Arm bands in football

What is the purpose of the arm bands I see more and more football players wearing? Some guys just wear them above the elbow, some wear a second set just above the bicep. I really hope there is a medical/performance reason for them, and that they’re not just the evolution of the livestrong bracelet fad.

That’s where they have their steroid patches.

I’m pretty sure its to make their biceps “pop”.

Vanity yo.

That is what I assumed. Very lame.

The band near the elbow is there to prevent the joint from overextending (overflexing?) during collisions or when other players try to strip the ball - which is why you see it on a lot of running backs. Not sure about the second one.

I still say they are primarily there for the “cool” factor.
The breath-rite strip for 2007.

I figured they were a guard against turf burn.

We’re not talking about elbow pads or the sleeves that players wear. These bicep/elbow bands would be about as effective at protecting against turf burn as a thong would be at protecting against sun burn.

My guess is that it’s to create traction against the upper arm when the ball is tucked away, as opposed to a sweaty bare arm, so the ball is more secure. Again, that’s just a guess.

I’d always assumed it was to protect against sweaty footballs slipping loose as well. I wonder how absorbent those elbow strips are?

pics please


Aren’t we talking about the tiny bands that are the width of a piece of yarn?

These? Hmm, I was thinking of something different, like thick bands several inches wide over the middle of the bicep. These are probably what Glenn was referring to, to prevent hyperextension.

Here’s a forum discussion about bicep bands in college sports among some officials last year. They’re looking at them more from a rules perspective, as you might expect. Kind of interesting, but it doesn’t answer Ryan’s question of why.

Wiki Answers gives a medical explanation, for whatever that’s worth:

Q: What are the arm bands on football players arms for?

A: Bands that are worn the wrist are for sweating, however most all football players, tennis players etc; will wear tight bands around their elbows because the tendons of the elbow slowly and painfully begin to pull away from the bone of the elbow during stress. This is where the pain in your elbow originates. With continued repetitive use of the elbow, the tendon-bone connection continues to weaken and the pain in your elbow steadily increases. By placing continual pressure on the tendons connecting the Flexor and the Extensor muscles to the Medial and Lateral Epicondyles, thus significantly reducing the tension at the point of connection to the bone.

I change my “very lame” to “neat-o, I had no idea”.

That’s interesting, I’d never thought of it that way. Wonder if it’ll work for Wii elbow too? ;-)

I got mouse elbow after a three-day marathon session of Doom3. What helped me was Vioxx.