Where do I start?
There are 587689 types of knee wraps on the market for squatting, and they are NOT all made equally.
Each brand and type of wrap are different, and suit different squatters.
In this article, I’ll try and cover the basics of knee wraps, the types of wraps, and who they are suited to.
Before we get too far ahead, lets look at the 2 main variables that wraps have.
This refers to how thick the wrap itself is, generally this is between 2mm and 4mm
This refers to how much the wrap will stretch past its normal length.
A stiff wrap might go from 2.5m to 4.5m, a not so stiff wrap might go from 2.5m to 5.5m.
Both of these things play a HUGE role in how the wrap performs, and what wrap will suit you best.
I guess the first thing we need to do, is buy a set of wraps, but which ones should you buy?
Well, that all depends on your squat style.
Are you a slower, more controlled squatter? If so, you want a thinner, more stretchy style of wrap.
This will allow you to get lots of revolutions and create a cast-like wrap on the knee.
It will give you very little spring, but give you superior stopping power, which is perfect for a slower squatter.
The 2 wraps I would recommend for you would be the Inzer Iron Z to start in, then move into the Titan THP when you have 3-4 preps under your belt, or class 2 on the Wasson Grading Scale.
Both are thinner wraps, though the THP’s are stiffer and need to be applied much tighter.
You can get wraps that are thinner/not as stiff as these such as ‘Schiek” knee wraps, but they are too thin and stretchy, and they don’t really offer any support at all.
This is Terry with 270kg, a slower, more controlled squat, suited to thinner, more cast like wrap.
Are you a faster, more ‘bouncy’ or ‘explosive’ squatter? Then you will want a slightly thicker wrap.
Thicker wraps, will always be slightly stiffer then the thinner wraps due to the extra material, but that’s ok, as long as they aren’t too stiff.
The thicker, slightly stiffer wraps provide much more spring laterally across the wrap, which when applied around the knee offers much more spring or ‘pop’ when coming out of the bottom position of the squat.
The 2 wraps I would recommend for you would be the Loaded Lifting “Death Adders”, or a slightly thicker SBD ‘Training Wrap’. Though I highly recommend the Death Adders.
You can get stiffer wraps then these, such as the Pioneer Lilliebridge or Harris True Elite, but I feel they are generally way too thick for how stiff they are. This results in fewer revolutions, and less effectiveness
Here is Stephen with 190kg, a lifter that hits the hole a little harder, and “bounces” back out.
For a complete comparison, here are the stats on each wrap.
Inzer Iron Z (Highly recommended)
Loaded Death Adders (Highly recommended)
SBD Training Wraps
Pioneer Lilliebridge (Not recommended)
Harris True Elite (Not recommended)
So now that we know what wraps do what, what wraps you are suited to, we need to look at HOW to wrap your knees.
There are a million different variations on how to wrap your knees, and it really comes down to personal preference.
That said, there are a few do’s and do not’s.
– TIGHTER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER.
You need to match the tightness of the wrap, not only to your style of squat, but also your experience level and weight on the bar. Having a wrap too tight can cause you more harm then good,
– HAVE NO SKIN SHOWING
When you are doing your rep(s), have a look at your knee. Can you see any skin from the top to the bottom of the wrap?
If so, you either have to stiff a wrap for the tightness its been applied, or you have a very poor wrapping technique.
– DON’T WRAP AND SQUAT STRAIGHT AWAY
Get familiar with being in your wraps for a while. Wraps hurt, and you need to be ok with it.
On comp day, you will need to be wrapped for at least a minute before you get your squat started, and if you’re not ok with it, it can cause you big problems on the platform.
– PRE-TENSION YOUR WRAPS
Make sure you have pre-tensioned your wraps before you start to wrap your knees.
This turns your 2.5m wrap into a 4-5m wrap, and saves you a LOT of energy when wrapping.
We have wrap rollers available at the store that makes this a breeze, and can mount to any rack in any gym.
If your interested in one, they can be found here:
With all that in mind, here is a video on what I feel is the best way to wrap.
Hopefully this helps a few newer lifters with the ins and outs of wrapping.
Like everything though, the internet can only show you so much. If you’re in the area, and want to learn how to use wraps effectively, head to the staff section of our website and book in a session with one of our coaches!
Until the next one, stay strong.