Compression Forearm Sleeves

Forearm sleeves are nearly identical to full arm compression sleeves with the main difference being that they are shorter in length.  When worn, a forearm compression sleeve should extend from your wrist up to or just below your elbow.  As is the case with full arm compression sleeves, forearm sleeves can be worn for many different reasons ranging from recovery after surgery to protection during sports.  To delve a little deeper lets first take a look at some specific examples of people that will benefit from wearing forearm sleeves.  Then we will summarize the basics of forearm sleeves with respect to their construction and features.  Finally you will see a few popular forearm sleeves to give you a starting place for finding a pair that meet your individual needs.

 

Who Wears Forearm Sleeves and Why They Do
Athletes

The first group of people that benefit from forearm sleeves are athletes.  Whether you are a professional, weekend warrior or youth, forearm sleeves can help protect you during practice and games.  Contact with other players and the turf are the main reasons why football players wear forearm sleeves.  These sleeves have compression fit and typically incorporate some sort of foam padding that helps prevent scrapes, cuts and bruises.  Baseball players and specifically catchers can really benefit from wearing forearm sleeves.  Catcher gear has advanced a great deal since even five or ten years ago and forearm sleeves should definitely be in every catcher’s gear bag.  The catcher forearm sleeves have padding on the inner forearm.  After one foul tip nails your forearm, leaving a bruise for weeks it will be more than enough encouragement to spend a few dollars on a pair of protective forearm sleeves.  It is guaranteed to be money well spent.  Along those same lines, umpires can also benefit from forearm sleeves.  Those same foul tip balls don’t always hit the catcher, leaving the umpire at risk for a forearm injury.

Endurance athletes; runners, triathletes and the like can also benefit from forearm sleeves albeit ones that have little to no padding.  Swelling can be an issue during marathons, half marathons and triathlons from Olympic to Iron distances not to mention ultra marathons for those who are crazy enough to run them.  A pair of thin, compressive forearm sleeves will help to reduce swelling during those long hours of moving forward one stroke, step or rotation at a time.  Forearm sleeves can also be a great intermediate between full arm sleeves and bare arms for those that don’t want to deal with the extra material once they get warm but need an arm warmer during the beginning of a run or race.

Medical Patients
Conditions such as lymphedma may be treated in part by wearing forearm sleeves.  Most likely for mild cases since full compression sleeves are typically recommended.  For wound healing after forearm surgery a compression forearm sleeve may be suggested.  Neoprene sleeves should be considered in this case since they hold in more heat than the athletic focused forearm sleeves.  Keeping a wound warmer and under compression will increase blood flow which should speed recovery time.

Tattoo Lovers
The other main reason for wearing compression fit forearm sleeves is if you need to cover up your awesome tattoo.  Some employers will ask that forearm tattoos be covered depending on company policy, nature of the tattoo.  In this case a forearm sleeve will be the ticket to keeping your job especially if wearing long sleeves is not an option.

 

What to Look for When Buying a Forearm Sleeve
Forearm sleeves are typically made from a nylon/spandex blend or neoprene.  Nylon and spandex are great components of athletic focused forearm sleeves for their moisture wicking properties that keep you cool and dry.  Neoprene does not breathe and as a result should be worn more often for medical purposes.Look for durably stitched seams that are smooth and not abrasive for maximal comfort.
Padding in forearm sleeves can vary in thickness and as a result protective capability.  Be sure that the padded forearm sleeve that you choose will have enough to offer the right amount of protection.  There are a few forearm sleeves that include weights that can be helpful for training.

 

Recommended Forearm Sleeves
McDavid Hexpad Forearm SleeveForearm Sleeve Compression McDavid
McDavid’s popular HexPad technology is included in these forearm sleeves.  At 9 mm thick, this padding does an excellent job of absorbing and dissipating any impacts.  Great for football players or anyone engaging in full contact sports.  The compression fabric wicks moisture away from the skins surface and makes for a custom fit.

 

Nike+ Forearm SleeveForearm Sleeve Compression Nike
Nike is aiming for those of us that don’t engage in contact sports with their Nike+ forearm sleeve.  Made from Dri-FIT fabric they will keep you cool and dry.  These sleeves incorporate a water resistant pocket that is perfect for your favorite mobile device.  For safety there is a reflective element at the cuff to help increase your visibility in sub-optimal lighting conditions.

 

Under Armour Forearm SleevesForearm Sleeve Under Armour
Under Armour Forearm Shiver Sleeves are great for protection from cuts and abrasions.  The HeatGear fabric will help keep your skin dry and cool.  These sleeves will protect your forearms so some degree but since they do not have padding there are better choices for protection from repeated high impact events.

 

 

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