Is compression clothing the newest workout-enhancing necessity, or just another fashion trend? With all of the brightly colored, shape-hugging shirts, shorts, and sleeves out there, it can be tempting to spend a pretty penny on the latest workout gear!
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The concept of compression gear is to apply pressure to a certain part of the body as a way to increase blood flow back to the heart. For example, compression sleeves worn around the lower legs are intended to help prevent blood from pooling, resulting in decreased swelling. The most common benefit of compression clothing is seen during recovery. Many fans of the compression clothing line, specifically the leg sleeves, report less muscle discomfort after long endurance runs. If you’re expecting the compression gear to increase your speed or give you better endurance, think again. While they help with decreasing discomfort from swelling after running, there’s no proven benefit during your workout.
As for the body-squeezing shirts and shorts, don’t bother. While some who sport the tight gear report feeling that their muscles were “focusing” more on their workouts, the science behind the compression clothing just does not support that. If the clothing makes you look or feel more powerful during your workouts, wear it with pride! Just don’t expect to start jumping higher, lifting heavier, or flying as a result!
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