Power and explosiveness are paramount to your BJJ and MMA success. You can have excellent cardio and unlimited endurance but if you don’t have the explosive power to shoot for a double when it’s there then it’s useless.
It doesn’t matter how far you can run or how many miles you can cycle for, this isn’t a race.
It’s a fight.
In this fight there are going to be relative lulls where not much is going on, and then all of a sudden there will be quick and violent exchanges where you will need to have a deep well of power to draw from if you want to make it out unscathed. One of the best ways of building up this power is powerlifting. The clue is in the name.
Whilst there are many new fangled ways of training that have emerged over the last few years, you can’t beat the fundamentals. Powerlifting is tried and tested and it is still used by athletes all across the spectrum. Even alongside those new training protocols I just mentioned.
Big, compound exercises like squats and deadlifts are common powerlifting exercises and will help you build strength and power where you need it most. However, there are some downsides to this kind of training.
It can be very rough on your body. To really build the level of power you desire, you’re going to have to lift some heavy weights and lift them hard and fast.
This can cause wear and tear on your muscles, joints and ligaments. This isn’t bodybuilding where you lift weights in a slow and controlled manner to increase useless muscle mass for vanity.
To increase power and explosiveness, you have to lift heavy weights very fast. Just like you would when trying to pick up your opponent and slam them on the mat.
Your knees in particular will take the brunt of the abuse and you will need to protect them.
Luckily for you, there are knee sleeves you can use to mitigate the damage so you can reap the rewards of powerlifting training without any of those downsides.
We’ve compiled a list of the best products on the market so you can select a pair of sleeves best suited to you and get stuck into your training ASAP.
The Best Knee Sleeves For Lifting
Nordic Lifting Powerlifting Knee Sleeves
Some knee sleeves can be longer than they need to be; too high on the thigh or too low on the shin.
These sleeves from Nordic Lifting are shorter and more compact to provide all the safety and security you need without impeding your comfort. No unnecessary material.
This smaller surface area also helps to keep the sleeve in place throughout use. The thick compression material will give you that peace of mind that you’re as safe as can be when lifting what might feel like dangerously heavy weights.
Primal Elite Compression Knee Sleeves
Heavy squats require a high level of focus. There is absolutely nothing comfortable about doing them and you will want every ounce of concentration and willpower you can muster in order to get the most out of them.
The last thing you want is to have your knee sleeve start slipping mid-exercise. Your sleeves begin to slip, your focus is broken, your mind wanders and then accidents happen.
Trust me when I say, that you do not want to have any accidents or mishaps occur whilst carrying hundreds of pounds on your back. This sleeves from Primal Elite rectify that problem by having eight different sizes to choose from.
No matter how big or how small you are, you’ll be able to have a sleeve that fits perfectly in place throughout the exercise. They’ve even chucked in a carrying bag to keep your sweaty knee sleeves away from the rest of your gear.
ProFitness Knee Sleeve
These sleeves are made of 7mm thick, heavy duty neoprene material to give your knees unparalleled support.
The sturdy sleeves keep your weak joints comfortable and warm to mitigate the risk of injury. You’ll feel a night and day difference when squatting with these sleeves. You’ll wear them once and you won’t want to workout without them again.
ProFitness offer these sleeves in four different colours; Black, grey, red and blue. All four designs have a stylish, sleek look.
Stoic Performance 7mm Knee Sleeves
Earlier I spoke about the shorter sleeves generally being a better choice than the longer ones but there are definitely exceptions to this.
These sleeves from Stoic are of the longer variety and provide extra support to the parts of your leg beyond your knees. Some people might just want knee protection and knee protection only, so they choose a small set.
But some people might have quad/hamstring injuries that they want to keep extra warm and safe and so the longer sleeves can be an absolutely life-saver for them. The longer material can even be rolled over on itself to provide extra support to the knee if you require it.
These sleeves are also extra stiff and tight compared to other longer knee sleeves, which allows them to stay in place no matter what. No slipping or turning over when you need them, regardless of how sweaty you are.
Rehband 7501 Knee Sleeves
Rehband offer a very helpful and detailed guide to the fit of their sleeves. With this guide and the seven different sizes on offer, it will help you find the absolute perfect fit for your specific body/leg type. Everyone’s body is different so you must be extra diligent when choosing safety gear.
The sleeves are manufactured by leading healthcare company Otto Bock Healthcare GmbH, who specialise in prosthetic limbs and orthotic support.
This isn’t a sleeve just for the everyday man who wants that extra support, this is for the person who wants to, or has to, take zero chances when it comes to their knee support.
If you have pre-existing knee injuries or weaknesses, then Rehband will be the best choice for you.
But even if you aren’t already injured, if you want to make sure that you have the absolute best support for you knees then you can’t go wrong with Rehband.
You won’t want to squat or deadlift without these. Squats and deadlifts are excellent and efficient exercises that everyone should incorporate into their workout routines but they’re tough; they can easily wear you down and whittle away at your ligaments until even just walking causes you pain.
Be safe and stock up on a pair of knee sleeves so you can train hard and smart at the same time.