Think you don’t need a knee compression sleeve? Having the right gear is just as important in sports performance as training, nutrition, and hydration. And as knee compression sleeves can improve your endurance and recovery time and help you avoid injuries, they’ll be a great addition to your matches and training sessions. So, without further ado, let's get into how.
Knee compression sleeves improve endurance
Endurance is vital in pretty much every sport. And while endurance training and complex carbs can take you far, a knee compression sleeve can take you farther. Basically, compression works by compressing an area to boost blood flow. This means your muscles get the oxygen and nutrients they need faster, slowing the rate of muscle fatigue.
- Your heart has no trouble pumping blood into muscle tissues. But especially during strenuous sports, your veins can have trouble keeping up. Your veins can’t cycle blood and cellular waste out fast enough, so your arteries can’t cycle in oxygen and nutrient-rich blood.
- Compression squeezes built-up deoxygenated blood out of small surface veins and into the deep veins, which carry it to the heart.
- It also activates your muscles, helping them better pump blood up along the deep vein.
- You get better circulation and less fatigue as your muscles have everything they need to work harder and last longer.
Compression knit also improves your proprioception (how well and quickly the nerves in your tissues send and receive signals to and from the brain). So essentially, they’ll help your muscles work more efficiently as you play or train.
Sports Compression Knee Support
Speed up muscle recovery
On that note, a knee compression sleeve's muscle activation and circulation-boosting properties can also help speed up muscle recovery. During strenuous exercise, your overloaded muscles start developing micro-tears. These aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, they’re necessary for muscle growth and improving your overall strength. Basically, the tears heal. And to adapt to the way your body exerts itself, the healed tissue will be stronger than the muscle that was there before. The healing process can be painful though (DOMS) and takes a couple of days.
Knee sleeves come in handy as they keep oxygen and nutrients flowing into the muscle to kick-start the repair process. They also reduce muscle oscillation - the uncomfortable vibrations that shoot up your leg when your feet hit the ground. As oscillation can result in microtrauma to the muscle tissue, the less there is, the quicker your muscle tissues can bounce back.
But. We can’t stress enough that faster muscle recovery doesn’t mean you can just keep training without a breather. Your muscles will still need around 24-48 hours to heal and strengthen. Working them again too soon can lead to tissue breakdown.
We’ve already mentioned how knee compression sleeves can reduce micro-trauma to the muscle. But their injury prevention benefits don't end there. In sports, we push our bodies to the limit, so mild to moderate injuries are more common than you’d think. Overuse injuries like Patellar Tendonitis and Iliotibial Band Syndrome plague most competitive sports. And the knee is among the most injured joints in netball, football, and basketball, second only to the ankle.
So, how does a pair of knee compression sleeves help?
- They act in a similar way to a warm-up. They boost your blood flow and prep your muscles and tendons for exercise, making them less stiff and less prone to injury.
- They keep your muscles going for longer. Tendon overuse injuries like patellar tendonitis happen when the muscles quit, and the tendons kick in to compensate. The more strain on the tendon, the more likely it is to tear and inflame.
- Improved proprioception means improved stability. Your muscles act as better supports for your joints, helping to take pressure and tension away from ligaments, tendons, and even cartilage.
The key thing to remember is that no one’s immune to injury, least of all athletes. We’ve helped dozens of pro players and even Olympians recover from torn ACLs and ruptured tendons.
Some things to consider
Not every knee compression sleeve is made equal. When picking out yours, you need to consider what it’s made of, how it feels, and how it fits.
- First, you should aim for medical-grade quality compression. That doesn’t mean it’s designed for medical conditions, but it does mean it meets a certain compression knit standard and will do what it’s advertised to do.
- Second, the material needs to be breathable. We don’t need to tell you how nasty excessive moisture build-up can feel.
- And third, no matter how good a knee sleeve’s compression is, it won’t be effective if it doesn't fit you right. If the sleeve is too tight, it could hinder your blood flow instead of improving it. If it’s too loose, the compression technology won’t be able to effectively stimulate the muscles or provide the gradual compression necessary for improving your blood flow. Not to mention, loose sleeves will slip down, taking your attention away from the game.
To sum up
Knee compression sleeves have the circulation-boosting, muscle-activating, and joint-stabilising properties you need to take your sports performance to the next level (and avoid injury while you're at it). But not every knee brace is made equal. To get the most out of yours, you'll need to look for quality materials and the perfect fit.
If you require assistance selecting the right product for your needs or wearing the brace, call us on 1300 668 466 or contact us via live chat.
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