Game of basketball today is much more physically demanding and what it means is that there is much more running and jumping, so the players of today are much more prone to injuries. Injuries, as we all know, can be devastating both to players and teams, so it is only natural that the additional sports gear had to evolve.
Sports science is something that is growing as we speak, and its main goal is to develop a gear that will both protect, help recover and prevent injuries all at the same time. One of the top inventions that they invented to protect the players is best compression arm sleeves for basketball.
Our Top Picks
Best Arm Sleeves for Basketball Players
1. Mcdavid 6500 Hex Padded Arm Sleeve
If you are a basketball warrior and you like to play the game the right way with lots of energy, if there is not such a thing as a loose ball or a screen that you can't get through, then this is a sleeve for you. It will provide you with enough protection to keep you safe from the injuries and at the same time, it is elastic so you will not have a problem with your shot release. McDavid is a world leader if we talk about compression gear and the testimony to that is the number of professional players in the NBA using these sleeves.
2. McDavid Compression Arm Sleeve
This sleeve is something that every player should have. It will keep your arm muscles warm and active, so the hand will always be ready to deliver its maximum without all that sweat pouring down the arm. It does not have a protective pad, but it will surely protect you from buses and scratches. It provides less protection but it has zero restriction on the mobility of your arm. Oh, this sleeve has 50+ UV protection so we recommend it for some outside workout.
3. Bucwild Sports Compression Arm Sleeves
These sleeves have the design that will blow your mind and they are made for the people that really care about the looks. First time I saw these I thought: „When did Dolce&Gabbana start designing sports gear?“. There are over 40 different cool looking patterns to chose from and they all look very good. Never the less, quality of these sleeves is not bad at all. Under the fingers material very soft, and I can tell you that it sticks to your skin and does not move at all. If you want to look different and to give your presence a bit of cool detail, then this is the sleeve for you.
4. Under Armour Men's Shooter Sleeve
If you love popular trademarks, then the first sleeve that you should be looking for is Under Armour Men's Shooter sleeve. It is a bit more flexible than the rest in the review, and the cause of this may be the fact that it is made for Steph Curry who is a shooter and he needs all the comfort that he can get from a sleeve.
The maximum flexibility is the result by the sleeves advance building technology where the fibers are positioned in four different ways. It is solid and it gives a 30+ UV protection. If you are a player who just wants to keep his hand warm but without any restrictions, then this is the sleeve for you.
5. Nike Pro Combat Elite Sleeve
Love them, hate them, whenever there is a good Nike product I like to say "Just Do It". Their Dry Fit Combat Compressive gear is just awesome and there is not a single reason why shouldn't you buy this sleave. The fabric is just perfect. It dries so fast that you will be asking yourself are you even running.
The tension that it creates on your muscles is somewhat stronger than the one from the Under Armour, but it is nowhere near the uncomfort zone. The best part about this sleeve is that stands firm and it does not slip off of hand while you move. Its design is just next level and it comes in many colors that you can choose from. It is lightweight and the material can be machine washed.
How to chose the best compression arm sleeve for you?
The first thing that you should be looking for is functionality. Fabric that the sleeve is made of must be breathable so your arm stays both warm and dry. If the material does not breathe then your arm will over warm and that means a lot of discomfort and sweat. Another thing that is important is mobility. Some materials are looser than the others so you have to know how much compression do you really need.
The other important thing is the cleanliness. Some materials are more prone to bacteria than the other, and in-game action means a lot of rubbing to other guys. Keeping your gear clean is very important so this is another thing to think about when buying a sleeve.
The looks are important too and it is an individual preference thing, but no matter what, performance is everything. If there is a bit of discomfort while you play then there is no real point in the quality and the looks of your sports gear.
How does compression arm sleeves work?
There are four ways that compressive gear is helping the players.
It is proven that compressed muscle fibers can produce bigger muscle force and the secret lies in two facts: relaxed muscle needs more time and more energy to do a contraction then the compressed, half ready muscles. This means that compressed muscles are giving you a double effect with the less energy loss.
By compressing one big area that contains more muscles that do not need to be involved in the particular motion, those additional, usually passive muscles in the particular motion, are now included in producing force for that same initial move.
Better Circulation and Faster Recovery
The second benefit of having some of this gear is better circulation inside your body. As these vessels are constantly getting wider and shrinking as the blood is passing through them, the compression arm sleeves is helping with the gathering part so the heart is relieved of some hard work. Better circulation men that your body will recover faster. The compression sleeves will save energy that can be used afterward, for more action or while you are resting.
Keep the Body Warm
The third good thing that comes with the sleeves is the fact that they keep the body warm. The materials that the compression arm sleeves is made of are constructed in a way that they let the moisture out and keep the portion of the temperature inside.
We all know how bad it feels when you are long on the bench and suddenly you have to go in and make some plays or when you are all sweaty and suddenly you need to run again with the chills because the clothes are wet.
This kind of sports equipment is making a good support for your muscles. It is working as some sort of the body's glue, making your muscle groups support other muscle groups. This kind of cohesion is particularly good in the recovery process of your sore or injured parts because now the other, healthy, muscles are taking some of the load and helping the injured ones to be relieved. With the circulation benefits and stress relieve, compression is just doing the rehab on its own.
Basketball Arm Sleeves – Benefits of Compression
Even on the amateur levels of basketball, players these days are using the gym almost every day. Rare are the ones who don't suffer some kind of soreness in their body and everybody ones in a while is having some kind of injuries. Workouts are not easy any longer and they contain the combination of heavy lifting, conditioning, and running sprints, ball drills, technique practicises, constant scrimmages. And then, you come to a game and you have that “game switch”, and all of sudden you are using 100% of your body.
Basketball is a game of are where you are in a constant fight for position, bumping big and strong people, shooting the ball, sprinting, hustling on the floor. The hands are the main vessels used for beating your opponents, the sword and a shield of this game, and they sure can use some protection. Even if you are a sharpshooter and you won't get so much in the "fights" you really could use something to keep the "sniper" warm and ready.
Check our knee sleeves post here to protect you knee on game time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do basketball players wear arm sleeves?
Basketball players can benefit from wearing compressive sleeves in many ways. No matter if the player is injured or not, the sleeve is going to protect the player. It will give the player the support he needs, it will keep the player's muscles warm and if he is injured, it is going to ease up the pain and shorten the recovery time.
Do shooting sleeves help your shot?
Injured players are certainly going to benefit from the sleeve. If the player is feeling any kind of discomfort or even pain, we all know that having some kind of bandage and keeping the sore spot warm can really help. All the others really need to try how it works for them.
Some sleeves can be really tight and can clinch arm muscles very hard so the whole thing can result in an oddish shot motion. Some players are bying a sleeve because they want to identify with their favorite players that also wear this gear, and then we have a placebo effect and a shot is better. From my point of view, this is a very individual question and nobody can really know the effect until they try it.
There really are no bad sleeves. Some of them keep you warm, some of them keep your arm cool, and some just look cool. Are they going to help you shoot better, I am not sure. The thing that I'm very certain is that best compression arm sleeves for basketball are going to protect your arm, they are going to speed up the recovery and they are going to keep your muscles warm and ready.