Elbow Sleeves vs Elbow Wraps: What Are The Similarities And Differences

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Whether you are regularly lifting weights, playing tennis, golf, or basketball, you need to have our elbows protected from possible injuries and its consequent aches and pains. The good thing is that modern sport technology has brought upon us elbow sleeves and elbow wraps. You might be wondering: what are its similarities and differences?

Muscle Support

Historically, both elbow sleeves and elbow wraps were used to aid lower blood lactate levels and blood pooling. They help you avoid pain and swelling, too. Most athletes who suffer from tendinitis take advantage of the sleeves and wraps to quell the pain. In general, they help you avoid getting injuries when exercising or playing your favourite sport by providing the necessary compression.

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When playing tennis, golf, or you are a professional weightlifter that requires good elbow support, elbow wraps and sleeves can come very handy almost all the time. The compression provides additional stability to the tendons in the forearms. They can both be used for heavier lifts as well.

The difference between elbow sleeves and elbow wraps, however, is that with elbow wraps, you can adjust the tightness of the compression around your elbow. The compression is not adjustable with elbow sleeves. Also, elbow wraps are easier to get on when you are sweaty, while elbow sleeves are harder.

gunsmith fitness elbow wraps

Muscle Recovery

They can both be used to help with recovery from muscle injury. The compression from elbow sleeves and elbow wraps help stabilize and protect weak elbows that are recovering from injuries. The way they do it is by improving the muscle tissue oxygenation. This regulates blood circulation and reduction of inflammation. This even enhances our performance during exercises by keeping our joints and connective tissues warmed up.


Elbow wraps are smaller in size compared to elbow sleeves. This means that elbow wraps provide a more localized joint compression in reducing muscle pains. Given that it is smaller, you are provided with more freedom and mobility. It gives confidence in the elbow movements as well. This, however, entails that you get lesser support and warmth when undergoing intense exercise.

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However, there are important things to note when you are a lifter. Elbow wraps cannot be worn during competitions. It is still useful when it comes to consistent training as it aids in keeping the elbow healthy. Elbow sleeves, on the other hand, are legal in competitions for squats and dead lifts, but not the bench press.

Final Thoughts

Both elbow sleeves and elbow wraps are extremely useful in providing support to your elbows and protecting them from potential injuries. They are both good for the rehabilitation of your elbow muscles as well by alleviating pain and swelling. The only difference is with the coverage and usability of both elbow supports.

Check out our latest Apex Elbow Wraps, they are available in 5 colours and feature a unique easy on/off system. No more messing around asking for help!

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