T Nation

Knee Wraps for Non-Competitors


#1

Is there any sense in using knee wraps if you are not competing (yet) in powerlifting at all? I thought about using them for overload purposes but I don't know if it requires a skill (change in squat style) to get anything at all out of wraps (so far I heard you should try to catch a good stretch reflex and you might benefit from a narrower stance, although this does not seem to be the case for everybody if you watch youtube videos of more or less famous powerlifters).

I would buy cheap wraps, mainly because my main reason to do this is my curiosity for how it feels to squat in wraps and if I don't like squatting in wraps or just use them very rarely I haven't wasted a lot of money.

To sum up: Is there any reason why someone who is not an advanced lifter and not competing shouldn't use wraps in training? Are there any other points I should consider?

Thanks in advance!


#2

What is the goal of this non competitive trainee? If wraps help meet this goal, they are worth it.


#3

The goal is and will be to increase the big three with the main focus on squat and deadlift. Even though the squat gives me a hard time (old injuries and poor leverages) it is simply the lift I enjoy most.

I am simply not sure if wraps would help this goal. Obviously they increase the squat number when used but I am unsure if this helps in the long run (does wrapped squatting increase unwrapped squatting?).

And is it a stupid thing to start using wraps without having much experience (respectively no meet experience)?


#4

There is no harm in experimenting with wraps. I don’t lift in gear or with wraps but I bought a pair when I was running the RTS general intermediate program, they are in there as an overload. I didn’t find that I got much out of them (maybe 20-30 lbs. at most) but that’s mostly because I’m not used to them, there is some difference in technique to get the most out of them. Personally I don’t like them, they feel horrible and a couple times my IT bands were bugging me after, but to each his own.

As far as helping to increase your squat, any type of overload if good because you will get used to the feeling of heavier weights. Just keep the reps low or it won’t be an overload. Some people like Mike Tuchscherer prefer knee wraps, I would rather use bands or reverse bands.


#5

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:
The goal is and will be to increase the big three with the main focus on squat and deadlift. Even though the squat gives me a hard time (old injuries and poor leverages) it is simply the lift I enjoy most.

I am simply not sure if wraps would help this goal. Obviously they increase the squat number when used but I am unsure if this helps in the long run (does wrapped squatting increase unwrapped squatting?).

And is it a stupid thing to start using wraps without having much experience (respectively no meet experience)?

[/quote]

Big 3 with what restrictions? Unlimited ply, single ply, raw with wraps, belt only, etc?

The only thing that can really dictate if this is a good idea is your personal goals/limitations.


#6

Buy some. Try them out.


#7

The big three raw (belt + sleeves). And eventually wraps, just in case I end up liking it that much. My long term goal is to compete in powerlifting.


#8

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:
The big three raw (belt + sleeves). And eventually wraps, just in case I end up liking it that much. My long term goal is to compete in powerlifting.[/quote]

Based on this, wraps are worth using.


#9

I’m in a similar boat as you, a non-competitor who will probably maybe someday sign up for a meet and see what I can do in the raw division.

I got the $13 wraps off of Amazon. I use them on sets above 315. I don’t wrap tightly, but I’m sure I get a little bit out of them. Maybe 10, 20 pounds at the most. Tough to tell.

I use them for knee comfort more than anything, and I feel like they help with this. I don’t feel like my squat workouts would be ruined without them, either. If I wasn’t so cheap I’d have a nice pair of sleeves by now.

My opinion is that it is $13 well-spent.


#10

Wraps are anything but comfortable when used effectively. Personally, I don’t love training in them because of the pain. But if you think you might want to compete geared someday (or raw with wraps if your fed allows it), there’s no harm in trying them out. I do have to change my squat style slightly when in wraps.


#11

I will get similiar ones. If I can get around 20 pounds out of them I think it might be enough to use as an overload.

Since I opened this: Do you have a good idea on how to incorporate the usage of wraps in the original 5-3-1 template? For example use the wraps for the + set or just for the 1+ set or do some singles/ doubles/ triples after the main sets?


#12

[quote]kpsnap wrote:
Wraps are anything but comfortable when used effectively. Personally, I don’t love training in them because of the pain. But if you think you might want to compete geared someday (or raw with wraps if your fed allows it), there’s no harm in trying them out. I do have to change my squat style slightly when in wraps.[/quote]

what change do you make when using wraps?


#13

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

[quote]kpsnap wrote:
Wraps are anything but comfortable when used effectively. Personally, I don’t love training in them because of the pain. But if you think you might want to compete geared someday (or raw with wraps if your fed allows it), there’s no harm in trying them out. I do have to change my squat style slightly when in wraps.[/quote]

what change do you make when using wraps?[/quote]
I raw squat with a very slow descent because I have too much laxity in my hips and otherwise can’t control depth (I go to the floor). With wraps, I have to trust the rebound effect and drop into the movement more. I also have to think more about pushing my knees out when in wraps, which is not something I am consciously aware of when raw squatting.


#14

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:
I will get similiar ones. If I can get around 20 pounds out of them I think it might be enough to use as an overload.

Since I opened this: Do you have a good idea on how to incorporate the usage of wraps in the original 5-3-1 template? For example use the wraps for the + set or just for the 1+ set or do some singles/ doubles/ triples after the main sets?[/quote]

Well, I happen to run 5/3/1 as well. My general rule is to use them on 315+, which means all of my 5/3/1 work sets but not my warm-up sets. No real reason here other than habit.

Building on what kpsnap said, when you REALLY wrap tight they are not comfortable at all. I’ve tried this and I do not like training with it, but it definitely helped me put up some bigger numbers last year.

With that in mind, I’m not using wraps properly in a powerlifting context because I am trying to approximate an $80 knee sleeve with my $13 wraps. I just see wraps as a training aid, and acknowledge that they may possibly be a placebo.


#15

One way that I’ve incorporated knee wraps into my previous 531 training was to do the work sets without them, push my last set for reps, then throw the wraps on and take the last set for reps again. I really enjoyed this and i think it’s a great way to squeeze in extra volume with a heavy weight.


#16

I think Jim actually mentioned how he suggested to incorporate knee wraps into 5/3/1 in his 5/3/1 for powerlifting book. Might be worth looking into or if I get a chance I’ll look it up and post later


#17

[quote]tylerkeen42 wrote:
I think Jim actually mentioned how he suggested to incorporate knee wraps into 5/3/1 in his 5/3/1 for powerlifting book. Might be worth looking into or if I get a chance I’ll look it up and post later[/quote]

That would be great!


#18

[quote]kpsnap wrote:

[quote]Koestrizer wrote:

[quote]kpsnap wrote:
Wraps are anything but comfortable when used effectively. Personally, I don’t love training in them because of the pain. But if you think you might want to compete geared someday (or raw with wraps if your fed allows it), there’s no harm in trying them out. I do have to change my squat style slightly when in wraps.[/quote]

what change do you make when using wraps?[/quote]
I raw squat with a very slow descent because I have too much laxity in my hips and otherwise can’t control depth (I go to the floor). With wraps, I have to trust the rebound effect and drop into the movement more. I also have to think more about pushing my knees out when in wraps, which is not something I am consciously aware of when raw squatting. [/quote]

For me with wraps, I have to consciously pop them/my knees to start the movement, because when they are wrapped properly, they do not allow you to easily bend your knees. I don’t know if I push my knees out more due to wraps or a suit, but I also have to consciously push the knees out when equipped.

If I were you, I would play with some wrapped loosely to see how it feels. They can provide stability and warmth, not just rebound. If you plan on competing raw, make sure that either your federation allows wraps, or do not use wraps for a while before your meet.


#19

He says to use them however you want but suggests them for warm ups but not your actual sets. Not much help to you there sorry :confused:


#20

But I use them by starting out either without them completely or just use them on my last set and then if I start to fall behind the planned progression I’ll start to throw them on for more of the work sets. I also like the idea turtletaub described, never done it personally but it sounds like a good idea to me