The benefits of compression clothing explained
Whether you're searching for the best compression running tights, leggings, or shorts, top compression brands like 2XU, or other options to help aid your performance and recovery, this compression buying guide will ensure you take advantage of the best in modern sportswear technology.
Most often used by runners and cyclists, the effect of compression's tight fit to the muscles has been found in a number of studies to aid recovery times, improve performance, and reduce muscle soreness.
Compression properties can be found in a range of garments, from shorts, tights, socks and underwear, to shirts and sleeves. Using variants of Lycra, such as Spandex or elastane, and combining these with durable fabrics like nylon, popular manufacturers like 2XU and CEP are able to produce finely-tuned compression wear providing real-world benefits.
Compression wear is used by a variety of professional and amateur athletes as an important part of their training and performance equipment. Here are some of the reasons compression is considered an important tool for the modern competitor.
1) Stability - Compression clothing envelops your muscles, reducing vibration and damage during exercise. This can help reduce muscle pain both during and after exertion.
2) Reduced muscle soreness - By increasing circulation to your muscles after exercise, compression clothing can help to reduce water retention and swelling that can cause discomfort and soreness. The increase in blood flow also helps to flush out harmful products such as lactic acid which can cause soreness in your muscles.
3) Reducing the time taken for muscles to repair - Strenuous exercise causes the muscles to be stretched and damaged. Compression wear is thought to aid the repair phase and help muscles to become stronger, faster.
While not exclusive to compression wear, the form-fitting profile of compression fabric is also ideal for reducing chafing and rashes. This is especially true for cyclists, whose repetitive movement on the bike requires specific attention. Compression clothing is often constructed with sweat-wicking properties, limiting soreness and clamminess.
Sizing and fit
Sizing is always important with clothing but this is especially the case with compression garments. It is vital for the products to be close-fitting to ensure you gain the benefits from the fabric's pressure.
It is not necessary for you to buy a size smaller than you might do normally in order to get a compressed fit. Manufacturers already consider the need for a tighter profile when sizing their products. When selecting, you should look at the individual manufacturer's size chart and select the size that fits your measurements exactly.
Comprehensive sizing charts are provided on many of the product descriptions at Wiggle.
What compression clothing is for me?
You can now get compression clothing for almost all parts of the body - from your feet to the arms and everything in between. Here's a look at some of the most popular compression garments available at Wiggle.
Keeping you fresh and free of fatigue for your next big run, the CEP Women's Recovery Pro Tights reduce swelling and soreness in muscles thanks to the anatomical design and circulation-promoting compression profile. Getting you back to training faster than ever before, there is also unrivalled comfort thanks to the skin fit and premium blend of materials.
The Refresh Recovery Tights provide superior gradient compression to stabilise muscles and promote increased blood flow for faster recovery and return to form. The comfortable 2XU waistband is also designed to aid extended hours of wear and even sleep.
Keeping you fresh and free of fatigue for your next big run, the RX3 Medical Grade compression tights reduce swelling and soreness in muscles thanks to the combination of Exo-Black & Revolution Energy fabric. Getting you back to training faster than ever before, there is also unrivalled comfort thanks to the skin fit and flatlock stitching
Featuring massaging fibres that respond to every movement and durable seamless construction, Compresssport UR2's compression wear is designed to boost your performance even further.