No doubt! Wrestling is a tough, high-risk sport with a massive chunk of body weight contact and minimal protective equipment. The knees are hardest hit and if you’re a wrestler and want to keep knee injury away, knee pads are your best friend.
Wrestling is one of the world’s oldest sports. Elbows and knees are always at high risk with this game. Be it falling awkwardly or a freak accident, most often, the injuries are because of not wearing the proper protective gear.
What are knee pads?
Just in case you don’t know what knee pads are, these are wrestling gear that you wear on your knees to cushion them from impact and prevent injury. With the best wrestling knee pads, you can avoid a lot of injuries and focus on your performance
Do wrestlers wear knee pads?
Not all. Some wrestlers believe the only reason to wear knee pads is for aesthetics, and unless you need to wear one for medical reasons, you can do without them. They find them uncomfortable and quite restrictive. But knee pads are a necessary addition to a wrestler’s closet. Keep reading to find out why.
Why wear Knee Pads?
Can you recall the time when your knees knocked over another person’s knees and how intense the searing pain felt? Ouch! You don’t want to relive that memory, right? Knee injuries can set you back for quite some time, depending on the severity of the damage.
From safeguarding your soft tissues to preventing injury and “mat burn,” you have tons of reasons to wear knee pads.
- Keep injury at bay
Your knee area is quite sensitive and can get easily injured in case of any severe contact. If you bang knees with your competitor, the pain can sting severely enough to debilitate your body for a while.
When you injure your knee, you find it challenging to use your legs effectively and can even have long term consequences.
Also, with a lot of rubbing on the rubber mats, a wrestler’s knee is prone to abrasions and brush burns; with a knee pad, you can prevent these nuisance injuries.
- Eliminate stress and strain
The knee is composed of some of the most sensitive tissues in the body, which come under intense tension and stress during wrestling. Apart from preventing injury, a knee pad will also cushion the delicate soft tissues stabilizing the joint area.
- Prevent “mat burn”
Gym rats or sports fanatics are familiar with mat burn or rug burn. It’s a condition that occurs when the skin rubs hard against specific surfaces such as wrestling mats, weight machines or studio floors and the friction heat burns through the skin causing tissue damage.
It is classified as first-degree burn and can cause acute infection if left untreated. With a knee pad, you can worry less about a mat burn.
Types of Wrestler’s Knee Pads:
- Wrestling knee sleeves:
These are made of lycra, cotton, or similar material and worn over the knees. They lack the signature circular pads you’ll see in knee pads for protection but they offer maximum stretchability thanks to their stretchable material.
Most wrestlers wear knee sleeves to help prevent mat burns and abrasions when sliding over long distances. However, wrestling sleeves do not absorb impact like knee pads.
- Basic Kneepads:
These are the most prevalent types you’ll spot in sports stores. The pad that cushions the knee is large and shaped like an oval or a circle. With the correct size, your knee pad should cover the bottom of your thigh and extend to the top of your calf. They come in different designs and styles but overall, they are built to be flexible and lightweight.
- Bubble Kneepads:
They are also known as dome kneepads. These are the best types of wrestling kneepads to get. Bubble kneepads are made of cotton and any stretchable material such as nylon. The padding is soft and thick, protecting your knees during shooting takedowns better than other types of kneepads.
The thick padding, however, restricts sliding. If you are a wrestler who’s suffered injuries, these kneepads are your best bet as they provided the maximum cushioning effect
What to consider when buying a knee pad:
If you’re a wrestler and want to take your knee support and protection to the next level, you might want to consider investing in a knee pad. But how do you choose the right fit for you with tons of options in the market, let’s find out:
We all come in different sizes, and so do our knees. This is why it is crucial to use a manufacturer’s sizing chart to guide you in choosing the right fit. You want to select knee pads that will stay put while you wear them while not so tight that they restrict your movement.
Choose one made of stretchable material, but if you have to stretch them too much to fit them on, they are probably too small for you. Choose a pair comfortable enough for you to wear them for prolonged periods of time.
Take a measuring tape and wrap it around the middle area of your knee then compare it to the size chart to find out the correct size of your knee pad. Tight knee pads will only give you bruises, rushes and affect your performance.
- Type of Padding
Knee pads are no one size fits all kind. They come in different shapes, sizes, and padding. The padding also comes in various types of materials. Nowadays, most knee pads consist of modern, feather-light gel packs which are an excellent choice.
There are other types of padding available in the market, such as a high-density sponge, foam and different kinds of layered material. Gel padding is smooth and shock absorbent keeping the player safe from hard-hitting and minimizes pressure on the knees making movement easy. Foam padding is also an ideal choice offering maximum protection to wrestlers.
Go for smooth, breathable padding that is comfortable and can absorb the sweat and ensure it’s appropriately sized to cover the knee caps.
Knee pads come in a wide range of materials from nylon to neoprene, Lycra spandex, polyester, cotton, or a blend of fabrics. These materials have their pros and cons so try out different materials and stick to one that’s comfortable. Spandex is an excellent choice. It is elastic and stretches quite longer compared to its counterparts.
Knee pads come in a wide variety of measures. Choose the range that appeals to your personal preferences. Long knee pads protect a wide area of the knee compared to shorter options. However, long knee pads can hinder movement.
Keep the ring mat into consideration when choosing the length of the knee pad to buy. It will help you pick a short or long knee pad. The longer the kneepads the better the protection but the more restrictive it feels.
Wrestling is a rigorous sport, and safety is a priority, whether you’re an amateur or a professional. Knee pads help keep your knees safe from injury. They also help regulate blood flow within the legs making you active throughout the entire match. Choose one that provides the right amount of protection.