Compression gear should be as big a part of the athlete’s arsenal as a healthy diet, a good amount of sleep and enough water – and this sentiment rings as true for the professional as it does for the weekend warrior.
The benefits compression gear holds for training and recovery are numerous, but knowing how specific types of compression garments aid the different parts of your body is key in choosing compression gear that is right for you and for the type of training and racing you undertake.
Here is how different types of compression garments affect different parts of the body and how this can ultimately aid your performance.
Shorter than tights and perfect for warmer weather, calf sleeves offer graduated support (this means that the garment is designed so it is tighter at the extremities – in this case at the lower calf and ankles) that helps to boost blood flow in the body and especially in the legs and calves. A tight fitting piece of clothing like a calf sleeve also helps to reduce muscle oscillation (this term refers to the vibration that goes through the body when your foot hits the ground and the muscle moves) where you need it most, and if you’re a runner, this will be in your legs. Check out these calf sleeves from Compressport.
Similar to calf sleeves, the graduated support of compression socks aids blood flow and reduces muscle oscillation in the lower part of the leg. Choosing compression socks hits two birds with one stone, in a way, as they protect your feet in your shoes and give you the added bonus of compression. Compression socks are also often worn after exercise and races to help the muscles recover, and to reduce muscle swelling and pain. Take a look at this pair of compression socks from Compressport.
Long-sleeved compression shirts tighten at the extremities to promote blood flow to the core, and also help to improve posture during exercise. Once the weather turns colder, this type of compression garment is also a staple for staying warm. Check out this compression shirt by Compressport.
Just like calf sleeves and compression socks, compression tights provide graduated support to the lower legs. Tights up the game in the sense that they also provide support to the quads and around the knees – and these parts of the body are often problem areas for runners. This pair of compression tights from Compressport is your ideal running companion, especially in nippier weather.