June 12, 2017

Do Basketball Leg Sleeves Work?

Basketball Leg Sleeves Work

What a question...well, yes they do. If you have sore muscles or knees that seem to give way under your weight, then you’ll realize that the importance of the basketball leg sleeves is understated. The sleeves not only absorb sweat from your skin but also retains heat on the aching muscle. This means that you will not be lethargic during the game despite the pain.

Apparently, the leg sleeve will make you aware of your motions since it is not something that you wear on a daily basis. Your brain will focus more on the game knowing that your limbs are well taken care of.

The leg sleeves enhance performance benefits using compression technology. It is said that the compression technology adopted on the sleeves works like ice baths. Some users feel that the sleeves work more in the head than in the legs by giving the player confidence. Others confess that their legs felt better after the exercise when they wore the sleeves.

The sleeves are said to have benefits such as;

  • Protective Benefit - The sleeves will protect your legs during the intensity of the game. Things such as abrasions and scratches will be a thing of the past.
  • Limit Swelling - The compression technology in the leg sleeves has proven great for people who spend most of their time standing. It will reduce or limit swelling on the aching muscles.
  • Dirt Protection - The sleeves will not only absorb sweat from your skin but also keep the dirt out.
  • Warmth - During the winter months, sometimes a player will sit on the bench waiting for substitution. The sleeves will keep you warm in the meantime.
  • Makes you look hip - The leg sleeves are a form of adornment that makes you look hip.

Tips Before Settling on Sleeves

  • White is the wrong color when buying the sleeves. It shows dirt and sweat stains faster.
  • Measure your calves to ensure that you get the proper sizing of the sleeves. You do not want sleeves that are tight and gives you hard time putting it on. If they are very lose, they don’t give you the compression you need to restore the strength of your muscles.

The wearing of the arm and leg sleeves has become pervasive in NFL, NBA, and MLB. You will notice the variety of the sleeves of the players in terms of style and color. They have been made very popular by players such as Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Johnny Manziel and Robert Griffin III.

The question is whether the sleeves serve a purpose or they are just a fashion statement. A majority of the interviewed players confess that the sleeves are both used as fashion statement as well as compression tools.

The compression sleeves squeeze the veins and arteries in the legs, forcing them to open more forcefully. The oxygenated blood goes faster into the limbs giving the player more energy as well as reduce the heart rate. They have been in use for the last 60 years although they were originally used to cure veinous conditions such as thrombosis.

The sleeves became more popular after an American Journal of Medicine published a study in 1987 illustrating how the compression garments (sleeves included) helped lower blood lactating levels as well as blood pooling. The blood pooling and lactates are the conditions that cause swelling which results in lower performance.

During intense exercises, lactic acid levels shoots up in the bloodstream. This causes soreness in the muscles. Another study that was conducted in 2007 found that players who wore the compression sleeves were less likely to develop sore muscles compared to those who did not wear them.

Compression leg sleeves are also known to be important to basketball players that are recovering an injury to hurry up the healing of damaged ligaments and muscle tissues. Wearing the sleeves continuously help improve the circulation as well as keep the torn muscles warm. The healing process is also ensured by keeping re-injury at bay.

Among the most common injuries that are protected by the compression sleeves include elbow and knees bursitis and legs muscles tightening. The sleeves are referred to as shooting sleeves in the basketball circles.

It is important to know that basketball leg sleeves will only help keep your muscles less sore as well as increase your blood circulation but it can never make you a better jumper or shooter. The sleeves reduce the recovery time for torn ligaments but it will never increase pitching success and your shooting accuracy. For this, you will need to practice and train under a good coach.

Another explanation for the popularity of leg sleeves is the superstition and vanity. There are a number of players who believe that their accuracy at shooting baskets can never be good without their leg sleeves.

Below are some of the explanations you will hear from some celebrity basketball players about the leg sleeves:

  • “I didn’t like my knees. I got little legs, so they show a lot. I was hiding my knees.” ~ Arizona’s Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
  • “I guess we’re getting more conservative.” ~ Ohio State point guard Shannon Scott
  • ​“When I start sweating, it’s uncontrollable. These really help contain some of the sweat. My socks are extremely long because I have big feet. I pull my socks all the way up and just tuck the tights into my socks.” ~ Williams, Ohio State Center.
  • “I would like to say it keeps my legs warm, but it doesn’t really have an effect.” ~ Arizona guard Gabe York.
  • “It’s kind of played out now. You see it all the time. There’s sometimes where you watch a game and there’s nine dudes on the floor wearing tights. We’ll see what the trend is in the next five years.” ~ Joshua Smith, center Georgetown.

The rules of basketball seems to have recognized the wearing of the basketball leg sleeves. One of the rules state ~ “Undergarments may extend below the game pants and shall be of the same color as that of the game pants, black, white or beige. The same color must be worn by teammates.”

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