Should I get Knee Sleeves? September 29 2014
At Ferocity, we receive many emails from lifters asking about the SBD knee sleeves we sell, and whether they should get them. As with many things, context is important. To be honest, this is not an easy question to answer without first understanding what YOU, as a lifter, require from the sleeves. Only then can you figure out which sleeves are best for your needs. In this first post, we will discuss the two most common types of questions we get regarding knee sleeves. Before we go further though, let us just take a brief look at the general types of knee sleeves available and what they are used for.
Knee sleeves fall under a bigger category of supportive knee equipment called knee braces. Knee braces include: knee sleeves, prophylactic knee braces, functional knee braces and post-operative knee braces. Whilst not technically a knee brace, knee sleeves do a good job as a prophylactic piece of equipment, as it is relatively protective and preventative of general overuse injuries. Knee sleeves come in two materials – cloth and neoprene.
Generally, there are two types of emails that we receive at Ferocity from lifters. The first one is that the lifter is experiencing knee pain from their squats, and would like to purchase a pair of knee sleeves to help combat this pain. The second is the lifter that has not been lifting with sleeves wondering if they should be getting knee sleeves at all.
Generally if you are experiencing knee pain or discomfort, then the first step is not to look at what you should get to combat the pain, but rather identify where the root cause of the knee pain is coming from. In most cases, the pain could be due to general tendonitis, grinding of the knee joints caused by mobility issues or faulty movement patterns caused by muscular (or structural) imbalances around the knee joint or seemingly unrelated parts of the body. These are all, to many degrees, breakdowns in form and technique. This topic in itself could easily span many articles over, but rest assured, we will be covering these in future blog posts.
If any of these sounds exactly like what you are experiencing, then it would be best to tackle these issues first, as getting knee sleeves will merely be a temporary solution. This would be akin to continually driving a car with a faulty engine by getting new tires.
On the flip side if you have been training without sleeves for a while and are generally injury free, it would be wise to consider a few things before you get a pair of sleeves. Knee sleeves only need to be worn for those exercises where the knee is a primary lifting source. These exercises would include most variations of the squat, the snatch or the clean and jerk. If you are still fairly new to lifting, it is likely the weight that you are moving is not enough to cause serious pressure to the knees to justify their use. However, this is all dependent on factors like your physical age, sporting background, lifting form and technique, as previously mentioned.
In the next post, we will do a comparison of various popular knee sleeves in the market and which ones would best suit your needs!
By Twain Teo