Compression shorts have been around for some time but its popularity increased exponentially over the past few years. A part of the reason is the advertising that athletic garment manufacturers have started doing. Additionally, active individuals have become much more conscious about the clothes and the accessories that they wear during a workout.
Today, compression shorts have become an absolute essential for bikers, joggers and other people who enjoy intense physical activity. There are several reasons why investing in a pair makes a lot of sense.
Compression shorts, as the name indicates, are special athletic garments that are created to provide compression and support to the biggest muscles in the legs and the buttocks.
The tight fit and sturdy construction improve the circulation of blood and the oxygenation of the tissues. In addition, compression shorts reduce the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. They help for faster recovery and reduced pain/soreness after intense workout sessions.
Compression shorts can be worn both as outer garments or underneath other athletic shorts/leggings. Whichever option you choose, the quality of the compression shorts will be determining for the benefits that you’re going to experience.
Do Compression Shorts Really Work?
Several clinical studies have been carried out to assess the benefits that compression shorts bring to the table. Though researchers have found out that compression shorts don’t produce a major improvement in performance, they do benefit athletes in multiple other ways.
One study was carried out in Germany and it focused on compression socks. Though the garment is different, the premise is the same. Compression gear is all used to accomplish the same thing, thus the results can be used to learn a bit about the effectiveness of compression shorts, as well.
German researchers found out that runners wearing compression shorts were capable of running longer and reaching a higher speed on a treadmill test than the ones that didn’t wear compression garments. The anaerobic threshold of the volunteers wearing the compression socks was also higher.
Australian researchers worked with cyclists and they reached conclusions similar to what their German counterparts have found out. The concentration of oxygen in the muscles of cyclists wearing compression gear was higher than in the case of traditional workout garments.
Clinical studies have also linked compression gear to better recovery after physical activity. There are several experiments that establish such benefits.
Dr Ali Ajmol presented the results of his clinical trial in the Journal of Sports Sciences. Volunteers participating in the study wore compression socks and researchers found out that the garments reduced the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) 24 hours after the completion of 10K road time trials. Of the volunteers wearing compression garments, only two reported muscle soreness. In comparison, 13 members of the control group had such issues 24 hours after intense physical activity.
This is just some of the research about compression shorts and compression garments in general. If you do an online search, you’ll come across numerous other clinical trials and experiments that assess the effectiveness of compression garments both during a workout and after its completion.
Choosing the Right Compression Shorts is Important
Regardless of the exercises and sports that you enjoy, choosing compression shorts can help you enjoy a wide range of benefits. Keep in mind, however, that compression shorts aren’t created equal. Some products deliver much better results than others.
When shopping for compression shorts, always examine the fabrics that the garments are made of, the quality of the seams and the way in which the garment delivers muscle control. Going through customer reviews will also provide essential information.
If possible, try the compression shorts on before making a purchase. When looking for such garments online, you should get access to a size chart or a table. Compression shorts should fit snuggly to support your muscles. Each manufacturer has a specific sizing chart, which should be available online. Use this table, take your measurements and determine what size is the right one for you. If compression shorts are too big, they’re not going to deliver the muscle support and the improved circulation that are so important for the effectiveness and safety of your workout.