Do you ever feel like we don’t pay enough attention to our bodies until something goes wrong?
Knee problems and knee pain are among the most common complaints with people of all ages. According to the Mayo Clinic, knee pain can occur for a variety of reasons including injury or from medical conditions such as arthritis or gout.
So what can be done about such a persistent problem that seems to plague many of us? One alternative people choose for pain relief and functional support is knee sleeves.
The compression material in knee sleeves provides support to the knees and is often used during sports like basketball, weight lifting, and running.
In this article, we’ll cover more details about knee sleeves, including who benefits from using knee sleeves, the best knee sleeves available, recommended care for knee sleeves, and how to choose the right size and material. Here's a preview of the the topics covered in this post:
- The Purpose of Knee Sleeves
- Using Knee Sleeves is Beneficial
- Find the Best Knee Sleeves
- What Size of Knee Sleeves am I?
- How Do I Wash Knee Sleeves?
- The Most Affordable Knee Sleeves
What do Knee Sleeves Do?
Gaining more and more popularity within the fitness world, knee sleeves provide warmth and compression to the knees. The compression increases blood flow and responsiveness from the knee, helping you perform with better control and stability.
Knee sleeves are a valuable component of any gym bag because they help limit kneecap movement and can increase the body’s ability to sense its location, movements, and actions.
When performing a workout (such as squats, the snatch, or the clean and jerk), many people feel the warming effect of knee sleeves right away, which stimulates blood flow and often times reduces pain and discomfort.
Knee sleeves can also be used post-workout because they aid in the recovery process by reducing swelling and minimizing pain. They’re a big help for people who are into CrossFit and are used post-WOD for this exact reason.
The Benefits of Using Knee Sleeves
As we mentioned before, one of the biggest benefits of wearing knee sleeves is its ability to alleviate pain relief. Aside from that, there are several other benefits of wearing knee sleeves. Here are some of our favorite benefits that knee sleeves provide:
1) Knee Support
There’s a lot of stress and pressure that’s put on our joints during workouts, especially on our knees. Knee sleeves are used to help combat some of the pain and provide much-needed support. For this reason, they’re popular with Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters.
Knee sleeves also help with your technique by aligning and supporting crucial parts, allowing you to perform better during squats and lower body workouts.
2) Knee Compression
Knee sleeves help increase blood flow and reduce pain and swelling. That’s largely due to the compression material and it’s what makes knee compression sleeves so popular.
Wearing compression knee sleeves warms up the impact area to regulate blood flow which helps alleviate pain, which is the ultimate reason for wearing knee sleeves.
3) Knee Recovery
One of the reasons that knee sleeves are so popular in CrossFit is because they help athletes in their recovery process. After performing WODs, knee sleeves work to reduce swelling and pain through the compression warming effect. Knee sleeves are not meant to be used or worn as a brace. Above all, technique and form are always first.
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Choosing the Best Knee Sleeves
How do you pick knee sleeves that are best for squats or leg workouts? There are a few options for knee sleeves whether you’re looking for powerlifting knee sleeves, CrossFit knee sleeves, or compression knee sleeves.
Ultimately, they should all do the same job and provide support, compression, and recovery relief.
What’s the difference between powerlifting knee sleeves and CrossFit knee sleeves?
Mainly the thickness of the knee sleeve material. Powerlifters typically use thicker knee sleeves or knee wraps for support and stability.
Knee wraps are made from the same elastic material that is used in making wrist wraps and store energy that gives the power and momentum to complete a squat. Knee wraps are also popular with powerlifters and bodybuilders.
A CrossFit sleeve or a compression knee sleeve is made out of Neoprene material and comes in different thickness options (3mm to 7mm). Compression knee sleeves are made to last due to the Neoprene material, working to hold and retain heat.
The heat from the knee sleeves helps regulate blood flow, reduce muscle stiffness, and improves knee mobility. In addition to CrossFit, the thicker material knee sleeves are perfect for powerlifting, cross-training, weightlifting, bodybuilding, and all other fitness enthusiasts.
How to Measure for Knee Sleeves?
A common question for people looking to purchase knee sleeves is how to measure and find the right fit. How tight should knee sleeves for squats be? Both questions are valid because it can be somewhat tricky to find the right size. However, there is an easy way to find the right compression knee sleeve size.
Compression knee sleeves should not be loose or baggy, in fact, a snug fit is exactly what you’re looking for so that you can get the right support.
The knee sleeve should not be so tight that it cuts off flow or feel like it’s pinching your knee/skin. To find the right knee sleeve size, you’ll need a ruler and string, or if you have a measuring tape handy then that’ll work best.
With that in mind, here’s how to measure yourself for knee sleeves:
- Start by having your knee extended out (if sitting) or simply standing
- If you’re using tape, measure around the center of your knee cap
- If you’re using string, you’ll do the same thing but compare the length of the string by measuring it with a ruler
- Once you find the correct measurement, compare it to this chart.
How to Wash Knee Sleeves?
Caring for knee sleeves is an important part of ownership. After all, we sweat a lot during our workouts, and knee sleeves can get pretty musty.
There are steps you can take to prevent the smell such as turning your knee sleeves inside out after a session and letting them air dry. To maximize the lifetime of knee sleeves, here’s how to take care of them.
1) Normal Wash
Depending on frequency of use and smell, the easiest way to wash them is to throw them in with your regular laundry and then letting them air dry.
2) Intense Wash
If you’re wanting a more intense wash, you can also boil knee sleeves in hot water. Place them in a pot filled with water for 5 minutes. After boiling for 5 minutes, remove from heat and add some dish soap. Let cool. Once knee sleeves are cooled down, rinse them out with water and sit out to air dry.
3) Extreme Wash
For extreme cases and to remove mildew, using distilled white vinegar and soaking the knee sleeves in a (hot) water-vinegar solution is an alternative. You’d soak them for about 10 minutes and then hand wash or throw them in with your other laundry. Leave them out to air dry and you’re good to go.
4) Regular Maintenance
Washing your knee sleeves from time to time is also good so they can regain their tightness and support. Over time, the compression material can get a bit loose, so to return it to its strong form give your knee sleeves a rinse.
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Most Affordable Knee Sleeves for Lifting
We’ve covered a lot of information that is useful to anyone looking for knee support and pain relief. In this article, you’ve discovered a full overview of what knee sleeves do, who benefits from using knee sleeves, the best knee sleeves available, how to choose the right size and material, and recommended care for knee sleeves.
If you’re looking for a quality compression knee sleeves to help you reach your fitness goals and get pain support and relief, Gymreapers offers premium compression knee sleeves that are ideal for any functional training movement at any location. Shop sizes and options today.
- Knee pain - Symptoms and causes. (2021). Retrieved 7 July 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/knee-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20350849
- Loudon, J. (2016). BIOMECHANICS AND PATHOMECHANICS OF THE PATELLOFEMORAL JOINT. International Journal Of Sports Physical Therapy, 11(6), 820. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5095937/#:~:text=During%20open%20chain%20knee%20motion,knee%20extension%20(Figure%2011).
I’d like to order the Gym Reaper knee sleeves. My knee measures between 15.5" and 16". Is it recommended that I order the large size sleeves? I want them to be snug but not so tight that it restricts blood flow or limits mobility. I also notice that your sleeves are 7mm. I have found a few brands with 6mm, but I believe 7mm is preferred or recommended for support?
JACOB D SEELEY
I measured around my knee and it sits exactly at 40cm would you recommend going with the L or XL?