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Everything You Need to Know About Compression Wears

ByDave Stopher

Mar 31, 2020 #health, #life

The fitness community sees several fads come and go every few years. From outfits to workout routines, to meal plans, all of them come with many promises of improved body performance, and eventually, fitter bodies. While many of the fads are just the product of great marketing and have little to show in terms of results, a few of them turn out to be the real deal. Recently, compression wears have become popular with fitness enthusiasts. It’s not unusual to find someone in your local gym putting on tight-fitting elastic garb during workouts with the claim that the outfit helps them exercise better. If they are using proper compression wear, they may be on to something.

Typically made out of spandex, or similarly elastic clothing material like lycra, these outfits are made to fit from head to toe. Because of the tight fit, they apply pressure on the regions on which they are worn, providing support for the muscles. The applied pressure typically doesn’t exceed 18 mmHg, unless with a doctor’s prescription. Compression wears are usually designed to keep the part of the body they are worn on warm, but since they are activity-specific, some designs keep the body cold.

There are also compression outfits for people dealing with specific health issues like gynecomastia (popularly known as man boobs). Although it’s not usually a life-threatening condition, it can be uncomfortable to deal with. Compression technology makes it possible to mask it underneath your clothes. This solution can be a confidence boost for people who are insecure about how their bodies look. You can check it here.

While compression wears may be new to the fitness world, they have been in use for a long time. Medical practitioners have been recommending compression gear for people with poor circulation or who have to stand for a long time. They have also been used by people who are long-distance travelers to reduce swelling that might arise due to sitting in the same place for too long. Bellybands are a type of compression wear usually worn by new mothers post-childbirth for abdominal and back support, so that they can perform day to day tasks.

One of the reasons for the recent popularity of compression garb is its widespread use by athletes. Athletes are always on the search for ways to better themselves, both in training and during performances. Many athletes took to using compression clothes specific to their sports because of its effects on muscle performance. Of course, since athletes are the face of fitness worldwide, it’s just normal that the people who are watching them copy their looks. It also helps that the clothes are comfortable to wear. Compression wears come in many types of designs, from plain black or white to patterned outfits, making them quite fashionable.

Types of Compression Wears

The classification of compression clothes is typically based on what body parts they are worn on and directly affect. There are three common classifications, and they are:

  • Socks: These are popular with runners who need to maximize blood flow to their legs. The legs are physiologically disadvantaged when it comes to returning blood to the heart as the motion is anti-gravity. Compression socks are typically calf-length and help to keep the legs warm before races. Although they won’t make runners significantly faster, they can help with muscle soreness and recovery.
  • Shorts: These are typically designed for compression on the thighs and glutes. In cases where they are used for impact sports, they are padded at the joints. They are sometimes made with cup pockets to help protect sensitive body parts while training.
  • Upper body: Are typically used by gym-goers to keep warm during early morning workouts, especially during winter months. They can also be worn as undergarments in some cases to boost upper body appearance.

Advantages of Using Compression Wears While Working Out

  • They reduce vibrations in the muscles, which would have resulted in small tears in the muscle tissue along with a build-up of lactic acid. The reduction of muscle vibration allows you to work harder and longer with minimal pain.
  • They help reduce muscle fatigue during and after workouts, helping you perform exercises for longer without feeling as tired as you would without them. Part of the reason for this is that it lowers perceived exertion, hence making for a more comfortable workout and improving athletic performance.
  • They also reduce your risk for strain by reducing muscle vibrations from excess movements. In addition, they can help in strain recovery when working after a workout.
  • When worn during heavy workouts, they can reduce muscle soreness in the affected region.

– The elastic and supportive properties of the fabric help to promote increased muscle output. This increase is due to improved stretch reflex, which improves your power output and performance. One study showed that powerlifters who used compression clothes while training added around 10 pounds over ten weeks of training.

– They have been shown to cause an increase in the ability to sense the body’s stimuli with regard to position, motion, and equilibrium – commonly known as proprioception. It’s thought that the compactness of the muscles when using compression clothes is responsible for this.

– They are designed to improve oxygen intake to the parts of the body. They are worn on by increasing blood flow to the muscle tissue. This improved oxygenation can give a subtle boost of energy during exercises.

– Tight-fitting compression wears also keep undergarments in place, improving comfort, especially for activities like jogging.


Several studies have shown that compression outfits do have a positive effect on the bodies of users, especially when they are actively exercising. They help focus the muscles, reduce energy consumption, and boost overall workout gains. Compression clothes are also useful in the post-workout period to great effect. They have been shown to help athletes with their recovery, especially after high-intensity activities. If athletes can use them to improve their performances, then so can you, too.

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