Compression clothing, which are specially made garments that have been used to reduce swelling, improve diabetes symptoms and much more, are becoming popular for fitness-related purposes. The question is, is there truth to the compression approach, or is it just hype?  Keep reading to find out!
Compression Gear Can Boost Performance
yadcgbslhce-william-stittAn Indiana University study examined the effects on runners who wore compression gear during long distance runs and showed little impact on their running performance; however, the runner’s recovery time did improve. The study—among others—show a changed metabolic response for some runners and a decreased rate of injury in others. However, the manufacturer who makes compression clothing claim to improve blood circulation, as well as minimize the muscle oscillation that occurs with athletes. By wearing compression clothing on your quad muscles you can minimize the amount of muscle movement that occurs with each stride you take—preventing injury during your run.
Compress Shorts (and Beyond)
Head to your local sports store and you’ll see compression based long or short sleeved shirts, shorts, and snug fitting socks. Compression socks and shorts can improve blood circulation (which boost overall performance time by increasing oxygen production).
Compression clothing may also reduce the severity of fatigue because this snugly fit type of clothing can reduce how hard muscles have to work—essentially minimizing movement with each jump, lunge or run you go on. One of its most enticing benefits is its ability to reduce soreness. Because of its tight knit fabric, compression socks, for example, can ‘massage’ calf muscles while you work out—causing it to improve blood flow.
Over thirty studies done of the effect of compression clothing has shown to improve overall recovery time, and “compression clothing may assist athletic performance and recovery in given circumstances.” Those who participated in the various studies wore compression clothing while leaping, bouncing, jumping, sprinting and playing a variety of sports including track, basketball and weight training. Overall, these athletes didn’t feel as sore with the compression clothing on.
Compression Clothing May Be Right For You If…
If you struggle with injury when or after you run, or while weight lifting, compression clothing may be the perfect addition to your workout attire. It can improve blood flow and oxygen production while minimizing fatigue and soreness. Try compression clothing for yourself, and see what a difference in makes on your workout!