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What Do Knee Sleeves Do For Squats

Top Benefits Of Using A Knee Sleeve For Squats

Do You Need Knee Sleeves?

Regardless of how good a squatter you think you are or what fitness level you are at, you can always improve your squats in one way or another!

If powerlifters and bodybuilders use knee sleeves, then wouldn’t you at least consider using one?

Why do so many fitness pros swear by using knee sleeves? Probably because of the top benefits of using them! Here are just a few of those benefits:

Knee Sleeves Are Ruining Your Squat

by Carl Raghavan, SSC | October 27, 2020

Okay, so theyre probably not ruiningyour squat. But they may be affecting it in ways you didnt expect.And knee sleeves are everywhere. I usually find that novicelifters assume theyll need them along with shoes and a belt, andmost people I see squatting at the gym are wearing them. Yet whileweightlifting shoes are in my opinion essential to a novice barbelllifter, and the belt becomes necessary as the novices strengthlevels mature, knee sleeves are more of a gray area. Correct shoesprovide unique stability and medial foot support. A belt allows thelifter to create a higher amount of intra-thoracic/abdominalpressure. Knee sleeves, on the other hand, usually just make a lifterfeel good. They can help, but are not as much a factor inperformance as a belt or shoes. You can still do fine without sleevesand get as strong as an ox.

Not that Im knocking the placeboeffect, of course: confidence in a scary lift like the squat ishelpful for most people. For a novice or even intermediate lifter,taking the plunge into a heavy squat can feel like falling off acliff. Sleeves can provide reassurance and make a lifter take thatfinal leap of faith. Theres no shame in that.

Best Knee Sleeves For Powerlifting

If money is no object for you, then you should probably just go with the SBD knee sleeves. These are widely considered the best knee sleeves for squatting among powerlifters and are the standard against which other knee sleeves are measured. They cost about $82 and are approved by the IPF, USAPL, and USPA.

The knee sleeves Id broadly recommend are the Strength Shop Inferno knee sleeves, offering comparable quality to SBD for quite a bit less. They cost about $50 and are approved by the IPF, USAPL, and USPA.

Lifters seeking decent bargain sleeve should check out Nordic Lifting knee sleeves, offering a rock solid product for about $40 per pair .

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Knee Sleeves Vs Knee Brace Vs Knee Wraps

To the eyes of a novice, knee sleeves, knee brace, and knee wraps are all the same. However, if you learn more about each knee accessory, youll realize that each has a specific purpose. The knee sleeves are meant for support while the knee brace and knee wraps are intended for injuries and lifting heavy weights, respectively.

To learn how to put on your knee sleeves, watch this video.

While the knee sleeves and knee wraps are worn for support and compression, the knee braces are normally used if you have an existing injury. The knee sleeves dont serve as a substitute knee like what a knee brace typically does. You can wear the knee sleeves before and after your workout.

How To Wash Knee Sleeves

Best Knee Sleeves For Squats

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, heres 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 youre 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 water-vinegar solution is an alternative. Youd 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 youre 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.

Shop Now 7mm Knee Sleeves

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Mm Knee Sleeve For Maximum Agility And Mobility

The 3mm knee sleeves are the slimmest in the market. They are made of lightweight pieces of material and in most cases, spandex or nylonnot neoprene. These types of knee sleeves are common among runners and those undergoing endurance training. However, theyre less common among weightlifters and cross-training athletes. They are mainly designed to offer maximum agility and mobility while compromising on support and stability.

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 youre 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 its pinching your knee/skin. To find the right knee sleeve size, youll need a ruler and string, or if you have a measuring tape handy then thatll work best.

With that in mind, heres how to measure yourself for knee sleeves:
  • Start by having your knee extended out or simply standing
  • If youre using tape, measure around the center of your knee cap
  • If youre using string, youll 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.

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Knee Wraps Vs Knee Sleeves For Squats

Knee wraps vs. knee sleeves for squats? What on earth are you talking about?

Arent they the same thing? No! Before we go any further lets make one thing clear, knee sleeves and knee straps are significantly different when talking about squatting and powerlifting.

While their purpose can be similar, straps and sleeves offer different benefits and drawbacks when going deep under a ton of weight. With that in mind, we wanted to detail which accessory would be best for you.

In this article, well talk about:

  • Which is better for the novice lifter? Advanced bodybuilder?
  • Do knee wraps allow you to lift heavier weight?
  • Do knee sleeves prevent injuries or decrease pain?
  • Is there an ideal wrapping technique for lifters?

…So, lets dive in!

The Benefits Of Using Knee Sleeves

Squatting: Do You Need Knee Wraps? – BBOD #216

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

Theres a lot of stress and pressure thats 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, theyre 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. Thats largely due to the compression material and its 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.

Shop Compression Knee Sleeves

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How Are Knee Sleeves Different Than Knee Wraps

Knee wraps are significantly more supportive than knee sleeves. As a result, knee sleeves can add much more weight to an athletes one rep max in the squat vs. knee sleeves.

The types of knee wraps worn for powerlifting are much stiffer than those worn for weightlifting, as weightlifting requires much more knee mobility. Still, some olympic weightlifters will wear light knee wraps in competition.

Best Knee Sleeves For Squatting

If youve ever had a knee injury, then youll agree with me when I say that they are always on the back of your mind, especially when doing physical activities like squatting or playing sports.

According to OrthoInfo, there were roughly 10.4 million patient visits to doctors offices because of common knee injuries such as fractures, dislocations, sprains, and ligament tears in 2010 making a knee injury one of the most common reasons people see their doctors .

Your knee is a complex joint with many components, making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries. Many knee injuries can be successfully treated with simple measures, such as bracing and rehabilitation exercises, says OrthoLife.

Like I mentioned above, knee injuries are a constant concern for people who frequently play sports or go to the gym. Protective knee sleeves can be used to reduce the severity of the injury, or more importantly, prevent the injury from occurring entirely.

As you can imagine, numerous lifts can damage the knee and make the joints weaker and vulnerable including deep squats, leg extensions, and lunges . But with knee sleeves, users are given the support they need both physically and mentally, without any apparent disadvantages whatsoever.

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Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves

Recommended for the budget-conscious lifter who still wants a good knee sleeve.

The Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves are a solid choice for the budget conscious lifter. These are still solid sleeves that will serve you well, while costing about half what the leading brands go for.

Plus, they are USPA approved, so they can be used for competition in that federation.

Unfortunately, they are not IPF or USAPL approved.

Personally, I like to have a pair of competition sleeves and a pair of training sleeves to keep my competition sleeves in good shape. These are a great pick for training or competition.

Benefits Of Knee Sleeves

Best Knee Sleeves for Squats 2020 Reviews

Knee sleeves offer several proven benefits. Good knee sleeves deliver the following benefits:

Knee and Patella Support

Using compression technology, knee sleeves control the movement of the patella and strengthen the joint to reduce the risk of injury. A well-fitting knee sleeve adds an extra layer of protection to keep the kneecap and knee joint in place regardless of the intensity of the activity.

Knee Recovery


Many people like knee sleeves for the warmth they provide. Naturally, knee joints warm the joint and boost blood and oxygen circulation. This leads to faster recovery and performance.

People have different preferences when it comes to warmth. Some people like their muscles to feel warm during a workout or athletic event. Others disregard it. Overall, its up to the user.


Knee sleeves are equally comfortable to wear, which is why many people like them. Some people dont like the feel of squatting without knee braces because they believe the braces add stability and peace of mind.

Besides, knee sleeves can also improve control. By making it easier to feel what goes on around the knees and legs, it helps users adjust their muscles for the exercise.

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What Makes A Knee Sleeve High Quality

The main purpose of a knee sleeve is to speed up recovery times after doing squats. The more effective a knee sleeve is at doing that, the higher quality it is!But, there is more to quality than just that. At the same time, you want the knee sleeve to be comfortable, durable, and last for many years to come.Moreover, here are some of the factors that make a knee sleeve top quality:

Most Affordable Knee Sleeves For Lifting

Weve covered a lot of information that is useful to anyone looking for knee support and pain relief. In this article, youve 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 youre 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.

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Reasons Why Knee Sleeves Can Increase The Squat

There are multiple reasons why a knee could increase a lifters squat, but well discuss and elaborate on the biggest three below. Before going any further its important to understand what we mean when we write increase the squat. An increase in the squat could mean physical poundage, or even an increase in form.

The poundage knee sleeves will increase in the squat will be minimal and well dive into those specifics below. An increase in form wont come from knee sleeves themselves, but from an athletes perception and mentality, especially if sleeves support ones level of comfort. For example, knee sleeves helped my form post knee surgery because I felt confident, which indirectly increased my squat.

1. Knee Sleeve Construction

The first reason why knee sleeves could increase the squat is their physical construction. Like mentioned earlier, not all knee sleeves are created equal, so their construction could play into their ability to increase the squat. In terms of physical construction traits the material a knee sleeve is made out of and how the sleeve is sewn together will play heaviest for this aspect.

2. Knee Sleeve Tightness

This aspect is probably the most influential when it comes to potentially increasing the squat, but the tightness and its level of influence will also be a heavily reflection of the sleeves construction, thus why its listed as number two.

3. Confidence and Mental Cuing

Caresole Circa Knee Compression Sleeve

How to squat more weight | Barbell sleeve review | Knee Sleeves

A product of Caresole, the Circa Knee Compression Sleeve is one of the best knee sleeves available today. Made of neoprene material, this sleeve keeps the knees warm, lubricates joints, and prevents injuries. Unlike other knee sleeves that are designed for bodybuilders, this knee sleeve is ideal for everyday use.

It works for those who want to avoid slipping as well as those who regularly walk on hard surfaces. Embracing the best stabilization technology, this knee sleeve comes with a contoured fit that delivers maximum comfort and minimum slippage. It also allows users to support a full range of motion while giving them better agility than most other competing options on this list.

Priced at $42 per piece, the Caresole Circa Knee Compression Sleeve works for both men, women, and virtually anyone who wants to move or walk more easily. Additionally, its one of the most fair-priced options on this list.

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Knee Sleeves : Everything You Should Know

July 10, 20206 min read

Do you ever feel like we dont 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, well 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:

How We Found The Best Knee Sleeves For Squats

Were on a mission to help you find the best knee sleeves for squats. For this reason, we scoured the internet in search of the top options on the market. We considered recommendations from top sites like RxdSleeves, Bach Performance, and Very Well Fit. In addition to this, we read customer reviews to find out their experience with each of the sleeves.

To narrow down our list, we picked only the knee sleeves with a good review and analyzed their features against their price to ensure youre getting value for your money. All we can say is that youre in for a treat!

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Knee Sleeves Vs Wraps

Knee wraps are a long length of elasticated material and, as the name would suggest, are wrapped around the knee joint much like applying a bandage.

They offer similar benefits to knee sleeves but at a much more significant level and also require a lot more effort and know how to put them on correctly .

Due to this, knee wraps will offer significantly more performance benefits over knee sleeves. They are designed to provide a lot more compression and it is typical to find it very hard to bend your knee at all when wearing them!

This inability to bend your knee translates directly to being able to move more weight when squatting adding a lot more support and rebound out of the hole.

A point to note is that knee wraps are commonly used in Equipped Powerlifting for the squat and are not permitted in standard or raw competition whereas knee sleeves are permitted in Raw Powerlifting.

I would consider knee wraps to be an advanced piece of Powerlifting Equipment and as this article is aimed at beginner and intermediate lifters, I would recommend you do not concern yourself with these for now.


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