Don't be afraid, you don't need all the accessories at the beginning, but some of them can be of great help.
Today we will focus on knee pads: their usefulness, types, when to use them, when not to use them and a selection of the best ones. I hope you find this article useful to help you decide.
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What are CrossFit knee pads for?
Knee pads are designed to give extra support to the joint and counteract compressive forces caused by weight, landing or other forces during training in order to protect your knees from injury.
Knee pads help to increase blood flow and reduce pain and swelling in the knee joint during and after exercise.
They are commonly used in CrossFit, weightlifting and powerlifting.
This type of knee pad is different from the orthopedic ones used in the recovery process after an injury.
When should we use knee pads?
It is typical to see at the box that before starting the WOD, attendees begin to put on a variety of accessories until they look like real "robocops".
However, as with the rest of the protections, it is not advisable to always use them when training.
Knee sleeves can increase strength during lifting at the expense of altering the natural joint movement pattern.
For example, when working above 75% of the maximum weight in weightlifting movements as heavy squat, clean, snatch PR and when there are lunges or pistols in the wod.
Why is it not always advisable to use knee pads when training?
It is not recommended that knee pads always be used, as it is important that your joints get stronger as your muscles do so..
Knee pads, therefore, are much safer and more effective when you reserve them only for when you need them.
In addition to the physiological response, they may have repercussions on psychological level like the rest of the accessories. Although they are an undeniable aid, it is easy to associate certain movements with the use of knee braces and can lead to a certain dependence.
Even if they provide support, lifting depends primarily on the athlete's ability, not on an external element. It's good to show your mind that you can also train without knee pads.
Types of knee pads
Depending on the material
Depending on this characteristic, your level of compression will vary.
- Cloth sleeves (cloth sleeves): Low level of compression and warmth. They are often used in the recovery process after an injury.
- Neoprene knee pads: Medium level of compression. The knee pads help prevent injury and provide warmth. Most knee pads used in CrossFit are of this type.
- Knee Wraps (Knee Wraps)): Extreme level of compression. These are usually recommended for powerlifting. Not recommended for CrossFit.
According to thickness
- 3 mm: light and with low compression level. They can be used in endurance training, metcons, sprints...
- 5 mm: These offer medium level of compression. The goal is to be versatile and allow a wide range of movements, not just heavy lifting. They are usually indicate for sports such as CrossFit, to be used comfortably in WODs with a variety of movements.
- 7 mm: High level of compression. They provide more support and allow less mobility. They are recommended exclusively for strength exercises.
How to put the knee pads on?
Knee pads must be tight to do their job, but this sometimes makes the process of putting them on and taking them off difficult. Especially in summer when we don't have the help of long tights and we tend to be sweaty.
The easiest way to put them is by turning them around (from the inside out). Introducing the foot first through the narrowest part. Once we have brought them to knee height, we pull the lower part to put them back in the right direction.
It is easier to see it than to explain it. However, if you try it this way, you will find that it is easier than the traditional way.
Other uses of knee pads
Many crossfitters give the knee pads a dual function by using them as shin guards for some exercises such as rope climbing which often cause a lot of friction on the skin.
There are accessories specifically designed to protect this area of the leg when doing this exercise, but many people substitute it with the knee brace itself by dropping it over the ankle.
It is very basic what you need to do to extend the life of your knee pads and, by the way, not to stink up the fellow next to you 😉.
- When you come back from training, unpack your backpack and put the knee pads to aerate . This will help to get rid of the sweat.
- Wash every certain time depending on their use. Some people recommend putting them in the freezer to eliminate bacteria and bad odors (I haven't tried that).
- Do not bleach or tumble dry.
Where to buy knee pads for CrossFit and Weightlifting
- Hex Tech: its design with hexagons that allow to add extra pressure in the patellar tendon area giving greater support without limiting movement. You can choose the thickness of 5 or 7 mm:
- 💎 PICSIL Hex Tech: Our innovative technology is based on a layer of...
- 💪 Go Hard: Our double protective layer distributes the impacts against the...
- Neoprene: available in 5 or 7 mm.
- 💪[PROTECTION] Meniscus and ligament knee pads designed to protect the...
- 👫[MORE ENDURANCE] With these sports knee pads you will improve the resistance...
Knee caps RockTape
This brand gained a lot of popularity thanks to its kinesiology tape. Their Assassins neoprene knee pads are available in two thicknesses:
- Made of SBR neoprene for durability and comfort.
- Lycra lining for softness and breathability.
Rehband Knee Pads
One of the brands that gained popularity in CrossFit. It was well known for sponsoring reference athletes in this sport such as Annie Thorisdottir, Camile Le Blanc, Josh Bridges, Rich Froning...
Its design of neoprene features a patented anatomical fit to maintain the position while exercising.
- Thickness 5 mm:
- Rehband's pair of 5 mm thick neoprene knee pads gives you more...
- The construction of Rehband's knee pads is based on an exclusive...
- Thickness 7 mm:
- Delivery contents: 1 bandage.
- Perfect fit thanks to its anatomical shape.
Bear Komplex is another well-known brand in the CrossFit world.
- Knee brace 5 mm and 7mm:
- THIS LISTING IS FOR A PAIR OF RED 5mm BEAR KOMPLEX KNEE SLEEVES that will...
- KNEE SLEEVES COME IN 5mm OR 7mm FOR OPTIMAL SUPPORT AND COMFORT. The sleeves fit...
- Knee brace 7mm:
- 7 mm thick for strong support: the Nisrok 7 mm neoprene knee pads are made of...
- Avoid injuries and pain: protecting your knees is of the utmost importance to prevent...
Before purchasing, follow the measurement chart provided by the manufacturer to know the ideal size of your knee brace.