T Nation

Bullet Proof Knees

This article…

  1. …suggested wearing knee sleeves for all leg days as a preventative measure. I have read that some GET knee pain from wearing sleeves preventatively.

What are your thoughts?

I have some patellar femoral pain (ironically, the pain started during my week off from Smolov, no pain during the program) and I am appling the other tips from the article to try and alleviate it, but I haven’t gotten sleeves.

Curious as to other’s experiences with sleeves and if cheap Dick’s or WalMart sleeves will suffice?

  1. Above article also mentions avoiding painful activities…but currently stretching the quad is painful due to the patellar pain. I don’t want to stop stretching my quad, so I am guessing to keep stretching but make sure I ease into it.

Most injuries do not reveal themselves till the muscle tension eases. Not saying your knees don’t hurt, but I believe that some people over-estimate knee pain. Guys with bad knees know exactly what I am talking about.

Most people freak out when they hear the sounds my knees make, and the noises match the pain. I wear sleeves and that seems to keep my knees warm enough to take some of the “bite” out of most movements.

You mention quad stretches hurt, you have to keep doing the stretches till it doesn’t hurt. Just my opinion.

[quote]undesired08 wrote:
Most injuries do not reveal themselves till the muscle tension eases. [/quote]

Not sure if I am following you. The muscle tensioned eased when I took a week of Smolov if that’s what you mean and that is when it started to hurt.

[quote]undesired08 wrote:
You mention quad stretches hurt, you have to keep doing the stretches till it doesn’t hurt. Just my opinion.[/quote]

I figured that.

The sleeves you mentioned, cheap, expensive, middle-of-the-road?

thanks for your reply.

[quote]timmcbride00 wrote:
undesired08 wrote:
Most injuries do not reveal themselves till the muscle tension eases.

Not sure if I am following you. The muscle tensioned eased when I took a week of Smolov if that’s what you mean and that is when it started to hurt.
[/quote]
That’s exactly what I mean. When your muscles had time to relax from the constant pounding is when you will discover nags and pains. Knee injuries have a VERY board range and precaution is always good, imo. I have dealt with a multitude of knee injuries over the past 28 years and all I can think is “if I would have taken care of my knees better when I was younger, I wouldn’t feel like this”.

[quote]
undesired08 wrote:
You mention quad stretches hurt, you have to keep doing the stretches till it doesn’t hurt. Just my opinion.

I figured that.
The sleeves you mentioned, cheap, expensive, middle-of-the-road?

thanks for your reply.[/quote]
I wear Rehbands. They are not cheap, but they are well worth teh money. There are two versions, the older 7mm and the newer 5mm. I have the 7’s and I wouldn’t trade them for the world…well, maybe the world, but not for an apple pie! Another good brand, from what I hear, are TK’s (Tommy Kono). I never wore them, but I have heard nothing but praise for them. If you search here, there have been many discussions regarding the two.

Good luck!

Thanks for the reply, sorry I haven’t followed up.

I kept stretching as you advised and also added some foam rolling. They both helped and I finished Smolov successfully, adding 87 pounds to my Squat max. I still didn’t purchase wraps, but I do warm-up (some would say excessively) so my knees are quite warm when I get to the heavy weights.

[quote]timmcbride00 wrote:
Thanks for the reply, sorry I haven’t followed up.

I kept stretching as you advised and also added some foam rolling. They both helped and I finished Smolov successfully, adding 87 pounds to my Squat max. I still didn’t purchase wraps, but I do warm-up (some would say excessively) so my knees are quite warm when I get to the heavy weights.[/quote]

Good gains! And you are still healthy.

My knees dont hurt ( they have in the past after intense hikes) but they are noisy.When I kneel down especially in the morning they sound nasty.like taking a wet branch and bending it.It doesnt hurt at all but I cant help but think it will when im older.

[quote]undesired08 wrote:

That’s exactly what I mean. When your muscles had time to relax from the constant pounding is when you will discover nags and pains. Knee injuries have a VERY board range and precaution is always good, imo. I have dealt with a multitude of knee injuries over the past 28 years and all I can think is “if I would have taken care of my knees better when I was younger, I wouldn’t feel like this”.

[/quote]
undesired08,
Having had some knee pain off and on these past few years, I was wondering if there was anything you could add to Mike’s advice. Anything you’d do different given another go 'round?

I wear knee sleeves for all squatting above 60%. I have TK knee sleeves and APT convict knee sleeves. They are both great. As I got into lifting late, I had the financial means to start with those popular/price-ier sleeves.

I figure buying those sleeves are a little like buying insurance. Also, in my experience, there’s zero carryover with the TK sleeves, if you’re worried about compromising training/loading protocols.

As a reformed ultramarathoner, I did use to have general joint soreness/stiffness, but that stopped when I laid off the distance running. These days I have thankfully felt no problems at all, no discomfort, no soreness, and I do a yoga class once a week with 5/3/1.

I have knee pain too due to scoliosis. It fucks up my entire body really. In my case it’s one of those deals where the patella isn’t tracking right and it slides over places it’s not supposed to when my knee is bent.

I don’t know f this will help the OP but what I did about it was just to spend about two months working on strenghtening my knees, the muscles that support knee movement etc. I looked it up on this web site, and on others but there are ways you can support knee function by doing band work and single joint exercises. It takes time but they work.

I recently found out I badly need orthotics, this could be a source of discomfort in my knees.
I will see how it changes my squat stance, and if my knee health improves.
Who else trains with orthotics on?

[quote]forevernade wrote:
I recently found out I badly need orthotics, this could be a source of discomfort in my knees.
I will see how it changes my squat stance, and if my knee health improves.
Who else trains with orthotics on?[/quote]

I used to wear an arch support all the time, i’m on my feet a lot for work, but after about 6 months of training, knee pain dissapeared, and i nixed the supports. I feel way better now.

After training with my new orthotics for a while my knees are improving, but I now get incredibly stressed calves which i think are compensating for the difference in balance. While running, my hips and ankles feel much better with the orthotics. I will be starting to roll my calves out, try and get them relaxed a bit more.

Last fall I got a pair of knee sleeves, the TKs, after reading about the value of sleeves here in one of Mike Robertson’s articles. I was training in a garage, it was getting cold, and my joints were stiff.

I was, and am, amazed, at how the sleeves make my knees feel. The warmth they provide really does loosen up and lubricate the joints. I wear them whenever I squat, clean, lunge etc. Sleeves are definitely a worthwhile investment.

knee sleeves work but I created this routine as an experiment to see if I could do one better than knee sleeves, Andy Bolton starts wrapping his knees at 135!!
Squat/Knee Wrap Routine

Weight

135-no wraps
225-no wraps
315- red line knee wraps (loose)
405- red line knee wraps (tight)
495- metal black knee wraps (loose)
585- elitefts super heavy knee wraps (loose)
etc…elitefts super heavy knee wraps (tight)

ever since I been doing this any and all knee pain is gone.

Strange, when I tried squatting with knee wraps, they hurt really bad.

When I train with none, my knees dont even bother me.

I was using the wrap-around type with a patellar hole. Is there a problem in using that type of wrap or is it just me?

I bought neoprene sleeves from walgreens and I’m still under 405. My knees felt great after I started.

Start doing single leg training for awhile. All lunge variations, single leg deadlits, more core work, etc… It is very easy to become bilateral dominant if your not throwing in single limb exercises with the program every week. I had to make the same change a few times in my program due to the same issues, but it comes back pretty fast once you get everything back in balance.

Also, roll the shit out of your quads, hip flexors, and tfl and stretch them every single day. Foam roll before you lift, stretch between sets and/or after. Do it as much as possible once you build up a base of doing it for a couple weeks. This along with the strengthening above will put you back on the road to recovery.

Big thing with squat programs is to not do too much( I know thats tough to say on smolov or the russian squat program for example) when you get back. Start with 2 days a week when your back to normal, and be considerate on the loading and volume you decide to do.

I’ve been squatting for 10 years. Never wore any reband or anything like it. I had a period where I used a lot of knee wraps to lift more due to stupid ego issues, now I have not used knee wraps for more than two years. Sometimes I have knee pains, and perhaps I will be a disabled person when I get old, who knows. For now I think I am fine without anything on my knees.

Fact is if you are going to lift heavy weights, and esp. if you do insane programs like smolov (only insane persons do those programs!) you are going to have pain one way or another, a lot of pain. Smolov is pain! Oh… God how much we do love the pain!

:slight_smile: