Squatting is a very common exercise in the gym, but it can also be one of the most challenging. When powerlifting, squats can cause some of the most prominent injuries due to the stress on your joints and lower body.
So how can you protect your knees but still improve your strength?
Knee wraps have become a common staple in weightlifting as they offer support to your knees to help you lift heavier weights.
Knee wraps reduce the stress on your knees which results in you being more confident and able to properly lift weights without damaging your joints.
You may be wondering if you need to wear knee wraps but you find yourself not knowing much about them.
Here is all of the information you need to know about wrapping your knees for squats so that you can continue building your strength without it being at the expense of your knees.
What Are Knee Wraps?
Knee wraps are popular in weightlifting and powerlifting as they reduce your risk of injury from lifting heavy weights.
A knee wrap is a piece of elastic that is wrapped around your knee covering the top, bottom, and across the front of your knee for maximum support of the entire joint.
The knee wrap is to be wrapped tightly around your knee in a spiral pattern so that your movement is restricted so that you are able to lift heavier weights without getting stuck mid-squat.
Why Wrap Your Knees For Squats?
People mostly wrap their knees if they are training for powerlifting or weightlifting as they will be using heavier weights.
The main reason for wrapping knees is that knee wraps reduce the stress on your quadricep tendon so that you can prevent any damage onto your knees.
Knee wraps support heavy lifting and help to improve your squatting technique as the wrap pressure generates energy.
What’s The Difference Between Knee Wraps And Knee Sleeves?
Knee wraps are used during heavy lifting to restrict your knee movement so that you can use heavier weights. Knee wraps aim to support the knee in heavy lifting as they reduce pressure on your knee.
Knee sleeves are usually used during cardiovascular exercise as they are a great addition of support during plyometrics but it doesn't mean that they aren't useful in other exercises. . Knee sleeves offer support where muscle fatigue can occur in the activity. Check out this article to know what knee sleeves do for squats and other exercises.
Knee wraps aim to restrict the movement of your knees so that they are able to support you when lifting heavier weights.
Knee wraps are unsuitable to wear in other other form of exercise except for weightlifting as you need your knee joints to be restricted in order for the knee wraps to help support your knees.
A knee sleeve is a soft piece of material that allow your knee to have lots of flexibility and motion range. The knee sleeves aim to increase blood flow as they apply compression to your knees for support during movements, but they do not restrict your movements at all.
Applying Them To The Knees
Knee wraps are usually more difficult to use as it can take some time to perfect. The knee wraps can be more difficult to fit as they require precision when applying to make sure that the knee is fully supported.
However, you will become more familiar with wrapping and you can be sure that you are happy with the pressure.
Knee sleeves are easy to put on as they slide over your knees just like a sleeve. You can adjust the sleeve to make sure that it is comfy by moving it around your knee, but usually, you are unable to tighten knee sleeves the same way you can tighten knee wraps.
Types Of Knee Wraps
There are a variety of different types of knee wraps that ensure that your knee is fully supported.
Hook And Loop Knee Wraps
Hook and loop knee wraps have velcro to tighten the wraps on your knees so that they don’t fall down or begin to slide away from the points of the knee that they need to be supporting. Having the straps means that you can easily tighten and loosen the wraps.
Traditional Knee Wraps
Traditional knee wraps are a long piece of material that needs to be securely wrapped around the knee. It is important to cover the top, bottom, and front of the knee with the wrap to ensure that the whole knee is completely covered.
It is important that you choose the knee wraps that would best help you to up your squat performance while ensuring your gym safety. To guide you in deciding, check out our list of the best knee wraps for squats here.
Benefits Of Knee Wraps
Wearing knee wraps reduces the risk of injury on your quadricep tendon as the wraps help to reduce the stress on the joint. This helps to protect you from experiencing torn muscles or tendons in your knee, and makes squats a safe exercise for a torn meniscus or stiff knees.
Knee wraps promote blood flow which helps in post-workout recovery, so by wearing knee wraps after weightlifting, the pressure will be reduced on your knees but your blood flow won’t be affected. This will help your knees heal after a workout.
As your knee will be tightly wrapped, you won’t have to worry about overextension when you squat as your knee performance will be limited. However, this will help with your overall squat performance. Your strength output will be supported by your limited joint as you will be forced to squat in the proper form.
Overall, wrapping your knees for squats is extremely beneficial to your health and body. When you wrap your knees, this helps to reduce the pressure that squatting puts on your knees so that you can protect your knees from tearing and stress.
It is recommended that if you are squatting heavy weights, then you should wrap your knees. You shouldn’t wrap your knees for cardiovascular activities as you don’t want your movements restricted, but in weightlifting, you want your knee mobility reduced.
If you want extra support in cardio activities, getting the best knee sleeves will be beneficial to you. However, knee wraps are incredibly supportive in powerlifting so it is recommended that you use them in order to help improve your performance and body movements