Recode · March 04, 2022
Introducing you to compression and its rise in popularity:
Compression garments are mainly worn by athletes and fitness enthusiasts but have been grown in popularity among everyday fitness enthusiasts. Compression garments are a form of garment made from Spandex, Lycra, or Elastane to tighten key muscle areas to enhance performance and recovery. Mainly seen worn among professional athletes in the NBA, UFC, NFL, FIFA, and other popular sporting organizations, here are some of the scientific researches behind compression garments and why it is on the rise among fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes.
The fabric behind compression garments:
For compression garments to provide performance and recovery factors, they must be made from a fabric consisting of a high percentage level of spandex. The high elasticity of spandex fibres applied to the garments helps increase the garments' pressure comfort causing the human body receptors to help enhance performance and recovery.
The science behind compression garments:
Compression garments have reported faster recovery of muscle function, particularly after intense eccentric power or resistance exercise. Science has shown in numerous studies that squeezing certain muscle areas on the garments provides performance and recovery enhancement factors.
Performance and recovery factors by tightening key muscle areas are:
It helps promote blood flow back to the heart which leads to deoxygenated blood back via the veins and removing lactic acid from your muscles as quickly as possible which has shown to increase your cardiovascular output. The compression acts almost like a low-level massage, putting pressure on muscles to minimize delayed muscle soreness.
It helps raise the temperature of the skin and tissues to increase blood flow and promote healing. By keeping your muscles warm, it will gradually boost your cardiovascular system raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles which leads to a reduction in the risk of receiving an injury. The squeeze from the garments provides muscle stabilization which reduces the muscle vibration which leads to less muscle fatigue.
Studies have found the use of compression garments has been shown to be an effective recovery tool for reducing Creatine kinase concentration after exercise. Creatine kinase is a well-understood biomarker of muscular damage. This reduction in CK concentration has been related to a lessening of CK released into the bloodstream, improved removal of metabolites (waste products), and an enhanced repair of muscle tissue. Compression improves joint position awareness (proprioception) by the external pressure acting upon the receptors within the skin, thus enhancing proprioceptive abilities.
These garments have shown many performances and recovery benefits and have been used by athletes, physios, personal trainers, health professionals, and many more. It appears that compression garments can have a positive effect on recovery and performance. There is no evidence to suggest that compression garments have any negative impact on recovery or subsequent performance. It is suggested that athletes and recreational fitness enthusiasts continue to use compression garments both during exercise and afterward as a supplementary tool for improving performance and optimizing recovery.
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