Finding the right fitness accessory for your workout routines might just give you the added boost that you are looking for. Let’s talk about knee sleeves versus knee wraps.
You may have noticed a couple of people wearing knee accessories at the gym. While they do look cool, knee wraps and sleeves also provide some benefits to your training.
So what’s the difference? Let’s go into a bit more detail about knee wraps and knee sleeves.
WHAT ARE KNEE WRAPS?
Knee wraps are made to be wrapped around the knee in either spiral or diagonal methods. They are usually worn by competitive powerlifters and bodybuilders when doing squats.
HOW DO KNEE WRAPS HELP?
It’s all about elastic energy. The tightness of the wrap stores high amounts of energy during the downward phase of the squat. The energy is then released during the upward phase. This results in better performance, especially in doing squats. This accessory becomes highly valued by powerlifters because it allows them to increase the weight they can lift.
Another added benefit is injury prevention. It is believed that knee wraps reduce the pulling force and stress exerted on the quadricep tendon, which is attached to the patella and quadriceps. The reduction in stress helps to avoid detaching the tendon from the patella, or quad tearing altogether—and nobody wants that!
If you’re looking to improve your squat performance, knee wraps might be what you’re looking for.
WHAT ARE KNEE SLEEVES?
Knee sleeves are different than wraps. They slide over the knees instead of wrap around them. If you’re into CrossFit, you have probably seen at least one person sporting a pair of knee sleeves while doing Olympic lifting work or squats.
HOW DO KNEE SLEEVES HELP?
The primary benefit of knee sleeves is injury prevention or to reduce the risk of damage, much like knee wraps.
So what makes the sleeves different from the wraps? The sleeves provide compression, which promotes increased blood flow and helps reduce pain and swelling in the joint during and after workouts. This can lead to a quicker recovery, allowing better performance in day-to-day workouts.
Another benefit is that knee sleeves can aid in the mechanics of certain movements due to the patella movement being limited and the provision of lateral stability.
It is important to take note that these are not made to prevent already existing injuries—they’re not knee braces. If you have a knee injury, knee sleeves won’t be able to fix it.
While knee wraps help reduce the stress in the quadricep tendon, knee sleeves help reduce the pain and swelling in the joint.
Though somewhat subtle, there are differences between knee wraps and knee sleeves. The differing benefits should help you decide which accessory is best for your workouts.