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What are the best knee sleeves for squats?

What are the best knee sleeves for squats?

You already know that squats are one of the best exercises you can do. They target multiple muscle groups, including glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. And as part of the ‘big 3’ lifts, they’re essential for strength athletes. 

But while squats have gained more popularity with the average gym-goer, many lifters are still concerned that their knees are at risk.

When done with proper form, your knees aren’t at risk (assuming you have no joint problems). However, maintaining perfect form under heavy loads can be difficult. That’s where knee sleeves come in.

Knee sleeves help you squat by providing warmth, stability, and increased blood flow to the knees, which can enhance stability, performance, and reduce the risk of injury.

Read on to find out more about the benefits of knee sleeves, and what sleeves are right for you. 

In this article: 

What are the best knee sleeves for squats?
What are the benefits of knee sleeves for squats?
Why choose Strength Shop knee sleeves? 

Ready to get started? Check out our wide range of knee sleeves.

What are the best knee sleeves for squats? 

If you’ve been researching knee sleeves, you’ll know that there are an overwhelming amount of options on the market. Ultimately, they all aim to do the same thing. But each product will differ in one of four ways: 

Material: Materials like neoprene provide durability and support, while blends with spandex or nylon enhance flexibility and breathability.

Length:
Longer knee sleeves provide increased support and warmth, ideal for heavy lifting, while shorter ones offer better mobility for dynamic activities.

Thickness: Thicker sleeves provide enhanced stability and joint warmth, whereas thinner sleeves are better for flexibility and comfort during extended use.

Colour: Colour choices for personal preference. 

Here are some of the most popular knee sleeves we sell at Strength Shop


Range (Product Name)

Support Level

Recommended Sports

IPF-Approved

5mm Neoprene Sleeves

Light support, high mobility

Powerlifting, Strong(wo)man, Functional Training, Weightlifting

No

7mm Inferno Knee Sleeves

High support, moderate mobility 

Powerlifting, weightlifting, Strong(wo)man

Yes

7mm Inferno PRO Knee Sleeves

Maximum support with extra stiff neoprene, ideal for heavy lifting, low mobility 

Experienced lifters, powerlifting, Strong(wo)man

Yes

Single-Ply Knee Sleeves

Light support, high mobility

Powerlifting, weightlifting

No

Double-Ply Knee Sleeves

Moderate support with two layers of material, improves knee stability, decent mobility 

Powerlifting, weightlifting

No

Triple-Ply Knee Sleeves

High support with three layers, maximum compression, limited mobility

Powerlifting, weightlifting, Strong(wo)man

No


What are the benefits of knee sleeves for squats? 

The benefits of squats are undeniable. According to studies by the American College of Sports Medicine, squats dramatically improve lower body strength, functional mobility, and even bone density. 

And while knee sleeves aren’t necessary to get the benefits of squats, they can help you take your performance to the next level and prevent injuries.

Here are four benefits of using knee sleeves for squats: 

1. Improve your lifting stability (and comfort). 

Knee sleeves provide a snug, compressive layer that enhances stability and comfort around the knee joint. This support is especially helpful when squatting with heavy weights, as it helps maintain knee alignment and reduces the risk of twisting or lateral movements that can lead to injury. The warmth from the compression also aids in keeping the joints lubricated and ready to perform. (Sharif et al., 2017 ).

2. Maintain form and lift more weight.

For those looking to improve their squat game, knee sleeves could be a game-changer. Studies indicate that knee sleeves’ additional support and compression provided by knee sleeves can positively impact overall performance, allowing you to lift more while maintaining good form. There’s a reason so many powerlifters use knee sleeves when they squat. (Machek et. al, 2021).

3. Protects your joints and enhances proprioception.

One of the primary reasons lifters turn to knee sleeves is for the protection that they offer. They help safeguard the knees from the stress and strain of heavy lifting, reducing the risk of overextension and injury. Additionally, the increased proprioception — or body awareness — helps you maintain proper form throughout each squat, reducing the chance of injury.(Sharif et al., 2017).

Whether you aim to increase your lifts, avoid injury, or simply feel more confident under the bar, knee sleeves could be the support you need to take your squat to the next level. 

4. Helpful for other lower body lifts

Knee sleeves aren’t just useful for squats: they can support you during lots of different types of lifts, including:

Olympic lifts: Movements like the clean and jerk and the snatch require significant knee bend and explosiveness. Knee sleeves can help support you during these dynamic movements and provide security during the lift.

Lunges and split squats: These exercises involve deep knee bends and can put pressure on the knee joint. Sleeves can help by providing compression and support.

Leg press: While the leg press machine guides your movement, the knees still bear the load. Sleeves can help support the knee and improve comfort during leg presses.

Plyometrics: Knee sleeves can provide extra support during conditioning work, such as vertical jumps, sprints, or other activities that have a high impact on the knees.

Why use Strength Shop Knee Sleeves? 

With so many knee sleeves on the market, why should you choose Strength Shop? 

For nearly 15 years, we've been providing knee sleeves to strength athletes excelling in their respective sports.  Our knee sleeves are used by World and National Record holders.  

Here's why you might consider using Strength Shop knee sleeves for your training and competitive needs:

Wide selection: Whether you're an athlete seeking mobility with thinner knee sleeves or require maximum support from thicker options, we've got you covered. Our sleeves start at just €23.99.

Ethically made: Our knee sleeves are made from vegan-friendly materials, ensuring no harm to animals while providing you the support you need.

IPF-approved sleeves: Our Inferno and Inferno Pro knee sleeves are IPF approved for competitive lifters. 

2-year warranty: We stand behind the quality of our products. All of our knee sleeves come with a 2-year warranty, giving you peace of mind. 

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what our customers say about our knee sleeves: 

"The BEST knee sleeves I’ve ever used! Honestly, I’d give these 10 stars if I could. These are hands down the best knee sleeves I’ve ever purchased. The quality is top-notch - and it goes without saying that they are sturdier than pretty much any other “big name” brand out there that sells CrossFit and weightlifting gear. These are the real deal. For the first time, in a long time, I’m able to squat without significant knee pain. These sleeves help keep my knees – both with injuries of varying degrees – supported throughout every movement. It’s safe to say that I’ve found my go-to brand for knee sleeves from this point forward. Thank you, Strength Shop for making such a quality product!"

- Review of our 7mm Inferno Knee Sleeves on Strength Shop EU. 

Great sleeves.. needless to say strength shop only sells top quality

i recommend them for my clients and i use them to train for my powerlifting meets and i can say that they are perfect. they give the right compression all round and from top to bottom.

Review of our double ply knee sleeves on Strength Shop EU 

"Ultimate supportPurchased these knee sleeves from being pointed to this website, after using them when squatting, they give you the support you need, the quality of the product is very good & delivery was as said, will be using again."

- Review of our 7mm Inferno Knee Sleeves on Strength Shop UK. 


FAQ

How do I select the right size of knee sleeve?

Measure the circumference of the widest part of your knee cap, compare your measurement to our size table (on each product page), and choose your matching size. 

Are Strength Shop knee sleeves suitable for lifters of all levels?

Strength Shop offers an array of knee sleeves designed to cater to novices and seasoned athletes alike. Newcomers might prefer our thinner sleeves (such as the single-ply knee sleeve) for better mobility and comfort, while experienced, competitive lifters may opt for our thicker sleeves (such as our Inferno PRO) designed for heavy powerlifting and strong(wo)man training.

How snug should my knee sleeves fit?

Your knee sleeves should fit snugly, offering firm support without hindering circulation or movement. It's a balance – too tight may restrict your range of motion and comfort, too loose, and you won't receive adequate support.

Do knee sleeves aid in managing pre-existing knee issues?

While knee sleeves can support a sore knee, they're not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If you're dealing with a knee issue, it's crucial to consult a healthcare professional before engaging in lifting or other strenuous activities, even with the added support of knee sleeves.

How do I clean my Strength Shop knee sleeves?

To keep your sleeves in the best condition possible, hand-wash them and air-dry them. Avoid using strong detergents.

Choose Strength Shop knee sleeves. 

With nearly 15 years of expertise, Strength Shop has become a trusted name among lifters, from enthusiastic beginners to elite, world-class competitors. Our knee sleeves are designed with both protection and performance in mind, ensuring you get the most out of every squat.

Incorporating a pair of our knee sleeves into your lifting gear is an excellent way to safeguard your knees during intense sessions so you can continue to lift safely for years to come. 


Shop knee sleeves


References:


Machek, Steven B.1,2; Cardaci, Thomas D.1,2,3; Wilburn, Dylan T.1,2; Cholewinski, Mitchell C.2; Latt, Scarlett Lin1,2; Harris, Dillon R.1,2; Willoughby, Darryn S.1,2,4. Neoprene Knee Sleeves of Varying Tightness Augment Barbell Squat One Repetition Maximum Performance Without Improving Other Indices of Muscular Strength, Power, or Endurance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 35():p S6-S15, February 2021. | DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003869

Mohd Sharif NA, Goh SL, Usman J, Wan Safwani WKZ. Biomechanical and functional efficacy of knee sleeves: A literature review. Phys Ther Sport. 2017 Nov;28:44-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2017.05.001. Epub 2017 May 6. PMID: 28673759.

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