Working out is great. We work out to improve our overall fitness, muscle strength, stamina, power, or to just look better and live a healthy life. However, while working out, and particularly when it comes to working out with heavy equipment, safety is one aspect that everyone must take care of at all times. Even a small mistake could lead to a grave injury which can cause a long-term problem. In this article, we talk in detail about knee wraps for squats, which help you keep your knees safe while you perform barbell squats.
Barbell squats are one of the most common forms of weightlifting and a lot of people really enjoy doing that. This helps you work on your lower body muscles such as glutes, calves, and legs, but is also beneficial for your core and forearms. These squats also help you burn calories and gain strength. However, you need to perform them in just the right manner or you might end up hurting your knees. This is where knee wraps fit into the picture.
Over the course of this article we shall be answering various questions, including but not limited to what are knee wraps and what are some benefits of using them, as well as introduce you to a buyer’s guide to buying knee wraps. Furthermore, as we progress, we shall also be looking at some frequently asked questions about knee wraps and attempt to answer those as well. By the time you reach the end, you are bound to get a three-sixty degree perspective over everything that you need to know about knee wraps and have to use them.
Safety is really important while working out and that is the key theme of this article which we shall highlight from time to time as we proceed. Let us not waste any more time and jump right into the topic and try and understand what these knee wraps actually are:
What Are Knee Wraps? How Do They Help?
Barbell training is an important part of both crossfit as well as regular weightlifting. This is something that professionals like to do to increase their strength, muscle, and power and amatures like to do to remain in good shape. A knee wrap is an important accessory when it comes to lifting weights and particularly when it comes to barbell squats.
Knee wraps are made out of elastic materials, which can be wrapped around your knees to protect you from injuries as well as to make it more comfortable to lift weights. These wraps are usually put on in a spiral or a diagonal manner and are a common sight in competitive weightlifting tournaments.
Knee wraps work on a basic scientific logic: when you are going down while lifting the weights, you are compressing the elastic. However, when you are lifting the weights up, this energy is released thereby making it easier for you to lift weights as well as ensuring your knees get an added support during the squats and feel less wear and tear than they otherwise would have. This mechanical advantage makes it really important to use knee wraps while lifting weights.
These knee wraps and knee sleeves (more on knee sleeves towards the end of this article) are a common sight at competitive lifting events, as well as in crossfit training centers. These knee wraps also help you reduce stress on your muscles and ensure you do not suffer from major muscle tears. Let us take a detailed look at this, as well as at some other benefits of using knee wraps for squats in the next section.
Benefits of Using Knee Wraps
Having understood what knee wraps are, here’s a quick look at some of the advantages of using knee wraps for squats and for other weightlifting activities:
First up, knee wraps add as an additional mechanical support for your knees. When you perform squats, a bulk of your body weight and the weight that you are carrying on top of that ends up coming down to your knees. Since knee wraps are made out of elastic, when you go down with the weight, you compress them, causing them to store energy inside them, which is released when you go up.
This energy helps your knees relieve some stress and aids you to carry heavier weights than you usually would. Not only does this allow you to squat in a way that doesn’t put too much stress on your knees, but it also allows you to perform squats faster.
In addition to that, another major benefit here is that using these knee straps can help you protect your knees. The connection between your quadriceps and your kneecap is a very delicate thing and doing squats the wrong way can end up tearing this quadricep tendon which connects the two. However, when you use a knee wrap, this is something that can be prevented and will help you exercise safer.
12 Best Knee Wraps for Squats in 2021 [Reviews]
Let us take a closer look at some of the best knee wraps that you can buy online and ensure that your knees are protected while you perform squats in your home gym:
- Available in 8 color variants
- 72 inches in size
- Made out of elastic and polyester
It doesn’t matter if you’re lifting weights and squatting at home or at a gym, or even at a competitive event, these knee wraps from Mava Sports are ideal for all of these conditions! One of the most common problems that people generally face while they wear knee wraps has been solved here, as these knee wraps come with a hook and loop closure system, which makes sure that there are no loose ends and this knee wrap does not open away mid exercise.
Here, you get a pair of black knee wraps, but if you want a different color, you’re in luck as there are a total of 8 color variants (including this one) that you can choose from. This is a 72-inch knee wrap, which is the standard size and is preferred by most people who lift weights and squat.
This knee wrap offers you a combination of a high-performance elastic with a polyester cover over it and is great for your knees, but doesn’t hurt your skin too. They are comfortable to wear and tight enough to remain on your knees, but not so tight that they constrict your movement. These are also a great option for anyone going through knee recovery and wants a protective layer around their knees.
- Many color variants to choose from
- Just the right size, neither too big nor too short
- Great on your skin
- Edges begin to fray after a few months of usage
- 78 inches in length
- Made out of elastic
- Provides extra stability to your knees
Another great option when it comes to getting a knee wrap for squats, especially if you are working out for competitive training. This comes in an attractive red-and-black color scheme and is made out of comfortable elastic which can store and release enough energy needed by you while lifting weights. This knee wrap provides sufficient mechanical assistance to your knees and is a really good product!
If you are someone who often feels that their knees shake too much while lifting knees, you should give this Harbinger Red Line knee wrap a try, as it helps you stabilize your knees while you lift weights. At 78 inches, it is somewhat larger than the standard 72-inch knee wraps and provides an extended protection to your knees.
This is a one-size-fits-all sort of a knee wrap that both, men as well as women, can use with ease. This wrap helps you protect your knees really well and provides just the right amount of compression that you need while lifting heavyweights. Harbinger has been a brand that has been around since 1988 and is known to make some of the most trusted and credible fitness products, including this knee wrap, which you can completely trust!
- Longer than standard length
- Trusted brand
- Helps lift heavy weights
- Some people found it to be a little looser for their preference
- Measures 180cm in length
- Can be used on wrist, elbow or ankle as well
- Velcro locking mechanism
For anyone looking forward to getting an ‘extra long’ pair of elastic knee wraps, this is a good option. However, we’d first like to talk about this ‘extra long’ gimmick. While it says that these knee wraps are ‘extra long’, they are actually just 180cm, which comes down to just 70.8 inches. This actually makes it smaller than the average 72 inch knee wraps, but nonetheless a good length for people looking forward to using them during lifting.
These wraps are great not only for people who are lifting weights, but also for people who are into various other sports, such as basketball, football, as well as other track-and-field sports. Basically, these wraps are a great way to provide additional comfort in any physical activity where your joints are exerted upon. Besides being something that can be used in various sports, they can also be wrapped around various body parts, such as wrists, ankles and elbows besides just knees.
One thing about these knee wraps which is a double-edged sword is the fact that they make use of a velcro locking mechanism. While it is simpler, faster and more convenient when compared to the loop and hook locking system, these locks are also great for convenience and ease of use, but when it comes to keeping it firmly placed, they might falter, so better make sure you’re keeping them as tight as possible.
- Multifunctional, can be used on joints other than knees
- Suitable for squats and lifting, but for multiple sports
- Provides good amount of compression
- Velcro locking not as effective as a loop and hook system
- Double-stitched fabric
- Loop and hook locking mechanism
- Available in 9 different color variants
While there are a large number of knee wraps available for different purposes, such as sports, general compression to improve muscular health, etc. this one is aimed specifically at those people who like to lift weights. This is one of the best knee wraps for squats in 2021 and your knees would really thank you in the long run if you choose to use them.
These knee wraps come in nine different color variants, the most popular of them being the all-american design featuring the American flag. There’s a hook and loop locking mechanism in this knee wrap, which helps you ensure that your knee wrap is going to stay firm and will not slip away while you are working out. It helps you increase strength and power. The wraps suit the needs of men as well as women and are a unisex product.
These are very comfortable as well, and the fabric is quite breathable, allowing those wearing it to work out without damaging their skin. The elastic here is quite strong and it can give you quite the boost while lifting weights. The material is durable, thanks to the reinforced double stitching that has been carried out on it, long-lasting and is not easily affected by sweat.
- Very strong and comfortable fabric
- No risk of skin rashes
- Locking mechanism makes sure it remains firmly attached
- Very muscular people might find it a little tight
- Measures 72” in length
- Velcro locking mechanism
- Five color variants
Among the best options for anyone looking forward to buying a good pair of knee wraps for squats, lifts, or for cross-training. These knee wraps are great on your skin as well as good for your knees, helping you reduce the wear and tear that working with heavyweights causes, as well as making it easier for your knees to lift your weight.
Zealspot’s knee wraps come in five different color variants, each priced at pretty much the same price point. These are heavy-duty and elastic knee wraps which are great for people who are squatting using really heavyweights. These knee wraps measure 72 inches in length and come with a velcro-based locking mechanism, making them easy to slip on and slip off as and when needed.
Injury prevention is another core feature of using this knee wrap as it can help you reduce the chances of getting knee and joint related injuries by a lot. These are very versatile in terms of their usage. Besides using the Zealspot knee wraps for the purpose of lifting weights and weight training, you can also use these wraps for compression to get relief from pain.
- Comfortable on skin
- Can be removed and worn quickly
- Strong material that can last you for a long time
- Velcro locking is not suitable for people who have muscular legs
- Measures 46 inches
- Anti-allergy fiber
- Retains body heat in wrapped area
One of the best options if you are looking for knee wraps under $10. This is a pair of knee wraps from emall, which is made of a high-performance elastic fabric. This is one of the best knee wraps for anyone suffering from pain and requires high compression, or for someone who likes their knee wraps really tight during working out. However, we strongly suggest consulting your trainer before you tie them tightly.
These knee wraps help you improve your movement during running, walking, and working out. Emall has chosen the fabric rather carefully while building this knee wrap, as it offers an anti-allergy surface, which will make sure you do not get any rashes or skin problems while using them. These wraps also help you retain body heat. As a result, your knee joints are kept warm and the blood circulation improves in that area, which is a major plus while working out.
Unlike most other wraps on our list, however, these are a lot smaller – measuring in at only 46”. While they will protect your knee and can be wrapped tightly around it, don’t expect to start too high or too low as you might not be able to cover your full knee in that case.
- Good for those who want tight wrapping
- No skin rashes
- Small in size
- 71cm in length
- Made of Nylon fabric
- Velcro locking mechanism
This is a set of two knee wraps which are made of nylon. First up, the pink and white color combination is really attractive and one that you generally don’t see in gyms. Since it is made of a nylon fabric, the biggest benefit that you get while wearing these knee wraps from Broadsheet is that they are very ‘breathable’ and hence good for your skin as they do not give you any rashes while you wear them. Even when wrapped tightly, there’d be enough air circulation.
The tightness can be adjusted based on your needs because of the elastic underneath it. The locking mechanism is easy, as it is a velcro-based system, which makes it easy to quickly wrap and unwrap it around your knee. However, on the flip side, this does not make it suitable for people who have very muscular thighs and calves. The wrap is 180cm long, which is roughly 71 inches.
While this is one of the best knee wraps for squats that you can find on Amazon, this is also great for people who are into professional sports such as basketball, football, or even something lighter such as cycling, running, and jogging as it provides that extra leverage to your knee that it needs during these intense physical activities.
- Unique color combination
- Easy to wear and remove
- Fabric does not cause rashes
- Velcro locking mechanism can loosen up over time
- Hook and loop locking mechanism
- Nylon and elastic fabrics
- Universal Size
One of the most good-looking and the best knee wraps that you can find when it comes to professional lifting and squatting purposes. This one comes from the house of ‘Gym Maniac’, which is simply known as ‘GM’. The knee wraps have a camouflage pattern but prominently feature pink, black, and white colors. These are universal-sized wraps and should fit every user.
The wraps are made out of nylon and have elastic inside them, which makes them comfortable as well as stretchable. This knee wrap provides you with just the right amount of energy to compress and decompress your knee as you lift weights. These are great for squatting, but can also be used for other sports, making them a very multipurpose purchase. If you know someone who is a powerlifter or an athlete, this makes for a good gift too because of the unique and attractive colors and the premium design.
Thankfully this knee wrap does not have a velcro-based locking mechanism but instead comes with a hook and loop system, which allows you to keep it tightly and firmly attached. Wearing these knee wraps ensures that you do not risk an injury and the locking mechanism ensures they will remain firmly placed and won’t roll down or open up while you are lifting weights.
- Unique pink camo pattern
- Premium feels, make for a good gift
- Strong locking mechanism
- Using it too tightly might cause skin rashes
- 3 inches wide
- Cotton polyester fabric
- Double-stitched material
Simple yet elegant, these grey and white knee wraps ensure that your joints, and specifically your knees are getting the best possible care while you are working out. While this can also be used for elbows, ankles, and wrists, it is best suited for your knees. These are another Broadsheet product. We have seen their pink-and-shite knee wraps earlier and this is another variant from the same company.
These are a great set of knee wraps for anyone who wants to wear them for front and back squats, lunges, or any sort of a stretch or exercise where your knees face the most pressure. The elastic inside these wraps stores energy when you compress it while going downwards and release it, providing your knees a mechanical advantage when you go up. This eases the pressure on your knees while you lift weights.
Another thing of note here is that these knee wraps are three inches broad, which means they are quite comfortable for your knees while you wrap them. Smaller sized wraps often cut through the skin and can cause pain while lifting heavy weights. This is something that does not happen when you use these wraps. Lastly, the fabric can stand sweat and moisture and is a very ‘breathable’ design, allowing for good blood circulation while you work out.
- Provide a mechanical advantage to your knee
- Simple and minimalist design
- Double-stitched and durable, yet very comfortable fabric
- Not suitable for people with muscular legs
- 2 Color variants
- 71 inches in length
- Made of a silk fabric
Hibucuo’s elastic knee wraps are among one of the best options for someone who is looking forward to buying a cheap pair of knee wraps which offer their knees a good protection as well as a great design along with it. These blue and black knee wraps add an electric charm to your gym attire and ensure that you stand out among the rest. You can also buy these knee wraps in a red-and-black variant.
These wraps from Hibucuo are made out of a silk fabric, which makes them extremely light in weight and ensures that they fit well to your knees. While the primary purpose is for knees, but most people can also wear them around other joints like wrists and elbows while working out. These are great wraps for weightlifting and squats, but are also of great use for other exercises where these joints are stressed.
Equipped with a hook and loop closure system, these knee wraps can be tied with ease and you do not have to worry about them falling off or opening up mid-exercise. These are 180cm wraps (about 71 inches) which are comfortable enough for most people who are into lifting heavy weights in the gym.
- Very comfortable fabric
- Good locking mechanism
- Can be used on other joints apart from knees too
- Six variants available
- Made out of Nylon
- Unisex, ideal for men as well as women
A great knee wrap for anyone who is into squats, or lifting weights in general. This comes from ProFitness and is one of the best options out there that you can get your hands on. These wraps are simple yet elegant and are made out of Nylon, which, in our opinion, is the best fabric for knee wraps because it can stretch quite a bit without losing its structural integrity and it is also skin-friendly.
There are six different design variants in which you can buy this knee wrap in, and all of them can be accessed at the same place on Amazon. These wraps are also comfortable for the upper part of the leg as they do not get so tight so that they restrict the flow of blood. These are 72” long, providing you with ample fabric to tie it around your knees.
One drawback, however, is that they do not come with the hook and loop system but feature the velcro locking mechanism. Nonetheless, the compression that you get when you use these knee wraps is comfortable enough and can help prevent many injuries. These wraps, besides being great for regular weight lifting, are also a great option for anyone who is into crossfit training.
- Comfortable fabric and elegant minimalist design
- Quite a long knee wrap, multiple design variants
- Aide the knee in lifting weights
- Velcro locking tends to get loose over time
- Universal size
- 180cm (71 inches) in length
- Breathable fabric with soft tissue support
Last on our list but certainly not the least of them all, these knee wraps from ANMKOT are pretty comfortable for anyone looking forward to getting some pain relief. These are also among the best knee wraps for squats in 2021 and allow you to lift a lot of weights.
However, the primary purpose here is that of pain relief and these are quite useful for anyone who is suffering from arthritis or osteoporosis or any other ailment that affects the bones and the muscles. People suffering from muscle inflammations or similar injuries can also make use of these knee wraps to heal better.
Lastly, these are 180cm long and offer you with a soft and breathable fabric which is great on your skin. This is why many people prefer to use these otherwise medical knee wraps for lifting purposes because they are really comfortable.
- Suitable for squatting as well as multiple sports
- Great for arthritis and osteoporosis patients
- Universal size, can fit everyone
Buyer’s Guide to Knee Wraps
Having come to this point in the article where you know which are the best knee wraps for squats out there, you must also know about what all you need to consider before you buy the wraps. Here’s a quick checklist that you can run through:
- First up you must ensure that the material you are getting is good for you. It needs to be very elastic in nature, but it should also be easy on your skin. Considering that most people generally tend to wear knee wraps directly on their skin, it needs to be something that is comfortable and does not give them rashes. Generally speaking, a knee wrap is made of neoprene, which gives you a good workout experience by aiding you with all the lifting, as well as is easy on your skin.
- Make sure you check the wrap for its durability. You need to buy a knee wrap that is made of a good material as well as one which can last you for a long time. Getting a weak knee wrap just doesn’t do the job because you don’t want it opening-up or tearing mid-exercise. A good knee wrap can last you for months to years depending on your usage.
- Thirdly, you must also keep in mind the length of your knee wrap. There are some people who prefer a shorter variant which fits right over their kneecap. However, there are others who prefer the larger 72-inch variant which covers a little above and below your knee too. And then there are some who prefer going with even larger knee wraps. Choose one based on whatever you are the most comfortable with.
- The thickness of the knee wrap also comes into the picture. If you are someone who likes to lift really heavyweights, you should look for thicker knee wraps. However, if you are lifting about the same weight as your bodyweight, you might want to go for a thinner knee wrap.
How to use Knee Wraps?
Now this is something really simple and while most people have their own way of tying their knee wraps, we suggest you choose from either the spiral technique or the cross-technique. Both of them are equally effective but it’s just a personal preference that drives people to choose one of the two.
In the spiral technique, you start from below the knee and start wrapping the knee wrap around your knee in spirals until you eventually run out of the band. A major benefit here is that when you tie the knee wrap around your knees in spirals is that you will have enough wrapping but the tension around your knee won’t be so much that it will constrict it from bending. This makes it easy to squat weights and is an ideal sort of a wrapping mechanism for competitive events.
The cross technique starts from above your knee and you criss-cross the pattern of the knee wrap in a way that the next fold comes from the bottom to the other side of the top of the knee. You have to keep adding and weaving on top of the wrapping until the band ends. By the end of it you’ll have a more ‘breathable’ yet a tighter wrapping around your knee when compared to a spiral wrap.
Difference Between Knee Wraps and Knee Sleeves
This is something that often confuses people. What is the difference between a knee wrap and a knee sleeve. Are they two different things or are they the same? Let us try and provide you a short explainer on the difference between knee wraps and knee sleeves.
First, let us talk about knee wraps quickly. By this point in the article, you already know what they are and why they are used. They are generally made out of the same material that wrist wraps are made out of and help you protect your knees, while also providing you with some support and extra energy to lift weights with a greater ease.
Up next are knee sleeves. These are made out of the same neoprene material that most knee wraps are made of, but instead of tying them around your knee, they are a complete sleeve in itself which you just have to pull up over the knee. While it is much easier to put on and put off and provides some level of comfort while lifting weights, it can neither provide the mechanical assistance nor the safety levels that a knee wrap can offer.
This is why we personally prefer using knee wraps over knee sleeves but it is best to consult your coach before you choose which is the right kind of a knee-protection for your lifting needs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Knee Wraps
Here are the answers to some of the most common and frequently asked questions about knee wraps that one needs to know about:
1. How much do knee wraps cost?
Knee wraps are inexpensive products and cost you usually in the range of $8 to $20 a pair. However, there is always a possibility of finding something that is cheaper or more expensive but this is the general price range that you should be looking at.
2. Can I squat without using knee wraps?
Yes, you can squat without using knee wraps too, but that is generally harsher on your knees. Using a knee wrap drastically reduces the chance of the tendon connecting your kneecap and quadricep getting torn or damaged. While there is no compulsion on using a knee wrap while lifting weights or squatting, but we strongly recommend you do that for your own safety.
3. Where can I buy knee wraps?
Knee wraps are easily available at practically all fitness stores across the world. One of the best places to buy them, however, is the Amazon web store where you can get a large number of options and have them delivered at your doorstep without stepping out. All the products on our list of the best knee caps can be found and purchased on Amazon in just a few clicks.
4. How to choose the thickness of knee wraps?
If you are someone who is just starting out and is not lifting very heavy weights (or weights lesser than your body weight) then you might want to go for thinner knee wraps. However, the heavier weights you lift, the thicker your knee wraps need to be to keep your knees safe.
We hope that this article on the best knee wraps for squats in 2021 helped you understand knee wraps in a better manner than you did earlier. Knee wraps are a very simple product, which help you stay protected and keep your knees healthy while you lift weights. Choosing the right kind of a knee wrap can also help you with lifting weights with a greater ease due to the energy released by the elastic assisting your knees in the process. If there are any other questions that you have about these knee wraps, feel free to let us know over the comments or drop us a mail about the same and we shall get back to you as soon as we can! Till then..
..Keep lifting! 🙂