It is common to wonder about accessories. You'll see people wearing and discussing all kinds of clothing online, in gyms, in forums. It's rare to see record-breaking attempts without wearing knee and elbow sleeves or wraps, weightlifting belts, and sometimes even specific squat or deadlift suits.
Are all of these suitable for your own training?
Today I want to talk about a few different accessories that I use regularly in my own workouts: knee and elbow straps.
What are they and what are they for?
Elbow sleeves can have a variety of uses, depending on your preferred style and fit. Generally, they're just there to keep your joints warm. This can be critical if you're doing heavy sets with long rests, as resting five minutes between lifts can see your joints cool and get stuck.
This is what I use the sleeves for most often.
Alternatively, you can choose a variety or fit that offers more compression. These will help lock your lift and help you close your elbows.
Elbow cuffs are completely legal in the squat and deadlift competitions of powerlifting competitions. Although they are still a very useful training tool, many federations ban them from using the printing press.
I always recommend you use them with any squat or deadlift, 3 reps or less with any lift. They will give you extra support and keep your joints warm to move well.
Knee length sleeves
These are like elbow sleeves and are usually only used to keep the knee joints warm to a certain degree. Like elbow sleeves, knee sleeves should be used when you need longer rest periods or perform heavier squats at a lower rep range.
They also come in different varieties and fits, so you can choose between simply keeping you warm to a decent amount of support and compression to help lock your knees.
Knee sleeves are completely legal and work with all lifts, I always recommend wearing them. However, it's important not to confuse them with knee pads:
I don't rate knee pads particularly high, and I rarely leave the house without my sleeves.
The knee pads are very tight, almost to the point that it is difficult to fully squat without the weight of the bar. This means you get a lot of help when you come out of the bottom of the squat because your knees are almost forced to straighten.
There will always be a huge difference between PR and world records, world records for lifters with and without knee pads. If all you care about is a number, or just want to hit a PR, fine: go for a newline. If you want to actually get stronger, they may not be the right tool for you. Personally I would stick to some well-supported sleeves for my daily training.
I've touched on this, but let's list a few rules about when to use knee and cuffs.
The first example where using a sleeve makes sense is that it will make your weightlifting better. It's that simple.
You shouldn't use them to cover up poor technique: If your knees are bent inward during a squat, practice your lower body control and foot positioning instead of just using your sleeves as an adhesive plaster.
However, if you perform well, have high technical proficiency, and you find that sleeves make your lifts better, you're a prime candidate to use them.
Another example is using sleeves to keep you safe. This is especially true when you are training in cold conditions and/or you need longer rest periods. The sleeves will ensure that the heat and fluidity you generate during your warm-up stays in your elbows and knees.
4 Benefits of Using Elbow Pads During Workout
Athletes are often eager to get the last percent from their performance. Most athletes know that supplements or equipment usually only make up a small percentage, but in the end they add up to impact the end result, especially in the long run.
One tool that can improve the training experience, prevent injuries, and can be used in a variety of ways is the elbow sleeve. Why sleeves? Because it's not a bandage in the classic sense with gel inserts, Velcro or metal strips.
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ZSZBACE's elbow sleeves are a pleasing blend of nylon fabric that doesn't become uncomfortable or itchy even with prolonged wear, but can be worn in everyday life. The advantages are very obvious:
+ Improves blood circulation in the forearm, biceps attachment and elbow joint
+ Elbow stability and greater safety during high loads or long training sessions
+ Fewer injuries from golfers or tennis elbow, tendonitis or other ailments in calisthenics and strength athletes
- + Delivered as a set to keep both elbows healthy even if only the left hand is injured
Elbow sleeves still allow complete freedom of movement but provide support and safety for push-ups, handstands, sit-ups or pull-ups. Since the fabric is relatively thin, there are no disturbing wrinkles in the crook of the arm, and the bandage can be worn for extended periods of time. They also help keep the ring straps from fraying during ring training.