A fully grown human being has 206 bones in their body. For all the different sizes and purposes of those bones, and all the different sports people pursue, the knees are always under pressure. Usually, in regular daily movement like walking and driving, this pressure is significant but unlikely to cause injury. When you workout, the risk of injury to your knees can increase. That’s why many people like to slide on some knee support when working out. Not all knee braces are made equal though, as each have different purposes depending on your sport and your goals. How to choose the best knee brace for working out then? Don’t miss this quick guide:
Know your needs
The first question to consider when looking for a knee brace is how will this help me? Every person’s body has its own quirks. Even two people that are of a similar height, weight, and fitness can find their ability to withstand pressure and pain differs considerably. That’s why it’s important to take the time and consider what you knees really need in a knee brace. Even knee braces that look similar can have really different purposes and have a different feel when in use. Rather than buying many knee braces and trying to find one you like, it’s better instead to form a clear idea about what you want to achieve by wearing a knee brace. You can then look to match up your goals with the brace that’ll best fit your aims.
Know your sport
Different sports have different knee braces. While weightlifting knee braces will place a premium on strength in their products, knee braces for running are typically lighter and more flexible. Given different knee braces are made from different materials – with the strongest ones featuring metal and plastic parts, while the lightest ones may be only nylon or cotton – the differences are not only visible in appearance, but also in how they feel, and how they are used. For this reason, knee braces for basketball, car racing, and other sports also have different constructions. It’s true all knee braces by default will give some extra performance, support, or protection to its wearer. Nonetheless, using a knee brace that is best worn for another sport should be avoided. At best, it shall just be a hindrance rather than a help to you and feel annoying to wear it. At worst, it could actually increase your risk of injury. If in any doubt about what knee brace may best match you, have a chat with your doctor or another medical professional to ensure you get a perfect fit.
Remember the brace isn’t a quick fix
If your doctor has prescribed you wear a knee brace to train while you are injured that’s OK. In absence of medical advice though, keep in mind a knee brace is meant to support a knee, and not circumvent an injury. If you have an existing injury and wear a brace, it not only won’t help your injury, but could actually increase your risk of doing further damage. This guideline also applies to using a knee brace generally. A good brace can absolutely provide you with a bit of a performance boost, and give you more comfort while working out. But ultimately your performance will depend upon your overall fitness and your body. Use a knee brace to aid your fitness goals, but don’t push beyond safe limits because you’re wearing one.
Great fitness is about ongoing effort. That applies to your results in the gym, and the time you put into preparation. Planning how to get strong results each time, build upon them, and enjoy your workouts as you do them! Changing up your workouts, your equipment, and the environment in which you exercise can be a great way to reach new heights. Choosing a great knee brace is one part one that – but as your knees are vital to how the rest of your body performs – it’s certainly a big part of that. So, take your time to research a brace that meets your personal needs, suits your sport, and helps you pursue effectively your fitness goals. Do this, and you’ll have a new piece of equipment that’ll be a great addition to your workouts.