T Nation

Knee Wrapping: Tension In or Our?


I have a question about wrapping knees. Is it best to wrap with the tension out or in? Example being if I'm wrapping my right knee should I be wrapping it going away from my body or towards it? My thought is that you wrap it away from the body so the tension helps you to drive your knees out. Any comments or opinions?


I see lots of guys do all kinds of shit, but to be honest I don't really think if matters. I just wrap mine tight as fuck and have never really paid any attention to the direction, X's, O's or any of that other bullshit.


Ha, I'm pretty sure the physics don't work out that way. I second the idea that in the end it doesn't matter, just wrap them however you are comfortable.


Yup. Crank them until you are writhing in pain and forget the rest.


The theory is to wrap them out so that the tension is outward, as stated before. When I do wrap, it's not very tight so I don't get that effect. But, it does help with the mental picture when I am wrapping to push out, not cave in.


That theory makes no sense. Adequately breaking down the forces involved with knee wraps would be somewhat complicated, but any "outward" force the knee wraps generate must be balanced by some "inward" facing force. The knee wraps are static after all... (when you're just standing there).


Really? Thanks for the insight. Now, I know theory's aren't FACTS!!!


Could be psychological though. Feeling the wraps going in a certain direction might help give you mental cues.


Going in a certain direction? You guys do realize that when you wrap your knees the wraps don't go in any particular direction, since you wrap in them in a circle? No matter whether you wrap them "outwards" (clockwise) or "inwards" (counter clockwise), if the front part of the knee warp looks like it's going outwards (or inwards), the back part of the knee wrap will look like it's going inwards (or outwards). Besides, the sides will be going front and backward. I can see it now:

powerlifter looks down at his wrapped knees yup, the knee wraps going to the outside.
his non-gay buddy behind him no dude, the wraps are going to the inside.


A nice "huh, yeah, that makes sense" would have sufficed.



Do you pull your wraps both in, both out, or both the same direction?

Dave Tate: "There has been some debate on this, and the one solution for everyone is to do what works best for them and stick with it. Practice in training and DO NOT change on meet day.

I do have a few thoughts that may help you decide. I am somewhat biased and do feel everyone should warp with both knees out. However, I do see the case for pulling both in.

Many lifters feel if they pull them both in then they have something to push against as they squat. Those who wrap out feel the wraps help force the knees out.

I feel if you have a tendency to let your knees slip in some as you squat, wrap with both knees out. If you always push out and your knees never move, wrap them both in to give you something that could help you create more force. If you have very strong hips and your squat form is locked in, you might be able to get more from wrapping both in. BUT, and this is huge, very few fall into this category.

Most do not feel one in and one out is good for anyone so forget about it and work with the other two."

Donnie Thompson: "I have them pulled both out."

Julia Ladewski: "I like my wraps pulled both out."

Brian Schwab: "In meets, I try to wrap both out since Louie has said that it helps to push the knees out. I
actually don't think this makes much difference as long as the wraps are tight."

Chris "Ox" Mason: "They start from the bottom up, inside to outside. This is the way the knee cap tracks."

Marc Bartley: "I don't know. I am too busy thinking about the lift and seeing it in my head, but I think they are both wrapped in the same direction."

Travis Mash: "I start on my inner thigh and pull the wraps out."

Wraps are for cheaters, so it really doesn't matter to me. :wink:


I'm too busy trying to remember to breathe to worry about in or out.


I wrap my knees out. I can get a better pull on them (tighter) from the bottom on the inside of my leg.

Hell, I even count how many loops to make sure they are equal. Training and competition, set up is always the same. Little bit of OCD, I guess.


I wrap both knees out.


That's not normal??


No, but apparently feeling a physically impossible outward or inward pull is.


The one thing I would state is that regardless of how you wrap, everyone should own a wrap roller. They are priceless and absolutely key for saving time and energy at meets and getting the most out of your wraps.

How you wrap comes down to personal preference. I have been just barrel wrapping for years. I rap the same direction on both legs. Starting and ending at the top.

Used to to figure eight, all that. If somebody tells me to do something different I just do it, though.

A while back a friend of mine, who always wrapped his own knees and was very methodical told me there was no way I could wrap him tighter than he wraps himself.

I told him I wouldn't even wrap it all fancy like he does and did a straight barrel wrap.

By the time I started the second wrap he was begging me to let the first one out. I smiled and told him, "What you feel there is the feeling of confidence."

He had a hell of a time getting down and wanted them off the second he racked the weight.

It was pretty funny and I told him (with honesty) that I have wrapped teen age girls tighter than I twisted him.

Bottom line, the one key advantage I had over him is he always pre-loaded his wraps by hand.

I used my wrap roller.....


What the hell is a wrap roller? I've never heard of that.


Something you use to prestretch knee wraps as you roll them up. Basically you just stretch the wraps out as you roll them so that when you actually wrap your knees the wrap is already stretched out. The advantage to having a wrap roller is that it allows you to get the wraps stretched as much as possible.


Any recommendations of what works well? I just usually stretch/roll them myself, so there's a lot more potential tightness that I'm giving up.