Are sports compression gear worth wearing?
I have to say that I haven’t ever worn compression sports clothing but have always been interested in whether they are effective in aiding performance, speeding up post exercise recovery or injury prevention. So, when I saw an article in ‘Coach Magazine’ comparing the views of a sports physiotherapist, a running coach and a spokesperson for 2XU, a brand that sells compression gear who also works at the Australian Institute for Sport, I thought it worth communicating the results to you.
Basically, James Broach from 2XU says “yes it works, recent research has reported compression to be effective in improving exercise performance and muscle recovery, though the exact mechanisms are not entirely known, these benefits are thought to be associated with improved circulation and body awareness, reduced muscle swelling and/or feelings of fatigue and soreness”.
Roger Kerry, physiotherapist, says “some scientific evidence supports a perceived reduction in post-exercise comfort and a small reduction in recovery time with compression socks use during and after 24 hours following exercise”. However, he “does not believe there is any evidence that it improves performance or reduces injury and that any therapeutic effects are most likely psychological rather than physiological”.
Ed Kerry, running coach says “there have been studies that have shown slight enhancements in runners’ aerobic threshold, in my opinion there isn’t enough improvement for me to wear such garments”. However, “recovery is where I would be more inclined to wear compression tights. I have found that this aids my recovery to allow for higher milage the next day”.
So there you have it. Just one thing to say, if you do give it a go, make sure you have correctly fitting garments … if they are too tight they may compromise your circulation which will definitely not aid recovery!!
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