Under Pressure: The Science Behind Compression Garments and 5 Benefits of Using Compression Clothes + Infographic

Team Kryjer
Activewear | Sportswear | Fitness Clothing.  Keep It On.

Intense training and competition in the world can lead to exercise-induced muscle damages. There has been significant growth in recovery-enhancing tools and techniques which help in getting over these muscle damages. Some of them are foam rolling, hot & cold fermentation, massage therapy, water immersion therapy, and the use of compression garments.

What is Compression Clothing?

Compression clothes are tight and are typically made of Nylon and Spandex. Athletes and amateur enthusiasts wear compression garments to enhance their performance and recovery after their workout. Compression clothing is made to improve blood circulation and provide better oxygen flow to the muscles during and after exercise.

What is the science behind compression garments?

Companies that manufacture compression garments claim that you can perform better in sports or exercises and even recover faster when you wear compression. But is that true? Let’s see what the theory says.
Michele Olson, Ph.D., Professor of exercise science at Auburn University Montgomery says, “The theory is that compression on top of the skin and underlying muscle will have a positive effect on increasing the movement of oxygen in the blood, thus enhancing your performance.”
During exercise, your body requires more oxygen to perform better and fuel up your cellular respiration process. Oxygen is an essential component of your workout performance. This is the reason while you run and you suck in the air faster than you usually do. The oxygen you take in is carried by your blood to your muscles to provide them with energy for your workout.

Thus, compression clothing helps to increase blood flow. For example, patients suffering from varicose veins are asked to wear tight socks, knee caps, etc. so that the blood doesn’t pool into their leg, instead it flows back to the heart.

What are the benefits of compression clothing?

To determine if the athletes and fitness enthusiasts feel the benefits of wearing compression garments, researchers measure their rate of fatigue, muscle soreness or other performance indicators. Athletes report that they witnessed faster recovery, reduced swelling, increased removal of blood lactate post their workout while wearing compression tights, and socks.
Research has proved that compression clothing has been beneficial in many different sports and fitness activities, and helps in reducing muscle soreness. Besides sports activities, there are circulatory benefits of compression clothing that prove to be beneficial when travelling (to avoid blood pooling), or if you are on your feet the whole day (during work).
Below are five key benefits of compression clothes:

1. Reduced muscle soreness

Research has found that wearing compression garments can prevent or suspend the commencement of muscle soreness. When we wear compression, it creates an exoskeletal support system that improves and supports the body’s biomechanics during high or low-intensity motion. Also, wearing compression can help enhance the blood circulation to your heart. This eventually helps in healing any injuries you may have gotten during or after the workout.

2. Improved Support & Breathability

Compression shirts, leggings, or socks provide you with better support and help your body to stabilize itself while you train. When you exercise wearing compression, it helps your body to resist some amount of strain on the muscles, by putting pressure on your muscles. Although compression gear feels tight to your body, it is still breathable. It’s important that the users’ body must remain cool during exercise, so compression clothes are made to let air circulate through.

3. Enhanced Power & Recovery

Compression tights are made in such a way that they help improve the jumping performance in athletes. When you are planning to get back to the track, field or court after your intense workout, compression clothes are of great help in making it easier to regain extreme jumping. Besides this, compression clothes also help in enhancing your performance and in recovering your muscles post-workout.

4. Advanced Flexibility

One of the most amazing features of compression clothing is its stretchiness. During or after a workout, your body goes through specific movements of stretching, lifting, extending, etc., and compression clothing helps make these movements more comfortable. By wearing tight compression garments, your body allows you to exercise thoroughly and carefully.

5. Provide Comfort & Stay Dry

As compared to traditional athletic shorts, compression shorts cause less resistance and abrasion on your body. Many of us can relate to this experience when during exercise, our clothes soak into our sweat and the movements become difficult. Compression gear does not repel water, but they lift the water from the fabric so that the sweat can be brought to the surface and can be evaporated, keeping the clothes still dry.

How does compression clothing help in weight loss?

Most of the benefits of compression clothes revolve around performance, but there are also benefits of wearing compression gear for those who want to lose weight. Enthusiastic trainees who are obese are more susceptible to repetitive injuries during their workout sessions.

Compression apparels compress the muscles against a person’s body frame to curtail the micro muscle tears caused by muscle quivering and fluctuation. People who are overweight require higher volume and intensity of cardio workouts. So wearing compression apparel can aid in lessening the muscle injury caused by the recurring movements of cardio activities.

It also assists in recovery by improving blood circulation during and after exercise, hence the enthusiasts can work out more and for longer durations.

How to buy compression clothing?

Which compression garments you should buy depends upon your body and your purpose of wearing the compression gear. Accurate sizing is necessary to get the utmost benefits out of compression clothing. Since your legs will be involved in most of the cardio activities, so you can begin with compression tights.
Some overweight people prefer to buy upper-body compression garments to cut down the amount of “jiggle” that occurs throughout their workout. A compression top will give you a complacent restriction and will assist your chest, abdomen, and arms during your workout sessions. If that compression top helps you sustain more during your workouts, then it is worth investing your money.

Remember, compression garments will not do magic in your weight loss, it doesn’t burn your calories, and it doesn’t boost your metabolism. But, it certainly gives you comfort and support so that you can perform longer and better during your exercises.

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