Oftentimes in sports events, and even in everyday activities such as working out or going to the gym, athletes and sports enthusiasts can be seen wearing knee sleeves.
From an outsider looking in, you may wonder what these are for. However, if you are an athlete yourself or if you are a fitness enthusiast, you have a general idea of how they are used and what they are good for.
Knee sleeves can be quite pricey with some costing as much as $45 for a pair. Now, if you are someone who is into fitness and does not wear them but are probably exploring the idea of buying a pair, you may wonder and think to to yourself, “Are knee sleeves worth it?”
There are a lot of things to consider.
Design, Quality and Brand
Knee sleeves are generally fabricated from neoprene, which is a form of elastic material that wicks moisture and adds warmth. These sleeves are simply worn by sliding them over the knee, and are usually available in different sizes for a better fit.
The design of a knee sleeve may vary depending on its specific use and the level of support that it is made to provide. The price of the knee sleeves depends on its design, the quality of the material, if it has an added special function or feature, and of course, the brand.
Protection from Injury
Knee sleeves are designed to protect the knees from injury by providing thorough support. The neoprene material locks the knee in place, offering stability. This is helpful especially to weight lifters as this helps avoid buckling of the knees, which might cause injury. Because of the form-fitting material that they are made of, knee sleeves stay in place even during mobility.
In addition, knee sleeves provide compression. Compression aids in the improvement of blood circulation and helps reduce the pain, if there are any or if the wearer is suffering from a knee injury. Compression is important because by improving the blood flow allowing for more oxygen, the risk of injury decreases. Furthermore, compression immensely helps speed up the recovery process post physical activity.
Read more: Best Knee Sleeves for Recovery
Knee Sleeves versus Knee Braces
On the other hand, knee sleeves do not function the way a knee brace does. Knee braces are designed to support knees that are already injured. It helps protect an injured knee from further damage. For example, if you have a dislocated patella, a knee brace can help keep the patella in place while you are performing day to day activities such as walking, and even athletic activities.
Another example is that a knee brace can stabilize the joint after a knee surgery due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or meniscus. In short, a knee sleeve would not do much good to someone who is already suffering from a knee injury.
Knee sleeves can only go as far as preventing such injuries from happening. And injuries can be prevented by simply listening to your body, knowing when to stop, and knowing the extent of effort you exert in doing a particular activity.
Also, knee sleeves do not improve performance. To say that knee sleeves and compression wear, in general, help improve an athlete’s performance is a myth. What knee sleeves can do is boost an athlete’s confidence knowing that his knees are protected and that he has additional support.
Of course, an increased confidence can enhance the performance. However, physically and scientifically, they do not really do anything to improve performance. Wearing knee sleeves would not help a track athlete run faster, they would not help a basketball player jump higher, and they definitely would not help one lift heavier weights.
While it is also said that knee sleeves aid for faster recovery after rigorous physical activities, the road to recovery generally just involves rest and some ice.
Also read: 6 Disadvantages and Benefits of Knee Sleeves
Would you be willing to spend as much as $45 for a speedier recovery when you can simply give your body the rest that it needs and deserves? Some people might be willing to spend that much money just to speed up their recovery process by about a couple of weeks, while some would prefer to wait it out.
So are knee sleeves worth it? At the end of the day, it will boil down to how you would evaluate your needs and your preferences as an athlete or as a fitness enthusiast. It is not really a question of if they are worth it but rather of how much worth you will give a product based on how you will use and maximize it.
Kevin also likes to eat healthy. He usually prefers to prepare his own meals. His cheat day favorites are his own versions of cheesecake and panna cotta.
Aside from being a blogger, Kevin is also a ghostwriter and CrossFit box manager. In between his many activities, he always finds time to squeeze in living a healthy and active lifestyle.
You can check out his updated PR's on http://kevinolega.com/fitness
Latest posts by Kevin Olega (see all)
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