T Nation

Distilled Wisdom About Knee Wraps


#1

I just spent a while trawling back through the various posts about knee wraps and how they apply to me. What I'm hoping for is that you can all let me know whether I understood correctly and my plan is decent. Thanks in advance.

What I understand so far:
- knee wraps are not a bad idea when used correctly
- if you compete in a federation that allows them, use them
- for a raw lifter, don't rely on them too much in training even if you can use them in competition
- you need to learn how to get the best out of them, which takes a bit of time
- if you are going to use them, a good place to start is above 85% or so OR double your bodyweight

My plan:
- first meet is March 1 this year, and I got a pair of Inzer Iron Z 2.5 m wraps last week. Better learn how to use them
- my best squat is just over double bodyweight: 396 at 187. So, I should probably use wraps from around 335 onwards as I lead up to the meet.
- once I'm back into training for the next meet, I'll probably just use wraps every two to three weeks at more than 90%

Just FYI, I tested them out last week and found that tightly wrapping them actually HURTS my squat: I can't even get out of the hole (I got stuck under 360 when I tried them the first time, when this is a weight I've happily been able to hit for at least a single for about two and a half months now). Then I tried wrapping up much less tightly and hit 360 for a relatively easy triple. After that I re-wrapped and attempted 407, which was an 11 lb PR (previous PR set just over a month ago) and it felt pretty much the same as 375 or so.

Am I missing anything, doing anything badly wrong? I think my main concern is becoming over-reliant on the wraps to squat heavy which is why I only want to use them over 90% every three weeks or so when I'm not a couple of months out from a meet.


#2

agree with most of this. What most don’t realize is that the way you squat with and without wraps is going to be different. It may not seem drastically different but considering your squat actually took a hit from wrapping tightly is a sign that something is being thrown off. I get a literal 100 pounds out of wraps but my squat changes some in wraps. Also I am extremely proficient in putting them on and have built up a pretty good pain tolerance for the wrap. How you wrap will also change some things. I recommend uploading a video if you can of you wrapping and you squatting in the wraps. As an example my girl friend is wanting to use wraps I think its a little to early for it but she wants to so ok. Her best unwrapped squat was a hard fought 155lbs squat 2 weeks ago. This weekend I was kinda hoping to put the wraps on her so tight that she wouldn’t wanna wear them but after she squat 225lbs on Saturday she is pretty much sold on competing in them now. Mind you she weighs 130lbs and has only been training 5 months or so. My point is if she can get 70lbs out of a pair 2.5 Iron Rebel Anacondas ( Not a very stiff wrap at all ) then you can get at least that. When squatting in wraps I have yet to find a weight my legs can’t push. The problem comes from getting so much out of the wraps I have a very hard time staying in position and not getting folded over because of the extra weight on my back.

I do agree that in the off season Knee Wraps should not be used that much if at all and if any thing movements that challenging you coming out of the hole should take the forefront of training IE Front Squats, Pause Squats and Close Squats.


#3

Wow Reed! That’s great about your girlfriend!

Wish I got a lot of poundage outta my wraps. But I don’t get that much. I do have to change my squat style a bit and ease into trusting that the wraps will help with the rebound.


#4

[quote]kpsnap wrote:
Wow Reed! That’s great about your girlfriend!

Wish I got a lot of poundage outta my wraps. But I don’t get that much. I do have to change my squat style a bit and ease into trusting that the wraps will help with the rebound.[/quote]

Post up a wrapping video. I promise you can get more out of the wrap if your applying them correctly. I know alot of people just think to wrap it done but, that is extremely lacking. I see some god awful wrapping at meets and just wanna help people but I just let it go.


#5

Putting up a video of my squat with wraps now, hopefully it’ll be visible to you.

My squat looks pretty much the same as in sleeves or without anything.

I haven’t got a video of me wrapping. I went for four times around and then twice diagonally.


#6

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
Putting up a video of my squat with wraps now, hopefully it’ll be visible to you.

My squat looks pretty much the same as in sleeves or without anything.

I haven’t got a video of me wrapping. I went for four times around and then twice diagonally. [/quote]

I don’t see the video. That’s a pretty light depending on what wrap your using. Even my 2.5 heavies I try for (not counting the first wrap because its so loose) up 4, x down, x up and then one to anchor. If I’m using a real stretchy wrap like my rhinos I go 4 up, x down, x up, 4 down, anchor. But I literally get every single wrap possible.


#7

Sorry, I meant putting it up on YouTube. It’ll be ready soon I think

I know, it’s heaps light. If I go tighter it just seems to stop me in the hole.


#8

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
Sorry, I meant putting it up on YouTube. It’ll be ready soon I think

I know, it’s heaps light. If I go tighter it just seems to stop me in the hole.[/quote]

That’s what you want essentially. Maybe I’m miss understanding.


#9

I got them more to provide rebound out of the hole. I’ve never had the issue of getting pinned in the hole, and with my stance at the moment I seem to have struck a nice balance of depth and power.

My only issue is, like a lot of raw squatters (I think) my issue is that I can get stuck just above parallel. I figured if I got that little bit extra bounce coming out of the hole it’d help me push through the sticking point.

When I hit my 407 squat that’s pretty much exactly what happened: it was heavy, but I had that extra spring coming up that let me get through the point where I stick. It felt much lighter too.


#10

Squat single at 185 kg: http://youtu.be/W8b8BfYCbZo


#11

[quote]Reed wrote:

[quote]kpsnap wrote:
Wow Reed! That’s great about your girlfriend!

Wish I got a lot of poundage outta my wraps. But I don’t get that much. I do have to change my squat style a bit and ease into trusting that the wraps will help with the rebound.[/quote]

Post up a wrapping video. I promise you can get more out of the wrap if your applying them correctly. I know alot of people just think to wrap it done but, that is extremely lacking. I see some god awful wrapping at meets and just wanna help people but I just let it go. [/quote]
I get wrapped by a pro. I just am an old little weakling is all:)


#12

Wow Markko that’s a insanely interesting looking squat haha. I don’t see you getting really anything at all from that wrap in the bottom I mean all most zero rebound you might have gotten would have been taken away with that pause. Try this ok just try it if yiu hate it dont do it ans ignore me from now on.

  1. Wrap just little tighter just one or two revolutions.
  2. Move your stance in a few inches. When I squat with a wide squat I can’t load the wraps right which is what your having a big problem with here. Moving the stance in will allow you to sit on the wraps and really get pop out of them.
  3. As soon as you know your about to be depth turn around immediately no more sitting in the hole. Drop and pop. Doesn’t have to be a fast drop ai decend pretty slow and but don’t pause. If your being forced to pause its a sure sign your not spreading the floor and your losing a lot with OE with out wraps.

#13

I’ll have to try tha. Thanks! I deliberately moved my stance a bit wider because it feels more comfortable/stable. Also, I wasn’t at all aware I was pausing in the hole. For me, that’s a completely non-paused squat. I do think I have a habit of pausing momentarily to relax to get more out of the stretch/shortening reflex. You live and learn huh?


#14

I feel much more comfortable wide when I am wrapless but when in wraps its about being learning to be comfortable where you need to be to use the wraps best you can while still being safe. Lastly, you have a very distinct pause and I think its mostly from your incredibly fast drop.


#15

More good advice. I didn’t think my drop was fast, but go figure


#16

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
More good advice. I didn’t think my drop was fast, but go figure[/quote]

It’s fast. I can’t imagine keeping tight with that kind of drop.

Also, what kind of wraps do you have? Are they good? Not all wraps are the same. Inzer, THP, APT make good wraps. I have no experience with anything else.

And how tight are you wrapping them? It should straight up hurt, and you should start to lose some feeling in your legs.

And how are you wrapping them? Are you pre stretching them?


#17

[quote]goochadamg wrote:

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
More good advice. I didn’t think my drop was fast, but go figure[/quote]

It’s fast. I can’t imagine keeping tight with that kind of drop.

Also, what kind of wraps do you have? Are they good? Not all wraps are the same. Inzer, THP, APT make good wraps. I have no experience with anything else.

And how tight are you wrapping them? It should straight up hurt, and you should start to lose some feeling in your legs.

And how are you wrapping them? Are you pre stretching them? [/quote]

Ah, right. I feel pretty tight throughout, I guess I’m just used to dropping that fast. I’ll try slowing it down a bit and see how that feels when I squat tomorrow.

My wraps are Inzer Iron Z 2.5 m wraps. First time I wrapped them it was tight, borderline painful and I just felt so awkward even unracking the bar (my balance was all off and I had difficulty moving). I haven’t pre-stretched them though.

When I wrap I follow what I saw Eric Lillebridge do on one of his Youtube videos: starting below the knee four overlapping revolutions to above the knee, then I wrap across the knee diagonally twice to form and ‘x’ and that pretty much uses up the wrap and I tuck the loose end in.


#18

[quote]MarkKO wrote:
Ah, right. I feel pretty tight throughout, I guess I’m just used to dropping that fast. I’ll try slowing it down a bit and see how that feels when I squat tomorrow.

My wraps are Inzer Iron Z 2.5 m wraps. First time I wrapped them it was tight, borderline painful and I just felt so awkward even unracking the bar (my balance was all off and I had difficulty moving). I haven’t pre-stretched them though.

When I wrap I follow what I saw Eric Lillebridge do on one of his Youtube videos: starting below the knee four overlapping revolutions to above the knee, then I wrap across the knee diagonally twice to form and ‘x’ and that pretty much uses up the wrap and I tuck the loose end in. [/quote]
You look shaky as shit throughout your entire walk out/ set up. To me it looks like you’re starting with your back arched way up and you can’t maintain that position so your chest collapsed in the hole and that’s why it looks paused.

I have the same pair of wraps and I cannot get that kind of depth. Like anywhere close to that. You need to crank down on those things if you wanna get some serious lbs out of them. It’ll hurt at first but you get used to it. I generally don’t pre-stretch mine in training, helps give me a boost on particularly hard sets and meets. Granted I always mess up my squats at meets so maybe that’s why lol

That may be about as many revolutions as Eric Lilliebridge can get out of a 2.5m wrap but he’s an enormous individual. I personally get about 9 revolutions out of a wrap, 10 or 11 if I pre-stretch them and REALLY crank em down.


#19

I have the same Inzer wraps, and i believe the video referenced is Eric talking about wrapping the Lilliebridge knee wraps(red ones). I have both of these wraps and if I’m using the Inzers i do a standard up and down wrap with no x. The x works great with the Lilliebridge wraps, but i believe the Lilliebridge wraps are a much stiffer wrap. If you’re going to bother to wrap your knees, you should crank them down, otherwise it seems like a waste of time. I also don’t prestretch them in training.


#20

[quote]turtletaub wrote:
I have the same Inzer wraps, and i believe the video referenced is Eric talking about wrapping the Lilliebridge knee wraps(red ones). I have both of these wraps and if I’m using the Inzers i do a standard up and down wrap with no x. The x works great with the Lilliebridge wraps, but i believe the Lilliebridge wraps are a much stiffer wrap. If you’re going to bother to wrap your knees, you should crank them down, otherwise it seems like a waste of time. I also don’t prestretch them in training.[/quote]

Going to try that today. I read some other threads about how long wraps last so I decided to order another pair for in case. I was going to get the same Iron Zs but they were all out (only a couple of places in Australia seem to sell Inzer products and they sell out fast) so I ended up getting a pair of the Mark Bell Lilliebridge World Record red ones from the video.

I know it means I have to learn both wraps now, but it also means I get to a) have two kinds of wrap to try and b) not worry about not having a spare.