In the world of weightlifting, there are so many terms, tools, equipment, and moves to learn. I know how confusing it gets, which is why I like to start off with the essentials, with the popular knee sleeve being one of the first people purchase for their dynamic movements like squats. But what do knee sleeves do for squatting, exactly?
I delve into what knee braces really are and their uses, so read on! I’ll help you see if knee braces are a good investment for you and why you need them.
What Are Knee Sleeves?
Before anything else, what are knee sleeves in the first place? You’ve probably seen a lot of people wear these in the gym, especially when doing squats.
As the name suggests, knee sleeves are sleeves that wrap around your knee. They are made of stretchy materials, a mix of neoprene and Spandex or Latex.
They provide a lot of benefits, such as:
- Adding more support to your lower body
- Limits the movement of your kneecap and patella
- Adds warmth to your legs for better strength
- More focus on your techniques and movements
- Increase your proprioception, which is your ability to know the position of your limbs and joints
- It increases circulation, which results in less pain and burning after workouts
- They prevent post-workout swelling and help you perform various workout movements better, such as squats, jumps, and other weightlifting exercises
But what are the differences in knee sleeves and knee braces? To prevent interchanging both, these are what makes them different from one another:
- Sleeves give you ample support and won’t hamper your range of motions
- Sleeves won’t immobilize your knees’ movement
- Knee sleeves prevent injuries and any other additional damage
- Knee braces are more beneficial for post-surgery support
So the main difference is that knee braces are made to protect both your anterior knee and patella. If you were diagnosed or have unstable knees, then you might not be able to benefit from knee sleeves since they don’t provide much ligament support.
BUT, knee sleeves do provide support in certain post-injury cases, which results in quicker and more efficient healing progress. Knee sleeves are made for the gym, while braces are meant to help treat injuries.
What Do Knee Sleeves Do For Squats?
Yes, these gym tools are extremely beneficial, but do knee sleeves help squats, specifically?
They do and in significant ways! BUT, it may not help in certain areas as well. Here are the reasons why knee sleeves can help in squats:
Knee sleeves protect the knee with warmth and compression. When you warm up your blood and the synovial fluid within your joints, it can help with your range of motion. This prevents your tendons from tearing or your muscles detaching when squatting heavily or repetitively.
How do sleeves help with warmth? Knee capsules love both compression and heat, which come from knee sleeves’ neoprene materials. It also adds more compression and support, improving blood flow to your knee.
As a result, it reduces the pain and increases your recovery time from intense workouts and squatting. You’ll be able to focus more on your form and get back to the gym without much of the burn and swelling after your usual sessions.
HOWEVER, knee sleeves do have their downfalls. They may limit certain ranges of motion around the knees but in good ways. It isn’t for everyone, though, especially if you’re focused on lifting even heavier weight. Also, if you already have existing injuries, knee sleeves won’t be able to help fully support your knees. For nagging knee injuries or pain, it’s best to get a knee brace instead.
Furthermore, you can get injured with a knee sleeve IF you purchase a cheap and low-quality one. The same goes if you choose a knee sleeve that isn’t your size.
As long as you purchase the right knee sleeve and care for it properly, you’ll be able to have the proper compression, support, and heat to improve your squats.
Wrapping It Up
Knee sleeves are useful gym tools many weightlifters will find beneficial. With its extra support and stability, you can begin squatting even better and focus more on your form and goals. Just make sure that you get the right fit and high-quality sleeves from reputable brands!
I hope this article answers your question, “what do knee sleeves do for squats?” Now that you know why knee sleeves are so important, check out what kind of tools you need for lifting now!
Do you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences on using knee sleeves? Share it in the comments section below, I’d love to hear what you have to think.