As if deciding what ‘day’ it is at the gym, what workouts you’re going to do and whether or not to add cardio to the mix at your next gym session wasn’t enough, next comes the small detail of what you’re going to wear.
Now, you may be thinking: who cares what I wear to the gym? It’s the gym.
We totally agree, here at Innermost, we’re big believers in the idea that you should wear whatever you want, whenever you want. The truth of it is, deciding what to wear at the gym is not about how you look. So, go ahead and wear those snazzy yoga pants. Rock them.
When talking about what to wear at the gym, we’re talking about the type of clothing you should be wearing. We’re talking about compression wear.
What is compression wear?
When it comes to compression wear, the clue is in the name. The aim of the garment is to fit tightly to the wearer in order to compress, easing blood flow, reducing sweat and improving overall athletic performance.
Compression wear and compression garments are available in a range of sizes, colours and designs to ensure that athletes of all ages, sizes and requirements can benefit from the fabric technology. Usually made from elastin and nylon, for their compressive qualities.
Types of compression wear clothing include socks, shorts, leggings and upper body garments, and these are most commonly worn by gym goers and athletes, although those that don’t participate in regular exercise or sport can benefit from compression garments and their health benefits, too.
What are the benefits of compression wear and compression garments?
Whether you opt to wear a number of compression wear garments during a workout, or just choose to cover one limb with the compression garment (such as an area affected by injury, like a calf), compression garments are hugely beneficial in a number of ways.
Here are some of our favourite benefits of compression clothing:
- Greater streamline (great for runners and cyclists)
- Improves chances of injury recovery
- Shortens recovery time
- Treats Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Helps with everyday aches and pains
- Reduces and improves appearance of varicose veins
- Helps circulation and thus, heart health
Does sports compression clothing increase athletic performance?
The market for compression wear is huge, suggesting that these garments are particularly beneficial when it comes to improving athletic performance: but is that strictly true? Let’s dive in. Some of the world’s biggest sports brands all back the claims, with all offering extensive ranges of compression garments in every size and colour to suit all.
Things we love to see.
Whilst this all sounds great, though, some investigations seem to contradict these claims, and potentially indicate that the above brands shout the praises of these compression garments from a marketing perspective. Hmmm.
Let’s take a look at the science.
Investigations into compression garments and sports performance
Scientific investigations seem to corroborate that whilst compression garments don’t seem to have a huge impact on overall performance, such as one study conducted by Nike who found that there was no significant difference between runners who wore compression wear and those that didn’t during a 30 minute run, the real benefits come during the recovery side of things.
From this we can conclude that whilst compression wear brings a host of benefits to the table in the health and fitness world, we should prioritise using these garments during an injury.
That leads us on pretty nicely to our next point…
Using compression garments for injuries
If you’re currently suffering from an injury – maybe a pulled muscle, sprain or a torn ligament, compression garments can be hugely beneficial in reducing recovery time and maximising results.
Compression garments are usually used in the treatment of the following injuries:
- Shin splints
- Ankle pain
- Achilles injuries
- Muscle strains
- Tennis elbow
All in all, the evidence speaks for itself. Compression wear brings a host of benefits, and whilst the garments don’t necessarily correlate with an increase in performance, multiple studies have hailed the sportswear in terms of it’s benefits when it comes to injury recovery.