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August 24, 2021 9 min read

Have you ever seen a Strongman competition before and wondered what the powerlifters were wearing around their knees during squats? Or, are you dealing with knee pain or want to take your squats to the next level? If your answer to any of those was yes, then you probably saw or could use a knee wrap!

Knee wraps are a powerlifter's best friend. They have several benefits, including reducing knee pain, helping you lift more weight, and increasing the power of your squats!

Want to give a knee wrap a try for yourself? We’ve got you covered!  In this Buyer’s Guide, we are sharing our top knee wrap picks and all the details on them, including:

  1. What makes the wrap special
  2. The cost of the wrap
  3. Customer reviews of the wrap

Ready to get started? Here is our complete knee wrap Buyer's Guide!

What is a Knee Wrap & Why Wear One?

A knee wrap is an elastic material wrap similar to a wrist wrap that wraps around your knee. It provides knee support and stability during high-impact exercises that put substantial pressure on your knee joints.

powerlifter in knee wraps at powerlifting competition

High-performance lifters usually use knee wraps when doing squats because squats put a lot of pressure on the knee joints. Other weightlifting exercises you see lifters using knee wraps for are deadlifts and leg presses. There are a couple of key advantages to using knee wraps, including:

  • Preventing knee injuries
  • Reducing knee pain
  • Improving squat performance

First off, knee wraps prevent knee injuries by stabilizing your knee joints. When you do a squat, you should move in a completely vertical motion. However, some lifters have weak knee joints, which results in them twitching horizontally during the squat movement.

Moving horizontally during a squat is like asking for a knee injury for Christmas! Thankfully, knee wraps provide great support for your knee joints so that you move in a perfect vertical motion.Second, knee wraps are excellent for knee pain relief. When you squat down, your quadricep tendon pulls on your patella (knee cap).

For some people, that pulling causes irritation and pain. One solution to this problem is to wear a knee wrap because knee wraps help reduce some of the tension between the tendon and knee cap. If you have knee pain but still want to do squats, then a knee wrap is the solution for you. 

Lastly, using a knee wrap for squats can help you lift a heavier weight and increase the speed of your squat. When you drop down into a squat, the tightness of the wrap increases. Not only does the tightness increase, but there is also a build-up of elastic energy in the wrap.

Elastic energy is potential energy that you can use to bolster from the bottom phase of the squat back to the standing position. That release of energy enables you to quickly power up from your squat, even with a heavy weight on your barbell. Moreover, you see a sharp increase in your squat performance when you wear a knee wrap!

Difference Between a Knee Wrap, Knee Sleeve, & Knee Brace

Given all the benefits of wearing a knee wrap, we highly suggest investing in one! However, make sure that you do not confuse a knee wrap with a knee sleeve or brace. While knee sleeves and braces are also good for your knees, they are not the same as wraps and do not have the same benefits!

A knee sleeve is similar to a knee wrap such that it is used to prevent injury. Unlike knee wraps, they are made out of a neoprene material and prevent knee injuries by compressing the knee. When the knee compresses, there is an increase in blood flow to the area. With greater blood flow, you speed up knee recovery to prevent knee injuries.

Knee braces are a general term used for a knee support device that braces and stabilizes your knees. They are made out of a wide range of materials and are used in many different scenarios, including:

  • After knee surgery to promote proper healing
  • During or after sports or exercise to prevent injuries or reduce pain
  • Protecting the knees from impact during sports

Cropped image of doctor putting on knee brace on a patient

Typically, knee braces are prescribed by a doctor. On the other hand, knee wraps and sleeves are generally used by lifters without the prescription of a doctor.

Now without further ado, here are our top knee wrap picks!  You can purchase each of these from the knee wraps official website or Amazon.

1. Sling Shot Knee Wraps

The Mark Bell Sling Shot is one of the most popular knee wraps on the market today. If you are looking for one that emphasizes preventing knee injuries and pain rather than promoting better squat performance, then this one is for you! The wrap is made out of a medium-flexible elastic material.

This level of flexibility ensures that your knees stay protected, but doesn't build up with tons of elastic energy to give a lot of bounce in the squat. Also, customer reviews say that the fabric is soft and comfortable. While it provides plenty of stability, comfort is not sacrificed!

Online price: $43 - $52

Pros:

  • Ideal for protecting the knees and preventing injuries
  • Soft material allows you to get deep into a squat (great for Olympic lifters and CrossFit)
  • Comes in several different colors
  • Competition approved

Cons:

  • Doesn't provide a lot of elastic energy at the bottom of the squat
  • Medium-level support isn't enough for the highest performing lifters
  • On the more expensive side

Here is what one online customer review says about the Sling Shot wrap: "I have meniscus tears in both knees which makes it a little difficult to squat.  I purchased Mark's knee wraps hoping for a slight improvement in range of motion.

To my surprise ROM improvement was significantly increased.There was a spring in the squat and a feeling of safety.My knees don’t have as much pain while squatting.Really a game changer for me."

2. Mava Sports Knee Wraps

Looking for a knee wrap that won't break the bank but will still get the job done? Then the Mava Sports Knee Wrap is perfect for you!This wrap is known for generating maximum bounce out of the bottom of the squat. Therefore, if you want to lift heavy-duty weight and still generate power from the bottom phase of the squat, then add this wrap to your wishlist.

On the other hand, it does not offer an insane amount of knee protection when you lift. Therefore, if you struggle with knee pain or instability, you might want to use it with some additional form of knee protection or opt for a different wrap altogether.

Online price: $25

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • Generous online return policy when purchased from the official website
  • Comes in pairs
  • Stretchy and flexible for comfort and functionality
  • Flexible material builds up a lot of elastic energy

Cons:

  • Highly elastic material doesn't provide a lot of knee support

Here is what one online customer review says about the Mava Sports wrap: "These wraps are amazing. I have had knee pain for years which has hindered my leg workouts. I have tried knee sleeves, but never got the support I needed. I immediately was able to increase the weight on my squats and felt little to no knee pain in the process.

My squat was even deeper due to this. This is a great product. The only draw back was that I did not realize that it had velcro at the end to hold it together. But that was me overlooking that feature. It does not take away from the strength of this product. Well worth the money."

3. Titan Signature Gold Knee Wrap

Are you a competition-level powerlifter or weightlifter?

Do you need an insane amount of knee support and want to protect your knee joints to the max? If this sounds like you, then the Titan Signature Gold Knee Wraps are a must! This knee wrap is one of the most stiff on the market. That means you get an insane amount of knee protection.

At the same time, the elasticity of the band builds up a ton of elastic energy, which enables you to power out of your squat with extreme force. If you are looking for only mild support or do not carry heavy loads on your barbell, then this wrap will probably be too stiff for you.

Online price: $45 - $67

Pros:

  • Provide maximum knee protection and support
  • Builds up an insane amount of elastic energy
  • Provides a ton of bounce out of the bottom of the squat
  • Can handle carrying heavy-duty weights
  • Competition approved

Cons:

  • Not fit for beginner lifters
  • Extremely stiff and confining
  • On the more expensive side
  • Takes a couple of sessions to break in

Here is what one online customer review says about the Titan Signature Gold Knee Wrap:

"GREAT, GREAT, GREAT WRAPS!! Very stiff and good pop out of the hole. Takes a few training sessions to break them in, but once you do they are AMAZING!! Def would recommend!"

4. Rogue Fitness Knee Wrap

Looking for an all-around great knee wrap that protects your knees and maximizes your lifting potential? If that sounds like you, then we suggest going for the Rogue Fitness Knee Wrap!

This knee wrap is a great middle-ground wrap. It isn't too stiff or stretchy and provides just the right amount of bounce. Therefore, you can avoid aggravating your knees while maximizing your lifting potential. Not to mention that it comes at a price that is hard to beat!

Given that it is very middle of the road, this wrap is perfect for beginners and experienced lifters alike.  If you are starting out with it as a beginner, it should work well for you for a long way into your fitness journey!

Online price: $23 - $25

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • Comes in pairs
  • Great for lifters of all fitness levels
  • Comfortable elastic and cotton mix material
  • Not too bouncy or stiff

Cons:

  • Not enough support for the heaviest squat loads

Here is what one online customer review says about the Rogue Fitness Knee Wraps:

“After using knee sleeves for quite some time and trying different types and still not receiving the support I needed, I started looking into wraps. I received mine yesterday, and had Snatch 1 RM today...I strapped them on and boy oh boy!...15# PR! I could NOT have done it without the wraps. The spring you receive at the bottom of your squat that I read about happened. I felt it and sprung out of my squat to complete the snatch."

5. Titan THP Knee Wrap

The Titan THP Knee Wrap is one of the softest and most comfortable knee wraps available on the market today! Not only that but they are made with a special blend of anti-slipping materials, so they stay in place for your entire workout session!

These knee wraps are ideal for beginner lifters carrying lighter to medium-heavy loads. They have just the right amount of stiffness to protect the knees from a lighter load.  At the same time, they aren’t too stiff to suffocate the knees.

If you are looking for a high-quality wrap that is comfortable, durable, and gets the job done with lighter loads, then this is the knee wrap for you!

Online price: $33

Pros:

  • Perfect for beginner lifters carrying light loads
  • Extremely soft, comfortable, and flexible
  • Highly durable with anti-slipping material
  • Competition approved
  • Easy to break in

Cons:

  • Not enough support for the heaviest squat loads
  • Doesn't generate a lot of elastic energy

Here is what one online customer review says about the Titan THP Knee Wraps:

"Great wraps. Only took me 1 training session to break it in. Provides unbelievably great support for my knees, helps with stabilizing my knees while squatting with big weights (400+ lbs). Love 'em… Absolutely worth every penny, dudes."

6. Inzer Iron Z Knee Wraps

In need of a super stiff knee wrap to prevent injuries, ensure vertical movement, and maximize bounce out of the squat?  If this sounds like you, then check out the Inzer Iron Z Wrap! This might be the most stiff and tight knee wrap on the market. 

For that reason, it is beloved by many powerlifters.  The stiffness provides plenty of knee protection and the rubber design of it maximizes bounce.Another unique feature of this wrap is the grip that it has on the skin.  The rubber material holds tightly onto your knee, which eliminates the need for chalking.  While it is very grippy, it is not the most comfortable.

Online price: $38

Pros:

  • Designed specifically to generate maximum elastic power from the bottom squat phase
  • Non-slip material tightly grips the knees
  • Extreme knee injury protection 
  • Ensures perfect vertical movement

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginner lifters
  • Extremely tight around the knees
  • Not the most comfortable

Here is what one online customer review says about the Titan THP Knee Wraps:

These are awesome. I bought some cheap pair of knee wraps not really knowing what I was buying and they really didn't do much and were pretty painful to wrap with any real tightness beyond what you'd get with sleeves. These on the other hand are the real deal...if you want to try wrapped squats, these are the wraps for you. I have had them for months now and they are still stiff yet comfortable, even when tight.”

Final Thoughts on Knee Wraps

Are you a weightlifter with squats, deadlifts, or other leg exercises in your weekly workout routine (we hope so!)? Or, are you into competitive powerlifting or bodybuilding? If so, then wearing a knee wrap might be good for you!

Even if you don’t already struggle with a knee injury or knee pain, a knee wrap could help prevent you from getting injured or feeling pain in the first place!  And, wearing one could help take your squatting abilities to the next level thanks to their elastic energy!

Squat harder and get bigger with the right knee wrap!


Bonus tip: Are you doing squats with the proper form?  As we always say, form is the most important part of any exercise!  Check yourself by checking out our guide on proper squat form!