Weight Lifting Knee Wraps or Knee Sleeves
If you are into powerlifting or any kind of weight lifting fitness routine, you may be wondering the difference between knee sleeves and knee wraps. While they both have their benefits, here is a basic breakdown of each.
Weight Lifting Knee Sleeves
Knee sleeves are as they sound, sleeves that slid up your leg and rest around your knees. The purpose of these is to protect from potential injury while lifting. Take a note that these are not meant to support or be worn over already damaged knees, and caution should be taken when lifting with any type of knee injury. These sleeves to provide helpful compression that can prevent swelling and discomfort after a session. This can help your body recover faster, without unnecessary pain or soreness. It can also help limit movement of the patella, and provide additional stability while lifting.
They can be more expensive than knee wraps, and can absorb sweat and start to smell if not washed regularly. Additionally, care is still needed, and sleeves won’t protect from injury if you rush into lifting more than you can handle. Some people tend to think that wearing sleeves gives them protection from knee injury, and while they can help, you still must be cautious every time you lift.
Weight Lifting Knee Wraps
Knee wraps are usually worn in competitions where powerlifters and bodybuilders show of their gains. Made of an elastic material, they are wrapped in a spiral motion around the knee to help provide support. Knee wraps are used often by powerlifters as they allow heavier weights to be lifted. This is due to the tightness of the wrap allowing for a large amount of energy to be stored and released, especially during squats. Additionally, weight lifting knee wraps can reduce the stress put on knees during lifting, this can help minimize the stress put on the quadricep tendon, which could potentially detach from the patella if too much stress is applied.
While knee wraps can help move more weight during squats, that doesn’t mean that they make you stronger. Due to how tightly they are worn, the patella can push into the thigh bone. This added friction can degrade cartilage overtime and cause issues joint problems or other injuries.
Which Option is Best For You?
Which option you choose to add to your powerlifting gear is ultimately up to you. Depending on your personal fitness goals, how often, and how much you lift, both could benefit you differently. While weight lifting knee wraps can help you move more weight during squats, knee sleeves can help you recover more quickly from heavy sessions. Consider your personal needs, and what exercises you use most often. Be careful not to overly rely on either; however, and always practice safe lifting techniques.