Top 3 Best Knee Braces for Squats (2022)

Posted In Knee Braces

Stephen|August 25, 2020

Squats are one of the most popular exercises in the gym. They strengthen your glutes and thighs. The positive benefits are well known among crossfitters, sprinters and bodybuilders alike. The benefits of the best knee braces for squats can not be denied. Some athletes prefer to use knee sleeves or knee wraps. However knee braces for squats give you all the same benefits and even more.

Table of Contents

  • If You Are In a Hurry:The Best Knee Brace for Squats
    • TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support
  • Do knee braces help with squatting?
    • What type of knee braces can you use for squats?
  • Knee Braces for Squats vs Knee Sleeves for Squats: Which one is better?
    • Are Home Made Knee Braces Good for Squats?
    • Why do people need knee braces for squats?
    • What makes a great knee sleeve for squats?
  • Athledict Knee Brace Compression Sleeve
  • What are the features of the best knee braces for squats?
    • Patella cover or open patella
    • Corrective guide
    • Muscle-relaxing pads
  • NEENCA Knee Brace for Squats
  • Nordic Lifters Knee Sleeves for Weightlifting and Squats
  • Can Knee Wraps for Squats Provide an Alternative?
    • What is the benefit of using knee wraps for squats?

If You Are In a Hurry:
The Best Knee Brace for Squats

TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support

TechWare Pro Knee Brace Support

  • ADJUSTABLE UNIQUE BiDIRECTIONAL SUPPORT Alternating Strong Closures Stabilize Patella to Reduce Knee Pain. Others Have Straps on One Side Which Provide Uneven Support. PLEASE MEASURE Circumference Around Knee and Thigh for PROPER FIT (see Sizing Chart Image). Choose from 4 Sizes - Medium, Large, Extra Large and XXLarge. Mens, Ladies & Youth.
  • OPEN PATELLA DESIGN For Support and Compression Around the Kneecap and Tendon Areas to Heal Knee Injuries. Also 4 Flexible Spring Stabilizers Provide Better Knee Cap Protection and Stability.
  • BREATHABLE MOISTURE WICKING LIGHTWEIGHT NEOPRENE AND NO SLIP SILICONE STRIPS Ensures That Compression is Comfortable, Uniform and Stays in Place for Any Physical Activity.
  • COMFORTABLE SUPPORT PAIN RELIEF From Tears, Arthritis, Bursitis and Tendonitis. Gel Pad Helps with Inflammation and Swelling. Better Knee Mobility and Exercise Performance.
  • MAXIMUM SUPPORT for Runners Knee. If Your Game is Basketball, Football, Tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Skiing, Running, Jogging, Walking, Hiking, Wrestling, Yoga, Gymnastics, Squats, Baseball, Martial Arts, Golf, Hockey, Dance, Soccer, Crossfit, Powerlifting, Gym Workouts, Cycling or Any Sports Activities.

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  • Open patella design for support and compression around the kneecaps.
  • Gel pad helps with inflammation and swelling.
  • Flexible spring stabilizers for better knee cap protection and stability.
  • Breathable, moisture wicking. Machine washable.

Do knee braces help with squatting?

Absolutely. Proper form while squatting is essential to keeping your knees healthy. While you are standing up during a squat you are putting multiple times your body weight on your knees. A knee brace for squats keeps your knees in the correct form, thus preventing injuries. Not to mention a knee sleeve keep your knees warm during the exercise.

For heavy lifters the biggest concern is a knee injury. The patella attaches to quadriceps through a tendon. If you squat with bad form, or with too much weight you might tear the tendon and your knee and quads become completely separated. This means you can’t straighten your knee, the bone is completely torn from the muscle. Such injuries mean being sidelined at least for a month before the lengthy rehabilitation process can begin. If you have repeated problems with your patella, you might need to wear a patella strap.

The best knee sleeves for squats prevent knee injuries or limit their severity. Meanwhile they don’t reduce your mobility more than absolutely necessary.

Tendonitis is a different injury, as it develops slowly, and there is no exact point where you get sidelined. It is a nagging, annoying injury. It occurs if you continually overuse the quadriceps tendon or the patellar tendon. The best way to recover is to lift lower weights, and less often.

There are also a few downsides to wearing knee braces for squatting. Their biggest positive can also be a negative. They limit your movement severely, which can be annoying for some lifters. Also they can get pretty soaked with sweat and unclean quite quick. They need to be cleaned regularly.

What type of knee braces can you use for squats?

There are four types of knee braces and knee sleeves on the market.

  1. Knee sleeves: The key difference between a knee sleeve and a knee brace for squats is that the latter protects the anterior knee and the patella. Meanwhile the former doesn’t limit motion as much.
  2. Prophylactic knee braces: These are not for squatting. They are used in contact sports to prevent knee injuries the athletes would sustain when bumping into each other or falling on the ground.
  3. Functional knee braces: These are also not for squatting. These stabilize your knees when you turn. Since squats don’t involve turning with your knees, they are not the best knee braces for squats.
  4. Postoperative knee braces: As their name suggests, these are used after surgery. You will surely not squat while you are recovering.

All in all most lifters can do great with knee sleeves for squats. They provide plenty of support without inhibiting your movement. They increase blood flow to the knee joints. However when it comes to heavier weights you might do great with a knee brace that protects your patella while squatting.

Even if you have problems getting your squatting form right, wearing a knee brace with patella support will help you avoid a nagging small injury to your knee joint.

Knee Braces for Squats vs Knee Sleeves for Squats: Which one is better?

Although it might be easy to confuse the two, let’s make one thing crystal clear. Knee sleeves and knee braces are entirely different animals when it comes to squatting. Knee sleeves keep the knees warm with the aid of compression. However the best knee braces for squats offer these and even more. They also keep the patella and your knee cap in place, preventing sideways movement.

Knee sleeves have some big disadvantages compared to knee braces when it comes to lifting. Sleeves don’t protect your knee joints from small nagging injuries like a brace does. When it comes to lifting heavier weights knee sleeves are not enough anymore.

If you want to lift heavy, break your personal records then take the time and money to invest in a high-end professional brace.

Are Home Made Knee Braces Good for Squats?

Well, some people recommend wearing only high-end, professionally manufactured knee braces. However in my opinion there is no point in buying a knee brace just for squatting in the gym once per week. Do it yourself knee braces can be just as effective for sporadic use. It is completely fine to make a knee wrap at home and use it as a substitute.

Why do people need knee braces for squats?

Many people feel pain in their knees when they go down to a squatting position, or they are unable to squat altogether. Knee braces speed up the healing process by keeping the knees in a safe position, therefore eliminating all the problems that would come from a poor squatting form. Knee braces are so essential for squats that you will barely find anybody in a crossfit class without wearing braces.

What makes a great knee sleeve for squats?

The best knee sleeves for squats tick a few boxes when it comes to essential features. First of all, a durable construction with high quality stitching is a must. You don’t want the seams to cause any dame to your skin. The best knee sleeves for squats have reinforced stitching.

Most knee sleeves are made of neoprene. This material keeps your knees warm, improving blood flow to the joint, while it is reasonably stretchable. However it soaks in much of your sweat. Make sure you wash your knee sleeves reasonably often.

Athledict Knee Brace Compression Sleeve

Top 3 Best Knee Braces for Squats (1)
  • Anatomical shape to support your knees the best possible way while lifting.
  • Non-slip silicone sleeves, and customizable compression thanks to adjustable and removable straps.
  • Targeted compression thanks to adjustable wrap.
  • Compression helps your squatting performance and cuts your recovery time in half.
  • Extremely comfortable, made for athletic performance as well as all day wearing.

What are the features of the best knee braces for squats?

No matter which model you choose in the end, all the best knee braces for squats have some features in common. Let’s explore them!

Patella cover or open patella

For squatting I recommend braces with patella covers. These counteract the tilting of the patella. Open patella covers are similar, they form a ring around the patella, keeping it in place while you are down under heavy weight.

Corrective guide

This reduces the mobility of your kneecap to help healing without loss of mobility. Stops your kneecap from drifting outward, relieves discomfort. Even with the corrective guide the brace has to give you freedom of movement and a secure fit.

Muscle-relaxing pads

Reduces sideways pulling of the kneecap to further reduce pain. It also relaxes the muscles by soothing massage.

Lightweight

Of course the lighter the brace, the better you will feel in the gym. The brace has to be so light you barely even notice it.

Easy to clean

The best braces are machine washable. The more you squat, the more you sweat. Sweat means stink. Braces keep your knees warm during the squats. Heat means heavy sweating. Unless you want to be that guy in the gym getting the wrong kind of attention for your stinky knee braces wash them at least once a week.

NEENCA Knee Brace for Squats

Top 3 Best Knee Braces for Squats (2)
  • Exceptional support thanks to gel patella cover and metal side straps.
  • Silicone strips prevent slippage. Very comfortable, no sliding or itchiness.
  • Moisture wicking and breathable material. Air knit fabric absorbs and evaporates large amounts of water.
  • Excellent for therapy as well as injury prevention. Medical grade knee sleeves for meniscus tears, arthritis and ACL injuries.

Nordic Lifters Knee Sleeves for Weightlifting and Squats

Top 3 Best Knee Braces for Squats (3)

These compression knee sleeves were made especially with weightlifters in mind. They are made of neoprene to keep your knees warmed up during the squats. The compression technology helps you come back from injuries quicker. The heat reduces stiffness of the muscles and joints.

Thankfully these sleeves are available in a number of different colors. They are have a unisex design. The sleeves are easy to machine wash. They are breathable, and moisture wicking.

Can Knee Wraps for Squats Provide an Alternative?

As I wrote above, if you only lift occasionally and with light weights, you might not need a knee brace. A knee wrap, or a homemade knee brace can be just as effective.

Even heavy powerlifters use knee wraps in the gym. Chances are if you need extra wide trousers because of your thigh muscles you have used knee wraps once or twice in your life.

What is the benefit of using knee wraps for squats?

Bodybuilders believe that wrapping their knees tight in an elastic material will help them burst through plateaus easier. Is this accurate. Research shows that knee wraps allow a lifter to store energy on the downward phase of their squats, which helps them on the upward phase.

Other research showed that knee wraps reduce tension on the quadriceps tendon during a squat. Thus they help prevent injuries. However they might not provide as much compression or heat to your knees. Knee braces can help prevent small nagging injuries better.

As you see knee wraps for squats do less for you in the muscle prevention part, but help you more with lifting heavier. They are a form of light, harmless performance enhancement that every lifter takes part in.

One of the critiques of knee wraps for squats is that your legs are not doing 100% of the work. So if you lift with wraps on your knees for months and you increase the weight and volume there might come a point where your legs are not able to keep up and you get injured. My preferred solution is when you are training for adaptation and getting stronger avoid knee wraps. If you are at a competition, or you are shooting for a personal record, put on knee wraps to get your best squat ever.

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