Weighted Arm Sleeves: A Simple Way To Increase Arm Speed and Strength

weighted arm sleevesWeighted arm sleeves not only look badass but they are a great way to build arm speed and strength for martial arts training, boxing, basketball and nearly all physical activities that require powerful arm movement.

Okay, so there’s not alot of selection in the weighted arm sleeve category. Most of the manufacturers focus on either mixed martial arts or light weight, concealable sleeves that can be worn under clothing. With the increasing popularity of MMA style training and even the explosion in crossfit training, it’s becoming more and more common to see amateur and pro athletes alike adding more resistance to their exercises to make huge gains in power, quickness, overall strength and endurance. If you want to stay competitive and get the most out of your normal upper body and arm workout routines, weighted arm sleeves are a must have for your gear collection.

Why Weighted Arm Sleeves?

pelleresIt’s all about arm mechanics. The efficiency and strength of your arm movement is the key factor in developing  a better golf swing, a smooth jump shot, more consistent kata movements or even a more powerful punch. Without fluid and precise arm movements, you can forget about being quicker or stronger with your arm action.  Weighted arm sleeves provide the resistance necessary to build strength and endurance in the upper arms without causing undue stress to the shoulder or elbow joints.  While they may range in style, weight and design, most weighted arm sleeves are meant to accomplish the same thing….Providing minor resistance so that regular athletic movements can still be accomplished without causing severe injuries.

The imbalance that is created in the upper body due to the added resistance of the arm sleeves causes the core muscles to become more engaged during exercise. This added force increases core stability and general strength. The placement of the weights in the forearm as opposed to the wrist or hands, not only decreases joint strain in the elbow and wrist, but also decreases injury to the head neck and shoulders.

Weight Capacity

Most weighted arm sleeves will max out at around 2 lbs of added resistance to the lower arm between the wrist and the elbow. Some designs like the Pelleres wrap around the elbow as well to keep the arm sleeves intact while performing rigorous arm movements. The lower the weight, the better the arm sleeves will be for high intensity actions such as boxing or sprinting. The greater the weight of the arm sleeve, the more emphasis should be placed on lower impact movements such as jogging, walking or yoga. The weights are generally made of small sandbags that are more flexible than solid neoprene weights.

Design & Material

Although, there isn’t a lot of variety in the market, weighted sleeves are generally made of polyester material with velcro fasteners. The material is breathable and lightweight but may not be hypoallergenic in some cases. Some models such as the UFC Weighted Arm/Leg sleeve can be used for both the arms as well as the lower leg. Depending on the design of the sleeve, there may be slight issues with tearing of the seams if the weights are not securely  fixed in place. A good set of weighted sleeves can even be worn under the clothing because they have a very low profile and are barely noticeable under your clothing.