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Knee sleeves opinion/review.

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Since starting powerlifting I have made training support a big part of my lifting. Wrist wraps, knee wraps, knee sleeves, elbow sleeves, belts, cuffs, the list goes on. The different types of supportive equipment is so vast and the selection of brands and designs of each different one is kinda mind boggling. In this post I want to talk about and review two different kinds of knee sleeves that I have been using and are my go to equipment of almost every workout I do.

The first pair I owned was a pair of slingshot sleeves which ripped, so I got a 2nd pair which are still going strong... Just. The sling shot brand is done by powerlifting genius Mark 'smelly' Bell. He is the brother of Chris Bell, who was the created of the documentary BIGGER FASTER STRONGER. I bought these online along with abit or other stuff, they came from America and I used them for most of last year. They are the same design, cut and stitch as the popular Rehband knee sleeves. They are made of thin neoprene material and being my first pair I owned I thought they were quite good. They give little support though and lose their limited stiffness quickly. The area they cover is small and they are good for keeping the knee warm which is about it. A pair of these costs about half the price of a pair of rehbands but when you take into account the shipping and time you have to wait for shipping it's probably not worth it. They also don't ship to NZ so I had to use youshop. 5/10 and the stitching is starting to rip again.

Recently I bought a pair of SBD knee sleeves from RAISElower. RAISElower is a NZ bussiness who ship over night all over the country. It's just like buying your protein online except they sell a big range of lifting gear. Easy peesy. They sponsor some NZ athletes and give back to the sports so that is how I became aware of their bussiness. The SBD knee sleeves are the best sleeves out on the market. They are tricky to pick the sizing. I hear lots of different opinions on sizing some people like them really tight for Powerlifting comps to get carry over others just snug like a usual sleeve. The knee area they cover is quite big so a persons calve size can come into the equation when selecting the right size. I ordered L to as I thought tighter is better than looser. They arrived the following day and I tryed them on but way too tight. So i returned them and they happily sent me back an XL. If I was conpeting in sleeves I would go for a large, and use plastic bags to get them on like I would demonstrate in a photo below. But the XL is perfect for myself. These are abit thicker and stiffer than the slingshot sleeves and also a different cut and stitch as well. Complete opposites really. They are priced abit higher than the sling shot sleeves but only just after you take into account shipping. But worth the extra money as you're getting quality, better support, longevity and some good carry over to your squat if you choose the right size. 9/10.

Iv included a few pictures below for people to see what I'm talking about if you guys have any questions, want to echo my post or any kind of sleeves you have used and want to talk about don't hesitate to post.

post-10336-0-23869500-1436782000_thumb.j

post-10336-0-58207600-1436782027_thumb.j

post-10336-0-52504600-1436782050_thumb.j

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Agree about SBDS they are the best. I used Titans which I thought were awesome until I saw everyone using SBD. I first got a pair of medium and noticed how tight it felt instantly over the Titan and also purchased from Raise lower. I could not pull them up my leg as easy as just sliding the titans on though but found by folding the top half down over itself then pulling up the leg to knee then rolling it over knee it's much easier I've recently just bought a pair of small and yes I can get into them with some work lol. Girls legs.

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Thanks bro. If I had of been aware of knee sleeves earlier in my lifting I would have owned a pair from the get go. I don't think you need to be at a certain level or anything to justify using them. They give support and make the squat more comfortable and just feel nice to have on. I use on heavy leg press and would be great for things like lunges also. Having that support on my knees gives me better confidence when pushing weight through them. I think a lot of what knee sleeves offer is a mental benefit too just knowing you are supported. But I am into any advantage I can get.

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SBD are incredibly good.

 

I just wear long socks and fold the both and top down then yank them up. Takes a bit of effort. I recommend going a size down.

 

Be sure to wash them they kick up a killer smell after a few sessions. Just use white vinegar and water 1:4 ratio and sock for a few hours works well.   

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Yep, at Nationals SBDs were clearly the most popular - although at $120/ pair, it's damn near the same price as a belt, and 50% more than an pair of Titans. Sizing is crucial - you can't assume that an XL in anything else is a XL in SBD. Choose carefully :) 

 

RT's spot-on -  RaiseLower is a great firm - their stand at the Expo was well worth a look.

 

SBDs are stiffer, and longer, than the other brands - which can be an issue because if you've got chunky calves or quads, they won't support the knee as well.

 

Titan's coming out with their new YellowJacket sleeve, which is getting good reports from lifters who've imported them themselves - and the local Titan stockist expects them in stock here before year's end.

 

When to use them?  once you're proficient in the squat. Sleeves won't fix sketchy technique.  I don't use them until I get over around 90% 1RM - if I'm doing 5s or 3s, I don't think the extra support is beneficial. 

 

Care is important - follow the washing instructions carefully, otherwise you'll destroy them.  Wash regularly - the sweat will rot them quickly too. 

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Also note depending on your fed, I know IPF doesn't allow any assistance to get sleeves on. So you'd be stuck with XL. I tried the L's too thinking tight is best, but had to send them back and swap for XL.

 

I'd be interested to know if anyone has tried the Yellow Jacket KS from Titan.

 

They look like a sleeve version of the Sub X knee wrap I used to use.

 

http://www.liftinglarge.com/Titan-Yellow-Jacket-Knee-Sleeves

 

Keen to buy and review myself if not.

 

Edit: Just read your post Geoff.

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Also note depending on your fed, I know IPF doesn't allow any assistance to get sleeves on. So you'd be stuck with XL. I tried the L's too thinking tight is best, but had to send them back and swap for XL.

I'd be interested to know if anyone has tried the Yellow Jacket KS from Titan.

They look like a sleeve version of the Sub X knee wrap I used to use.

http://www.liftinglarge.com/Titan-Yellow-Jacket-Knee-Sleeves

Keen to buy and review myself if not.

Edit: Just read your post Geoff.

I did not know that in regards to assistance putting the sleeves on! Thanks bro good info!

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I did not know that in regards to assistance putting the sleeves on! Thanks bro good info!

makes sense i guess, u got 3 guys helped you yank on some XXS sleeves fair to say thats gonna give you closer to wraps carry over than having some loose ones on

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Lol that's a newer rule cos I remember when they first brought in the raw classification they had lifters at the worlds etc doing just that.

Four guys helping a 120kg fella into small knee sleeves, having to use plastic bags to slide them on etc.

Might as well have used wraps, they were certainly walking like they were in wraps !

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Not sure if it's enforced here in NZ just yet, definitely at Intl meets.

 

Ruskies were bringing in rice cookers to expand their sleeves, put them on then when they chill it will contract back to normal. Always wanted to try that. :think:

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I have the Rehband 5mm ones. Not too bulky and i like the way they make my knees feel. I used to ponder about if I would need to invest in a pair or not .... now I  recommend tit to anyone who ask about it.... it is a good investment.

 

Depending on your goals etc one could get the 7mm ones or SBDs ...

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For someone just looking to support their knees while bringing up their squat would you guys recommend the 5mm or 7mm ?

 

I have a 5mm Rehband. Get zero out of it in as numbers added to squat. Great to keep knees warm and happy, not to bulky. Just an IMO 

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