What are compression garments and why should I use them?

Recode · March 10, 2022

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Compression garments are used to maximize the benefits of physical activity and athletic training by improving muscle function, promoting circulation, and enhancing recovery after intense bouts of exercise. These garments can take many forms, from socks to tights to sleeves and beyond. Read on to learn more about what compression garments are, how they work, and why you should use them in your fitness routine!

Compression garments explained

Compression garments or tights, which also go by other names such as skins or spandex, are designed to enhance your body’s muscle support. This tight-fitting gear improves blood circulation (which promotes cell regeneration), reduces delayed onset muscle soreness after a workout, helps with lymphatic drainage, and boosts your overall performance while you wear it. It is important to be able to distinguish between these products. The quality will differ greatly depending on how each piece was constructed. There will be similarities amongst all of them, but everyone has their favorite brand and specific style of spandex that they prefer for one reason or another. To make sure that you get what is best for your body type and needs, we have assembled a guide below detailing different types of tights available out there on market today. You can use our recommendations in choosing what clothing item would work best for you!

Few things you should know before purchasing

Buying a pair of compression tights online can be a challenge, but with some simple guidelines, you can avoid ending up with an ineffective product. First off, it’s important to know that not all leggings are provided with compression benefits. Look for products that specifically state there are made out of Lycra commonly known as Spandex to ensure they’re offering enough support and compression during high-intensity activity. Leggings tend to work best if they have moisture-wicking materials as well because these fabrics pull sweat away from your skin, so it doesn’t stick around when you need cooling most. Shrinkage may occur if your pair isn’t a good match, so try them on before purchasing. Additionally, give a little at the waistband; typically, your fingers should fit through easily while standing up. If they don’t slip through easily while standing up, then there’s a good chance they won’t move fluidly with you during intense workouts.

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Are compression tights worth it?

Compression tights are extremely effective at reducing muscle soreness and increasing blood flow, improving recovery times after a workout. Some professional athletes wear compression pants while they train because they believe it helps them run faster, jump higher, and lift more. But do these high-tech leggings work? Many researchers have found that compression tights do provide benefits which is why it has been a major hit among professional athletes and is widely seen used in professional football, basketball, MMA, and many more. There are numerous brands out there selling compression garments and usually priced between $80USD to $200USD. Whatever you decide, your body will thank you later! Plus, unlike socks or other clothing items, compression leggings stay in place throughout your training session, so you won’t have to worry about adjusting as you go. It’s a win-win! In terms of what type of people may benefit from wearing compression tights, depending on your exercise routine and fitness goals, everyone could potentially benefit from using them! They may be particularly helpful if you experience knee pain when exercising.

How do they work?

A compression garment, also known as a support stocking or leggings, is usually used to assist in managing an injury or chronic pain. It can be worn after surgical procedures (to help prevent swelling), as part of physical therapy (to reduce pain), or by athletes for pre-workout warm-ups. Compression tights are designed to provide graduated pressure on your muscles and joints, helping improve circulation—which helps you feel better faster.

 

There are several theories behind how compression stockings work, but most agree that it’s due to the squeeze theory: when placed over areas with poor blood flow—like swollen legs after an injury—they squeeze down tightly and force blood into other parts of your body. Over time, healing occurs because more blood flow equals more oxygen supply. Another part of the theory that has been found by researchers is by keeping certain muscles tightly squeezed, will cause a reduction in muscle vibration leading to reduced soreness over time.

 

Are they comfortable?

Just like any other piece of clothing, comfort levels vary based on personal preference and fit but yes, it should feel like another layer of skin on you. Compression pants can be extremely comfortable and have no problem working out or hanging out in them to run errands all day. The level of comfort and benefits it provides has been a reason why it has increased in popularity.


Final Thoughts

Compression garments have come a long way since it is first introduced to the market in the early 90s. Major sporting labels have been continuously putting money into research to keep improving on the product itself. Research has also found many benefits in wearing compression. If you are going to invest money into activewear, why not invest in activewear that can assist you with your training output, performance, and recovery.

 

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