Compression shorts are form-fitting garments with bands of sturdy fabric that are usually worn by athletes to support the major muscles in the leg. This support provides several benefits to athletes looking to take their performance to the next level. To explain how compression shorts work, we have highlighted several of these benefits below, including the science behind them and how athletes can take advantage of them to maximize performance.
How Compression Shorts Work To Improve Efficiency of Movement
Compression shorts limit oscillation (extra muscle motion) during a running stride to improve movement efficiency. A 2006 study found that athletes wearing compression shorts were able to reduce the hip flexion angle during a 60-meter sprint .
The elasticity of compression shorts also appears to act on sprinters’ hamstrings by controlling movement of the leg when finishing the swing phase. The shorts increase flexion and extension torque at the end range of the motions involved.
The result is an increase in control and a reduction in the amount of energy expended. This assists runners (both long and short distance), soccer players and other athletes who run long distances to conserve energy.
How Compression Shorts Reduce Recovery Time and Prevent Injury
Compression shorts can delayed onset muscle soreness by compressing the muscle tissue and reducing damage. A 2014 study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that compression garments assist recovery of muscle strength in the period after resistance training. Another study found that due to the support they provide, compression shorts reduce impact force to muscles by up 27 per cent as compared with other types of athletic garments, such as football pants.
Compression shorts can also limit muscle oscillation during vertical jump landings, which can help prevent injury in basketball players, volleyball players and other athletes who frequently jump. Compression shorts have also been shown to reduce the risk of incurring muscle strains in several sports.
How Compression Shorts Work To Improve Athletic Performance
Compression shorts provide a wide range of benefits that can help athletes gain an edge during competition. The first is an improvement in blood circulation. This leads to an increase in oxygen delivered to the muscles, resulting in improved endurance for athletes. Studies show a people wearing compression shorts experience less aerobic energy loss than others.
Compression shorts also increase the amount of lactate retained in muscles. Lactate impacts muscle fatigue. When it remains in the muscles and does not enter the blood, athletes experience less fatigue. As a result, they can perform at a higher level for longer.
Lastly, compression shorts may help improve jumping performance in athletes during endurance events. In a study referenced by Runner’s World, compression gear facilitates the recovery maximum jumping ability after a workout. In sports in which jumping ability is important, like basketball, volleyball or football, this assists players maintain their freshness. As a result, they can perform at a higher level than their competition for a longer period.