blood flow moving through your knees throughout your workout, so it’s best to take them on and off during each set or exercise.
Here is a great tutorial video that shows step-by-step how to put on your knee sleeves.
If you’re looking for added support and protection for your knees during squats and other exercises, consider snagging a pair of knee sleeves for your next leg workout. They can provide warmth, compression, and support to the knee joint, which can help to reduce pain and the risk of injury. They are an easy and affordable way to improve your overall joint health and performance. Try them out for yourself and let us know what you think.