5 Things You Must Know Before Purchasing 7mm Knee Sleeves
5 Things You Must Know Before Purchasing 7mm Knee Sleeves
Wondering whether 7mm knee sleeves are right for you? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
7mm knee sleeves are one of the most important safety and performance tools available to strength athletes. But many people hold off buying them because they’re not sure how they work and don’t know what type of knee sleeves to buy.
In this article, we cover everything you need to know about 7mm knee sleeves, including:
- Are 5mm or 7mm knee sleeves best?
- Should you use 7mm knee sleeves for squats?
- When should you use knee sleeves?
- What size knee sleeves should you buy?
- Are 7mm knee sleeves suitable for CrossFit?
And much more.
Whether you’re looking for your first pair of knee sleeves or need an upgrade—Auki’s got you covered. Our products include everything you need to go all in on your training and lift more weight with no pain.
Let's dive right in and start by taking a look at what knee sleeves are, and why you might want to use them in training and competition.
What Are Knee Sleeves?
If you’ve spent any time in a CrossFit, powerlifting or bodybuilding gym, you’ve likely noticed people training with knee sleeves on. Alongside a weightlifting belt, they’re one of the first, and most important pieces of equipment you should buy.
Even though they come in a variety of colours and styles, most knee sleeves have a similar core design. They are generally made of a type of synthetic rubber fabric called neoprene. And as the name suggests, this fabric is constructed into a sleeve that fits snugly over the knees.
While this might make it seem like all knees are the same—nothing could be further from the truth.
Factors like the quality of neoprene fabric used, measurements and stitching have a huge impact on how effective a pair of knee sleeves will be. In particular, low quality materials and poor construction are things to look out for.
For example, if your knee sleeves are made of poor quality neoprene, or have a variance of even just a few millimetres in key areas because of shoddy build quality, their performance will be greatly reduced.
The 6 Essential Benefits Of Wearing Knee Sleeves
There are several important benefits knee sleeves can offer in both training and competition.
Most of these are related to the compression and warmth provided to the knee joint and surrounding areas.
The main benefits of wearing knee sleeves include:
Are 5mm or 7mm Knee Sleeves Better?
The first question most people have when they decide to buy knee sleeves is, “Are 5mm or 7mm knee sleeves better?”
The answer to this question largely depends on your training goals and personal history.
Really, what you should be asking is, “Are 5mm or 7mm knee sleeves better for me?”
5mm vs 7mm Knee Sleeves - Key Differences
The main difference between 5mm and 7mm knee sleeves is the thickness of the neoprene fabric used in construction.
While 2mm difference might not sound like a lot, in practice, it makes a huge difference.
Neoprene is a very sturdy material, which means all else being equal, a 7mm knee sleeve will provide a greater amount of compression and warmth than a 5mm knee sleeve.
At first glance, you might think that makes 7mm knee sleeves better, but there’s one more factor to consider—Support.
While 5mm knee sleeves don’t provide as much compression and warmth as 7mm knee sleeves, they allow a greater degree of flexibility and movement. This is important if you’re wearing knee sleeves during a workout that includes several different movements (like many CrossFit WODs), or if you plan to use knee sleeves while playing sports.
For example, you might feel great wearing 7mm knee sleeves for squats, but then struggle wearing them for things like box jumps or running.
In general, 5mm knee sleeves are better for when you want greater movement and flexibility. While 7mm knee sleeves are a good choice for a workout where you’ll be lifting heavy and want to maximise power and strength with great support.
Also, keep in mind that personal preference comes into play.
Some people simply prefer the feel of one thickness of knee sleeve over the other. This is an important consideration, because being uncomfortable while you train can negatively impact performance.
To help you decide if 7mm knee sleeves are right for you, we’ve summarised the pros and cons below.
Pros of 7mm Knee Sleeves
- Provides the greatest amount of compression, support and impact protection.
- Keeps the knees warmer than 5mm knee sleeves
- Added stability helps with confidence and kinaesthetic awareness
Cons of 7mm Knee Sleeves
- Thickness and reduced mobility makes them less efficient for some movements
- Can get too hot in certain workouts
- Can be more difficult to get on and off than 5mm knee sleeves
Should I Buy 7mm and 5mm Knee Sleeves?
While you definitely don’t have to buy both types of knee sleeves—most serious athletes will have a pair of both 5mm and 7mm knee sleeves.
A common approach is to use 7mm knee sleeves for workouts involving heavy squats and low rep olympic lifting, then 5mm knee sleeves for workouts with more varied movements at lighter weights. Such as functional fitness where it’s a faster pace with high volume movements.
Our advice is to buy the type of knee sleeves suited to the activity you are more likely to do on a daily basis, therefore getting the most value out of the product.
For example, if you’re focused on improving your strength, lifting heavy, and want the best support for your knees, you would go with 7mm knee sleeves.
While if you’re dealing with knee pain and want some added support for all of your workouts, 5mm knee sleeves are going to be best for you.
7mm Knee Sleeves and Squats
Whether it’s for a back squat, front squat, overhead squat, or olympic weightlifting—7mm knee sleeves can be a game changer for squatting movements.
The increased warmth and support from 7mm knee sleeves while squatting is great for knee pain.
The added support and stability helps to reinforce good technique and awareness of knee position during the lift.
And because the advanced compression from 7mm knee sleeves improves blood flow to the muscles and tendons in and around the knee, the risk of injury from squatting is reduced.
Will 7mm Knee Sleeves Help Me Squat Heavier?
Most athletes find they can squat heavier with 7mm knee sleeves than without.
While it might take a few training sessions to get used to them, 7mm knee sleeves can help you to squat more by:
- Adding power to your rebound out of the bottom of a squat
- Improving your awareness of knee positioning through the movement, which allows you to work on optimum technique
- Helping with knee pain and recovery, meaning you can increase training volume to maximise gains
- Increasing confidence when you go for a big PR
For the ultimate in squatting support, try using 7mm knee sleeves in combination with our weightlifting belt and wrist wraps. These important safety tools will allow you to go all in and lift more weight with no pain.
What Sports Are 7mm Knee Sleeves Suitable For?
The high compression and rigidity from 7mm knee sleeves mean they’re most popular for strength sports, such as CrossFit, powerlifting, strongman and bodybuilding. In saying that, however, there’s no reason you can’t use them in other sports if you like.
Athletes who commonly experience knee pain or are recovering from an injury might use 5mm knee sleeves for sports like soccer, football or long-distance running. Especially in the case of injury, a knee sleeve can be a good ‘step down’ from a medical grade knee brace.
How to Choose the Right Size Knee Sleeves
The best way to size 7mm knee sleeve is to measure the circumference of your knee over the patella (knee cap), then match this up with the sizing guide on our website.
Auki knee sleeves come in six sizes, from XS to 2XL.
If you’re in between sizes, say a medium and a large, the smaller size would offer a tighter fit with more compression, while the larger size would still be snug, but give a little more room for movement.
If it’s your first pair of 7mm knee sleeves and you’re in between sizes, we recommend going with the larger size. You’ll still have plenty of support and benefit from the knee sleeves, but they’ll be a bit easier to get on and off and take less time to adapt to in your training.
Advanced lifters will sometimes size down in 7mm knee sleeves for maximum compression and support. However, until you’ve had a fair bit of experience using 7mm knee sleeves, we recommend sticking with standard sizing approaches.
We recommend having a 6-7/10 tightness feeling around the knee. This allows for the knee sleeve to slide up easily and be taken off easily, whilst ensuring the knee is supported and has the correct amount of warmth, compression and impact protection.
7mm Knee Sleeves | Conclusion
7mm knee sleeves are an essential tool for any serious strength athlete.
Whether you’re into CrossFit, powerlifting or weightlifting, you’ll eventually reach a point where progress stalls, or pain and injury limit your training and performance.
When it does, 7mm knee sleeves are the perfect addition to help you break through a plateau and level up.
By providing maximum compression and stability to the knee joint, 7mm knee sleeves increase blood flow, provide added support and stability, and enhance awareness of knee position to help improve technique.
All of these things add up to more confidence under the bar, which lets you go all in on training and compete like a savage.
If you’re ready to lift more weight with no pain, grab a pair of Auki 7mm knee sleeves today.
How To Choose The Correct Size For Knee Sleeves?
Knee sleeves are designed to contour the knee joint and surrounding muscles including the calf, quad, and hamstrings. To get the best measurement, you’ll want to measure the circumference at the top of your calf. That’s about 100mm (4”) below the midpoint of your kneecap.
How To Wash 7mm Knee Sleeves?
We recommend hand washing your knee sleeves with water and a gentle detergent (or a specialist neoprene/wetsuit detergent), then allow the sleeves to air dry standing up.
How Do I Get Knee Sleeves On And Off?
There are 3 different ways to put knee sleeves on.
- Sliding your foot through the knee sleeve, then pulling it up the leg.
- Folding the knee sleeve inside out, pulling it to the top of your calf, then rolling the knee sleeve up on itself to desired position.
- Folding the knee sleeve in half, sliding it to the preferred calf position and unfolding it above the knee.
How Tight Should Knee Sleeves Be?
Our recommendation is that knee sleeves should be worn at a level of tightness between 6 and 7 on the 10-point scale.
You want to be able to move freely with the knee sleeve and still have the support and warmth they offer. Having a knee sleeve that is too tight restricts movement, compresses the knee too much, reduces blood flow to the calf, and becomes uncomfortable.
Why Should I Choose Auki Knee Sleeves?
Choosing Auki Knee Sleeves guarantees that you have the highest level of support through our anatomically designed sleeves. Boosting compression, warmth and impact protection, these knee sleeves will assist you in increasing your performance and reducing the risk of injury.
They are available in a variety of sizes to fit any athlete's needs.
Auki's knee sleeves will assist you in every workout allowing you to push yourself to new limits!