If you are trying to increase you squat weight, knee sleeves are a must. The added weight on a knee that has not lifted a higher weight is just begging for an injury.
Knee sleeves will give you the confidence to take your weight to the next level.
Sleeves provide the bounce needed to actually lift heavier, and they protect your knee from injury on heavy lifts. Click here for more info on the best knee sleeves for squats.
How are CrossFit knee sleeves different from knee sleeves for lifting?
CrossFit Sleeves are built to support and stabilize, just like sleeves for lifting.
The difference is that lifting sleeves are often tighter and stiffer, made specifically for support while lifting.
Weight lifting sleeves will be very hard to get on. If a sleeve is too easy to get on, it will not have the support needed for serious lifting, and they are probably designed for functional fitness or CrossFit.
In fact, many weight lifters use knee wraps instead of sleeves, because they can get the wraps tighter than a sleeve.
CrossFit knee sleeves are not as intense, they are designed to support and stabilize, but they offer more movement and can be worn for agility movements plus you can wear them for the entire workout, if you want.
CrossFit Knee sleeves are great for high repetition lifting.
The stiffer or more ridged the sleeve the more likely they will be useful for heavy lifting. In our experience there are three classes of knee sleeve:
1. Very stiff, SBD neoprene. The type that is hard to get on and offer maximum support. They feel tight and do not bend easily. These are the type of sleeve power lifters wear. 2. Sleeves that offer a mix of support and flexibility. They are OK for lifting and agility movements. These are the most common type worn for CrossFit. They can be worn during the entire workout. 3. Light and flexible sleeves. These can be worn all day, everyday for virtually any activity. They are sometimes worn just to cover the knees and protect it from the bar. They offer minimal support, but do keep the knee joint warmed up.
This is a preference issue. Some find that longer sleeves offer more support while others find the long sleeves have too much fabric and feel bulky.
MM 5 or 7mm
These are measures of thickness and apply to neoprene sleeves.
7mm thickness is stiffer and more supportive.
5mm thickness is more flexible and can be used for jogging or agility exercises.
One common failure point in knee sleeves is the stitching, which is why it is important to check the stitching.
he seams should be smooth, evenly sewed, straight and neat. Look for sleeves that are double stitched and check reviews for those that tend to fall apart of develop holes.