Health/Fitness :: Fitness

Compression Fitness Clothing

by Kyle Washburn
Health & Fitness Editor
Wednesday Feb 20, 2013
  • PRINT
  • COMMENTS (0)
  • LARGE
  • MEDIUM
  • SMALL

Sales of compression gear have exploded since 2008 when it was first introduced to the fitness market. Although originally used for years in the medical community to aid blood circulation in older populations, companies touted its benefits to exercisers and athletes.

There are both supported and unsupported claims for using compression gear validated through research and science. Some of the major fitness apparel manufacturers state that compression gear aids sport and athletic performance through various means such as generating explosive power, aiding speed and acceleration, improving long-term endurance, and decreasing recovery time.

Now what level of athlete or recreational exerciser would not want something that would improve their performance and thereby the results of training and exercise?

So what exactly is compression gear? It is similar to spandex; however it fits much tighter on the body. The tighter elastic is designed to hold its form and shape. It prevents muscles from vibrating excessively to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue, while also aiding performance in the moment. The fabric also has graduated pressure, which is what the medical industry designed to increase blood flow throughout the body, in particular to the areas where the clothing is worn. The forced blood flow aided those who once had trouble walking to be able to do so. It was not a miracle but seemed that to many. So began an opportunity to take the technology to the fitness industry.

With science validated and disproving some claims, it has not stopped people from buying these products en masse. You can see many professional athletes wearing these products and endorsing them, even if not a paid endorsement. Many male athletes have chosen to wear the underwear version in place of traditional jock straps. Female athletes too have decided to wear them over or in place of their undergarments. Some use them on cold running days, completely in place of underwear.

There is debate on wearing compression clothing during or after exercise. That feeling of tightness affords some the physical and mental push to aid performance. Some find the tightness too constricting and uncomfortable. Many sport performance exercisers find that wearing the clothing after a workout, run, or sport aid in fatigue reduction and recovery. Scientists speculate that greater blood flow allows more glycogen into the muscles aiding in repair and recovery. Some hypothesize that it also helps to clear metabolic waste.

The best course of action is simply to try it out and decide for yourself. It is not a miracle cure. You still need to work out, exercise, and perform to reach your abilities and accomplish your goals. But any potential extra boost, whether physical or mental does not hurt. Besides, the material is similar to traditional workout wear, with moisture wicking and breathable fabric; modern looks, feel, and design; and comes in array of colors and options from shirts to shorts, to pants, to leggings, socks, and wraps.

You can find them at most sport retail stores and almost all major brands carry them. If you want great performance at a good price, I recommend visiting Shock Doctor at http://www.shockdoctor.com/ All of the items are under $50, so breaking a sweat doesn’t also break the bank.

Kyle Washburn is the National Health and Fitness Editor at Edge Publications, Inc. He earned a BS in Physiology, M.Ed in Sport Psychology and Counseling and an MBA. He is a certified personal trainer through NASM and ACE and has been training for over ten years. He is an avid triathlete, softball and tennis player, runner, hiker and enjoys the outdoors.

Comments

Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook