In basketball, you will see a lot of players that are wearing different kinds of protective equipment on their bodies, like leg sleeves, arm sleeves, and ankle braces. But one of the most overlooked pieces of basketball gear that is as important as those other pieces of equipment is the knee sleeve.
The knee sleeve, as its name suggests, is a sleeve made of soft and flexible materials that are worn on the knees. Besides basketball, knee sleeves are also worn by athletes in other sports because of the benefits these products provide. To learn more, here are the benefits of basketball knee sleeves.
They Provide Support for Your Knees
Knee sleeves are very effective in providing support for your knees. The support they offer is primarily on the patella, also known as the kneecap, as this part of the knee is prone to get injured in sports that require a lot of shifting movements. By wearing knee sleeves, you will prevent your kneecaps from moving too much. The knee sleeves also compress the muscles and ligaments in your knees so that they also won’t move too much and overextend.
They Offer Ample Compression for Better Blood Flow
What’s great about knee sleeves is that they are also considered compression sleeves, like the sleeves you will see on the arms and legs of many professional and amateur basketball players. The compression of knee sleeves allows your knees to have better blood flow, which is important to reduce the inflammation and soreness in the muscles near and on your knees.
The compression that knee sleeves apply to your knees is called “pressure gradient,” which is a type of focused compression that enables the arteries in your knees to circulate blood with better efficiency. With knee sleeves, the blood will circulate better from the heart to the legs’ arteries and vice versa.
Can Help in Muscle Recovery
Because of how well knee sleeves promote better blood flow on the knees and lower legs, they can also help in muscle recovery. In order for your muscles to recover faster while you are playing basketball, the muscles will need to have a constant supply of oxygen, and this is possible by having better blood flow in your legs. So, knee sleeves can directly help in muscle recovery because of how well they can improve blood circulation.
Performing at your best during the later minutes of the basketball game can be quite difficult, especially if your body is too fatigued or sore and is dragging you down. But with knee sleeves, as well as other kinds of compression sleeves, you will be able to perform at the best level for a much longer time compared to not wearing compression sleeves.
They are Effective in Protecting Your Knees
In addition to improved muscle recovery, knee sleeves are also great at offering protection for your knees against cuts, scratches, bruises, and scuffs. Knee sleeves are usually made with strong and durable materials like polyester and nylon, and these materials can serve as an “armor” for your knees since they can serve as a layer of protection that prevents your knees from coming into contact with the floor or any surface that can cause wounds. If you are constantly diving for the ball while on the court, then you may need to wear a pair of knee sleeves so that your knees won’t get wounded, especially if you are playing on outdoor basketball courts that have rougher floors.
In addition to protecting your knees from wounds, you will also get a little bit of impact protection for your knees through knee sleeves. There are a lot of knee sleeves on the market that have padding on the kneecaps, which can be helpful to reduce the impact on your knees whenever you bump them on the floor or against another player. With impact protection, you will reduce the risk of getting different knee injuries, like fractures, sprains, tears, and dislocations.
They Allow Your Knees to Have a Stable Temperature
Temperature is one of the biggest factors in the soreness and stiffness of our muscles when playing basketball. When the temperature is too hot, our muscles can easily get inflammation and soreness, and when the temperature is too cold, the muscles are prone to become stiff, which can often restrict your movements on the court.
So, in order for your muscles to work and move properly, they would need to be under a stable temperature. Fortunately, this is exactly what knee sleeves and other types of compression sleeves provide, as they will allow your knees to have a stable temperature no matter how hot or cold it is on the basketball court. The temperature between your knees and the knee sleeves would remain consistent, and while they give a little bit of warmth for the knees, a lot of knee sleeves offer plenty of breathability to avoid moisture build-up and overheating.
We hope that this simple article has helped you understand the benefits of wearing knee sleeves and why they are considered important to wear by many professional and amateur basketball players. Choose the best knee sleeves online and in sporting goods stores by first reading or watching reviews, which will provide you with details about the features of different knee sleeves, as well as their pros and cons.