The Science Behind Compression Gear
Our latest brand of the month is 2XU, one of the leading compression brands in the world of functional fitness. In our post earlier in the month, we shared some of the key benefits associated with compression clothing - but it’s still something we get asked about a lot by our customers.
It can be difficult to work out which products will really help you get more from your time in the box. Whilst there’s plenty of evidence to suggest this isn’t just a fad, we appreciate how confusing it can be.
Today, we thought we’d share some independent research that evaluated the benefits of using compression gear to improve performance and recovery. These are the two key benefits we discussed in our last post, and the two most investigated by sports science researchers.
In 2013, Dennis-Peter Born, Billy Sperlich and Hans-Christer Holberg published their review of existing research studies, in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance.
They collected data from a number of experiments - focusing on areas including endurance, strength and power, and motor control - to assess the effectiveness of compression gear across a range of criteria.
What Did They Find?
Their results found a significant effect of compression clothing during exercise for:
Sprints between 10 and 60m,
Vertical jump height,
Increasing time to exhaustion,
Time trial performance (between 3 and 60 minutes).
The analysis also found compression to be effective after exercise to:
Speed up recovery from maximal strength and power,
Reduce muscle swelling and perceived muscle pain,
Blood lactate removal.
Although the researchers found a significant effect for wearing compression gear during and after exercise, the effect associated with improved performance was relatively small - compared to the recovery criteria. This means, although there is a real, significant effect, there are many other variables that contribute to performance.
What does this mean for you? Although compression gear can have a positive effect on your performance - it’s not a quick fix or magic solution! But you already knew that, right? To get the most benefit, you need to combine its use with everything else you know gets results - such as consistent nutrition, good sleep and old fashioned hard work!
When it comes to recovery, the effect was stronger - suggesting this could be a valuable addition to your recovery routine following an intense session, or competition.
Do you want to learn more? Click here to read the research in full.
Compression Gear from Kitbox
We stock some of functional fitness' leading compression brands - including 2XU, Virus Performance, and Zero Point.