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Compression Clothing: How it Works

We all know the feeling of those tired legs after a hard session. They feel swollen, you can’t keep them still, and all you can seem to do is thrash around the bed wishing they would stop screaming! There are many ways to help with the after effects of a hard session. Stretching is one, a long soak in the bath is another, and you could always try a massage. But there is another way: compression clothing.


Stretches for Cyclists

Stretching is essential to loosen your muscles and recover. The looser they are, the more dynamic and comfortable you will be in movement, and therefore the better your cycling performance! Follow our handy guide for the best ways to stretch your muscles.

2016-03-04 13:00:11By Elizabeth Demetriou

Compression clothing, which is essentially muscle support, is now quite a popular alternative to nagging your partner to rub your aches and pains, or emptying your bank account on weekly massages at the physiotherapist. Compression clothing can help to get that much needed blood flowing to the muscles again and start the recovery process.

About Compression Clothing:

  1. When to Wear Compression Clothing

    Compression support, or recovery tights as they are more commonly known, can be used in many ways. The most typical use is post-exercise. You should wear compression clothing for 3-4 hours at a time. Most athletes usually make use of compresison at night when their muscles are still and compression technologies can take full effect. It is also common for athletes to use them whilst travelling to a race to help eliminate swelling and increase blood flow.

    Aside for recovery, compression wear can be useful during exercise. This use is most common in triathletes and runners. Supporting your muscles in this way helps with fatigue over long distance events, such as marathons and triathlon events. Ironman participants suffer a lot of vibrations from the impact on the road, so would tend to use compression socks to help to soften the blow.

  2. Get Used to Wearing Compression

    You’ll find that when you wear a pair of compression tights just once, you won’t be able to live without them! Even if your legs don’t feel tight and sore you can put them on after a ride. Because it increases the blood flow, it helps to reduce injury and speed up the recovery process.

    You may think of compression as being an inconvenient garment to wear and the last thing you would want is to be seen nipping into the local shop in skin tight compression tights – but fear not as they can be worn underneath your trousers!

    Most top brands such as 2XU, Compressport and SKINS have developed specifically engineered material to keep the muscles at a constant temperature when hot or cold. This allows the skin to breath and keep it dry and comfortable in all conditions.

  3. Compression Improves Performance

    For those who are using compression clothing during exercise, the material is made with an antibacterial layer built into it to stop any unwanted bacterial growth when taking part in a long distance event. The benefits of using compression clothing whilst exercising can help to increase VO2 max, which means that more oxygen can get to the muscles and potentially increase power output.

  4. Affordable Compression Clothing

    Investing in recovery doesn’t need to set you back a lot of money. Compression clothing is well worth the small investment as the benefits are significant.

    The range of compression wear is huge and there are many top quality brands like Compressport, 2XU and SKINS offering garments such as recovery tights and compression vests for both men and women.

Shop all compression wear from us here at ProBikeKit.


Heidi Anderson

Heidi Anderson

Writer and expert