Are you looking for the best knee wraps to get you going with your squat routines?
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
In this Athletic Muscle guide, you’ll learn about:
- What are knee wraps and the benefits of protecting your kneecap?
- How do you put on knee wraps?
- What should you consider when buying heavy duty knee wraps?
- Do weightlifting knee wraps make you stronger?
- What are the differences between knee sleeves and knee wraps?
- . . . and what are my top three choices for knee wraps?
The key with knee wraps is to know how often and during which types of exercises you should use them to maximize their effect.
Let’s break down how they help, when to use them during training, the difference between knee wraps and knee sleeves, and the three best knee wraps out there.
Mava Sports Knee Wraps
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Harbinger Red Line 78-Inch Knee Wraps for Weightlifting
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Sling Shot Knee Wraps
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Overall #1 Pick
When looking for a reliable pair of knee wraps for all your power-lifting and cross-fit training needs, Mava Sports Knee Wraps are your best option.
Mava Sports Knee Wraps are built essentially to deliver reliable support, bracing, and compression on your knees to get the most out of your power-lifting or weight-lifting routines.
It is basically built to be tough on the hardest flex of your knee joints.
It comes in a variety of colors, perfect for both indoor and outdoor training routines, no slipping, and doesn’t itch.
The 72-inch elastic straps can be easily adjusted to the desired tension through it hook-and-loop system. It stays in place and doesn’t roll down no matter how tough your training routines get.
It’s built to be as tough as you in securing stability and support so that you’ll worry less on how much stress your knee caps can endure in every training. Furthermore, it works with zero stiffness and itching.
Keep reading to learn everything there is know about knee wraps!
Top 3 Best Knee Wraps for Squats
Check out our below list for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about your knee wraps!
- Mava Sports Knee Wraps (Best Overall Value)
- Harbinger 78-Inch Knee Wraps for Weightlifting
- Sling Shot Knee Wraps
Knee wraps are dependable gears to help you avoid knee injuries while getting the best out of your powerlifting routines. There can be a ton of great deals out there, but how do you pick a decent pair of knee wraps?
In this article, I’ll be taking a look at the various types of knee wraps on the market, what to look for before purchasing, and the benefits of using knee wraps in your training regiment.
What Are Knee Wraps?
Knee wraps are often made from neoprene to provide stability, warmth, and even a mechanical advantage for the knee joint.
Some lifters use them to prevent injuries, this extra support is used to hit a heavier 1RM squat PR.
It’s more and more common to see the average CrossFit athlete wearing either knee wraps or sleeves at a box.
The following video will tell you more about knee wraps as well as knee sleeves.
Benefits of Knee Wraps
Knee wraps can help keep your knees warm and provide maximum support during heavy lifts like the squat.
Powerlifters and heavy weights alike might use them in training or competition, while a CrossFit athlete might use them during heavy lifts or even while doing high rep squatting exercises like wallballs.
One popular area of study in the sport science world is how (or if) knee wraps help athletes and bodybuilding enthusiasts get stronger without restricting proper blood flow.
This study shows that while they may help you move more weight, always wearing knee wraps can compromise the integrity of the patella.
This implies it’s probably best to use knee wraps sometimes (during a PR lift, for example), instead of all the time.
How Do You Put on Knee Wraps?
Putting on knee wraps is just like gearing your arms up with a pair of wrist wraps. Start below the knee joint (on the high part of the shin) and work your way up to the edge of the thigh.
The idea is to wrap tightly on either side of the actual knee joint, to provide stability in the bottom of a squat when the joint is at 90 degrees.
You want the loop closure to be tight enough to provide stability, but not so tight that they cut off circulation. As your knee wraps wear in, you’ll find they feel more comfortable during heavy squats.
One of Mark Bell’s (who created the Slingshot knee wraps) athletes shows you how to put knee wraps on in this video.
Considerations Before Buying
Here are some things to consider before ordering your pair of knee wraps.
You’ll find knee wraps mostly come as elastics. It might be a bit of an ego check, but how strong you are should factor into the material you choose. Most knee wraps are made of neoprene material that ensure optimum flexibility so that you can easily adjust the gear to your desired compression.
Good knee wraps will be stiff and will feel tight against your knee. You want a pair that rates well and lasts a long time.
72 inch is probably the standard, but you’ll find varying lengths. Keep this in mind. They are sold in both inches and centimeters, so you may need to do some conversions.
Same idea applies here as the material section. If you can squat 400 to 500 lbs, you’ll want a thicker pair. If you can’t back squat your bodyweight, a thick pair will probably be uncomfortable or prevent you from squatting at all.
At the end of the day, you’re using knee wraps to move bigger weights. If they aren’t comfortable without a heavy bar on your back, think what it will be like when you’re lifting.
Keep in mind that some come with velcro straps. Others need to be tucked in.
Do Knee Wraps Make You Stronger?
Yes they do. Knee wraps constrict the joint, providing more stability when you are driving through the floor coming back up from a squat.
That external support allows you to move heavier weights.
Keep in mind, though, that your body will adapt to always wearing knee wraps if you always wear them.
If you all of a sudden stop wearing them for heavy squats after years of using them, you might injure yourself.
It’s probably best to use knee wraps sometimes—like during your heaviest sets—and still do some sets without them.
Knee Sleeves vs. Knee Wraps
We’ve reviewed knee sleeves on here before. The difference between knee sleeves and knee wraps is that knee wraps are more of a “one trick” solution.
Wraps are great for things like heavy squats, but may leave you feeling less mobile or comfortable during a WOD or high-rep set.
Knee sleeves, on the other hand, have more applications.
They fit better into the CrossFit athlete mold because they are designed to do a lot of things.
Both knee sleeves and wraps provide stability, warmth, and support for the knee joint. Both can help with pre-existing knee injuries, too.
Top Knee Wraps Reviewed
If you’re looking for a good pair of knee wraps for cheap, the Mava Sports ones might be your best bet.
Besides being comfortable and durable, they come with velcro so they’re easy to put on without having to tuck them in.
For this reason, this pair is probably the best option for your average gym-goer. They’re also affordable.
Lifters love these for their lightweight, breathable material and low cost.
The one downside of reviews on the Harbinger is that some people find them uncomfortable to wear.
These don’t come with velcro and need to be tucked in.
The renowned powerlifter Mark Bell makes these knee wraps, along with several other Slingshot strength training products.
And, they’re aptly named. Slingshot products are known for being stiff, durable and designed to give you a real bounce out of the bottom of your squats.
Whether you need a little more stability in your knee joint or want to hit a heavy 1RM back squat, knee wraps are great to have in your gym bag.
Consider material and comfort above all before buying. You don’t want a knee wraps that help you get stronger but hurt when you wear them.
And perhaps for some activities, a good pair of knee sleeves will work just as well.
Here’s where you can check out more product and CrossFit gear reviews. Set yourself up for PRs in 2020!