When Powerlifting first showed up on the sport and fitness scene knee wraps were created out of necessity by using stretchy elastic bandages. These tan wraps are still used today, but serve little purpose for the intensity of Powerlifting. Squatting can be a catalyst for knee problems, while not the sole reason unless you already are prone to knee issues.
Protecting the Health of your Knees
The knee is a hinge-type joint, which locks into full extension. The complicated motion of gliding and rotation means the axis is always changing. This constant function combined with ever changing surface impacts, can lead to knee trouble. There are two pieces of standard squatting gear every Powerlifter needs and that is good shoes and the right kind of knee wraps.
Proper fitness shoes are the foundation of your leg training sessions. General purpose gym shoes lack transverse stability and have little to no arch. This can cause the foot to pronate or ‘cave in’ to the inside. This will also force the knees inward, causing a constant strain on the medial collateral ligaments, improper patellar tracking and even excessive shear force on the meniscus. Select good training shoes.
Knee Sleeves are the second piece of mandatory equipment for Powerlifting. Knee sleeves dramatically improve knee safety, and go a long way in supporting knee health while lifting. Knee sleeves are also going to provide at least a 5-10 percent increase in how much you can lift.
Other benefits of knee sleeves include improving blood flow, tissue elasticity, body temperature, and recovery. If you already have knee problems, wearing a knee sleeve is always advised. They can also be used for warm ups and lighter sets, it is during the rough times the compression will go to work to help you get through intense sets.
Shop for knee sleeves which contain thicker fabric for more protection, and avoid bulky or heavily elasticized types. The rationale for knee sleeves is it reduces the chances of avulsing (detaching) your quadriceps tendons or even tearing your quads while you are doing heavy squatting.
For some powerlifters, knee wraps or knee sleeves are a less common used fitness aid to the lack of mobility in the bend. There is however some innovative new knee sleeves products on the market today which have tackled this problem. Most saw their endurance, strength, and performance improve after adding superior knee sleeves specifically created for Powerlifting.
Aside from these benefits, pain management and recovery after training or competition are other reasons to advocate wearing knee sleeves for this sport. Wrapping your knee joint in compression gear is a safety precaution. These knee sleeves protect the patella during a squat when the load of weight is being carried by the knee.
You will also see an increase in performance. In a UK study, test subjects who wore knee sleeves dropped down 45 percent faster in the eccentric phase and came up 20 percent faster on the concentric phase, thereby, producing more powerful squats.
Buy Wisely for Maximum Benefits
The best brand on the market for knee sleeves used in Powerlifting is by Rehband 7mm Knee Sleeve - Model 7051 Original Blue. It is the original 7mm knee sleeve and can be difficult to find. On the upside, Rehband is top contender for all Powerlifting knee sleeves and through innovations they have progressed even further in meeting the stringent needs of lifters. Many of their models of knee sleeves will have an anatomical shape to support fit and increase performance. Top athletes use them faithfully for preventive and recovery.
Nordic Lifting Knee Sleeves are another superior choice for Powerlifting, squatting and strongman competitions. They also are carefully made with the preferred 7mm Neoprene material as well as being an ergonomic sleeve design for a better fit. These are well-suited for fitness enthusiasts who have an old injury they are trying to keep in check. The compression helps with the joint and muscle pain and speeds up recovery after the intense workouts.
Along the same lines as the Nordic Lifting Knee sleeves is a Mava Sports version, which is similar to Nordic with the same design being anatomically shaped and offering strong compression properties. They also are available in the 7mm thick Neoprene which is preferred by weight lifters, cross training, and squatting. You can count on Mava Sports knee sleeves to provide some serious support and stability. The unique design has an anti-slip, so the knee sleeves won’t unroll or slide down.