When lifting a heavy weight and trying to aim for a new PR, knee sleeves should be an essential component to your gym bag.
Knee sleeves are essentially designed to protect the knee joint from injury. Adding weight and a lot of pressure when squatting or performing cleans and jerks can and will take its tole on the knee joint so by wearing a pair of good, well-designed knee sleeves will certainly minimize injury and still allow you to hit those PR’s you have been aiming for.
I have listed out a few of the best Crossfit knee sleeves available that I believe are best at reducing the risk of injury because of their material and design.
Rehband knee sleeves
Rehband knee sleeves are made from highly durable Neoprene material that comes in a few compression thicknesses such as 3mm, 5mm and 7mm. The thicker the support the more compression there is around the knee. The Rehband knee sleeves have 2 panels that are anatomically and ergonomically shaped, with a comfortable fit so that it more or less provides a full structure around the knee to keep it in place.
- The 3mm knee sleeve is used when performing a high intensity workout so that there is more freedom of movement for the knee but still provides the support when needed.
- The 5mm knee sleeve is used when there is more heavy lifting involved but still allows for maximum range of movement as well as light support.
- The 7mm knee sleeve is mainly used if heavy lifting is the aim. This provides extra support and stabilization to the knee with compression to make sure that patella, ligaments and joint itself stays in place when under heavy strain.
Rehband also do offer a number of different colors and designs for their knee sleeves.
Price: For the pair, they come in at around £44.00 (£21.95 each) from Amazon.
Bear Komplex knee sleeves
The Bear Komplex knee sleeves are designed with a 5mm and 7mm thickness to provide that much-needed support when lifting a heavy weight. They are designed with 4 panels compared to the standard 2 panels like other knee sleeves on the market. These knee sleeves do offer a lot of stabilization and support to the knee keeping it warm and compressed.
Price: For the pair, they currently come in at around $44.98 at Bear Komplex.
SBD Knee sleeves
The SBD knee sleeves are designed with a 7mm Neoprene that will help any weightlifter to perform each set injury free. These knee sleeves are basically designed for anyone who is serious about heavy lifting and aimed more towards weightlifters and strongmen. These sleeves do provide the essential support to the knee to keep it compressed and also helps to minimize injury.
Price: For the pair of these knee sleeves, the price comes in at around £59.99 at SBD Apparal.
What will offer the best protection?
It all depends on what they are being used for. I myself, train in Crossfit and need to have the full range of motion and flexibility but also need the protection and compression of the knee when lifting heavy at the same time. If you are more focused on weightlifting and need the upmost support and stabilization of the knee, the SBD knee sleeves may be your best option. These will surely protect you or even if you have just came back from rehabilitation of the knee or leg, these will provide the best support.
With the Bear Komplex knee sleeves, they offer excellent support of the knee and will make sure that each rep that you perform is safe and secure. I personally prefer the 2 panel design compared to the 4 panel design with the Bear Komplex as the 4 panel design feels more rigid, whereas I would need to have more freedom in the movement. But once again if your aim is more on weightlifting, the Bear Komplex will certainly be a helpful companion.
I personally use the 5mm Rehband knee sleeves. They are one of the least expensive good quality knee sleeves available which can be purchased through Amazon. Like I said I need to have that full range of motion to be able to still perform box jumps, double unders and sprints effectively whilst also being able to have peace of mind knowing that my knees are protected when performing squats, snatches, cleans or jerks.