Written by Paul Vandyken
Knee sleeves aren’t just to look cool at the gym. Contrary to popular belief, they’re a crucial component if you’re looking to build your lineup of the best equipment for CrossFit.
A fast-paced and dynamic CrossFit workout can put undeniable strain and pressure on your knees. Whenever you jump, squat, skip, lunge, even as simple as a stand, a huge portion of your weight is carried by the knees.
If you have ever tried pull-ups, pushups, lunges and squats, you will know how painful they can get on the knees, especially after a few minutes. Knee sleeves will protect your knee joints from injury, and reduce fatigue and pain. Furthermore, if you want to find more on how to choose the best knee sleeves, click here to read Paul's article.
What to expect from this guide
This guide will help you in choosing the right knee sleeves.
You will learn:
- Your options in knee protection gear what these can do
- How to properly take measurements to get the perfect fit
- About the best material for knee sleeves
- How to choose for warmth, compression, and support that provides protection against injuries
Step-By-Step Guide to choosing the best knee sleeves
There are many knee sleeves to choose from and you would want to make sure you’re getting the right one, especially since your performance is at stake. Here’s how.
1. Find out if knee sleeves are the ideal option for you
Knee sleeves are actually a category practically on their own. There are other types of knee protectors for working out.
Knee wraps are made of elastic, polyester and cotton blends. They restrict horizontal movement. They are great for boosting your weight-lifting capacity but they aren’t very good if you need constant support because they can be too restrictive; blood flow may be hampered.
Knee braces are more structured than knee sleeves and are meant to help you recover from injury but they do not allow a lot of movement. After all, they were built to stabilize the joint area.
Knee sleeves are meant to provide warmth compression to improve blood flow and prevent inflammation. They’re great for those who want to engage in a strenuous activity regularly.
2. Get the measurements of the knee area
To get the right size of the knee sleeve, take the right measurements at the right places. Measure the circumference of the leg about 2.5 inches above the kneecap. An alternative is to get the circumference at the knee joint while the knee is bent at a 30-degree angle.
The width usually comes in sizes from 5 mm to 7mm. The 5mm one is best suited for running because there isn’t so much strain on the knees. The 7mm is best suited for activities where the knees will require more cushioning.
3. Choose the material
There are generally two types of material – cotton blends and neoprene. Cotton is breathable and is good for day-to-day workouts but the better material is neoprene because it offers more compression. It is also durable, soft, and flexible. Neoprene sleeves provide warmth and comfort and reduce pain and inflammation. In addition, they can make warming up faster and easier.
This synthetic material easily hugs the knees tightly, easily adjusting to the natural contours of the knees. It allows the knee area to expand, not restricting movement but keeping the knee joint in place.
4. Consider the level of compression and support you need
Compression will determine how effective the sleeves will be in keeping the entire knee joint in its place the entire time.
Support capabilities come hand in hand with the amount of compression provided by the knee sleeves.
These two features are inseparable and are the top of the list to consider when you choose the best knee sleeves for CrossFit classes.
Was this tutorial helpful?
Knee sleeves aren’t just some fancy expensive accessory that only pros should use. The knee joints can easily be in the incorrect position during the many changing activities of a CrossFit session. Wearing knee sleeves help you get adequate support and compression to the knee area.
Are you using knee sleeves or knee wraps? Which knee sleeves are you thinking of getting? Let us know in the comments section below. If you liked this article or if this was helpful to you in any way, share this article.
Author Bio: Paul Vandyken is a personal trainer, nutrition coach. His personal website is RigorFitness.com. His blog has articles, videos, and pictures with tips, tricks about fitness, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle. If you are on the journey to your healthy and happy lifestyle, visiting his blog may worth a look or even help you enhance the process.