What Do Knee Sleeves Do?
With sports being the way they are, knee injuries are a major problem for athletes all over the world. How often does one of your favorite athletes or teams suffer the devastating news of a torn ACL, PCL, MCL or torn cartilage?
You’ve probably noticed more and more athletes wearing something on their knees. These are called knee sleeves. So it leaves us to ask, what do knee sleeves do?
Athletes needed a piece of equipment that offered support but didn’t hinder movement in any way.
Hello, knee sleeves. They are the most common type of knee brace/support because they allow for the most overall knee mobility.
You will notice athletes wearing these around your local gym. With the growth of CrossFit, it’s common to see CrossFitters use knee sleeves during strength training and certain WODs. And don’t forget about those runners! Long distance running can be hard on the joints and ligaments in your knees and knee sleeves for running is also very popular.
Types of Knee Sleeves
Neoprene sleeves: provides warmth, prevents injury, and mild compression
Cloth: provides some warmth and compression
Knee Wraps: provides extreme compression, and worn for performance by heavy lifters
We’ll be focusing mainly on the neoprene sleeve throughout this post.
Do Knee Sleeves Help?
So the question is, do knee sleeves actually help?
The answer is YES.
It’s important to note that knee sleeves are NOT the same as a new brace. Where a knee brace is used to protect a previous injury, a knee sleeve is designed to protect against a future injury or the risk of damaging ligaments.
Another added benefit of a knee sleeve is the compression aspect. Athletes love compression because it increases blood flow and reduces pain in the moment and post workout. When lifting heavy in the gym or running long distances, a compressed knee encourages blood flow through the blood vessels of the knee. This results in less pain and swelling while exercise and even after performance.
If you do a lot of lateral movements during your workouts, then a knee sleeve can aid in providing lateral stability while performing functional movements and lifts.
Knee Sleeves for CrossFit
CrossFitters are known for beating up their bodies (in a good way). Since so many CrossFit movements involve the lower body, knee sleeves and wraps for CrossFit are extremely popular. CrossFitters will tell you that wearing knee sleeves during workouts provides just the right amount of compression and warmth, keeping joints feeling snug. As a CrossFitter, you’ll experience fewer knee issues with a nice set of knee sleeves.
Best Knee Sleeves for CrossFit
Knee sleeves for Running
At some point, most runners will experience knee pain. If it hasn’t happened yet to you, then you have Iron Man-like traits or just lucky. Chances are it’s coming, especially if you clock a lot of miles.
Knee pain will happen. Just like CrossFit above, a knee sleeve can prevent future injury and deliver a delightful experience while in the act of running. Although similar to CrossFit, a running knee sleeve should be slightly different since the movements are the exact same.
Best Knee Sleeves for Running
Knee Sleeves for Squatting
Powerlifters often experience knee and joint pain while squatting. The pain is usually experienced in-between sets or right after a hard squat session. This is due to your joints and muscles cooling down. This is why you’ll usually see the powerlifters wearing knee sleeves when squatting.
Best Knee Sleeves for Squatting
Knee Sleeves for Arthritis
Osteoarthritis of the knee, better known as arthritis of the knee is something that millions of people deal with every day. Symptoms are joint pain, restriction of movement, stiffness, swelling, and “crepitus” which is a creaking noise that your knee makes.
When knee arthritis kicks in, it basically kicks your butt. Everyday activities like walking up and down stairs become excruciating.
Taking the proper precautions can greatly improve your lifestyle when dealing with arthritis in the knee. Wearing a neoprene knee sleeve can positively affect your knee by providing warmth, stability, compression, blood flow, and knee joint support. If you live in colder climates and deal with knee arthritis, then a knee sleeve should be one of your best friends.[line]
So there you go. With all of the information above, you should be well on your way to knee pain elimination and prevention with a nice set of CrossFit, running, and squatting knee sleeves.
Did we miss one of your favorite knee sleeves? Let us know in the comments below!