You’ve seen professional athletes wear elbow sleeves on TV during basketball games, a tennis match, or any powerlifting or bodybuilding event. So what’s the big deal with people wearing elbow sleeves? One of the biggest reasons elbow compression sleeves are used by many people is because they can help prevent injury and provide stability to the muscles and tendons.
Elbow sleeves have been around for decades and come in many styles and thickness levels made of high-quality materials such as Neoprene. One scientific study that suggests compression sleeves lower blood lactate levels and blood pooling, which are both culprits that cause pain and swelling. That’s why you see athletes and powerlifters rely on elbow sleeves to boost their performance and reduce soreness.
In this article, we’ll cover more details about elbow sleeves, including who benefits from using elbow sleeves, choosing the best elbow sleeve, and how to find the right size and material. With that in mind, here’s everything you should know about elbow compression sleeves.
What do Elbow Sleeves Do?
As you may know, compression elbow sleeves are hugely popular because they have several uses. The compression and warmth from the elbow sleeves increase blood flow and responsiveness from the elbow and arm muscles. This helps you perform with better control and stability during short exercise sessions.
The warming effects of the compression elbow sleeves are also useful for healing and can reduce recovery time.
When performing an exercise (such as bench press, bicep curls, and shoulder presses) many people feel the warming effect of compression elbow sleeves right away, which stimulates blood flow and oftentimes provides pain relief and alleviates discomfort. As we hinted above, these compression sleeves can also be used post-workout because they aid in the recovery process by reducing swelling and minimizing pain.
The Benefits of Using Elbow Sleeves
Taking care of your body is hugely important and using elbow sleeves for training and recovery can be a huge help. You may be wondering, who uses elbow sleeves?
We mentioned that athletes like basketball players, tennis pros, and powerlifters rely on compression elbow sleeves to not only provide support mobility during activity but also to regulate blood flow and assist overworked tendons. You will also see compression elbow sleeves worn by world-class athletes and powerlifters during the competition (depending on the type of powerlifting).
When do you use elbow sleeves? Seeing compression elbow sleeves worn by professionals, marathon runners, or casual fitness enthusiasts, isn’t just for show or because of style. There are also those who are skeptical about the benefits of elbow sleeves. It’s okay to have those assumptions, but we think it’s beneficial to wear compression elbow sleeves for three main reasons.
1) Better Protection
Discomfort and general aches and elbow pain can be annoying. Elbow sleeves offer protection through the warming compression properties and reduce discomfort caused by elbow tendonitis, golfer’s elbow, arthritis, and more. Even better, compression elbow sleeves are great for protecting arm muscles and tendons during heavier pressing or pushing movements.
2) Body Temperature Regulation
Popular for outdoor sports and activities, especially in the wintertime, compression elbow sleeves help regulate the body’s temperature. The compression properties in elbow sleeves work with the body to moderate blood flow and increase circulation. For this reason, thinner compression elbow sleeves are used by marathon runners and other athletes to maximize their performance.
3) Better Recovery
By now you can see how useful and versatile elbow sleeve can be. Another huge benefit of compression elbow sleeves that exhibits its versatility is that they’re used for recovery. Athletes and gym enthusiasts often use compression sleeves to reduce elbow pain and swelling, both during and after workouts. During intense training, compression elbow sleeves help increase circulation and cause muscles to recover quicker.
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Choosing the Best Compression Elbow Sleeves
We mentioned that elbow sleeves serve a variety of needs and many different types of people. When it comes down to choosing the best for your needs, whatever your training goals are, there are a couple of things to look out for.
First, ask yourself what kind of support do you need. That will help determine the thickness and functionality that’s best for you. Compression elbow sleeves are available in thickness variations from 5 to 7 millimeters (mm). If you lift heavy weights often, opt for a thicker material elbow sleeve to give you the maximum compression and support.
Second, think about the purpose. Thinner compression elbow sleeves provide less support but give you the same compression benefits that stimulate blood flow and regulate body temperature. The thinner type of compression elbow sleeves are ones you see often see being worn by basketball players, MMA stars, and avid runners.
Lastly, look for quality material. Not all compression sleeves are made the same, nor are they made to last. Material such as Neoprene is used by reputable brands because they can rely on it to last. While some use cheaper nylon fabric, it makes sense to invest in durable elbow sleeves that are made from Neoprene that will last you a long time.
How to Measure for Elbow Sleeves?
Finding the right size and support of compression elbow sleeves is probably the most important aspect, even before you consider using them. How tight should elbow sleeves be? Look for a snug fit. If the elbow sleeve is too tight it can do the opposite of what you’re wanting, restricting flow and movement.
On the other hand, elbow sleeves should not be loose because you lose out on the compression benefits. So what size is right for you? The perfect size is one that is comfortable and breathes during use but doesn’t restrict you. There is a convenient way to find your size, here’s how:
- You’ll need to find a measuring tape to get you started
- Next, extend one arm fully and measure around the elbow
- You might not need to perform the steps for the other arm unless you absolutely need to confirm fit
- If you think you’ll need a tighter fit than what the measurements say, you can always go down one size
To help you find your perfect fit, check out this convenient size chart or click to watch the quick video below.
Using Elbow Sleeves
We’ve covered a lot of information that can be useful to anyone looking to find their perfect pair of elbow sleeves. To recap, we’ve covered details about elbow sleeves that include who uses and benefits, how to choose the best elbow sleeve, and an easy way to find the right size and material.
Deciding to own a pair of elbow sleeves is now an easy task. All you have to do is align your needs to one that works for you. If you’re looking for support and stability during any pushing or lifting workouts, consider choosing a pair of elbow sleeves from us. Check out the full details and pick a color that matches your style.