How does compression gear work and do you need it?
Yep, we've heard it all before: compression gear's all talk and posh trousers. Wrong. Here's how sports clothing can help your physical performance and recovery
Adopted by sportspeople at every level from amateur to the international elite, compression clothing and technology is helping set new standards in all sorts of active disciplines, as well as in travel. But what does it actually do?
According to years of research from compression brands like 2XU, and endorsements by industry leaders, here's a breakdown of how it all works:
1. It increases your circulation
It's pretty simple, really. The better your blood circulates during exercise, the easier it is for oxygen to be delivered to the muscles that are at work.
2. It keeps your muscles warm to prevent strain and injury
While your body has a natural way of keeping your muscles warm during exercise, it requires a significant portion of the body's energy, energy that you're probably already using elsewhere. Compression gear, however, doesn't, which is an added bonus when it comes to stabilising muscles during exercise and reducing the kind of muscular vibrations that increase the risk of tissue damage.
3. It squeezes out waste byproducts faster
During exercise, your body creates a lot of waste byproducts, from lymph fluid to deoxygenated blood. With the right amount of consistent compression, artery walls dilate, which means blood flow increases through them. When done correctly, compression can increase blood flow through your arteries by up to 40% during activity and 30% during recovery, which is obviously going to have a positive effect on your endurance, performance, and recovery time.
So, at their simplest, compression garments help your body do what it wants to do faster and better than it can on its own — and without losing energy. Not bad if you're trying to take your performance up a level.
Learn more about compression technology and try it for yourself at 2xu.com.
Looking for more fitness advice? Learn how to run a faster mile here.