Compression Wear Benefits: 5 Things You Didn’t Know
Compression wear benefits have taken the world by storm.
A few years back, these accessories were practically nonexistent in the world of fitness. Fast forward to 2018, and you’ll see a large percentage of professional athletes sporting compression gear. And that’s not all! You might have noticed many people at your local gym working out in their skin-tight clothing. Heck, even you might be one of them.
Interestingly, compression wear has been used in everyday life for over half a century! In fact, the first use of compression stockings dates back about 80 years.
Now you might be wondering, does it really work?
Well, there’s no simple answer to that question. There are studies supporting both positive and negative claims to compression wear benefits. But, as this is a relatively new field, not much is known. So, take everything with a grain of salt.
However, for the sake of this article, we are going to focus on five benefits of wearing compression clothing. Some are rather unusual.
Let’s get started, shall we?
1. Improved Aerodynamics
This is an obvious benefit but one that’s hardly mentioned.
Imagine this scenario – you have a body that most would kill for. As long as you’re wearing a tight undergarment, your body will be in its optimum aerodynamic state.
So, how does that help you? Well, if you take part in sprints, swimming competitions, you want your body to have the least amount of drag (the longitudinal decelerating force exerted by fluids on a moving object) possible.
Now, running a sprint or a hurdles race in your undergarment is obviously out of the question. And that’s exactly where compression gear steps in.
Sure, there’s no denying the fact that it will not be as comfortable as some loose-fitting sporting equipment. However, when it comes to performance in the above-mentioned sports, compression gear reigns supreme.
If you wear full body compression wear, it will not only result in the best possible drag-coefficient but also ensure that your clothing is socially acceptable. After all, you don’t want to trigger those intolerant keyboard warriors, do you?
2. Recovery after High-Intensity Workout
According to a study conducted by Rob Duffield and Marc Portus of British Journal of Medicine, it was found that compression gear can aid in recovery after a high-intensity workout session.
This study aimed at finding the improvement or lack thereof in repeat-sprint and throwing performance of cricket players.
Although the study concluded that there was no major improvement in both sprint performance and throwing performance, the researchers noticed a significantly lower 24-hour post-exercise ratings of muscle soreness, lower 24-hour post-exercise CK values as well as higher mean skin temperature.
In other words, the study indicates that compression garments aid in post-workout recovery. Moreover, it is also effective if you wear compression gear during sleep.
In addition to that, other studies have reported that compression wear benefits include the reduction of strength loss, decrease swelling and even ease muscle soreness after a high-intensity training session.
3. Reduce Injuries
Injuries are a professional athlete’s biggest nightmare.
And it’s no surprise that many athletes go to great lengths to prevent injuries and recover faster. Some might even resort to unethical means. That’s how much staying fit means for a professional athlete.
So, do compression wear benefits include reducing injuries? Well, according to a study conducted on lower-body compression garments, researchers found that to be true.
Ten male and ten female track athletes took part in the research. After a few tests, it was found that although the sprint times were not affected, the hip flexion angle was reduced.
Moreover, the compressive gear significantly reduced impact force by 27% in case of countermovement vertical jump height compared to American football pants.
And if that wasn’t enough, other studies have shown that these garments can improve long-term vertical jump height.
Another study found that wearing compression gear can help in keeping the muscles warm to prevent muscle strain.
4. Temperature Regulation
We bet you have seen athletes wearing the same type of compression wear in Winter Olympics as well as Summer Olympics. So, how does that work?
Well, the compression wear may look similar, but they are in fact made with different materials. While the Winter Olympics clothing is geared towards warmth, the Summer Olympics clothing is made from a breathable, lightweight material.
Both types of materials have the same moisture-wicking capability which helps keep them lightweight at all times. On the flipside, cotton garments retain moisture and gain weight over prolonged use.
In addition to temperature regulation capabilities, compression wear can also protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. The garments for beach volleyball players may come with the protection of SPF 50+. Who needs sunscreen when you have a full-body compression gear, right?
5. Prevents Clotting of Blood
Our final point is perhaps the most important one.
Compression wear benefits include preventing the clotting of blood in your body. No, we are not talking about clots from cuts and scratches. Rather, clots which occur inside veins. And more specifically, Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT in short.
DVT is a terrible condition which might occur when there are blood clots in your veins. A DVT blood clot can occur in many areas of the body. And once they grow in size, the clots break off and reach the lungs through the bloodstream. Ultimately, that can result in pulmonary embolism.
Thankfully, DVT is a rare condition.
So, how can compression wear help in this case? Well, on long flights, wearing compression socks can help in preventing blood clots in your veins. These socks or stockings improve blood circulation and thereby, reduce the risk of blood clots.
And that brings us to the end. So, are you looking to try out compression gear for the first time? How do you think it can benefit you? Do let us know in the comment section below. And remember, if you suffer from serious conditions like DVT, it is always advisable to consult a medical professional first.