What Is the Best Knee Brace for Crossfit?

Crossfit has become a favorite among the masses, and its momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing down. However, the strenuous nature of CrossFit and the exercises it entails can put significant strain on the knees, which means injury prevention should be a top priority for participants.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the importance of protecting your knees during CrossFit training and explore the best knee brace options to help you avoid injury, recover from an injury, and perform at your best in the gym.

Crossfit and its Impact on the Knees

Crossfit workouts often combine weightlifting, high-intensity interval training, and functional movements like squats, lunges, and jumps. While these exercises offer numerous benefits for strength, endurance, and overall fitness, they can also place excessive stress on the knees, leading to injuries such as patellar tendonitis, meniscus tears, and ligament strains. This highlights the importance of providing proper support and stability to the knees during CrossFit sessions.

Choosing a Knee Brace for Crossfit

Several key factors should be considered when trying to find the right knee brace for CrossFit.

1. Level of Support

The level of support needed depends on various factors, including your current fitness level, any pre-existing knee conditions or injuries, and the intensity of your workouts. Some individuals may require minimal support for preventive purposes, while others with existing knee issues may need the maximum level of support to prevent further injury. Assessing your individual needs and fitness goals will help determine the appropriate level of support for your knees.

2. Physical Features

The material and construction of a knee brace play a significant role in its effectiveness and comfort. Look for knee braces made from high-quality, durable materials that are resistant to strong forces and the elements.

3. Level of Flexibility

Maintaining a high degree of flexibility and range of motion is important for CrossFit athletes. When choosing a knee brace, opt for one that allows for a full range of motion while still providing adequate support and stability. Look for knee braces with strategic design features, such as flexible side panels or reinforced hinges, that accommodate natural movement patterns and prevent limitations during workouts.

4. Size and Fit

Perhaps the most critical factor in ensuring the effectiveness of a knee brace is selecting the correct size and fit. A knee brace that is too loose may fail to provide adequate support, while one that is too tight can cause discomfort and restrict circulation. Take accurate measurements of your knee circumference and refer to the manufacturer’s sizing guidelines to determine the appropriate size. Additionally, consider adjustable features such as straps or closures that allow for customization and ensure a snug, secure fit.

Top Knee Braces for CrossFit Enthusiasts

Now, let’s explore some of the top knee brace options that are particularly well-suited for CrossFit enthusiasts.

Unloader Knee Braces

Unloader knee braces provide a high level of support to wearers while still allowing for relatively high freedom of movement. This makes unloader knee braces an excellent option for individuals with higher support needs, such as those who are recovering from a knee injury or susceptible to them.

Unloader knee braces shift weight off of the knee to the other parts of the leg to equally disperse the load born by the knee joint. This is especially useful for those who engage in exercises such as squats, deadlifts, or leg press.

Knee Sleeves

Knee sleeves are a popular choice among CrossFit athletes for their compression. Neoprene knee sleeves are favored for their durability and ability to retain heat, which can help improve circulation and reduce stiffness during workouts.

Compression knee sleeves can promote blood flow and aid in muscle recovery; however, they do not protect the knee from injury and are not recommended for those who are recovering from surgery or injury.

Hinged Knee Braces

For individuals with existing knee injuries or instability, hinged knee braces can provide additional support and protection. These braces feature metal or plastic hinges on the sides, which limit excessive movement and prevent hyperextension of the knee joint.

Hinged knee braces are especially beneficial for athletes engaging in activities that involve repetitive jumping or lateral movements, such as box jumps or lateral lunges, as they help stabilize the knee and reduce the risk of injury.


Remember to prioritize comfort, support, and functionality when making your decision, and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any questions related to your health. With the right knee brace on your side, you can enjoy the benefits of CrossFit while minimizing the risk of injury, reinjury, or fatigue.

Tips for Optimal Knee Brace Usage

To maximize the benefits of your knee brace during CrossFit workouts, follow these tips.


  1. Ensure the correct placement and fit of the knee brace for optimal support and stability.
  2. Incorporate warm-up and cool-down exercises
  3. Ease back into strenuous exercises (especially post-injury)

And as always, pay attention to any signs of discomfort or irritation while wearing the knee brace and adjust as needed to prevent chafing or rubbing.

Making Your Decision

Choosing the right knee brace for CrossFit is incredibly important and can significantly reduce the risk of knee injuries or reinjuries while keeping you performing and feeling good during workouts. Consider factors such as support level, material, and fit, when searching for your next knee brace and make sure it can support your active lifestyle.

If you are looking for an unloader knee brace, you are in the right place. The Ascender is our flagship knee brace, able to unload up to 40lbs from the knee joint in a lightweight 1lb package. Contact us for more information and see if the Ascender is the right fit for you.

Get Started Today

Most braces are covered by insurance and the average cost is under $200!

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