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The Performance Benefits of Compression Clothing

Sports compression clothing has been around for a number of decades now but athletes are still divided over the benefit it has on exercise. Ask a runner, cyclist or fitness enthusiasts whether or not they think compression wear improves their performance or recovery and you’ll probably hear mixed opinions. Compression clothing has been thoroughly researched in recent years by independent sports scientists and after seeing the results, it’s hard to argue with the benefits!

  • Better Performance During Exercise
  • Improved Muscle Recovery
  • Injury Prevention
  • Injury Recovery
  • Increased Comfort During Exercise and Travel

The Benefits of Compression Clothing:

Better Performance During Exercise

Wearing compression clothing during exercise increases blood circulation and thus the delivery of oxygen to the working muscles. This is beneficial for both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. A study was carried out to see if trained cyclists performed better in a one-hour time trial while wearing compression tights. Results showed an increase in the delivery of oxygen to the muscles and a delay in the onset of fatigue which lead to prolonged optimal performance.

In short, wearing compression clothing during workouts helps improve athletic performance by reducing muscle fatigue.

Improved Muscle Recovery

We all know what it’s like to get up the day after a heavy gym session and struggle to walk down the stairs. If you could prevent delayed onset muscle soreness, would you? Wearing compression clothing both during and after exercise can result in a significant decrease in muscle soreness, faster removal of lactic acid and improved muscle recovery.

This study showed that athletes who wore SKINS compression tights for 12 hours after exercise experienced up to 20% less functional muscle damage and experienced less muscle soreness in comparison with athletes who had a passive recovery.

a man wearing skins compression tights

SKINS Men’s DNAmic Long Tights

Injury Prevention

Exercising in cold condition, especially when performing explosive movements, can increase the risk of injury. Compression clothing is extremely effective at regulating muscle temperature. This helps to reduce the risk of straining ligaments, tendons and muscles. Compression wear also stabilises muscle groups, decreases vibration and improves proprioception.

Injury Recovery

Getting back to full fitness when you’re recovering from an injury can be a stressful process. The fear of triggering an old injury is a constant worry. Compression wear like SKINS A400 is designed to apply pressure and support to specific areas of the body. It’s beneficial to wear compression during exercise as it improves stability which ensures you’re less likely to trigger an existing injury. Wearing compression gear after training provides pressure which increases blood flow and circulation, thus aiding injury recovery.

a female exercising in skins compression clothing

Increased Comfort During Exercise and Travel

Compression clothing reduces friction and cause less chafing than traditional athletic shorts. They also don’t ride up when you’re doing exercises like stretching or squatting.

Wearing compression tights when flying has also been proven to decrease leg swelling, pain and discomfort by over 50%. The study also found an increase in alertness, energy, fluid retention and improved post flight sleep. So, if you suffer from discomfort after travelling or struggle to get a quality nights sleep then compression clothing could be the answer.

Shop a range of compression products from SKINS and Under Armour at ProBikeKit



Tom Bracegirdle

Tom Bracegirdle

Writer and expert

I've been a keen cyclist since the age of thirteen and began racing competitively on the road as a junior. Since then I've spent three seasons racing full time in Belgium, competing in UCI races, interclubs and kermesses. I've always been interested in writing and marketing, especially in relation to the cycling industry and road racing.


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