Compression Clothing Benefits
You may have seen your favorite athlete wearing skintight clothing. This is compression clothing and is worn to help athletes perform better and recover faster. Compression clothing includes tights, shirts, shorts, and socks. Any piece of clothing that might wrap around a muscle group can be made into compression clothing. But true compression clothing is different from just tight leggings or yoga pants.
Compression clothes have lots of different benefits and they are used by many athletes. From baseball and football players to weightlifters to tennis players. Anyone who uses their muscles can benefit from wearing compression clothing. We will discuss the main benefits of compression clothing, and then look more specifically to why compression clothing is especially helpful for weightlifters.
We also provide you with the best compression clothing available. We tested different brands and have come up with a list of the best compression clothing items that will help improve your athletic performance and recovery.
Why Wear Compression Clothing?
Compression clothing has become very popular in recent years. In the past, men wearing tights was a joke (they named a movie after this joke). Today compression pants are not only cool, they provide serious athletic benefits.
Improved Muscle Efficiency
The first thing any athlete wants to know about compression clothing is, will it make them perform better? One of the key features of wearing compression clothing is that compressing a muscle will increase the blood flowing back to the heart. This increase in blood flow should prevent the athlete from getting out of breath as quickly as they would otherwise.
This increase in blood flow is the most likely reason that you would see a performance improvement due to compression. Increased blood flow will reduce tiredness and will increase the amount of oxygen reaching the muscles. This will prevent tiredness and muscle strain from occurring.
Along with improved blood flow, the compression gear will stabilize the muscle. It will also help regulate the temperature of the muscle, which is especially important in cold weather. Warming up before a workout is important, and compression clothing can help warm up your muscles.
Decreased Chance of Injury
Another major reason for wearing compression gear in the prevention of injury. Compression clothing helps stabilize muscles and joints. This means there is less chance of pulling a muscle or causing repetitive movement injuries such as tennis elbow.
The main cure for muscle injuries has always been R.I.C.E which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Because compression is one of the four main tenants of injury recovery, it is little surprise that compression clothing is used to help prevent and recover from injury.
A compression sleeve will also help keep your form tight when performing certain movements, such as lifting weights. Keeping your form tight and proper can prevent injury and is important in preventing re-injury of muscles that may be recovering from a previous injury.
You often see athletes wear a compression sleeve around one of their knees or elbows. This is to prevent injury.
Improved Recovery Time
Recovering from a workout is just as important as the workout itself. Muscles do not grow while working out, they grow during the recovery period. If you want to improve your fitness levels, you need to make sure that you are getting the most out of your recovery time. Compression clothing can assist in improved athletic recovery.
Compression clothing can help reduce the amount of time your body needs to recover from a workout. There is evidence that compression clothing reduces and removes lactic acid from muscles. Lactic acid is the stuff that makes you feel sore a day after you work out. Weightlifters often refer to this as DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness). Wearing compression clothing during and after a workout will help reduce the amount of DOMS you feel, allowing you to get back to the gym faster.
The Best Compression Clothing
We took a look at the most popular compression clothing brands to see which provide the best support for modern athlete. We found the clothes which will best help you perform, prevent injury and improve post-workout recovery. These clothes are the best value and made from the highest quality material. If you are looking for compression wear, this list should be your definitive guide.
The Best Compression Tights For Men
Certain types of compression clothing is uni-gender and can be worn by both men and women. Tights are not one of these. Women and men have different ratios hip and leg muscle sizes, and as such, each sex needs compression tights specifically designed for them. The best compression tights for men will be specifically designed for men.
Not only does sex matter, but so does the athletic activity that you will be doing when wearing your compression tights. Different physical activities use different muscle sets in different ways. This is especially true for leg muscles. Squatting uses your leg muscles in a totally different manner than running does. Because of this, the best compression tights are going to be ones specifically tailored to whatever physical activity you are doing. These types of tights are designed for the correct amount of compression for specific body movements.
Our favorite men’s compression tights are the Nike Pro Zonal Tights. These are the highest quality tights that Nikes makes. Nike is a huge company and has a team of engineers, designers and athletes that design and test their products, and it really shows in the Zonal tights. These compression tights are durable, comfortable and stylish.
These tights also come in two main variety: Mens Nike Pro Zonal Strength Tights and the Zonal Strength Men’s Running Tights. As the names suggest, the Strength tights are specifically designed for the gym and weight lifting, including activities such as squats, deadlifts and Olympic lifts. These are the compression tights that weightlifters, powerlifters and other gym rats should get. Likewise, as the name suggests, the Running tights are specifically designed for athletes that run most of the time. This includes runners, but would also include soccer players, basketball players and anyone else who spends much of their sport running.
The fact that these compression tights are specifically customized for these different types of activities makes them the best compression tight on the market.
UPDATE: It looks like Nike may have decommissioned their Pro Zonal Strength tights. If you are unable to find these compression pants in your size, the next best thing are the Nike Pro Tights for men and the Nike Pro Tightsfor women.
The Best Compression Rights For Women
Women’s compression tights can sometimes be tricky because they are often confused with yoga pants and other types of tights. Cheap women’s compression tights are nothing more than leggings that don’t actually provide any meaningful compression. Luckily, Nike also makes Zonal Strength Tights for women as well as for men. These are high quality, athletic grade compression tights. If you a woman looking for a great pair of compression tights, these are the best pair available.
UPDATE: It looks like Nike may have decommissioned their Pro Zonal Strength tights. If you are unable to find these compression pants in your size, the next best thing are the for men and for womenfor women.
Best Compression Pants For Weightlifting
Nike makes compression pants specifically designed for weightlifting. Their Pro Zonal Strength Pants are the best weightlifting compression pants available. However, Nike seems to not longer be producing these pants. If you cannot find a pair near you or online, the best best thing are the Nike Pro Tights.
The Best Compression Shorts For Men And Women
Compression pants/tights are great because they compress your whole leg. But if you are someone who gets warm easily, you may not want to wear long pants. Compression shorts are a great alternative. A good quality pair of compression shorts will compress your quads, your gluts and the rest of your upper leg muscles. These are some of the most powerful muscles in your body. They are the main muscles used in squatting, deadlifting and running.
Basketball players and other athletes who run a lot love wearing compression shorts under their regular uniform.
The best compression shorts are Under Armour’s HeatGear Shorts. Under Armour has invested a lot of their reputation on compression clothing and it has paid off. They have become one of the leaders in the compression clothing field and they make high quality products.
While cheap compression shorts are nothing more than tight boxer briefs, these HeatGear shorts actually compress your muscles the correct amount. These shorts also provide men with plenty of room for their private parts to sit comfortably and not be crushed or compressed. Cheap compression shorts are ineffective and uncomfortable. Under Armour’s HeatGear shorts provide a great deal of compression on your muscles, while leaving your private parts comfortable.
The Best Compression Shirt
As mentioned before, Under Armour really dedicated a lot of resources to making high quality compression gear, and it has paid off. Their HeatGear technology is breathable, wicks away moisture and provides UV sun protection. These shirts are durable and great for athletes, especially those who train outdoors or in a hot environment. If you gym gets hot, these shirts will keep you cool while providing the proper amount of compression to your muscles. Being nice and tight they also allow you to show off your muscles.
Sexy, cool, and effective, Under Armour HeatGear compression shirts come in three styles: sleeveless, short sleeves, and long sleeves. These shirts are comfortable enough that you can actually wear them around all day.
While the Under Armour HeatGear shirts have the best quality that we have seen for compression shirts, Nike’s Pro Shirt is another good option.
The Best Compression Socks
The difference between a good pair of socks and a bad pair of socks is like night and day. Uncomfortable socks are going to make you miserable. When looking for the best compression socks we knew that fit would be the most important deciding factor. That is why our favorite compression socks are the SB SOX Compression Socks.
These socks have a great fit and while they provide a good amount of compression, they do not cut off circulation. These compression socks are popular not just for athletes, but for pregnant women, individuals with varicose veins, and those suffering from diabetes. These socks do a great job of supporting muscles and improving blood flow, while fitting comfortably around ones feet.
These socks would also be perfect for soccer players or anyone who is active and wants to see if compression will improve their calve muscle performance. AT of all the socks we looked at, these were our favorites.
Benefits of Compression Clothing For Weight Training
Compression clothing can be extra beneficial for weight training. The improved blood flow can increase the number of reps you can do before your muscles fatigue. Doing more reps will lead to more muscle growth at a faster rate.
At the same time, compression of the muscles, especially directly after a workout will help with recovery, decreasing any post-workout pain (DOMS) while increasing the speed at which your muscles will recover. Serious weightlifters know that muscles do not grow while you lift, but while you recover.
Finally, the compression from high quality compression gear can help you keep proper form when performing lifts. Proper form is the key to injury prevention. Compression is exactly why some weightlifters wear lifting belts. The lifting belt keeps their core muscles nice and tight during deadlifts, helping keep proper form.
Finally, compression clothing just looks cool and is a great way to show off the muscles you have built.
What The Science Says
Many individuals swear by compression clothing. Tons of professional athletes wear compression gear. But what does the science tell us?
There is no reason or evidence to believe that compression clothing will help with weight loss. The only way that compression clothing will help you lose weight is if it encourages you to go workout, or if it allows you to workout longer due to your muscles being more efficient. Wearing compression clothing without working out will not help you lose weight.
There is also no scientific evidence that copper clothing will help improve athletic performance or recovery. This is an idea that became popular a few years ago, but does not seem to have any scientific basis or evidence. There is also no evidence or reason to believe that copper infused clothing is a bad thing, so if you believe that copper will help you perform better, then by all means wear it. The placebo effect is real and can help you perform better.
Compression clothing itself is actually also a mixed bad when it comes to scientific studies. Compression gear is very popular, and many individuals believe that it makes them better athletes. However, studies are inconclusive. Some studies do see increased athletic performance while others do not. Some scientists believe a placebo effect may be involved, but they are not certain. There is no clear cut evidence that your athletic performance will increase with the wearing of compression gear.
When it comes to muscle recovery, there is stronger evidence that compression clothing really does help your muscles recover faster from a workout. As mentioned before, the common recipe for recovery is rest, ice, compression and elevation. This is recommended by doctors because there is scientific evidence supporting each of these ingredients. Compression clothing certain can help with post-workout recovery. The biggest caveat is that to get the full effect, you probably need to wear your compression clothing for a few hours after your workout is complete.
Finally, it is important to note that there is no evidence that shows that compression gear is bad or harmful in any way.
Since so many professional athletes swear by compression gear, there is probably something to it. We love working out in our compression clothing. It is comfortable, sexy, breathable, and we do believe that it helps us perform better.