We often see knee sleeves worn by major athletic athletes, but the less popular elbow sleeves can be just as important, especially if you're in the gym and lifting weights a lot!
But I hear you asking what are elbow sleeves and why are they used?
These are sleeves you wear over your elbows to keep warm, help relieve aches and pains, and help you avoid injury.
Elbow cuffs provide pressure and improve muscle tissue oxygenation to improve your performance during short periods of exercise. Keeping your joints warm also means helping your connective tissue heat up more efficiently, which is especially important as you age.
In fact, they were originally used to treat problems related to vascular disease and have been around for about 60 years. It helps reduce blood lactate levels and blood pooling, which means less pain and swelling.
In addition to the bench press, they are legal for use in competitions, as the more elastic elbow cuffs help lock in the weights - which is why all elbow protections are not allowed on competition bench presses.
How is an elbow cuff different from a compression cuff or elbow cuff?
Elbow cuffs and compression cuffs are very similar to each other - they both provide compression to help relieve pain, provide muscle support, help you recover from muscle damage faster, and help you avoid new injuries.
That said, the cuff is much smaller than the sleeve and is primarily used for localized joint compression to help reduce pain so you can get more movement than you would without the cuff.
Since it's so much smaller, you'll likely gain more mobility with the cuff - but it also means you'll get less support during vigorous exercise and stay less warm.
As for wraps, they are less easy to use and wear and more invasive. However, if you don't have elbow pads or compression cuffs and are recovering from an injury, elbow pads are better than no safety gear or accessories at all.
The short answer is yes. When you do vigorous exercise and lift weights, you should always use any type of safety gear or attachments to prevent unnecessary muscle stretching and provide muscle support.
But more important than wearing these gear and accessories is that you practice the correct technique - and your technique doesn't suffer from wearing them - that is, when you take off your elbow sleeves, you no longer know how Do the right technique.
In the event of an elbow injury:
- Immediately protect your elbow from possible further injury
- Place an ice pack on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes (in short intervals if necessary). Repeat throughout the day as needed to help relieve pain.
- Use a compression bandage to help relieve swelling
- Keep your arms elevated and rest.
- Avoid immediate further exercise. Seek professional medical care if you experience severe pain and/or are unable to move your elbows and arms normally.
5 Benefits of Wearing Elbow Pads While Working Out
Elbow pads are a way to protect your elbows, keep them warm, and even speed up recovery. Below is a breakdown of the benefits of wearing elbow compression sleeves while exercising.
Elbow sleeves are becoming more common in the gym and on the court.
Designed to promote blood flow and reduce inflammation, the Elbow Cuff provides mechanical support for lifters, relieves elbow pain, and even speeds recovery.
Not just for hardcore lifters, compression sleeves are a great tool you should consider adding to your workout routine.
Here are some proven benefits of using these boys regularly.
Elbow pads protect your elbows.
Sleeves are often seen as an injury management tool, and the benefits of wearing them for injury rehab and exercise recovery are numerous, as we'll see shortly, but they're also great for providing mechanical support when lifting weights.
The bench press is probably the most common form of upper body exercise, and it places a high degree of stress on the elbow joint, and lifting weights to failure places a severe load on the elbow joint.
Studies of athletes have found that wearing compression gear while exercising can help reduce the time it takes to rebound, reduce strength loss, promote mechanical support, and reduce "the risk of musculoskeletal activity during physical activity."
Sleeves keep you warm.
At-home workouts have never been more popular, and for many of us, that means training in the garage or car park, doing a lot of reps on our power racks or on a bar with wall-mounted pull-ups cry.
Elbow sleeves keep you warm, including all the ligaments and tendons around your elbows, which are especially handy during winter workouts in my chilly garage. Use them when warming up and when hanging out between workouts and exercises.
Elbow sleeves help maintain blood circulation when the weather drops, regulate body temperature, and keep you fit and warm during your workouts.
Faster recovery after strenuous exercise.
Research on the performance benefits of compression gears is a rather complex package. Numerous benefits have been found during recovery, with some studies finding that wearing compression gear after a workout can reduce inflammation and DOMS.
Using a group of athletes performing high-intensity sprint training and plyometric training, this article found that wearing compression gear reduced muscle soreness within 24 hours of training.
Wearing compression gear speeds up recovery between workouts so you can get back ready to rock sooner.
Elbow compression sleeves reduce pain.
During your time at the gym, injuries can occasionally occur.
Maybe it's an overuse injury (when weapon day is every day, eventually your arm will want to take a day off) or an acute injury (eg, dropping a weight plate on your foot), s*** happens.
If you happen to hit your elbow, rocking with an elbow compression sleeve can help reduce the severity of the pain.
A study of 53 people with lateral epicondyle pain, also known as tennis elbow, found that wearing a compression sleeve provided immediate pain relief.
Sleeves improve stamina.
While weightlifters love neoprene sleeves for strength and added joint support when lifting heavy weights in the gym, wearing compression gear also has endurance applications.
A group of well-trained cyclists significantly improved their 40km time-trial performance simply by wearing compression gear. Cyclists wearing placebo garments in the control conditions also produced significantly higher power output during the faster time trial.