Overview of the different Knee Support products on the market.
By now, you’ve probably read our article about whether or not you really need knee sleeves. (If not, take a look here)
You know some kind of knee support is a good thing, but there are a few different options we carry and thought we should drop some knowledge on each option.
Yay! But what the heck are those?
So glad you asked.
Let’s start with the most supportive, and let’s face it, uncomfortable, piece of gear for your knees on the market: Knee Wraps
1. What the eff is a Knee Wrap?
Knee Wraps are long piece of fabric about 2-3 inches wide and 72 inches long. Some are shorter, or longer but the length should be long enough to fully wrap around your knee at least once. It should fully cover the knee cap and the areas about 2 inches above and below the knee cap.
As you wrap the fabric around your knee, care should be taken to keep it tight and firmly in place as you continue to wrap around the area. Once you reach the end of the fabric, you tuck that into a fold.
You legit should not be able to walk normally in them. This is because your legs should be pretty darn near uncomfortable that you want to lift in them and get it over with.
Mostly exaggerating, but hope you get the idea.
Knee wraps are extremely beneficial for the heavy lifter that is looking for rock solid support in a max out lift. Or maybe you just like the pain?
In summary, the pros of knee wraps are: maximum knee support, “bouncy” snapback out of a squat. Possible PR’s can come out of it. The cons are: so tight they aren’t the most functional choice for CrossFit workouts, compression so tight it’s uncomfortable.
Furthermore, they’re made from a Polyester/Spandex mixture, so they are very easy to clean! They also can be used on other parts of the body during occlusion training.
If you’re not down for the tedious wrapping of your knees over and over, try out a pair of Poly (as in Polyester) Knee sleeves.
2. Polyester Knee Sleeves
These are meant to be tight. AF. Or at least our double ply polyester ones will. There are single ply and even triple ply.
You might want to pull them down in between lifts, but while they’re on, they should be promoting blood flow to your knees.
Plus, we perfected the art in making them look cooler.
3. Neoprene Knee Sleeves
Wondering about the benefits to feeling like your legs are going to fall off?
It’s call proprioception, which is the ability to sense the orientation of your body during movement. Also known as Spidey senses.
But for real, it’s defined as the process by which the body can vary muscle contraction in immediate response to incoming information regarding external forces. Like a sixth sense. That’s some Spiderman shit right there.
The same can be said for many types of lifting gear, but the point of the knee support, is to make you aware of your body movements and use proper form.
A knee wrap will for sure make you aware of the knee support happening while wearing them. They’ve been known to help lifters add on 10-20 lbs or more to max lifts.
It will probably appear like an Ace bandage or brace to you at first, but if you have cute prints like ours, you won’t feel left out.
So which do you need?
Quite honestly, you could use both. But you most likely don’t need both. How much and how often you do the requiring activity will determine need. If you’re a CrossFitter doing minimal lifting focus, you can do knee sleeves.
However, if the main component of your training is lifting, we recommend having both in your bag to switch out as necessary.
What kind of knee support do you use for your workout?
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Malia is the owner, and mamapreneur, of Lifting the Dream. When she’s not lifting heavy weights, she’s doing some fun shit outdoors with her family or taste testing local ciders. She is a Cali girl born and raised, with salt water in her veins and sunshine in her heart. She and her family now reside near Denver, Colorado, soaking up the 300+ days of sunshine and breathtaking (literally, altitude) views.
Bee Tee Dubs (BTW).
CROSSFIT, INC DOES NOT ENDORSE, SANCTION, APPROVE OF, OR SUPPORT THIS WORK OR ANY OPINION EXPRESSED HEREIN.