Archive for October, 2010

Compression for Increased Running Performance

October 12, 2010

There never seems to be an end to the “latest and greatest”.

Recently compression clothing have been getting some attention in endurance events. Certainly compression stockings have been used to help circulation in medical environments for a long time. In fact graduated compression stockings were initially designed in a clinical environment to increase blood flow. So wouldn’t it make sense that athletes could also use this technology to their advantage?

Sports apparel companies market a variety of compression clothing towards athletes touting a number of performance and recovery benefits.

Could this assist athletes in performance and recovery? Is this real or just a matter of perception? Participants involved in compression studies expressed feelings of support when running.

 

So what does the research say?

In an article written in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. The researchers concluded that data suggests that wearing compression garments in the recovery from exercise may alter the inflammatory response to damage and accelerate the process inside of the muscle.

And what about different grades of compression?

Until recently no studies were done on whether a heavier grade of compression was more beneficial than a lighter grade. In an article published by the Journal of Sports Sciences this past year researchers applied 3 different grades of compression on 15 endurance athletes. Rates of perceived exertion, muscle soreness and time to exhaustion were unaffected by the various grades. Overall there was NO difference in performance.

I’m not sure about you, but when I run I don’t like clothing that feels tight up against my skin. If I were to try these garments out I would try a lower grade one first and if I didn’t get the desired response I would try them again increasing the grade of compression.

So what about you? Have you tried these garments? What did you think? Have you tried any other of the “latest and greatest” products that are on the market? What has been your experience?

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