Knee sleeves are designed to reduce the risk of knee injuries. If you experience pressure on your knees when lifting, knee sleeves can reduce pain. If you have an unstable knee and are using a knee sleeve to fix or stabilise the knee we’d recommend you see a doctor or physio. Knee sleeves are typically made of neoprene and are a tight, snug tube for your knees. They come in a variety of thicknesses and the design allows your knees to stay warm throughout the training session, keeping them ‘safe’.
When to use
- Knee sleeves do not need to be worn for all weightlifting exercises. If the knee is not involved as a primary lifting source, they are not necessary. They provide support when performing squats, snatch or clean and jerk.
- The use of knee sleeves is helpful for all intermediate to advanced lifters as the support they provide helps hold the entire knee in place and helps prevent injury.
Why do they help
People mistakenly assume that wearing knee sleeves will automatically improve their technique and make them a better, stronger squatter. Sleeves won’t improve bar mechanics, prevent injury from poor form, or treat an injury. Only a combination of good coaching, prehab, rehab, and smart strength training will do that.
Women are 1.5 to 2 times more likely than men to injure their Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) - this is the ligament that connects the top and bottom portions of your knee and helps stabilise your knee joint. Due to women’s hormonal fluctuations, there is some research to suggest greater risk of ACL injury in the ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle. Wearing knee sleeves during this phase, to increase blood flow around the knee joint, could be an effective way to reduce risk of injury.