Protect You Elbows With the Top Choices on the Market
You may see fitness folks wearing knee sleeves and weightlifting belts or even weightlifting shoes in the gym all the time, but have you seen or tried elbow sleeves? These are another great tool to use to protect against and relieve pain in the elbows.
While knee sleeves offer a snug fit to provide protection, support, and comfort to a vulnerable or recovering knee, elbow sleeves are somewhat similar. The role they can play in enhancing your health and fitness goals is something worth discussing and looking at further. As beneficial workouts aids for those in the gym casually training, those in the heat of serious athletic training, or even those competing, sleeves on your elbows can give you an edge when it comes to safe and effective lifts and overall performance.
We’ve put together a list of the Best Elbow Sleeves for 2023 for all your weightlifting, powerlifting, and bodybuilding needs. The right elbow sleeve can warm your elbows, help relieve aches and pains, and ultimately avoid injury to keep you going for a long time.
Best Elbow Sleeves For 2023
- Best Overall Elbow Sleeves: SBD Elbow Sleeves
- Best Elbow Sleeves For Bodybuilding: Gymreapers 5mm Elbow Sleeves
- Best Weightlifting Elbow Sleeves: Mava Sports Bamboo Elbow Compression Sleeves
- Best Elbow Sleeves For Lifting & Compression: PowerLix Elbow Brace Compression Support
- Best Elbow Sleeves For Powerlifting: Rehband Rx Original Elbow Sleeve
Best Overall Elbow Sleeves
The best elbow sleeve will work to add nice compression and support as you lift big weight in order to offer protection for this vulnerable joint from any unwanted pain, or worse, an injury given the nature of sports.
SBD Elbow Sleeves
SBD elbow sleeves are a serious contender in the market for a number of reasons. SBD as a company prides themselves on bringing athletes the best equipment around to enhance all aspects of their health, fitness, and performance, and they do just that.
Designed with powerlifters and strongman events in mind, these sleeves are made to minimize the risk of injury and increase performance while maximizing longevity. Manufactured in Great Britain, these sleeves are made of high grade neoprene with a thinner interior panel for easy fitting and free movement.
They are sold as a pair and available in all sizes, these sleeves are for those looking to seriously advance in their weightlifting goals, all while keeping the elbows in tact.
- High quality neoprene ensures durability but also free movement
- A reputable company with strength sports in mind and proven results
- A premium priced item, these are only available on their website
Best Elbow Sleeves For Bodybuilding
Bodybuilders constantly put themselves through wear and tear as they work to perfectly sculpt their physiques. With a lot of heavy pressing movements and high repetitions, bodybuilders certainly run a risk of sore or injured elbows, especially close to competitions when their bodies are dried out. Elbow sleeves can help keep bodybuilders in the gym so they never lose those physique gains.
Gymreapers 5mm Elbow Sleeves
These sleeves from Gymreapers are designed to help take you to the next level and improve all of your workouts. With a 5mm neoprene sleeve, it will slide easily up your arm and fit comfortably around your elbow, offering great support as you train. The thick padded material adds to the comfort but also to the durability of the sleeve as it won’t tear with any lift. Able to increase muscular control and reduce elbow swelling, these sleeves from Gymreapers will support you no matter what.
- Good quality and stitching to ensure longevity
- Offer great support and don’t inhibit movements
- Great customer service from a company who cares
- The sizing chart is wrong so potentially go one size up
- The forearm is as big as the upper arm and there is no taper so it tends to be less snug as you move away from your upper arm
- Slightly more expensive than others
Best Weightlifting Elbow Sleeves
For those who love weightlifting, you know how sore your elbows can get, but a compression sleeve can usually help. Keeping them safe and protected as you constantly abuse them in the gym will only enhance your chance for success and the right sleeves for weightlifting are exactly what you need.
Mava Sports Bamboo Elbow Compression Sleeves
Mava Sports is known for quality equipment and these sleeves add to the list. Made for pain relief and recovery, these sleeves can reduce inflammation and swelling while also alleviating soreness. Best known for compression, these sleeves can help improve endurance and promote faster muscular recovery, so you can attack whatever comes your way next.
Made from bamboo charcoal fiber, these sleeves are designed for sensitive skin and top tier durability, really putting these up there as some of the top elbow sleeves.
- They don’t roll down and have a snug fit for these sleeves for weightlifting
- The bamboo charcoal fiber keeps your skin sensitivity in mind and provides for solid durability
- Great compression to aid in recovery from this elbow compression sleeve
- They may be slightly more stiff than other sleeves and can limit range of motion
- The measurement scale is off
Best Elbow Sleeves For Lifting & Compression
Finding the right sleeves on the market to fit you correctly are very important because ones that are too tight can limit blood flow. Then, on the other hand if they are too loose, they won’t get the job done. The right compression sleeve will only boost your lifting abilities as well as range of motion with more flexibility than an elbow brace.
PowerLix Elbow Brace Compression Support Sleeve
PowerLix offers great protection with these elbow sleeves, as they applies stable pressure across your elbow with the ultimate goal of relieving pain from any ailment. While doing all of this, it still allows for peak performance and a full range of arm motion.
Providing superior support and comfort, this tight, breathable compression fabric helps with joint stability and increased blood flow. The neoprene material wicks away moisture and its special knitted technology ensures it stays put right on your arm for any pain support you need.
- Offers nice compression and elbow support to alleviate any unwanted pain
- Comes in at a very reasonable price for an elbow compression sleeve
- Durability comes into question after multiple uses and the sizing chart seems to be off
- The fabric is not as smooth so it can be uncomfortable after prolonged use
Best Elbow Sleeves For Powerlifting
Powerlifters are always lifting heavy weight and that can certainly cause wear and tear on your elbows. The right sleeve will allow for powerlifting movement with the best elbow support around the elbow and forearm with it feeling too tight.
Rehband Rx Original Elbow Sleeve
Rehband offers the opportunity to unleash your full potential with these sleeves to support peak performance and superior protection against any injury. The patented technology is engineered to provide elbow stability, compression, and warmth all with the goal of controlling power, leverage, and really boosting recovery. The 5mm thick elastic elbow sleeve does the best of both worlds for a tight fit as well as good mobility.
Great for any activity, Rehband works to support performance, comfort, and recovery. Their goal is to keep you grinding as long as you want.
- Offer nice tightness while also providing for free movement from this elbow compression sleeve
- Supports any pain and recovering injury for added recovery enhancement
- While the benefits are great, some of the quality concerns are disappointing, especially given that this is a highly priced item compared to other compression sleeve products
Benefits Of An Elbow Compression Sleeve
You see everyone from professional athletes to everyday gym-goers wearing sleeves on their elbows and its no wonder why. Compression, support, stability, protection, increased circulation, and warmth are all great benefits of sleeves. Elbow and compression sleeves can:
- Provide compression and warmth around the elbow to increase blood flow and enhance recovery for those looking to build muscles safely (1).
- Support the elbow to distribute tension equally around other smaller muscles during fitness work to strengthen the joint.
- Offer support and stability to really increase big lifts and see growth in strength (2).
- Aid in recovery by improving blood flow and circulation thus providing comfort to the muscle.
An elbow sleeve should work for you and make you more confident as you lift to build those muscles and strengthen this joint. If you don’t want to become reliant on it, then choose the days you feel you need it most and work that into your routine. But an elbow sleeve’s ability to protect and support your workouts should not be forgotten, especially if you already deal with elbow issues and need extra support.
When to Throw Them on
You may be wondering, when is it time to throw on the sleeves? At the beginning of a lift? Once you start getting pain?
The answer to this is rather subjective, it is whenever you truly feel like it. It is not a bad idea to throw sleeves on when you are doing push movements such as a barbell or dumbbell bench press, military press, or other movements of the sort, as this is when the most stress is placed on your elbows.
How We Choose
When it comes to choosing the best set of sleeves to throw on your elbows, we first look at the overall quality and durability of the sleeves themselves. You are going to want a product that you can get used, and one that will last a long time. With a durable sleeve, you never have to worry about it letting you down.
We then look at comfort, which is a very important factor in deciding which ones to choose. While you exercise and lift, you want to be as comfortable as possible and not suffer through a workout because your equipment is uncomfortable.
Finally, we look at price, which in today’s day and age is a huge factor. You don’t want to buy something too cheap, nor do you want something that is outrageously priced. It is possible to find the right fitness gear at an affordable price so you can protect yourself and not break the bank, and this is something we really look for.
Why it is Important to Protect Your Elbows
You may be wondering, why are the elbows so important to keep protected? Your elbows are a staple in your every day life, that is a no brainer! You use this part of your arms to bend your arms pick things up, write, steer, pretty much anything involving your arms. You even bend your elbows as you run.
Imagine if your elbows were in constant pain and every day tasks were just a drag to get through, that is not pleasant at all. Therefore, it is important to take precautionary action to prevent yourself from getting to the point of being in constant pain, making sleeves a great investment to add to your gym bag.
After all of this, you will probably have some questions and that is completely normal. We are here to answer them, so let’s dive in!
What is the best elbow sleeve?
SBD Elbow Sleeves. These premium sleeves are designed with powerlifters and strongman events in mind. They are made to minimize the risk of injury and increase performance while maximizing longevity. Just think, the acronym “SBD” stands for “squat, bench, deadlift,” just further solidifying the fact that the brand has powerlifters and strongman in mind.
How should my elbow sleeve fit?
Your elbow compression sleeves should be snug and comfortable. Too tight and it can limit circulation and too loose, it just won’t get the job done. Being able to move your elbow with comfort, feel support, and prevent injury is the end goal.
Will an elbow sleeve hinder my performance and workouts?
The right fit and a quality elbow compression sleeves will not hinder your weightlifting and performance. If anything, it will enhance your lifting by giving you something to protect that vulnerable elbow joint.
Do my PRs still count while wearing sleeves?
This is the typical gym-bro argument, do your PRs count when using gear? By gear we mean sleeves, straps, and wraps, not gear as in anabolic steroids. However, yes, your PRs still will count as things such as sleeves are typically allowed in competition, so it is not cheating.
Elbow sleeves are great workout aids to really enhance comfort and compression for enhanced lifting and performance. Make sure you keep longevity in mind as well as overall fitness so you last longer in whatever your competition requires. Whether professionally or recreationally, you deserve to enjoy what you’re doing and work hard at it for as long as you can and these pieces of equipment are just one great way for you to really achieve that.
From increased blood flow, compression, protection, and recovery, elbow sleeves should be in your locker, gym bag, or both. Check out our list above and see what a set of great sleeves for your elbows can do for you!
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