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Knee Sleeves- Rocktape & Rehband At The Wodrobe

by Mark Burrell Crossfit Level 1 Trainer February 04, 2015

When I first started training at the gym (a few years ago now!) you didn't see anyone wearing knee sleeves other than the top weight lifters on TV and you only really used to see them on the TV when the Olympics were on so that wasn't very often!

Now when I train at my local Box every other person wears them and, might I say, they have all most become a fashion accessory and a badge of honour signifying that the person lifts heavy. So what is all the fuss about? Does average Joe or Jane that attends their local Crossfit™ Box really need to wear Knee Sleeves or is it simply unnecessary?

So, lets have a look at what Knee Sleeves are and what they do.

What are they made from?

Your average Knee Sleeves is made from Neoprene (the same material that a divers wet suit is made from) and fits tightly over the knee joint, extending a few centimetres above and below the joint itself.  Rocktape have two thicknesses of their Kneecaps, 5mm and 7mm. The 7mm are generally used for the more serious power and weight lifters and provide greater stability but less flexibility within a WOD. The 5mm still provide great stability but allow a little greater room to move if say your WOD includes 10 lifts then a 400m run.

The Rehband Knee Sleeves generally come in 5mm and have been specifically aimed at the Crossfit market

What do they actually do?

Well, it's not very complicated; a knee sleeve has 2 main functions.

  • Support and compression
  • Warmth 

That's pretty much it! But before you dismiss it, consider how important these two attributes are. The knee joint is one of the most vulnerable joints in the human body and the warmth provided by the knee sleeve helps to protect it, reducing the chance of injury. As you squat the compressive and shearing forces on the knee greatly increase, reaching their peak at maximum flexion; the knee Sleeve provides the extra support needed to help protect the joint and the compression increases blood flow and helps keep everything where it should be!


So Knee Sleeves are a valuable pieces of gear for anyone who lifts weights involving the knee joint and they will help prevent injury which is critical if you plan to still be lift in a few years.  

Mark Burrell Crossfit Level 1 Trainer
Mark Burrell Crossfit Level 1 Trainer

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