You have probably seen members around the gym sporting some wetsuit like material pulled up over their knees.
And, you might have said to yourself “those are super stylish and I wonder if I could benefit from their brilliant power for performance while enhancing my workout ensemble.”
The answer is probably yes, but let’s take a look at the reason why one might want to use knee sleeves.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCING KNEE PAIN OR DISCOMFORT?
If the answer is yes, then it is best to identify why that is.
Are you experiencing tendinitis, pain due to mobility issues, or are your movement patterns off?
If any of the aforementioned describes you, try to tackle these issues first, otherwise knee sleeves would only be a temporary fix (bandaid) and not a permanent solution for solving the underlying issue.
It’s kind of like driving around town with a spare tire on your Ferrari after getting a flat. You can do it, but it looks tacky and you will still be unable to maximise the full potential of your ride (your body).
TYPES OF SLEEVES.
There are a few different types and materials of sleeves to choose from, so identifying exactly what you want them for will help narrow down the search:
Cloth sleeves: compression and some warmth.
Neoprene sleeves: warmth, injury prevention, and mild compression.
Knee wraps: Extreme compression, typically worn for performance.
The sleeve that work best for Functional Fitness training are the Neoprene sleeves. They provide just the right amount of compression and warmth, keeping your knees feeling as “snug as a bug in a rug”. Typically they come in 2-3 variations of thickness spanning from 3mm to 5mm to 7mm.
Like the material, choosing a thickness also depends on how/ why you want to use your knee sleeves:
3mm: Light Compression, minimal movement support. Can use in any manner of workouts including running, and offers great protection for high rep Burpee Workouts.
5mm: Medium Compression, medium movement support. A thicker and tighter compression means the sleeves can prevent optimal range of movement when it comes to workouts with running, but offers great support in weighted workouts with high rep squatting.
7mm: High Compression, high movement support. Typically used for lifting based sessions only.
THE DOWNSIDE OF NEOPRENE.
Can be the smell that accumulates after only a few training sessions; a pungent oder that stings the nostrils, and not in a good way, kind of like pure petrol.
So, if you do decide to treat your knees like a neoprene bagel dog, you will want to wash your sleeves often or perhaps invest in a second pair to alternate with.
Your nose, and everyone else will thank you.