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When to Use Knee Wraps?


#1

I'm transitioning from pure raw to raw with wraps.

Lets say my squat workout goes like this:
-335lbx2
-365lbx2
-395lbx2
-415lbx2

At what point or around what percentage should I wrap up? I don't want my glutes & hams to be TOO weak and depend on the wraps too much. I'm doing accessory work too like paused squats, GHR's, & hip thrusts.


#2

I went through that change at the beginning of the year. You don’t need to overthink it too much.

What I did was go wrapless below 90-95%, and above that use the wraps. The way I was training meant that I’d do wrapped squats around once per fortnight.

I’d definitely advise doing the majority of your squatting wrapless. Wrap your knees enough to learn how to wrap them and get used to how the squat feels with them on, but IMO you’ll be better off doing most squats without them.

Also, I’ve found that wrapped squats will very much highlight any weaknesses you may have in your back especially in terms of keeping your trunk stable during the squat because the wraps will let you move more than you could without them.

One thing I feel I should add is that I never have felt like the wraps help my glutes or hams in any way. The only thing they do for me is throw me out of the hole. Once I’m around a half squat its all down to my hips, hams and glutes and they often feel like they work harder when I squat wrapped because I’m using heavier loads.

EDIT: IMO it’s also important to think about what kind of wraps you’re going to be using. I’ve used two so far: the Inzer Iron-Zs and the red Slingshots. The Inzers are much stretchier and nicer on your knees and also much easier to wrap, not to mention tolerant of shitty wrapping so they’ll do more for you even when you haven’t a clue how to wrap your knees. The Slingshots are way stiffer and if you wrap your knees badly they don’t do much. However, once you figure out how to wrap your knees the stiffer Slingshots give you so much more than the Inzers.

I’d probably say go for a stiffer wrap and just gets used to them, and watch some YouTube videos about knee wrapping. It isn’t hard, it’s just a trifle fiddly.


#3

I use them sparingly if at all in the offseason, but use them more either as my progress starts to fall behind my program to squeeze an extra month or two before I have to reset or as I get closer to a meet (obviously). Honestly it’s probably best to just use them by feel, if weights feel slow throw them on earlier so it’ll make things feel better or if things are moving fast just do more without them


#4

[quote]shadowbobo8028 wrote:
I’m transitioning from pure raw to raw with wraps.

Lets say my squat workout goes like this:
-335lbx2
-365lbx2
-395lbx2
-415lbx2

At what point or around what percentage should I wrap up? I don’t want my glutes & hams to be TOO weak and depend on the wraps too much. I’m doing accessory work too like paused squats, GHR’s, & hip thrusts.[/quote]

I wrap up at around 75-80% of my max; however, I wrap loose up to about 85%, then I wrap tight. 90% and above I crank me down.

This way, my 425 squat feels the same as my 545 squat


#5

Most high level (elite) competitors I know who compete in wraps do most of their training without wraps. They’ll start wrapping up as they approach a meet, maybe 2-3 months out of the meet, and wear wraps more as they get closer.

As far as in the context of an individual training session, dzirk’s suggestion is probably reasonable. I don’t wear wraps, but I would probably approach it the way I approach my belt. I basically belt up when the weight starts to ‘feel heavy.’ So like around 315-365 I’ll add a belt. Sometimes I’ll wait til 400. I would probably add the wraps around the same point. Maybe 1 set after I’ve added the belt.

EDIT: I guess my unwrapped max is relevant here. I’ve done 515. So I’d be adding wraps around75% or so of my unwrapped max.


#6

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
Most high level (elite) competitors I know who compete in wraps do most of their training without wraps. They’ll start wrapping up as they approach a meet, maybe 2-3 months out of the meet, and wear wraps more as they get closer.

As far as in the context of an individual training session, dzirk’s suggestion is probably reasonable. I don’t wear wraps, but I would probably approach it the way I approach my belt. I basically belt up when the weight starts to ‘feel heavy.’ So like around 315-365 I’ll add a belt. Sometimes I’ll wait til 400. I would probably add the wraps around the same point. Maybe 1 set after I’ve added the belt.

EDIT: I guess my unwrapped max is relevant here. I’ve done 515. So I’d be adding wraps around75% or so of my unwrapped max.[/quote]

I agree with the belt statement also. My typical workout for squat is as follows:

Bar x whatever - no gear
135 x whatever- no gear, pause to stretch at the bottom, hips are always very tight
225 x 5 or so- no gear, pause to stretch
315 x 2 or so- belt
singles the rest of the way to the working set, which depends on the day
405 - belt / wrist wraps
455 - belt, wrist wraps, light knee wraps
495 - belt, wrist wraps, tight knee wrap
545 - belt, wrist wraps, crank knee wrap

Anything above 545 I’ll do the same, but I’ll add water to my knees to get even tighter of a wrap. going above 545 is in the 90%+ range though.

By going this route, the 405 is one of the harder lifts because I’m still tight, and it’s a pretty big jump in that range. 455 is much easier of a lift, and 495 is maybe even easier.

I feel this allows me to squat heavier, regardless of wraps or not. And, when you get to squatting 600 lbs +, it takes for god damn ever to get to your working set, so the less recovery between sets the better for me as I only have an hour to lift over my lunch (90 minutes but I have to shower and drive).

I feel, and this is just a personal preference, that training in what you compete in is paramount. So, train in wraps, not without wraps. Wraps get me out of the whole, and not using wraps may increase my getting out of the hold strength, but it won’t help my core. If I can only squat 450 without wraps, and 600 with, then my core gains more from the with wraps, and that just happens to be my weaker point, the forward lean / sitting back into the wraps.

Also, you mentioned people dont’ use wraps until a few weeks out of competition. I’m sure many people do this, but I also know that many people don’t do this, Lillibridge for example (Eric, not Earnie, I think he goes sleeves until competition like you said). But, he’s also doing 900+ for reps, so there’s that, I think my knees would fall out of my skin even if I was that string without wraps.


#7

I personally don’t start wrapping until about 7 weeks out of a meet. If want to over load I usually do some light reverse that allow about 10% in the offseason