Knee Sleeves & Knee Wraps: What’s The Difference?
Knee Sleeves are made from high-quality neoprene and breathable elastic, they are worn over the knee and usually slide on over the foot in order to protect the knee from further injury and damage. This protection is especially important for knees that get pressure due to certain activities such as running, jumping and weightlifting.
Knee sleeves also add a valuable compression element that increases blood flow and reduces pain, not only during workouts but also after the performance. The reason this compression aspect is so important because a compressed knee encourages blood flow through the blood vessels of the knee. Orthopedic doctors suggest wearing knee sleeves as it helps an individual through rehabilitation exercises and leisure day-to-day activities by reducing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
On the other hand, we have Knee Wraps. Knee wraps are designed to increase weight on your squat in a safe and relatively painless manner. Knee straps increase support and help you bounce back up quickly. If you have a previous injury that is still bringing pain, a knee wrap can offer support while you train. Moreover, powerlifters and bodybuilders looking to add weight to their squats will benefit more from knee wraps than any other accessory.
Furthermore, knee wraps are believed to reduce stress by avoiding the detaching of tendons from the patella, or tearing your quads altogether, which are both pretty nasty injuries. When you consider the monster weights that competitive powerlifters move in the squat, it makes sense why powerlifters choose to squat using knee wraps.
Ultimately, the type of knee accessory you choose to wear will come down to your particular fitness goals and concerns over the health of your knees. There’s a reason knee wraps are preferred by powerlifters, as their goal in competition is to move as much a weight as possible. However, knee wraps are much more restrictive than knee sleeves, making them difficult to use. In the end, if you decide to go with the sleeves rather than wraps, it is recommended to not to rely on them too much and fall away from working on your own mobility and technique.