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A toast to knee sleeves

Knee sleeves are a common weightlifting accessory and will be found in gym bags across the country. Perhaps you are new to weightlifting, or you just haven’t thought much about them. Here we discuss the benefits of using knee sleeves and where you can get them.

A toast to knee sleeves

What are knee sleeves?

Knee sleeves are usually made of strong material and are tube shaped so that you can wear them to cover your knees whilst in the gym. They come in a range of sizes and materials to suit the individual. An alternative are knee wraps, which are long pieces of material you wrap around your knee. Weightlifters usually prefer sleeves over wraps as wraps can take up valuable time to put on- something that many are short of in competition!

How can knee sleeves benefit weightlifters?

The main benefit to knee sleeves is the compression they provide to the knee joint. Compression increases blood flow to the area, allowing the knees to stay ‘warm’ during a work out. They also help to stabilise the knee joint in movements like squats, often reducing discomfort in the bottom position.

When should I use knee sleeves?

The most common use for knee sleeves is for squatting, whether that be front, back or overhead. In competition, the majority of UK lifters will wear knee sleeves for the clean and jerk, with some choosing to wear them for the snatch aswell.

Coaches often recommend that beginners lift for a while without sleeves to build up tendon strength in the knee joint and general positional strength before grabbing a pair.

Once you are an intermediate lifter, a good point of reference is to put your sleeves on in a session once you reach a weight that feels suitably heavy rather than putting them on from the start of a session.

Please note that knee sleeves are not a replacement for consultinga medical professional if you feel you may have an injury in your knee/s. They are more so used for comfort and preventative measures to avoid overloading the joint when an athlete trains multiple times a week.

Where can I get knee sleeves?

British Weight Lifting’s partner SBD is the market leader in supports, clothing and accessories for strength and fitness. Their products are made in the UK in Sheffield, and their slogan is ‘Designed for the best, available to all’.

On the national and international weightlifting stage, SBD knee sleeves are commonplace. But just like their slogan says, their products are also for people wanting to improve their general strength and fitness.

SBD has two types of knee sleeves, their classic 7mm pair, and their weightlifting 5mm pair. All SBD knee sleeves are IWF compliant, the difference between the pairs is the thickness. Both pairs are made from tough neoprene, but the 5mm sleeves are designed to provide compression and support through a greater range of movement, which is perfect for dynamic movements like the snatch and clean and jerk.

Visit the SBD website here


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