How Compression Gear Boosts Performance and Recovery

 

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Wearing compression gear while you’re exercising may do more than boost your workout performance — you could see better recovery results, too. According to a small study of cricket players, those who wore compression garments during an event showed fewer blood markers of muscle damage later, and also reported less muscle soreness 24 hours after a match. How Compression Gear Boosts Performance and Recovery Compression gear has roots in medicine.

The roots of compression clothing lie in medicine. Basically, it was, and it It was designed for a certain purpose. Even though it’s a very popular trend, not everybody wears compression gear in The. Performance and recovery go hand in hand — proper rest and restoration, sleep and nutrition all play a role in recovery with performance as the end product.” Compression improves the proprioceptive neuro response which is fancy lingo for.

Studies have also shown that the use of compression socks reduces swelling, reduces perceived muscle soreness, and quickens recovery. Support around ankle joint In sports such as soccer, the ankles are placed under extreme stress, turning and pivoting time and again in different directions under the weight of the player. Where compression gear is super helpful is in recovery.

The garments indirectly provide a performance benefit by quickening recovery. This is accomplished by the garments quite literally squeezing you gently, promoting blood flow and reducing inflammation. Self-reported studies present the possibility that perceived performance boosts could be the result of a placebo effect.

But evidence showing these garments improve workout recovery is more substantial. Compression clothing can enhance overall circulation, helping speed muscle recovery time post-exercise. Compression has no negative impact on performance and recovery. Even if you can’t exactly explain why and even if there’s no scientific study to support how they make you feel, if the physical support of compression socks or sleeves translates to more physical confidence, then maybe you’ve found your edge. A new study by the University of Essex Human Performance Unit has found that compression tights can improve energy expenditure while exercising, hasten recovery and improve proprioception.

Some athletes argue that compression tights help reduce shock, limit muscle fatigue, and boost performance by locking the glutes, quads, hammies, and calves in place. The Rapid Reboot body compression system is a total body recovery device that’s clinically proven to work. It flushes the lactic acid and other waste out of your system and massages the muscles to reduce pain and stiffness and get you ready for your next workout.

List of related literature:

The convenience of compression gear may be its strongest recovery selling point.

“Hal Koerner's Field Guide to Ultrarunning: Training for an Ultramarathon, from 50K to 100 Miles and Beyond” by Hal Koerner, Adam W. Chase
from Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning: Training for an Ultramarathon, from 50K to 100 Miles and Beyond
by Hal Koerner, Adam W. Chase
VeloPress, 2014

On one hand, increased compression increases the power potential of the engine; yet increased compression also increases spark initiation voltage.

“How to Tune and Modify Bosch Fuel Injection” by Ben Watson
from How to Tune and Modify Bosch Fuel Injection
by Ben Watson
MotorBooks International,

Engine compression brakes increase the pumping losses in a thermodynamic cycle by making the piston perform the work of compressing the cylinder air charge either in the compression or exhaust strokes.

“Design and Development of Heavy Duty Diesel Engines: A Handbook” by P. A. Lakshminarayanan, Avinash Kumar Agarwal
from Design and Development of Heavy Duty Diesel Engines: A Handbook
by P. A. Lakshminarayanan, Avinash Kumar Agarwal
Springer Singapore, 2019

Runners wearing lower-limb compression garments 72 hours after exercise saw no benefit to muscle damage or inflammation compared to placebo.51 The biggest confounder when it comes to compression garments is the amount of pressure exerted.

“Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports” by Marc Bubbs
from Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports
by Marc Bubbs
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019

This causes a substantial amount of energy to be used on the compression stroke, which slows the crankshaft and increases the braking effectiveness of the engine.

“Fundamentals of Automotive Technology” by Vangelder
from Fundamentals of Automotive Technology
by Vangelder
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2017

These losses increase directly with compression ratio but get reduced with an increase in

“Internal Combustion Engines” by R.K. Rajput
from Internal Combustion Engines
by R.K. Rajput
Laxmi Publications, 2005

Improved performance possible with internal compression inlets is illustrated and the details of internal compression inlet operation are presented.

“Theory of Aerospace Propulsion” by Pasquale M Sforza
from Theory of Aerospace Propulsion
by Pasquale M Sforza
Elsevier Science, 2016

Later, Hu et al. (1997a) applied retarding process efficiency to the study of a VVA compression brake to try to quantify its performance benefit and compare it with the conventional compression brake.

“Diesel Engine System Design” by Qianfan Xin
from Diesel Engine System Design
by Qianfan Xin
Elsevier Science, 2011

The effect of increasing the compression ratio, defined as the ratio of the volumes at the beginning and end of the compression stroke, is to increase the efficiency of the engine, i.e., to increase the work produced per unit quantity of fuel.

“Intro To Chem Engg Thermo,6E” by Smith
from Intro To Chem Engg Thermo,6E
by Smith
McGraw-Hill Education (India) Pvt Limited, 2003

Further increases in compression ratio bring moderate gains in efficiency.

“The CRC Handbook of Mechanical Engineering, Second Edition” by Frank Kreith
from The CRC Handbook of Mechanical Engineering, Second Edition
by Frank Kreith
Taylor & Francis, 1998

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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62 comments

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  • the effects depend on the person!
    maybe someone who has Venus Disease
    Eg: “Spider Veins” might worsen with compression

    common mentality towards science is that its contradictory & confusing
    science isn’t
    its very detailed and specific.
    I never read science reports (too hard to read)
    but Im reading now
    I’m seeing a totally different picture. (its feels exactly like learning the earth isn’t flat; i think, even now in history)

  • Compression gear for running wtf? Talk about the basketball side of things. They’re more common in basketball anyway so wtf is this about?

  • Compression clothing is an essential part of my wardrobe as an Autistic person (miss me with that person first language bullshit, I didn’t catch Autsm, I am Autistic)

  • Simplified Conclusion: Mostly a psychological placebo effect based purely off of studies.
    -Recommended for high impact sports/activities
    -More of a marketing/fashion trend in the fitness industry
    -Wear if you want to; it’s your money.

  • how do you measure for calf sleeves or compression socks, do you got to measure you ankle and calf, because i measured my calf and it fits in all the ranges, so do i need to also measure my ankle as well.first time buyer

  • Someone should tell him that bowtie goes out of style in the 40s… about the substance of what he said??? I agree… you want to remove lactic acid quickly? warm down after exercise (massage and stretching)… Want to lessen the impact during running? run on running track.. compression attire doesn’t work

  • Women should not wear them. It attracts too much male attention and with it lewd remarks. Would you want your wife going out for a jog with those on. However, if both men and women wear them under shorts that’s fine though

  • It very important to wear this cos of danger by develop blood clot that can kill you anytime I wear support tights or leggings that help a lots.. dvt is silent killer so be careful

  • Hey Steve I just started wearing the compression socks after my long runs on sundays after getting a nice cold shower and I wonder if there’s a certain timeframe I should keep them on.

  • They may not work, but they look really cool on people. I like the woman instructor on the video whose tights cover the heel.
    If they make you look good and give you more motivation to run faster, work harder, do more, strive for the body that makes those tights look good, then go for it.
    I’ve worn shitty loose clothing to the gym and in the presence of all those people wearing cool clothes, I feel like a bum, and am not motivated because I look like shit.

  • I love that you make the distinction between physiological effects and psychological effects. People don’t realize that the psych-effects…. ARE valid effects:) Sometimes feeling better and more confident leads to better performance. Good work!

  • I find compression pants uncomfortable but when it gets too cold, i wear them because they tend to keep me warmer. I didn’t know they were supposed to help with performance.

  • I started wearing compression gear because of the socks. I was suffering from shin splints for the first time, since I was running in southern swamp land trails where the earth was harsh. I can vouch for compression socks and sleeves.

    However, I admit that jumping on the compression clothing band wagon was primarily due to thinking of reducing the lactic acid, but to wear entirely of compression clothing, even the extreme tight ones, caused more harm than good, although most definitely reduced chaffing, and increased dynamics, but still retained cramps.

    So my only advice is this:
    1) consider the variety of tightness
    2) functionality mainly benefits legs and forearms: extremities that receive most impact
    3) pants and tops are best for sweat and anti-chaffing
    4) wear it to look good regardless

  • 1. Does compression gear reduce muscle the pain form muscle soreness? Yes
    2. Does compression gear aid in blood circulation? No
    LOL If you want to increase blood circulation try removing clothing,
    3. Does compression gear increase in performance? No
    4. Does compression gear increase recovery? No

    I know what some of you pea brains might be thinking, how can it reduce muscle soreness but not increase recovery?

    the pressure applied to the body by compression is like message it reduces the pain from the workout, But it in no way increases the rate of muscle repair.

    some of you lesser pea brains may want links to research supporting…….

  • https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=BALLET%20MEN%20IN%20TIGHTS&qs=n&form=QBIR&sp=-1&pq=ballet%20men%20in%20tights&sc=2-19&sk=&cvid=7B7489A831184DB0AE0C1F31F4209A0A

  • I totally agree with you, yes compression socks work for me 100% during and after long runs. But I wonder if a bottom compression pants might help equally or less?

  • Dude, the reason I like them is because they do not get in my way. Anything baggy just flaps around, & bunches up etc…It’s not about constricting the muscles for me. It’s about keeping it sleek, & functional. The only “study” I need is the one I do on my own time to find what works, & what doesn’t. As a result, I’m not down with trends. When I find what works, I stick with it REGARDLESS of whether it’s in or out of fashion…even though you claim it’s purely because of media. Wrong.

  • People are saying what the effects, basically there nothing to prove there is, to me it just doesn’t keep my legs as sweaty when I take them off lmao

  • The only reason I would get compression clothing is so that my dang phone would stop jumping out of my pocket when I go for runs… Oh please help me haha

  • I wear compression and tight clothes to the gym because they don’t get in the way like baggy/loose clothes, when I sweat they don’t get heavier or swing-ier, and it made me feel good about my body, so why not?

  • I love the full compression socks and tights! I’ve found recovery to be much better when I use them. In the fall and winter I wear them daily because of the warmth they also provide. I totally agree with you on the calf sleeves. I had tried them last year and my feet/ankles got super swollen after the longer runs. Great video!

  • https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GH367RB?ref=myi_title_dp saraca core Men’s Compression 3/4 Pants Running Tights Workout Leggings Base Layer Shorts

  • I had deep vein thrombosis in both legs. I wear compression stockings and socks almost daily and they absolutely make a huge difference in how my legs feel. When I don’t wear them blood pools in my ankles and make my legs feel tired and heavy. I never wore them before dvt but I’m a believer now

  • Compression leggings are necessary for running if your thighs are thicker than most people like mine otherwise you get badly chafed

  • I’ve just bought a pair. I’m a small 30 year old man and have next to 0 body fat. My Metabolisim is super fast, and I don’t put on weight. I stay a constant 57 kgs and have never been over 58 kgs. I eat Fast Food ALL THE TIME and nothing affects me. Soooo, my Compression pants feel really good on. And it makes my butt tight too ������

  • Hi Steve, what is not working really for me is the Vibram V-Trail. The heat on the concrete like crazy and make foot blisters, so I have decided to use them eventually in walking and short runs in the shade or grass…..My CEP compression shocks are awesome for during and after training.

  • I hope more men wear compression shorts/pants..especially in lighter colors..as it helps me decide who’s worth blowing after my workout. ��

  • The empirical evidence DOES NOT show there’s a benefit to compression socks. https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/pdf/10.1123/jsr.2015-0048

  • As someone that has done jiu jitsu i will tell u that they work u are sore so many days an this helps put pressure on sore muscles it does help

  • I have just bought 2U compression tights. I have found my soreness the following day to be a lot less, which means my next run the day after, I am not sore going into the run… you need to try the tight s. it supports the know and the upper thigh, even though I don’t think they are meant to…

  • I only wear it to sleep lol. I like to sleep without a shirt but.. It’s fucking -2 where I live and I get sick if I don’t wear a shirt. Hate wearing shirts because it”s so baggy and shit

    BUT.. Compression shirt for sleeping will keep me warm and not have that stupid bagginess feeling

  • I had a calf strain and when I wore my compression socks it made it to where I could move around way better. This guy seems to be biased towards not liking them because he’s never had an injury the compression could help. If you have had a calf injury, I would recommend them. Also, I haven’t reinjured my calf since I wear them every time I do cardio.

  • So the scientific body of testing evidence is not sufficient to know to any level of certainty the potential benefit/non benefit or harm currently in a conclusive way? This would then require a more robust larger scientific study to determine what benefits/harm, if any is obtained. Until then all that can be said is we don’t know. But look good feel good is proven so get your Tech Insider Branded Compression Fitness Gear soon…

  • Hey, You should check these out these quality compression socks. Looks good and prices are great!: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018VHSPWS

  • I just wear it cause my balls hurt really bad when wearing loose clothing. Everything swings around and it causes serious pain. With tight clothing, your balls stay in place when running

  • Compression socks for skiing work fantastically.
    Compression thermal underwear also work really well in cold and snow environments.
    Thermal compression mesh base layer works fantastically in hyperthermic environments.
    Those thermal benefits appear to have been an oversight.

  • Any idea if the arm sleeves wet’d will help keep me cool during workout/gardening? 85-110 Fahrenheit. I wear legging’s and long sleeve shirt during winter as I live out side in a tint trailer(I love cold) and it does definitely help circulation as I normally get numb knees from siting to long.

  • So take aways
    Don’t pay attention to peer review scientific strength and conditioning research
    Number 2 it helps you feel good and just helps
    “Put it on and it feels like it helps….”

    What are you taking about???

  • I started wearing compression tops to prevent nipple chafing and they’ve solved that problem completely. I’ve come to prefer the feel of skin tight apparel rather than having loose fabric flapping in the breeze. Also feels much lighter when it’s sweaty whereas a loose garment holding moisture feels heavy as the weight of the wet fabric shifts around. I don’t buy into or care about any supposed benefits of it aiding recovery/circulation/muscle perfoemance or whatever else. Bottom line, wear whatever makes you feel comfortable ��

  • Wow, You’re Dismissal of scientific evidence is astonishing. If you were aware of how scientific studies work you would they are required to list all fundings. I don’t like 2 bash videos or people, but i think you should re-evaluate your position.

  • Under Armour started the compression shirt mainly to absorb sweat. That’s pretty much it. They didn’t patent the technology which is why all other athletic brands make their own version.

  • Hi Steve! I’m the guy that did the half marathon and mountain run on your strava group. I’ve been following your channel for a while and just wanted say that I love your videos and going vegan really feels great!

  • I just wore a compression shirt, I’m 37, it was like getting my 20 year old bodies skin back. It’s definitely doing something linked to shaping structure and toning muscle. Even towards correcting my posture in small ways you can see the difference after wearing it on a few walks,. Strength is not just muscle, the skin is compressing muscle so there is science to this, although I agree that compressing too long might cause blood flow issues I’d recommend wearing compression clothes going for an hour walk so they work with you body, they help toning and shaping muscle that way, however obviously you need to have done exercise work before that like at the gym for best results, you can’t just wear compression tops as the solution alone. I’ve not tried shorts yet but will soon. I think it would be good if shirts could lock onto shorts forming a stronger compression and to prevent the compression top from sliding upwards, the shirt alone is just useful for walking.

  • Compassion stockings work for overall general health. I’ve worn them on and off for years. I’ve had to have vein stripping done twice in the hospital and had to have my legs wrapped for two weeks at a time! Old school… thankfully, I only have to wear the stockings/socks when I feel the need. I am no longer a runner, but I work out in gyms to during the week. I just wear a light pair that most runners use. Before, I had to be custom fitted and it would take me about a half hour to get them on with rubber gloves and all my strength. The ones I wear now feel absolutely wonderful and I just buy them on Amazon for 13 bucks. They do go up to the knee. I am 6’3 235 pounds. You do have to be careful that they fit correctly especially at the knee. You don’t want to have to roll them down because they can then act as a tourniquet causing blood to get cut off. They do help with recovery and they are also helping to get the blood back to your heart so why not?! Good luck to everyone. Enjoy your runs! ����

  • But medically compression socks are used all the time for DVT treatment. Are all those Dr’s and nurses doing this based on no evidence at all. I work with older adults and they use compression socks to prevent swelling

  • Good video Sage. I find the compression socks really useful to prevent my calf cramping, especially at night after a long, intense run or race.
    Thanks again.
    Mark (UK)

  • What’s a store? Oh they’re in malls. Almost nobody in them. Have clueless friends that work the registers. Nowadays we have virtual sales people online and Amazon. ��

  • As an older lifter I know for 100 percent that my underarmour compression leggings helped me with my squat. It keeps my muscles warmed up and makes me feel a little more stable.

  • So muscles getting tired is not due to lactic acid build up, it’s actually from the body using up electrolytes when your muscles are being used. This is why if you are lifting or running for example it becomes more and more difficult to move your arms or legs, due to the nerve signals from your brain becoming weaker with a lack of evidence.

  • All of those studies were paid by the compression clothing manufacturers. Of course they want you to spend even more on their products.

  • hey i got a big question, i dont know if i got a stress fracture or a shin splint, but what i do know is it hurts to bad to even jog.. its my lower outside part of my shin.. should i wear compression to help it or what should i do, also how do i know what it is

  • I wear compression pants mainly to protect my shins when doing deadlifts. I used to think that they improved performance in lifting weights but boy was I wrong.

  • There’s a reason weightlifters and wrestlers use compression clothing in competition. In fact they’re required. Same with fencers, swimmers, cyclists etc…it lets u perform better.

  • I’m a bartender and my ankles are always swollen after work. I’m thinking of wearing compression socks while I work because I’m running around for 8+ hours. I don’t know much about them or if there is something better like shoe inserts.

  • I find with them on I get a good 15 mins longer on the treadmill and the next day I have no pain in my legs and joints and fell I could go back to the gym. I have tried just legging and proper compression long pants and fell a big difference from the two. Oh and anyone who knows me know I hate tight clothes but they work so why not. and I don’t look good in them.

  • I have been running with compression socks for a while but today ran without them and my right calf is really sore. Will definitely go back to wearing compression socks!

  • Reduced muscle oscillation is beneficial for runners and Olympic (dynamic) lifters. So is promoting venous returns during higher metabolic activity to the compressed areas(for performance). Though, I would question their efficacy ‘post’ workout by reducing soreness. You kinda want that inflammation response for proper adaption to stimulus (exercise) to occur, unless you’re in competition or have obligations that require your full ability. At that point you should probably consider your programming if it’s too detrimental.

  • I’m a TOTAL lover of full compression socks. I literally cannot run without them. When I have big race weeks, I “treat” myself and wear them to work. I use procompression and have had great success, they will run great specials often 5 pair for 100$ and the other day did a grab bag special for 3 pair for 30$ (I ended up with some really cute pairs). Great video, great topic… keep em coming!

  • I totally tell a difference when I run with my compression socks and when I don’t. I prefer to run with my compression socks. My runs feel better with them:)

  • ƧѲ ƬĦƖƧ ǤƲƳ ĦΔƧ ИЄѴЄЯ ĦЄΔЯƉ ѲҒ βΔ˩˩ЄƬ ƉΔИƆЄЯƧ ѲЯ ѦЄƉƖЄѴΔ˩ ѦЄИ ƜĦѲ Δ˩ƧѲ ƜѲЯЄ “ƆѲѦƤЯЄƧƧƖѲИ” ˩ЄǤǤƖИƧ. ƬĦЄ ѲИ˩Ƴ ѲИЄ ƖИ ƬĦЄ ƜѲЯ˩Ɖ ƬĦΔƬ ƉƖƉ ИѲƬ ƘИѲƜ ƬĦΔƬ ƧЄЄѦƧ ƬѲ βЄ ƬĦƖƧ Δ˩˩ЄǤЄƉ “ƉЯ.”

  • Thanks for this one.  You hit my main concern and that was flying after a race.  I generally get swelling in my bad ankle regardless and I was concerned about flying after back-to-back race days at Disney.  I’ve used the compression mini socks from Pro Compression but the sizing for their below the knee and calf sleeves would be a bit tight for me.

  • there is no conclusive evidence that compression sleeves do any of what this retailer is telling you. search ‘pubmed’ for this topic if you don’t believe me.