Compression wear and base layers are always thought of as a great idea, something we ‘need to buy’ and must add to our sportswear collection, but what’s the real story behind compression wear? Are there really any performance benefits to be had from wearing them? In this article, we’ll cover the difference features of compression garments and base layers, showing how they can improve your sports performance and recovery.
Sports Performance Benefits of Compression Wear
The close-fitting ‘second skin’ nature of base layers means that you often forget they’re there when you’re in the midst of a match, race or tournament. But its not just discreetness that they’re designed for, the pressure and controlled tightness in the garments is designed to keep your muscles held in a secure and natural position.
This muscular protection reduces the chances of injury by holding your physique exactly the way it should, stopping muscles moving and vibrating on impact. It’s not necessarily the big major injuries that compression wear aims to protect, as a sound exercise routine will sort that out, but more so the little strains and pulls that can leave you feeling sore after a big game. Wearing compression gear will help with this, leaving you focused on what’s important: your sport.
Recovery Benefits of Compression Wear
Compression wear and base layers can be beneficial in endurance events such as running and cycling. Not just during, for the same reasons as mentioned above, but also for recovery benefits. After a ten, fifteen or even twenty-mile run, chances are if you’ve worked hard enough that your legs will be stiff and useless in the immediate hours after. For recovery to happen properly, we must allow the muscles to recovery with both food, such as protein. As no piece of clothing, no matter how special, will be able to give your muscles protein (yet), we suggest using base layers and compression wear for another recovery benefit: letting blood flow to the muscles fluidly.
So not only are the garments holding your muscles in places while you exercise, but they also hold them correctly while you recover, so blood can get to them efficiently to recover.
Types of Base Layers and Brands
Base layers come in all shapes and sizes, and for each part of the body. You can get hold of leg base layers, t shirts, long sleeved t shirts, full body base layers, forearm compression and just about anything else you can think of that can be compressed.