Weightlifting is a major component of any modern fitness and body-building program, as well as sports training and being a sport in its own right. The human body stands to gain much from lifting weights, whether powerlifting or using dumbbells. There are also health risks involved in improper or overly stressful workouts; almost 65% of weightlifting injuries are due to overuse, although the benefits are many. Body fat can be reduced by up to 7% from adding just two weight training sessions a week, and with 650 muscles in the human body, there are plenty of ways to work out and get moving. Some equipment can augment weightlifting, anything from wrist wraps to knee wraps and knee sleeves to powerlifting socks. Finding the right gear for the workout is key to success.
Knee Wraps and Knee Sleeves
These two types of equipment may sound the same, and while the both go over the weightlifter’s knees, they are made of different material and used for different results, as well as carrying different potential health risks. How and why should knee wraps and knee sleeves be used?
According to Box Life Magazine, knee wraps are made of the same elastic material as wrist wraps, and they are best used by powerlifters and bodybuilders. These wraps go around the knee in a spiral or diagonal pattern, and while in use, they can increase the amount of weight the lifter can manage, making them useful for competitions. During the downward phase of a squat, the elastic knee wraps build up potential energy, and this power is released as the powerlifter goes back up. These wraps can also reduce the stress on the quadricep tendon, which connects to the quadriceps and the knee, preventing potential breaking of these tendons or disconnecting them from the knee. These are injuries to avoid.
Using knee wraps requires careful management. After all, they don’t actually increase strength, and due to the pressure, they increase pressure between the knee and the cartilage kneecap, and with improper or excessive use, this can lead to related problems such as arthritis later on.
Knee sleeves are made of neoprene material and are compression-based sleeves that go over the knees. They can keep the flesh of the knee joint in place and prevent potential injuries, as well as reduce swelling and pain after a workout. However, these sleeves have no benefit to knees that are already recovering form injury, and they don’t automatically improve technique. The user will have to maintain correct form and not rely too much on the sleeves.
Weightlifting For Health
There are many health benefits to weightlifting beyond sports training. Strength training can reduce back pain for 80% of people who suffer lower back pain, and weight training can reduce the impact of muscle mass loss by age 80. Bones, too, are strengthened, and weightlifting reduces the chances of osteoporosis later in life. Working out this way can also manage blood sugar levels and fight the risk of developing diabetes. It is clear, then, that lifting weights with the right equipment for the job can work wonders for the body.