Knee pain and injuries are standard for people that train MMA. Many fighters and practitioners focus most on gloves, mouthguards, and headgear, but one essential accessory often gets neglected —the MMA knee brace.
Trust me when I say the best knee brace for MMA can be a game-changer. Not only does it provide support and reinforcement to the knee joint, but it also enhances overall comfort and stability during training and competition.
But here’s the thing —not all knee braces are the same. It might be tempting to go for the cheapest option, believing it’s just as good. But investing in a knee brace designed to endure the demands of your MMA training can make all the difference.
For example, traditional knee braces used in other sports might not be suitable for MMA due to the sport’s unique movements and techniques. A knee brace designed for running or basketball might not support an MMA fighter’s techniques.
Another thing to consider is finding a knee brace that’s both comfortable and durable. Some fighters might think that a tighter knee brace will offer better support, but that’s not true. A knee brace that’s too tight can actually restrict movement, cut blood flow, and hinder performance.
Conversely, a knee brace that’s too loose won’t provide enough support and might even slip during training or competition. So, finding the right fit is critical.
Remember to consider the importance of your MMA knee brace. Investing in a high-quality knee sleeve can enhance your performance and protect you from potential injuries that could end your career.
Before we check the best knee braces for MMA, what exactly is a knee brace? And how can you find the best one for you? Read on to find the answer.
short on time? Just get our top pick: Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support
Table of Contents
What Is an MMA Knee Brace?
Essentially, it’s a wrap for your knees made from soft and stretchy materials. Its main job is to support areas of the knee affected by chronic pain or previous injuries.
But not all knee braces are created equal, especially regarding MMA. You need to ensure you’re using one specifically designed for sportive use. A rehab brace might not cut it when you’re going for a takedown or landing a low leg kick.
So, how can you choose the best knee brace for MMA?
don’t miss the Best BOXING GLOVES FOR HEAVY BAG
How to Choose the Best Knee Brace for MMA
Let’s look closer at the different knee braces available, the features to look for, and how to ensure a proper fit.
Types of Knee Braces for MMA
Different types of knee braces are commonly used in MMA.
These are typically made of neoprene and provide compression and support to the knee joint. They are a popular choice for MMA training because they are lightweight and comfortable.
Hinged Knee Braces
These braces typically have plastic hinges on either side of the knee joint, which provide additional support and stability. They are a good option for fighters with a history of knee injuries or needing extra support during training or competition.
Patella Stabilizing Braces
These braces are designed to keep your kneecap in place during movement. They are often used by fighters who experience pain or instability in the patella.
Depending on your injury, you might need one of these types or a brace that combines all three.
Features to Look for in a Knee Brace for MMA
When choosing a knee brace for MMA, there are a few key characteristics to look for:
- Support – Look for a brace that provides the proper support for your needs. If your knee brace is too rigid, your might develop atrophy around your knee muscles when you use the brace for extended periods. But don’t worry. You need to use a brace almost 24/7 to experience those symptoms. A hinged knee brace may be a good option if you have a history of knee injuries or need extra support during training or competition.
- Stability – A brace that provides stability is crucial for preventing knee injuries in MMA. Look for a brace with sturdy hinges or straps that keep the brace in place during movement. Usually, braces with straps are recommended for the early stages of the injury. Once you get more mobility and treatment, doctors and physical therapists do not often recommend them.
- Comfort – Choosing a brace that is comfortable to wear during long training sessions is essential. Look for a brace made of breathable materials that won’t irritate the skin. Bauerfeind knee braces are some of the best in this category, but they’re not the cheapest option.
- Durability – MMA training and competition can be tough on knee braces, so look for a knee sleeve built to last. Choose a brace made of high-quality materials that can withstand frequent use.
Tips for Ensuring a Proper Fit When You Buy Online
Ensuring a proper fit for your MMA knee brace is crucial to maximizing its benefits. However, when buying online, it can be challenging to find the perfect fit without physically trying on the compression sleeve. Don’t worry; I’ve got some tips to help you get the perfect fit, even when shopping online.
Measure Your Knee Correctly
The first step to getting the right fit for your knee brace is to measure your knee as accurately as possible.
The best way to do this is to take measurements at two points (your tight and your calf) on your knee to determine the circumference. Make sure to keep the tape measure level and not too tight or too loose.
Check the Sizing Chart
Once you have your knee measurements, check the sizing chart for the knee brace you want to buy. Every brand has different sizing charts, so find the one that matches your measurements. Don’t assume that a small in one brand will be the same size as another.
Check the Material and Design
The material and design of the knee brace are also crucial factors to consider when looking for the perfect fit. Some braces are made of neoprene, while others use breathable materials.
The design of the brace can also affect the fit, with some braces designed to hug the knee closely while others provide more range of motion. For MMA, you want something breathable, offering enough freedom of movement for striking and grappling techniques.
Try Before You Buy
While it may not be possible to physically try on a knee brace when shopping online, some brands offer a trial period or a money-back guarantee.
This way, you can try the brace and see if it fits correctly and provides the support you need. If it doesn’t work out, you can always return it and try another brand or size.
Choosing the right knee brace for MMA can make all the difference in injury prevention and performance. Remember these tips when choosing a knee sleeve, and always seek medical attention if you experience any knee pain or discomfort during training or competition.
AN MMA KNEE BRACE ISN’T A MAGIC SOLUTION
Don’t rely solely on your knee brace. While it’s a valuable tool, it’s not a cure for your knee problems. It would help if you also focused on strengthening the muscles around your knees to better support your joints during intense training sessions and fights.
So if you’re dealing with knee pain or have a record of knee injuries, invest in a good MMA knee brace. But remember, it’s only one piece of the equation. Ensure you’re also doing exercises for your quadriceps, hips, calves, inner thighs, hamstrings, and shin muscles to keep your knees strong and healthy.
Now that you have some tips to make a conscious purchase decision let’s look at some of the best Mixed Martial Arts knee braces.
check the best BJJ Knee Brace
Best MMA Knee Brace
After several years of training MMA, I’ve seen my fair share of knee injuries. That’s why I always recommend getting a good knee brace to help protect your joints and relieve any pain or discomfort while you train.
When it comes to MMA knee braces, comfort is fundamental. You want a knee sleeve made from soft and stretchy materials that won’t restrict your movement.
After my years of experience in the sport, I’ve tried and tested various knee braces, and here are some of the best ones I’ve come across:
1) Bauerfeind GenuTrain Knee Support
This is one of the best knee braces for MMA of all time. That’s why I’m excited to share my experiences with the Bauerfeind Ganutrain knee support.
The quality of the materials is outstanding. Furthermore, the Ganutrain delivers excellent support and stability to your knee joint.
This knee brace is incredibly breathable, and the knit design provides the perfect combination of mobility and support.
The sizing is as accurate as it can get for a knee brace. While the Ganutrain is expensive for a lot of people. However, it’s worth every penny for the quality they deliver.
If you need a knee brace that offers excellent support and stability without sacrificing mobility or comfort, get the Bauerfeind Ganutrain knee support. You won’t regret it.
- Provides medical-grade support
- Constructed with high-quality breathable materials
- Great for mobility and support
- Not the cheapest option, but you get a lot of value for the money
2) Shock Doctor Ultra Knit Knee Support
The Shock Doctor brand is always a trustworthy choice when you look for top-quality protective gear for MMA fighters at reasonable prices. Their Ultra Knit Knee Support is undoubtedly one of the best knee braces for MMA practitioners.
Crafted from premium materials, this knee brace offers optimal knee protection that can help you train around serious injuries like ACL/PCL tears and meniscal trauma.
This product is incredibly comfortable. It is undoubtedly better than the generic brands you can find at retail stores. You can wear it under a BJJ gi or over no gi spats without issues.
Interestingly, you can find options for moderate to maximum support. However, be careful with sizing as it runs small, especially for people with sturdy thighs.
Sizing shouldn’t be an issue. Many sites online offer the option to return the product at no extra cost.
Despite its cons, considering the price point, this is still a great deal.
- Provides the highest level of knee protection, a great price
- It can be worn comfortably under your gi during training or competition
- Offers a tight and secure fit to prevent slipping or sliding during movement
- It might be too small for people with big thighs
- No sizing charts on most websites
3) NEENCA Professional Knee Brace
By looking at it, it’s easy to see that the NEENCA Professional Knee Brace is made for the high demands of a sport like MMA.
It might look bulky in the pictures, but surprisingly, it is comfortable. There are lots of things that this knee brace does right.
This knee brace is made out of quality neoprene. This might concern breathability, but most knee sleeves will be sweaty on the mats after an hour or two.
However, the seams at the brace allow air to flow, and the knee brace doesn’t get too sweaty.
Overall, I highly recommend the NEENCA Professional Knee Brace to anyone looking for a high-quality knee brace that provides excellent support and comfort.
It’s a must-have for any MMA fighter who wants to protect their knees and improve their performance in the cage.
- Excellent Support
- Lightweight, breathable fabric that feels comfortable for extended periods
- The brace is made from high-quality materials and has reinforced stitching
- Cuffs at the back of the knee can be too tight
- Tricky to put on and take off for those with limited hand mobility
4) McDavid Knee Compression Sleeve
One thing that stands out about this knee compression sleeve is its comfortable fit. It’s made of a stretchy material that hugs your knee snugly, providing support without limiting movement. It’s also easy to put on and take off, which is a big plus when rushing to prepare for training or competition.
One thing to consider is that it might be sweaty after a long session. Neoprene is not the most breathable material there is.
But the real test of any knee sleeve is how well it holds up during training and competition. In my experience, the McDavid Knee Compression Sleeve has performed exceptionally well. It stays in place even during intense grappling sessions and doesn’t slip or bunch up like other knee sleeves I’ve tried.
If you’re looking for a reliable knee compression sleeve for MMA training and competition that is cheap and gets the job done. In that case, the McDavid Knee Compression Sleeve is definitely worth considering. It’s comfortable, supportive, and durable.
- Great for muscle and tendon injuries
- Durable, it will last years while still being functional.
- Sizing might be tricky at times when compared to other brands
- Stitches at the top and bottom are flimsy
5) Ultra Flex Knee Braces
This is the cheapest option on our list. However, wait to discard it. This could be a good option if you’re on a tight budget. The Ultra Flex Knee Braces are designed to provide excellent support for grade 1 or 2 ligament tears.
They’re ideal if you’re further along your recovery, as they offer limited support. This one is better suited for mobility than stability.
The Ultra Flex knee sleeve is slim and straightforward, so they fit perfectly. This brace won’t get in the middle when rolling or sparring, which is always a plus when you’re on the mat.
They offer a broad selection of colors. It may not be the most critical factor when choosing a knee brace for MMA, but it’s nice to have options, right?
So, if you want to up your MMA game while keeping your knees protected without breaking the bank, I recommend the Ultra Flex Knee Braces.
- Slim and compact design
- Provides pain relief
- Simple compression sleeve style
- Some people may find sizing awkward
- Material may be rough and cause skin irritation during no-gi grappling for your training partners
Knee Injury Prevention and Management in MMA Using Knee Braces
When talking about knee injuries in MMA, it’s crucial to understand that knee braces can be an excellent way to provide support and stability to the knee joint but are not a cure.
Of course, to truly understand the value of knee braces in MMA, you also need to know about the common knee injuries that can happen and how a brace can help prevent them.
Knee injuries are, unfortunately, prevalent in MMA and can range from a minor sprain or strain to a full-on tear or fracture. However, one of MMA’s most frequent knee injuries is a sprain or strain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL).
This type of injury can happen when there’s a direct impact on the knee or if it gets twisted in the wrong direction. Fortunately, knee braces can help avoid MCL injuries by providing lateral support and limiting the knee’s range of motion.
Another common knee injury in MMA is a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This injury can occur when a fighter stops suddenly or changes direction quickly. Knee braces with bilateral support hinges can be beneficial in preventing ACL injuries by stabilizing the knee joint and reducing the risk of hyperextension.
But knee braces aren’t just for preventing injuries; they can also be helpful in managing existing knee injuries. Braces can provide much-needed support and stability to the affected area, helping to alleviate pain and swelling and promoting proper alignment to reduce stress on the injured knee.
Of course, it’s important to remember that knee braces are not a substitute for proper medical treatment. If you have a severe knee injury, it’s essential to get evaluated by a medical professional. If you use a knee brace, do so under the guidance and supervision of a medical expert.
Knee braces can be a precious tool for fighters looking to prevent and manage knee injuries in MMA. By understanding the risks of knee injuries in MMA and how knee braces can help, fighters can take proactive steps to protect their knees and continue training and competing at a high level.
Getting The Best Knee Brace For MMA FAQs
Which type of knee brace is suitable for me to purchase?
Several types of knee braces are available in the market, such as sleeves, hinged braces, and wraparound braces. Your choice of knee brace depends on the level of support and protection you require.
For MMA, if you already did physical therapy and can move more, a knit brace with plastic hinges can provide the necessary support, stability, and mobility for the knee during grappling and striking techniques.
How can I ensure that a knee brace will fit me properly?
To ensure a proper fit, measure your knee circumference and refer to the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer. Try on the knee brace and adjust the straps or fasteners to ensure a comfortable fit without being too tight or restrictive.
Will wearing a knee brace limit my movement or flexibility?
A properly fitted knee brace should not restrict movement or flexibility. Knit Knee braces offer greater mobility and flexibility than those with straps or hinges.
Can a knee brace help prevent knee injuries?
Yes, knee braces can help prevent knee injuries by providing support and stability to the knee joint during training or competition. However, it’s vital to note that knee braces cannot completely prevent all knee injuries.
Can a knee brace help me manage existing knee injuries?
Yes, knee braces can help manage existing knee injuries by supporting and reducing pain and inflammation. A knee brace can also help protect the knee joint from further damage during training or competition.
What is the expected cost of a high-quality knee brace?
The cost of a knee brace can vary based on the brand, type, and level of support. Typically, a high-quality knee brace for MMA can cost anywhere from $30 to $150+.
What is the expected lifespan of a knee brace?
The lifespan of a knee brace can vary depending on the frequency and intensity of use. With regular use and proper care, a high-quality knee brace can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.
Which specific brands or models of knee braces are recommended for MMA?
Popular knee brace brands for MMA include Shock Doctor, McDavid Knee Compression Sleeve, Neenca, Bauerfeind, and Ultra Flex Knee Braces. However, the best knee brace for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. For MMA, our top picks are Bauerfeind and Shock Doctor.
Are knee braces permitted in competition?
In most MMA competitions, knee braces are permitted as long as they meet specific requirements, such as not having any hard or sharp edges that could cause injury to other fighters. But always double-check the rule set of the promotion you’re competing in or the tournament you’re joining.
How do I maintain and care for my knee brace?
To ensure the longevity of your knee brace, it’s essential to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Generally, knee braces should be hand washed in cold water and hung to air dry. Inspecting the knee brace regularly for any signs of wear or damage and replacing it if necessary is also crucial.
Best MMA Knee Brace – Should You Get A Knee Brace For MMA?
Knee injuries are common in MMA, and knee braces can effectively prevent and manage these injuries. When choosing a knee brace for MMA, it is essential to consider factors such as support, stability, comfort, and durability and ensure a proper fit.
Our top pick isn’t the cheapest option in the market but is undoubtedly the best. Bauerfeind has been making top-quality products for over 80 years.