Heavy training can really take it out of your joints and muscles and many hard-training athletes often find themselves exercising or competing while slightly injured.
This is par for the course if you want to achieve great things in sports. Subsequently, many people turn to supportive garments such as compression clothes, knees sleeves, back supports and elbow sleeves to help keep them in the game. There are lots of manufacturers producing supportive clothing and joint sleeves but arguably the most established company is Rehband.
You might not have heard of Rehband but you will almost certainly seen their products in action. Switch on your TV and watch World’s Strongest Man, the CrossFit Games, virtually any Olympic weightlifting event or any powerlifting meet and you’ll soon spot the iconic blue support sleeves protecting and supporting the elbows, knees and backs of the competitors.
Rehband has been THE name in supportive equipment and injury prevention since its inception in 1955. A Scandinavian company, Rehband don’t just make knee and elbow supports; they produce arguably the widest range of support garments in the world. From ankles to wrists, shoulders to backs, Rehband have got you covered!
Most Rehband products are made out of a material called neoprene – the same stuff that is used in the manufacture of wetsuits. Neoprene is flexible, elastic and above all insulating so it provides not just support but keeps your joints warm. Warm joints function much more efficiently and the heat increases synovial fluid production – essential for keeping the articular surfaces of your joints in good shape.
While joint supports are commonly associated with injuries, they can also be worn to prevent injuries and may even improve athletic performance.
Because Rehband joint sleeves prevent extraneous movement, they can help reduce the likelihood of joint sprains – sprains being the overstretching of ligaments. Ligaments are avascular which means they have a very poor if non-existent blood supply. Combine this avascularity with the inelasticity common in ligaments and you have tissues that, if over-stretched, are not only easily damaged but are also very slow to heal. Heat and support can significantly cut down on your risk of joint injury.
In terms of performance, knee and elbow sleeves store a small amount of energy when you bend your limbs. For example, when you descend into the bottom position of a squat, knee sleeves will stretch slightly and then give a small rebound as you begin to stand up. Maybe that’s where the name Rehband comes from? This added thrust helps explain why so many weightlifters, powerlifters and CrossFitters wear Rehband support sleeves even when they aren’t injured. To get the greatest amount of assistance from Rehband joint sleeves, they need to be tight so make sure you buy a slightly smaller size than you might otherwise need for regular support.
While the blue knee and elbow sleeves are the most easily recognizable Rehband support products, Rehband has moved with the times and now offers many of its supports in a variety of colours. For the more fashion conscious athlete, Rehband now produces joint sleeves and supports in black, grey, pink, camo, green, purple, red and yellow as well as their classic blue. Products are available in a wide range of sizes and are sold as pairs or individually.
In addition to their range of neoprene supports, Rehband also produce a comprehensive range of compression and thermal clothing, protective wear for sports such as soccer, handball and volleyball and also a range of athletic shoe insoles and rehabilitation equipment.
If you are serious about sport or exercise and want to ensure your joints are protected from injury, want to enhance athletic performance or need to protect an existing injury, Rehband has the support you need. If professional strongmen, CrossFitters and champion weightlifters use them, you can be sure that Rehband are tough, effective and reliable products that will work for you too.