Joint compression, heat, and circulation are all expressed benefits of supportive knee gear for most lifters and athletes. By doing so, athletes can expect increased knee support and stabilization, circulation to muscle tissues and surrounding areas, and improved movement and performance. Today I’m reviewing the Mava Sports knee supports.
Mava Sports is a popular support equipment seller on Amazon.com, offering a wide array of supportive and elastic (both neoprene and non-neoprene based gear) joint gear for knees,wrist, ankles, and more. I was excited to give their elastic knee supports (non-neoprene based) a try and put them to the test during my training.
In this article, we are reviewing the Mava Sports Elastic Knee Supports.
The Mava Sports knee supports offer very little stability, as they are comprised of non-neoprene material and offer little compression when compared to standard 5 and 7mm neoprene sleeves.
That said, I did find these knee supports to do a good job of providing some stability to the knee, primarily via joint warmth and just enough sensory feedback to stay stable during higher rep and more voluminous movements. They did however lack rigidity and support, which may make them not the best options for lifters looking for more of a supportive knee sleeve.
Personally, I found these knee supports to provide good warmth to the knee joint and surrounding area, with a surprising amount of compression support. While these supports are not as compression based as other neoprene options of the market, I did find the extended sleeve length to offer a little more support and structure than other non-neoprene based knee supports that I have reviewed.
Comfort and Fit
The sleeves come in a gray or black, and are comprised of a unique blend of bamboo and charcoal fibers.
The Mava Sports knee supports were similar to other knee sleeve and support options, with sizing determined by knee and thigh circumference. The supports have a nice tapered fit, allowing for a snug fitting sleeve offering some compression and good warmth. The knee supports are slightly longer than other supports and knee sleeves on the market, which allowed them to cover more of the knee joint and surrounding tissue providing moderate compression and great joint warmth.
The soft material and tight fit allowed them to stay in place, with the unique blended material providing a much-appreciated anti-itch support. The knee supports contoured the knees well, allowing for free movement, and were very lightweight and flexible.
Personally, I found these knee supports to be very flexible and comfortable during both high-intensity WODS (burpees, box jumps, cleans), hypertrophy and general fitness training as well as more formal Olympic weightlifting and squat training (snatches, pause cleans, and hypertrophy back squats), although lifters used to more rigid sleeves may say otherwise. As someone who generally doesn’t train with sleeves, unless during higher loading cycles (pre competition, strength, etc), I found the knee supports to keep my knees and surrounding areas warm and moveable, however they did lack support when compared to more compression based neoprene sleeves.
The Mava knee supports comprised of a unique bamboo and charcoal blend, making them extremely soft, flexible, and lightweight. They moved well during workouts, and had minimal sliding (except during sweatier and more squat patterning sessions), which made it very convenient for faster workouts or during general movement days. The added material from the longer sleeve did not interfere with most of my movements as well.
I think having sleeves that wash and dry quickly is a huge bonus when traveling or for simple maintenance of the sleeves. These sleeves are machine washable, and lightweight, making them idea for travel and/or general support and warmth wear.
From my experiences with the sleeves, they have withstood most of my varied training sessions, sweaty metabolic circuits, and two-a-days. The warmth and light compression properties of the sleeves are constant throughout stationary movements (squats, deadlifts, etc) as well as more dynamic and explosive activities (weightlifting, WODs, biking). There are no visible signs of breakdown of the sleeves, especially since there are no seams, making it a very durable piece of equipment.
Mava Sports sells the sleeves in a pair for $19.95, which come at a much lower price point than other knee sleeves (neoprene based) on the market, however the price is still similar to non-neoprene based sleeves. The drop in price most likely reflects the lack of supportive compression as seen in neoprene versions, however they did perform well provided the low price point.
While these sleeves were not as supportive as other sleeves due to the material construction, Mava Sports made it clear by calling them knee supports rather than knee sleeves. I found the knee supports to deliver great joint warmth, flexibility, and a lightweight alternative to more supportive and rigid neoprene knee sleeves. Lifters looking for a very rigid and stiff supportive sleeve most likely will find these to offer little support, however for others who are looking for something to start and/or complement their sleeveless training, this may be a cheap and inexpensive option.
I personally found these knee sleeves to provide me with a good amount of joint warmth and flexibility, especially with the added knee support length which allowed for more of the joint and surrounding areas to be covers. They did, however, lack the structural support needed competition and heavier loading in squats and Olympic lifts if you are a lifter who expects great support and compression from a knee sleeve.