Generally, when it comes to your knees, it’s very important to use knee compression sleeves and wraps to protect the joint. However, while knee sleeves are good for general fitness, knee wraps are beneficial for heavy lifting and powerlifting competitions. That’s the reason why many serious lifters wear a pair of knee wraps, especially while doing squats. Today, I’ll show you how to do choose the best knee wrap for a more intensive leg workout.
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- What Is The Difference Between Knee Wraps And Knee Sleeves
- Benefits Of Using Knee Wraps
- When To Use Them
- How To Buy The Right Knee Wraps
- Top 3 Knee Wraps Reviews
What Is The Difference Between Knee Wraps And Knee Sleeves
So, what is the main difference between the 2 types of knee braces? Overall, they perform the same function which is preventing knee injuries. However, they’re totally different devices.
Knee wraps can provide a lot of support as well as bounce out of the bottom of a squat. Knee compression sleeves also give you great support and compression, but they are nothing compared to knee wraps.
Actually, these 2 knee supports are both helpful in training. For example, if you’re looking for something that helps you with cardio, a bit weightlifting, and other contact sports, then choose a knee sleeve. But when it comes to heavy lifting, especially squats, then knee wraps are your best bet. That’s the reason why serious lifters choose to wear knee wraps rather than sleeves.
Additionally, another difference between knee wraps and knee sleeves lies in when you use them. Specifically, you can totally use knee sleeves anytime, anywhere you want, while you can only use knee wraps during your workout. The reason is that knee sleeves are quite more comfortable, and they aid in recovery. And this is not going to happen to knee wraps as they are not as much comfortable and really supportive.
Benefits Of Using Knee Wraps
To put it simply, knee wraps have 2 main benefits as follows:
1. Protecting The Knee Joint
First, they can help you prevent knee injury from lifting heavy weights by keeping everything tight and in place. For example, when you squat, these wraps act as a reinforced set of tendons which protect your knee joint. This way, you can enhance the explosive power out of the bottom of a squat. Wrapping your knees can also keep the knee joint warm, and therefore it will be better lubricated with synovial fluid.
2. Allowing You To Lift Heavier
It is the fact that when you wrap your knees tightly with straight legs, the joint will be locked in that angle. Just like that, once you start to bend the legs, they are prone to spring back to the straight position. This helps lifters lift a bit heavier than they usually do without the wraps.
However, the amount of compression and assistance primarily depends on the type of knee wraps you’re using and how tightly you wrap. For me, I can squat about 30 pounds heavier than I usually do without the wraps. In fact, knee wraps can add 20 to even 50 pounds to your lift, pretty cool, huh?
When To Use Them
There are 3 main reasons why it is necessary to use knee wraps
- Almost all professional powerlifters use them in powerlifting competitions.
- Before you lift heavy weights, especially with the squat or leg press, it’s important to wear them.
- If you’ve experienced a knee injury, a couple of knee wraps can give you support to prevent further knee injuries.
How To Buy The Right Knee Wraps
Just like choosing a knee sleeve, there are several things to consider when choosing knee wraps. Here they are:
First, the elasticity of knee wraps might depend on your squat stance width. For example, if you squat at a close stance, just look for something with great flexibility for rebound. However, if you are used to wide stance squats, then go for stiffer wraps. Remember not to buy ones that are heavily elasticized as they won’t provide great support. In my experiences, it’s necessary to choose wraps stretching out to 20 feet at least.
By basic theory, the longer and tighter the wraps are, the better compression you will get. In powerlifting competitions, the maximum length allowed is 3 meters. In short, in order to get maximum benefits, just follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine which one can work for you.
However, remember that long knee wraps may be uncomfortable and it could take you a lot more time then short ones do. That’s why if you are a beginner or don’t want to lift really heavy, just go for 2-meter or 2.5-meter wraps.
If you are looking for the best knee wrap, then remember to make sure that the ones you’re going to buy have a heavy-duty construction. Specifically, this includes durable fabric, excellent craftmanship and secure accessories (if any). Besides, good knee wraps are ones which can withstand frequent uses and washes.
This is the final thing you need to consider to before making your decision on knee wraps. For some wraps, you have to tuck one end under a part of the looping to keep them in place. Actually, this is okay but for me, they are likely to slip down or unravel after a few sets. However, some other models feature a Velcro closure design which allows them to stay in place the entire time.
Top 3 Knee Wraps Reviews
|CAP Barbell Elastic Knee Wraps, Pair|
|Mava Sports Knee Wraps (Pair)|
|Harbinger Red Line Knee Wraps|
The CAP Barbell elastic knee wraps are the first product I want to introduce you guys to. Generally, these wraps have a great deal of stretch, thus, providing an effective rebound out of the bottom of leg exercises, especially squats.
Besides, with these knee braces, you won’t have to chalk up your knees since they will cling to the knee area without any slip experience. They are 7’2’’ in length and that is enough for you if you are a professional bodybuilder or powerlifter.
Another reason why many lifters use the Cap Barbell knee wraps is that they are relatively lightweight. Therefore, you will feel very comfortable till the end of the workout. Unlike most other products, these ones are not that stiff, instead, they help improve your knee joint flexibility. To be honest, I really love these wraps because I can squat ass to grass with heavy weights which I wouldn’t do without them.
The only thing I don’t like about these ones is that they may lose the elasticity after repeated use and wash.
- Less stiff than most other products
- Great value for money
- Quite durable
- Tend to lose elasticity after frequent wear and wash.
- No Velcro strap
Seriously, this one can be your best knee wrap. Why? Let me tell you. The first thing about the Mava Sports wraps that impressed me is that they are extremely comfortable no matter how long you wear it. More importantly, these wraps will never end up unraveling or slipping around while you’re training your legs.
Additionally, what set this product apart from others is that these wraps are very malleable and can even stretch to double the original length. That allows you to go through a full range of motion on any leg exercise.
Furthermore, they are very easy to use with a Velcro strap. Therefore, if you usually have difficulty wrapping your knees, just go for this product. I don’t know about you but I have experienced my knee wraps unraveling several times just because I didn’t wrap my knees tight enough. And since I used these ones, I haven’t had that problem anymore.
- Designed with a velcro strap for secure attachment
- High level of compression
- Easily adjustable for extra comfort
- Very stretchy for
- Tend to shrink if frequently washed
These wraps are great as they are made of the highest quality material. In fact, the elastic material is extremely sturdy and it will not break or rip no matter what happens. Also, it is very easy for anyone to put them on. Everything you need to do is just wrap them around the knees as in an intended way, and then start your workout.
These wraps provide extra support for your knee joint, especially while squatting or doing any other dangerous leg exercises. Besides, you think these ones are fashionable, don’t you? To be honest, they look quite snazzy to me.
If you are a serious powerlifting who needs great support, then these 78-inch wraps won’t let you down. Actually, 78 inches is more than enough to cover your knees as well as the surrounding area. Therefore, you don’t have to worry if you have big legs.
- Offer extended support
- Easy to put on
- No Velcro or attachment mechanism
- Tend to slip around during use
All things considered, I believe that the Mava Sports Knee Wraps is the winner among the 3 products. They’re durable, supportive and more importantly, very easy to use with a Velcro strap design. However, you can totally choose knee wraps which have a more fashionable design or more length for powerlifting.