T Nation

Squatting and Knee Wraps


#1

I dont currently have any knee problems, and I would like to keep it that way, so I was curious when should one consider wrapping their knees when squatting??


#2

When competing in powerlifting, when it's within the rules of the federation and you want to lift more than you otherwise be able to. There is no reason to wrap our knees otherwise. Sometimes light wraps are used for warmth.


#3

I've never felt the need to wrap my knees. Most of the time, you'll see PL'ers wrapping the knee for a performance boost but even when I compete, I lift raw.

The healthiest thing for your knee is squatting deep. The worst shear forces on the knee come right at parallel and frankly, most people in the gym don't even get that low. The lower you squat, the less weight you're going to move and therefore, the less stress you're going to put on your knee. The danger comes from squatting high and then piling on more weight than your body can handle... because you can. Then you're used to squatting high and one time the weight forces you down to parallel, the shear force hits the knee, and whammo.

So squat deep and check your ego at the door and you should be good. :slight_smile:


#4

I squat pretty deep. I break parallel for sure. Some times when I am that deep, I have to struggle to keep my balance. I usually kinda tip forward, any tips? I try to keep my weight on my heels and my form is good. Im gonna try to post a vid soon.


#5

Make sure your belly is tight(full of air) and your back is also tight with your head looking up or straight ahead. Never look down or to the side to check your form. This will cause you to lean forward and loose strength. If you need to check your form, ask somebody else.


#6

Knee Wraps are more for performance than they are for knee safety (I think). I can attest to the fact that they do, in fact, allow you to squat more weight. But they can be uncomfortable and inconvenient.

As long as you keep your knees healthy, you probably won't need knee sleeves. These don't help you lift more. They're just neophrine sleeves for your knees. They keep blood in the joint by keeping it warm.

As long as you're warming up correctly and using good form, there isn't much call for knee wraps unless you need to get used to them for a meet.


#7

I guess you're pretty tall, try to go wider on your foot stance, maybe a bit wider than shoulder width, that's goona give you a lot more stability and will also help you from leaning foward and over taxing your lower back.
give it a try


#8

I usually wrap anything over 500.

The pop you get from wraps depends on how tight you go. If you wrap loose, they are similar to knee sleeves. If you crank them down, they will give you pop and a bigger squat.

Rule of thumb, if you can feel your feet by the time you get to the bar, they are not cranked.


#9

Knee wraps are an interesting issue, because of the performance gain they afford. However, I have read there is a real safety benefit due to the hydrostatic pressure that can build up underneath the patella (kneecap) when using very heavy loads. The use of wraps ameliorates this by compressing the patella and stopping the knee fluid from entering. Of course, this is anecdotal, and I am embarrassed to say I haven't done a ton of research into the matter.

As far as your second inquiry about losing your balance, my first suspicion would be weak hamstrings. Most lifters these days have a very poor quad/hamstring strength ratio, and most of the time when there are balance issues in the hole, that's the culprit. I would recommend low box squats until you build up your posterior chain. Have you read Dave Tate's articles on squatting? Do a search, I'm sure they will help.


#10

This acutally makes sense. I have kinda been neglecting my hammys. I have made some minor adjustments to my current regime wich re-introduced DeadLifts so I was kinda hoping to see an improvment. Thanks for the input, and thanks to everybody's contributions.


#11

When you can feel your ACL or MCL squiggle around your kneecap(s), it's time to wrap them.

Keep your shins perpendicular to the floor and you'll be sound as a pound.


#12

this is pretty much i would say.....i only wrap my knees when preparing for and in a competition....as for your back....just make sure you keep your nipples up and out...a good way is to squat in front of a mirror. Keep your head up but glance your eyes down. Make sure you can see your nipples. GOod luck and lift hard


#13

Box Squats.

As someone mentioned above, most knee problems come from quad/ham imbalance (read instability). When you box squat it helps minimize (not eliminate) the chance of developing or aggravating knee problems...

or so I've read... (and tried on myself)