The 8 Best Knee Brace for Gymnastics (2022) | Buyers Guide, Expert Reviews

Written by on April 10, 2022 — Medically Reviewed By Mich Torres (PT)

Gymnastics puts demands on your body that are unlike any other sport. Sure, the spring board helps absorb impact. But the frequent tumbling, acrobatics, and calisthenics still makes your knee joints vulnerable to injuries, including sprains, strains, and Osgood Schlatter’s disease.

The good news is that knee support for gymnastics can help with both injury prevention and the recovery process. A good knee support will reinforce the stability of your knee joint while also adding compression.

Of course, different designs come with their own benefits, too – and that’s where the best knee braces separate themselves from the mediocre.

I tested and studied dozens of the most popular knee braces on the market, found the cream of the crop, and wrote brief reviews of each of them here. Comfort, how they affect movement, durability, value for money, and their other features weighed into my list. Let’s get to it!

Our Top Picks:

Best Compression Sleeve: Knee Force Compression Sleeve
Breathability and unrestricted movement stand out. The Knee Force gymnastic knee brace will help you get through training if you don’t have serious injuries and severe pain.

Best for Pre- and Post-Training: Cocoon Knee Flex Pro
The Cocoon Knee Flex Pro is the most feature-packed brace in this roster. It has the most comfortable compression with the ability to be heated or frozen.

Best for Gym Rats: Braceability Patella Stabilizing Knee Brace
This brace’s U-shaped buttress and side stabilizers helps prevent injuries associated with overuse and poor landings.

Best for The Young and Active: UFlex Knee Brace With Straps
The straps on this knee support not only help keep the knee braces in place but also apply pressure to the knee cap tendon. Great for Osgood Schlatter’s disease.

Best for The Young Runner-Up: Pure Support Knee Brace
Similar to UFLEX, Pure Support knee braces have straps that apply pressure to the knee cap tendon. The main difference comes in its price.

Best for Plus-Sized Gymnasts: NEENCA Professional Knee Brace
Its size goes up to XXXL which makes it a valuable option for heftier gymnasts. But, beyond that, it also offers incredible value for money.

Best for Sprain Recovery: Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace
Its hinges offer superb side-side and front-back stability. The Shock Doctor Hinged knee brace will do you wonders if you’re recovering from sprains of any kind.

Best for Saving Money: MODVEL 2 Pack Knee Brace
The Modvel 2 Pack is your basic but effective knee brace. Its main selling point is that it comes in pairs, with each sleeve costing about half the price of the average sleeve.

The 8 Best Gymnastics Knee Brace (2022)

1. Knee Force Compression Sleeve

Pros

  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Does not limit movement
  • Mild-moderate pain relief
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Only 2 color options
  • Rolls down occasionally

The Knee Force Compression Knee Sleeve has top-notch breathability and freedom of movement.

If you spend most of your days practicing your flips at the gym, a breathable knee brace that doesn’t restrict your movement should be at the top of your list. That’s exactly where the Knee Force compression sleeve stands out.

It’s going to help you deal with knee pain and get you through training, particularly if your knee injuries aren’t severe.

However, I do wish it had a wider range of colors and sizes to choose from. You might also have to pull up the sleeves occasionally, especially if you’re all sweaty from training. 

Use this code and get a 15% discount on your purchase!
  • Material: Nylon, Spandex
  • Size: S-XL
  • Color options: Black, Green

2. Cocoon Knee Flex Pro

Pros

  • Superior comfort
  • Uniform compression
  • Portable heat/cold therapy
  • Durable

Cons

  • Only 1 color
  • Expensive

The Cocoon Knee Flex Pro is the most feature-packed knee brace any gymnast can have.

What stands out to me about the Cocoon Knee Flex Pro is its design and materials. First of all, the lycra feels so incredibly soft and it feels even smoother because of the hydrogel. To this day, I still haven’t tried another sleeve that comes close to the level of comfort that the cocoons offer. Highly durable, too.

Speaking of hydrogel, this knee brace can be frozen or heated. Along with its uniform compression, this gives it a unique advantage over the competition in terms of relieving joint pain and controlling inflammation – 2 issues that I’m sure a highly mobile athlete like you is familiar with.

Buy using our coupon code and get a 15% discount on your purchase!
  • Size: S, M, L
  • Material: Lycra, Hydrogel
  • Color options: Blue

3. Braceability Patella Stabilizing Knee Brace

Pros

  • Helps prevent sprains and overuse injuries
  • U-shaped buttress for reinforced patellar tracking
  • Side stabilizers for more ligamentous support
  • Wide size range
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Only comes in black
  • Slightly pricier than average

Braceability’s Patella Stabilizing Knee Brace is perfect for the hardest working gymnasts

While the seemingly endless amount of practice gives you an edge over the competition, the repetition and fatigue lends you closer to overuse and single trauma injuries such as tendonitis, sprains, and strains.

Well, Braceability’s Patella Stabilizing Knee Brace helps prevent those injuries. First, it’s U-shaped buttress soothes your patella while preventing it from being pulled out of alignment.

It also has side stays that reinforce your ligaments and will help prevent sprains in cases of poor landings. Incredibly wide size range, too. But, I do wish it came cheaper and with more color options.

  • Material: Neoprene alternative
  • Size: S-4XL
  • Color options: Black

4. UFlex Knee Compression Sleeve with Straps

Pros

  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Stays well in place
  • Great for Osgood Schlatter’s
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Only 1 color
  • Not very durable

This strapped knee brace from UFlex works great for gymnasts who are young and highly active.

 UFlex Athletics has a number of knee braces in their lineup. But, among them all, this is the perfect knee brace for gymnasts who want to train through growing knee pain.

For one, the fabric feels comfortable, so it won’t feel like you’re training with a knee brace rather than training through it. But, what takes it to the next level is its straps. They help keep the knee brace in place and apply pressure on your patellar tendon, making it suitable for young gymnasts who are dealing with Osgood Schlatter’s disease.

Having said that, it’s not the most durable knee brace in the market. Although, it’s justified given its affordable price.

  • Material: Nylon
  • Size: S, M, L
  • Color options: Black and red

Related: The top 5 knee supports for Osgood Schlatter’s disease

5. Pure Support Knee Brace

Pros

  • Supportive and comfortable
  • Straps for moderate injuries

Cons

  • Slightly higher price
  • Not the most durable seams

The Pure Support Knee Brace has combines solid support with complete freedom of movement.

So far on this list, Pure Support offers, well… the most support. Meaning, it’ll serve you better than the above options (except for Cocoon Knee Flex Pro) in terms of dealing with moderate level knee injuries.

I credit this to the additional straps (which UFlex also has by the way). The straps:

  • Apply pressure on your patellar tendon (for Osgood Schlatter’s disease and patellar tendonitis),
  • Help keep your patella in place (for patellar tracking issues), and
  • Offers more support than that of a figure-8 knee wrap (for mild-moderate knee sprains)

Really, the only reason I don’t have the Pure Support Knee Brace higher is that it’s not as durable as its higher-than-average price suggests.

  • Material: Nylon, Spandex
  • Size: S-XXL
  • Color options: Grey with black or blue highlights

Related: The most effective knee braces for patellar tendonitis

6. NEENCA Professional Knee Brace

Pros

  • Feature-packed
  • Patella and ligament support
  • Anti-slip silicone
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Rolls down occasionally
  • Limited color options

The NEENCA Knee Brace comes with a patellar pad, side springs, and silicone strips.

While these features aren’t exactly uncommon, NEENCA’s version is the one that offers the best value for your money.

To gymnasts such as yourself, all these features just mean that your ligaments and patella get more support. This also means that the knee brace won’t easily fall off when your tumbling and jumping around the spring board.

And, from my testing, I have to say: the features work. Although, you may have to pull it back up every so often but it’s nowhere near as bad as most of the other knee braces I’ve tried.

Plus, the size goes up to XXXL. So, it’s a great option for those of you with thick thighs.

  • Material: Nylon, Spandex
  • Size: S-XXXL
  • Color options: Grey with black or blue highlights

7. Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace

Pros

  • For sprain recovery
  • Superb stability

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Too tight initially

This is your best bet if you’re returning from a moderate to serious sprain.

ACL and other sprains are common knee injuries in gymnastics because the sport combines high impact landings with tremendous rotation. As a matter of fact, a study from the Journal of Athletic Training says this:

“For gymnastics, our findings indicated that the unique demands of the sport, including both implement-based activity and high-impact landings after full-body rotation, distinguish the sport from other noncontact sports regarding the ACL injury risk.” – Alicia M. Montalvo, PhD, ATC, CSCS, et al.

That being said, Shock Doctor’s knee brace has high quality hinges that help prevent excessive front-back and side-side movement in your knee which, in turn, protects your ligaments from further injury.

It’s hella expensive, though. Oh, and it also feels too tight at first but after you break it in, it’ll feel snug.

But, I need to remind you that this is not a cure for sprains. Go through rehab, get stronger, then use the Shock Doctor Hinged Knee Brace to safely work on your technique and get back to full form.

  • Material: Spandex, aluminum
  • Size: S-XXXL
  • Color options: Black only

Related: How tight should a knee sleeve be?

8. MODVEL 2 Pack Knee Brace

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Comes in pairs
  • Effective compression
  • Comfortable
  • Wide size and color options

Cons

  • Inaccurate sizing chart
  • Might form rashes

MODVEL has the most affordable but still effective knee braces in the market.

The MODVEL knee brace isn’t extravagant. As a matter of fact, it looks quite basic. Where it makes its money is (ironically) its price and the fact that it’s still effective despite its lack of special features.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s still comfortable. It still has a good compression. And, more importantly, it’ll still be effective for pain and knee swelling.

Where you’ll find problems is the silicone strips and sizing. For some reason, the silicone strips form rashes when the compression sleeve is worn for long periods of time and the sizing chart is inaccurate.

The good news is that it comes in pairs. In that way, each knee support costs about half as much as the average.

  • Material: ‎Spandex, nylon, rubber
  • Size: S-XXL
  • Color options: 8 color options

Factors to consider when choosing the best knee braces for gymnastics

Comfort and Support

These are the 2 most important aspects when you’re looking for suitable knee braces for gymnastics.

As I’m sure you know, training is a way of life for gymnasts, with some spending as much as 4-8 hours in the gym. No wonder you guys are so damn ripped, huh?

In any case, those long hours will quickly feel longer if the knee brace you wear isn’t comfortable and supportive. Good details to keep an eye on are breathable materials, moisture-wicking capabilities, and anti slip features (e.g. silicone straps, side stays, velcro straps).

In terms of comfort, the best knee brace for tumbling is by far the Cocoon Knee Flex Pros. For support, check out Neenca’s or Shock Doctor’s knee braces.

Durability and Quality

This goes back to gymnastics being a way of life. That being said, a flimsy knee brace, especially one that’s more expensive than average, isn’t going to get you good value for your money. Avoid those.

What you want to keep an eye on in this case are the materials, stitching, and the quality of additional features (i.e. velcro straps, hinges, spring stabilizers, hydrogel, etc.). Free returns, warranties, and money back guarantees help a lot, too.

The Cocoon Knee Flex Pros and our Knee Force Compression Sleeves have held up well beyond my expectations in terms of longevity and quality.

Other features

These include features that aren’t typical to that of most knee braces. There’s a lot of them but keep an eye on the features that actually help you train or perform better as an athlete.

For example:

  • The hydrogel filling of Cocoon Knee Flex Pros is great for recovery.
  • The U-shaped buttress and side stabilizers of Braceability’s Patella Stabilizing Knee Brace.
  • The criss-cross straps of the UFlex and Pure Support compression knee sleeve add support to ligaments and knee caps.

Value for Money

All the criteria I just mentioned all funnel down to value for money. Keep an eye out for many products that have very similar features, quality, and comfort. Then, compare their prices and figure out for yourself which product gives you a fairer price.

The list that I have here spans a price range from below to above average to help streamline your search.

Why you should trust Knee Force

Kris is a physical therapist who specializes in sports rehab and sustainable fitness. His expertise has led him to treat athletes from a wide variety of sports with an even wider array of sports injuries.

He also has his fair share of knee ailments, from full-grade ACL tears to MCL and meniscus injuries on both knee joints. Hence, he draws his medical opinions from both evidence-based knowledge and experience.

For this article, he tested several knee braces, took note of important features, and compared his own findings with other people’s experiences. Finally, he chose what he found were the best ones.

Conclusion

 The best knee brace for gymnastics need to be comfortable because you’ll be wearing it for hours at a time.

And, just as importantly, the knee support you choose needs to serve your specific purpose. Whether that be compression for warmth and knee pain, stability for sprains, or any other reason you’re looking into these products. 

I’m confident that the list I have here covers most, if not all common reasons why gymnasts require knee braces – and that each product is the best at what they do. If you think otherwise, it’s all good. Simply follow the guide I laid out and see what other products fit the criteria.