Compression Gear: An Athletes Secret Weapon
Compression garments have become a popular accessory for all types of athletes and recreational gym users alike, whether it’s for comfort, aesthetical appeal or for their psycho-physiological function appears to be irrelevant. These popular garments are tight, compressive forms of clothing in the form of either short or long tights, socks as well as short and long sleeve tops and are often made out of a blend of elastin and nylon which are designed to enhance recovery.
Not only are these garments worn by athletes in an attempt to improve performance and enhance recovery, but are also worn in an abundance by recreational fitness enthusiasts. The benefits of proper compression gear has been well recognized by many professional athletes for the improved speed it brings to the process of recover, below are just some of the less commonly known benefits and drawbacks to wearing compression gear:
Influences Compression Gear can have on you:
Influences on Recovery
- Decrease in post-exercise oedema
- Increase the removal of waste products
- Increase local blood flow
- Decrease concentrations of creatine kinase
- Decease in muscle oscillations (muscle vibrations)
Influences on Performance
- Increase joint awareness
- Increase in perfusion
- Increase in muscle oxygenation
- Increase in skin temperatures
- Decrease perception of fatigue
Commonly known benefits associated with Compression Gear:
1.Increase local blood flow:
We have all experienced the effect after putting pressure onto your skin, which is the blood raises to the area where the pressure was felt. This same principle accurse when talking about compression gear, due to its tight and “compression” qualities it increases the pressure on your limbs causing the blood to flow faster hence increasing blood circulation/flow.
2. Decrease perception of DOMS(Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness):
The effect of DOMS following a series of strenuous exercise is very well documented in the world of sport, in short the increased osmotic swelling after exercise sensitizes pain receptors and thus leads to the sensation of pain. Compression gear offers external pressure to offset the internal “swelling” and therefore combats the effects the effects of DOMS.
3. Increase in Muscle Oxygenation:
Large skeletal muscles require adequate oxygenation in order to perform at an athletic level, muscle oxygenation levels are directly related to another benefit provided by compression gear, as the increased levels of blood flow through the body so will amount of oxygen. As oxygen is found in the hemoglobin of the blood the increase in blood flow allows these oxygen rich blood protein cells to fill the critical muscles with enough oxygen for them to be able to perform at their peak.
4. Decrease in Muscle Oscillations & Provides Support:
Muscle Oscillation or in laymen terms the vibrations that ripple through your body when you move, are intensified during running due to the speed and countless direction changes that take place can cause the muscles to be thrown around quite a bit. Wearing compression gear lessens the possibility of micro-trauma, by compressing limbs that house these large muscles the effect of these vibrations are reduced.