Looking for Guidance on Knee Sleeves Looking for Guidance on Knee Sleeves

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Thread: Looking for Guidance on Knee Sleeves

  1. #1
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    Jul 2019
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    Default Looking for Guidance on Knee Sleeves

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    So, I have a knee pain problem, particularly at the bottom of a squat in my left knee. I have worn sleeves for it in the past, and it made the problem disappear. I have been reluctant to put them into use again after my recent re-NLP because I was really hoping to just be able to do without them. I feel like they serve as a very slight "boost" in the very bottom of the movement, and I worry that certain aspects of training development (like joint strengthening) are being missed out on because of this when I use them. I read an article on this site a little while back also cautioning about the use of knee sleeves. The ones I have are 7mm (rehbands), as at the time I purchased them, they were the only ones available in the store that even fit my measurements (despite my lackluster squat, I have enormous legs). Should I try and hunt down some 5mm ones instead? Am I just worrying too much about this? I do know if I don't address this pain my squat is going to fall way behind, and even squatting with a little boost has got to be better than not squatting at all.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommanderFun View Post
    Am I just worrying too much about this?
    Yes

    What is more important, that you squat to make your whole body stronger or make your knees stronger? You are looking to throw the baby out with the bath water. I've squatted with sleeves, without sleeves, and with a knee brace. Yes I'm interested in building up my knees, but I'm more interested in building my legs, butt, back, etc. And the only way I can build all of those is with more weight. If it takes sleeves, I wear sleeves, if it doesn't then I don't, but the weight must go upl.

  3. #3
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    May 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommanderFun View Post
    So, I have a knee pain problem, particularly at the bottom of a squat in my left knee. I have worn sleeves for it in the past, and it made the problem disappear. . . . I read an article on this site a little while back also cautioning about the use of knee sleeves. The ones I have are 7mm (rehbands), as at the time I purchased them, they were the only ones available in the store that even fit my measurements (despite my lackluster squat, I have enormous legs).
    I read that article too:

    Knee Sleeves are Ruining Your Squat | Carl Raghavan

    Here's a key quote from that article:

    "Rehbands and the more basic types of knee sleeves provide similar proprioceptive feedback and do give you a little something extra at the bottom of the squat compared to bare knees, although not to the extent that SBDs do. So ask yourself, do you really need them? If you’re Ray Williams squatting 1,000lbs then sure, crack on; or if you’re a national IPF lifter, sure. But you – yes, you – are squatting 225lbs in the corner of a globo gym for 3 sets of 5. Let’s be real here: you don’t need them, do you?"

    Being real, whether I need them or not, I'm keeping them. I had some real knee pain. I did the voodoo flossing thing, which helped, and have worn 7mm Rehbands since.

    Your problem disappeared when you wore the sleeves, so wear the sleeves. If you want to experiment with not wearing them after the pain goes away, that's fine, but I wouldn't worry for one second about wearing them.

    Coach Rippetoe has a balanced view on the topic:

    Knee Wraps and Knee Sleeves | Mark Rippetoe

    And here is Coach Rippetoe putting on his knee wraps:

    Knee Wraps | Mark Rippetoe

  4. #4
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    May 2019
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    Here is one way you might be able to squat better without knee sleeves. Squat with them while working up in weight. Then after you've made some progress squat without them and see if your knees still hurt. This worked for me and I only know because one session I forgot to put them on. Sleeves are good. Use them.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I threw them on again today to salvage my squat workout from yesterday, there was a little pain here and there but it was nothing that was going to stop me from doing my squats.

  6. #6
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    May 2020
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    While knee sleeves aren't essential, at my age I believe they are a useful tool. Perhaps it's because I'm old, but I blame myself and not my equipment for a bad performance in practice or competition. If my form gets worse while using knee sleeves or wraps, I correct my technique rather than change my equipment. Although there may be some people who don't wear sleeves in raw competition due to allergies or other considerations, every competitor I know wears them.

    At 15, I didn't wear knee sleeves. At 65, I utilize knee sleeves or wraps for all of my work sets. Especially when working out in a cold garage, I find the warmth and compression helps. When it is hot, I prefer wraps, as they much easier to put on after legs start getting sweaty than a tight pair of sleeves.

    Stoic knee sleeves are similar to SBDs at a much lower price point. Instead of getting sleeves that are extremely tight, like some competitors use, consider a size larger than the smallest ones that you can get on. Going one size up provides warmth and some compression with a much smaller rebound effect than tighter ones.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2021
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    Unless you're buying sleeves that are way too small, they aren't adding anything to your squat. That entire article is nonsense. Buy any pair of popular 7mm knee sleeves and don't even think about it any more. I recommend Stoics, they're cheaper than most other brands and in my experience the most durable, next to SBD's.

  8. #8
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    7mm are the ones I've got. They're the biggest size Rogue sells them in, 2XL. I'm only 36, but my left leg just sucks. I have also been wondering though if there is an active recovery aspect to my issues. Since getting laid off I've been on my feet far less during the day. When I was working I was actually doing alright, issues with squatting and recovery from squatting started showing up in my log after the layoff. So I'm trying to spend my off days on a bike a little. Very light stuff, just like 10 minutes or so with minimal resistance for most of it. Just want to get blood going through the legs.

  9. #9
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    May 2020
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    starting strength coach development program
    Although they fit differently, both SBD and Rehband are amongst the best sleeves available. If picking between the two thicknesses, I would go with the 7mm.

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