Author Topic: In Defense Of WRAPS, Especially For Beat Up Knees  (Read 3062 times)

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Gary

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In Defense Of WRAPS, Especially For Beat Up Knees
« on: June 16, 2011, 11:10:16 am »
+1
I have had extensive trouble with both of my knees. I had a bad MCL sprain in my right that took years to clear up. Caused effusion which limited range of motion and made the muscles shrink. Nothing could contract properly because of all the fluid. It took me draining the knee every day for eight months for that to clear up. Then my left knee got an effusion from overuse. I've been draining that one for almost a year and it seems to be calming down, but more slowly than the right did. The right knee is almost completely stable now, though I have to drain it every couple of months after heavy use.

I relied on Rehband knee sleeves for the longest time, but I've recently thrown in the towel and started using THP knee wraps when squatting heavy. I was trying to stay RAAAAAAW, but I wasn't doing my knees any favors. My knees are much happier since I started using wraps for heavy singles and for the actual work sets.

People will say that I'm getting extra pounds from the wraps and that I'm preventing my knees from getting strong. Ha! Preventing my knees from getting beat up is more like it. That's worth "cheating" ten pounds on my squat to me. If I don't use the wraps for the hard and heavy reps, my knee fills up within hours and has to be drained (the fluid just will not go away on its own with RICE). If I use the wraps, the wraps take the brunt of the trauma at the very bottom of the squat instead of my knee capsule.

As for those extra pounds, I'd say they probably don't amount even to ten pounds. The range where they "help" is the range where I'm bouncing off my knees anyway. The wraps just take the brunt instead of my knees. I've tried near maxes on the same day with and without wraps and didn't get any extra weight. What I did get was relief from knee pain at the bottom and confidence to pull down hard at the very bottom and reverse hard. Without the wraps I hold back a little, slow down and do something approaching a paused squat.

I see claims of people getting 50 lbs out of their wraps. But that requires an extremely tight wrap, the kind that makes you walk stiff-legged because you can't bend your legs under your own power. I've had one of the multi-ply powerlifters wrap me as tight as those guys do and couldn't handle the pain or control even warm up weights.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 11:37:41 am by Gary »
Height: 5'9.5"
Wingspan: 6'4"
Standing Reach Barefoot: 7'10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Standing Vertical Jump: 29"
Running Vertical Jump Bilateral: 30.5"
Running Vertical Jump, Unilateral: 25"
Standing Broad Jump: 9'3"
Beltless High Bar Squat: 365
Beltless Conventional Deadlift: 450
Low Bar Squat w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 418
Sumo Deadlift w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 506

JackW

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Re: In Defense Of WRAPS, Especially For Beat Up Knees
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 12:18:46 am »
0
Gary I am with you. I don't wear the powerlifitng wrpas per se but have found since I started playing basketball in the tight neoprene knee sleeves and lifting weights with a set of McDavid knee supports my knees feel much better after games and training. If you have knee related issues I am all for a bit of extra support.

tychver

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Re: In Defense Of WRAPS, Especially For Beat Up Knees
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2011, 12:55:57 am »
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A lot of weightlifters use neoprene sleeves or light wraps to keep the knees warm, relieve the pressure a little and keep everything tracking properly. I haven't ever needed it, even when doing Smolov. I did need to wear a patella strap on my right knee and a full compression sleeve on my left for basketball games though. And an ankle support on my left. Basketball did not agree with my joints.

Like you said, there's a difference between wrapping for support and wrapping for assistance. Nothing wrong with wrapping for support or wearing sleeves and if you have any knees issues it's just common sense.

Raptor

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Re: In Defense Of WRAPS, Especially For Beat Up Knees
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2011, 03:03:47 am »
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I have found out that whenever I use some form of straps on my right knee I always mentally start to "ginger" that knee and load the right leg less. For example in a squat, I can feel the weight moving to the left side just because I feel that strap there and I "believe" I need to load that knee less. It happens pretty much automatically, so...

LanceSTS

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Re: In Defense Of WRAPS, Especially For Beat Up Knees
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2011, 04:27:13 am »
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nice post gary.
Relax.

Flander

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Re: In Defense Of WRAPS, Especially For Beat Up Knees
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2011, 06:07:37 am »
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Yeah nice post.

I use some neoprene sleeves to keep my knees warm as well. Really helps alot. I feel a big difference from when I wear them and not.

Gary

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Re: In Defense Of WRAPS, Especially For Beat Up Knees
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 01:02:20 pm »
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Thanks.

Not all of us will need knee support, but most of us who aren't "natural" strength/power athletes with robust joints should keep close watch on our knees to see if they could use some support. My knees would be a lot healthier today if I'd adopted sleeves and then wraps earlier on in my training instead of trying to be an iron man.

I also should have started foam and PVC rolling years ago. And taken longer breaks between high volume and frequency squat cycles.

Tight neoprene was enough for support for a while. Now I need to wrap up. Knee sleeves are just for warmth now and for walking around in to discourage effusion. I'll be using them in my jump training from now on, but I don't know if they'll mitigate the impact trauma enough to make a difference. I'll still use them, however, because every little bit helps.

And I have noticed an immediate difference with the sleeves. Quads hurt the next day, while the knees themselves don't. Before my quadriceps tendons and the entire knee capsule in general would be screaming after just a couple of days of high volume done frequently.
Height: 5'9.5"
Wingspan: 6'4"
Standing Reach Barefoot: 7'10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Standing Vertical Jump: 29"
Running Vertical Jump Bilateral: 30.5"
Running Vertical Jump, Unilateral: 25"
Standing Broad Jump: 9'3"
Beltless High Bar Squat: 365
Beltless Conventional Deadlift: 450
Low Bar Squat w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 418
Sumo Deadlift w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 506

Gary

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Loose Wraps, Additional Pounds
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2011, 11:47:29 pm »
+2
I used to get a little worried about the extra pounds that knee wraps give me. I don't want to get wrong ideas about how strong I really am.

But it occurs to me that if the wraps aren't giving any pounds, then they're not giving that much support either.

Knee sleeves don't add much in the way of pounds, but that's because their main contribution is warmth, not support. My Rehbands were very broken in and no longer gave me even the two or three extra pounds they used to...but they were failing to keep my knees from getting banged up and filling up with fluid, too.

My wraps are probably giving me 5-15 lbs (hard to be sure), but that's worth it because my knees don't hurt and I don't have to keep draining them after every session like I did when training hard in the sleeves. I wrap loosely enough that I can keep the wraps on a few minutes before and after the set without too much occlusion.

Anyway, my point is that one shouldn't worry about those "cheated" pounds. If you need support, then additional pounds are a sign that you're wrapping tight enough for that support. If your knees are just achy and like to be kept warm, then sleeves are fine. If there's actual damage, then don't be afraid to wrap up and use some extra weight.
Height: 5'9.5"
Wingspan: 6'4"
Standing Reach Barefoot: 7'10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Standing Vertical Jump: 29"
Running Vertical Jump Bilateral: 30.5"
Running Vertical Jump, Unilateral: 25"
Standing Broad Jump: 9'3"
Beltless High Bar Squat: 365
Beltless Conventional Deadlift: 450
Low Bar Squat w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 418
Sumo Deadlift w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 506

entropy

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Re: In Defense Of WRAPS, Especially For Beat Up Knees
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2012, 12:54:12 pm »
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Not all of us will need knee support, but most of us who aren't "natural" strength/power athletes with robust joints should keep close watch on our knees to see if they could use some support. My knees would be a lot healthier today if I'd adopted sleeves and then wraps earlier on in my training instead of trying to be an iron man.

I think Gary is talking about me. I am finding squat workouts pretty hard on my knees now. I think it's because I do daily treadmill work in the mornings as well as 2 conditioning sessions/week in addition to squatting 3x a week. The thing is though i think it's treadmill work which is causing my knee discomfort, but it doesn't usually exhibit itself during TM but rather during squats. So should I get some knee sleeves for TM work, or for squats? or both? I dunno but I think I should get some now.
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