In addition to running Liberte Lifestyles I also do a little bit of coaching. Many of the members I coach know that I have this business and so I often get asked about the benefit of knee sleeves and because I often have samples in my car I will regularly give someone a pair to test out during a class to see if they like them.
So far it has been 100% success with the people who have tried them - 100% of them have turned around and bought a pair immediately. Now this is not because I am some magic sales person who puts on the pressure sell - for those who know me in person know that is not my style or personality at all! I have found that when someone actually tests them out in a workout they immediately feel the benefits of wearing knee sleeves and they are sold.
So my challenge as someone who is in the knee sleeve business is how do I share this experience and teach all of you recreational athletes out there that knee sleeves will help you and your knees?
So here goes. This is Knee Sleeves 101 - in simple terms what they do and why every body should wear them.
What do they do?
Knee sleeves provide support to your knees. They keep them warm and compressed (i.e. keep everything together). This is so that all of our knee joints and ligaments can move and track better (let's call this good movement patterns).
Why should you care about this?
Good movement patterns help prevent injury (injuries often happen when our bodies move in ways they weren't designed to) and they help us be stronger (i.e. we can lift more if everything is moving well).
When do you wear them?
Whenever you are doing a squatting based movement that use your knees a lot!
- Heavy back squats - use knee sleeves
- High rep wall balls - use knee sleeves
- Lunges - use knee sleeves (as a side note they also make lunges a lot more comfortable as they provide some cushioning when your knee touches the ground)
- Running - most people won't need to wear sleeves running but I have spoken to a few people lately who have had knee pain during running and the sleeves have helped out a lot
- Burpees - not a heavy knee movement but knee sleeves can cushion the knees when you go down to the ground
What type should I wear?
Knee sleeves of any brand will give you the benefits listed above. You can buy different thicknesses - 7mm and 5mm are the most popular. 7mm are typically worn when you want extra support for heavy lifting (in Powerlifting for example) and 5mm are typically worn more for things like metabolic conditioning workouts where 7mm would be too thick and so not as comfortable if you were wearing them for longer periods of time. So 5mm has a little less support than the 7mm but a little more comfort. However, the choice really is a personal preference.
I haven't met too many people who once they try knee sleeves go back to not wearing them - there are some but for the most part once you start wearing knee sleeves you will wonder how you squatted without them in the past.
So if you are a person who has never tried knee sleeves before I encourage you to try them out. Ask a friend to try theirs if you don't want to buy a pair without trying first. I am confident you will be happy with the result!
Happy training everyone!