Monday, February 17, 2014

Knee Sleeves - What to wear and when

After seeing so many new Knee sleeves in the Box lately, I wanted to chat about them and their advantages and disadvantages.


  1. They can help your joints to move more freely by providing compression which helps to stabilize those joints and tendons
  2. You can achieve greater mobility in the knee by providing heat to the patella and patella tendon which will increase the blood flow and prevent injury to some degree.
  3. They offer a Placebo effect. This effect is created by the comfort of having something on your knee which will allow you to mentally push yourself to heavier loads and higher PRs


  1.  By wearing Knee Sleeves too often, you are potentially masking any underlying issues that you might be having with your knee. This would be like just covering a major cut with just a band aid instead of getting stitches. If you have chronic knee pain, you need to talk to a health care professional about treatment before just covering it up with a knee sleeve
  2. Over time, excessive use of a Knee sleeve can result in a weakening of the joints and tendons around the knee. Therefore, creating an increased risk of knee injury under heavier loads. As a standard for myself, I only use Knee Sleeves if I am lifting loads in excess of 75% of my max in that lift or on days where my knee is already feeling achy. Generally, when doing lighter weight, I will not have the sleeves on or I will have mine pulled down
  3. The Placebo effect mentioned above can also have a downside. On one hand, you might over zealously try to lift too heavy with bad form if you feel over confident with your knee sleeves. Therefore causing a greater increase for injury. Or, what if one day you forget your sleeves! Then that placebo effect is gone, and you will have the worst lifting day ever.

Which one to buy 

  • There are so many on the market, the most common ones seen are the ones being pushed by the Big sellers.
  • Rehband Sleeves have been around for years. They are quality sleeves that will last forever if you treat them right and don't wash them too much. They can be purchased virtually anywhere since their popularity has increased with CrossFit. Try or for the easiest options
  • Titan knees sleeves have also been around for years. However, because they are more of a tube shape, the sleeve is not ideal for Crossfitting which is why they are only seen on the Olympic lifting stages. They can be found at or
  • Rock tape knee sleeves. More recent since they were worn by some famous Crossfitters at the CrossFit invitational. They can be found all over as well
  • They are good to have
  • don't overwear them
  • Don't put too much emphasis on them
  • Wear them when lifting heavy
Don't be like this guy who thinks he has to be all wrapped up to be awesome.

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