Compression gear – you can see it everywhere from runners to athletes, power-lifters and bodybuilders, amateur or professional alike, they are squeezing into compression gear and ripping the benefits it has to offer.
Many are still trying to decide if the compression gear helps with improving performance or if it’s only an accessory that’s helping you look sharp. We can’t deny that you simply look good when putting some knee wraps or calf sleeves on while running or working out.
But is that all there is to compression gear, or are there any other benefits besides appearance? The answer is yes, there are many benefits and advantages to wearing compression gear.
Compression gear is made of anatomically shaped material using special fabrics, designed for increasing support and stability during a performance.
The basic principle behind compression gear is simple: applying a balanced surface pressure over particular areas of the body, triggers an acceleration of blood flow without having to use a lot of energy. By accelerating your blood flow, it means that the oxygen delivery increases for the muscle groups being worked and this enhances your performance.
Benefits and advantages that compression gear has to offer
Compression gear is specially designed to offer extra support, helping you perform movements in a controlled and safe manner. They minimize the risk of severe injuries without interfering with your workout and reducing your mobility. Such gear is particularly important for those who lift weights (or are into power-lifting) and for runners, who put a lot of pressure on their joints.
- It increases blood flow through the muscles, which means higher oxygen levels. And keeping oxygenated blood flowing to your muscles is important because it helps boost your performance.
- Compression gear helps reduce the amount of blood lactate concentration which causes pain, fatigue and cramping after a big workout. By applying compression to your legs, with knee sleeves – for example, you speed up the process of waste removal and this will leave you pain-free.
- Stabilizes the muscles and controls the amount of muscular oscillation which helps by decreasing fatigue and muscle soreness during and after workout.
- The pressure input from the compression gear makes the brain and body more aware, improving balance and muscle coordination.
Examples of compression gear
Knee sleeves and knee wraps are designed to protect the knee from future injury or the risk of damaging. They are especially important for the knees that are put under daily pressure from running or weightlifting. If you are performing an exercise where the knee is involved as a primary lifting source, knee protection is necessary. They provide the support necessary for performing squats, the snatch, or the clean and jerk, and not only. If you weightlift and your knee is left vulnerable, it’s a great risk for long-term damage.
Calf sleeves and compression socks protect your legs from scratches or abrasions and decrease the likelihood of swelling, providing for better circulation to your joints and limbs. They increase blood and lymphatic flow and improve performance while expediting recovery. They are especially great if you are a long distance runner and often suffer from swollen and painful legs after a performance.
Arm compression sleeves keep your blood flowing to your muscles, keeping them warm and loose and allowing you to perform at your maximum level.
Knee braces make you feel more secure, stable and supported while improving muscle strength and knee functions. When you feel pain, weakness or softness of cartilage under the kneecap, a brace with a cutout for the kneecap can help ease the pain. It enables you to move and exercise more comfortably and it gives you a feeling of psychological support.
What to look for when purchasing compression gear
Make sure the compression gear you want to buy has the right thickness to provide the best compression – 7mm thick is great. The materials should feel comfortable and efficient, without any stiffness, while a double-stitched design would be great for durability.
Some compression gear is actually designed for specific sports. Compression socks and calf sleeves target primarily distance runners and cyclists, while knee sleeves and knee wraps focus more on cross training athletes and weightlifters. Think about what you are going to use them for and make the purchase with that thought in mind.
It’s best if you consult the sizing charts on the website where you want to make the purchase from and measure your size as you are instructed. The perfect fit should be loose enough that it doesn’t cause poor circulation, but tight enough so it’s not slipping off your legs/arms.
If you’ve never tried wearing compression gear before, we hope this article convinced you and you will consider taking our advice to trying some from now on. You will be surprised to see how much it can help your physical abilities. You will become a better athlete and it will help minimize the potential of getting injured.