Athletes of all sports and at all levels know that there's nothing more fulfilling than reaching a goal: setting a new personal record, lifting a heavier weight, or finishing a farther distance. They also know that you need every advantage available — and that includes selecting the right workout clothes for training, performance, and recovery.
Compression workout clothes are growing in popularity, and for good reason: adding pressure to muscles and joints can enhance performance, prevent injury, and improve recovery time. Read on to learn about the benefits of compression and the types of compression apparel to find out what works for you.
Enhanced Muscle Support
Compression clothing is tight-fitting apparel that hugs the body to provide support without restricting your body's range of motion. This kind of second skin is believed to reduce muscle vibrations, resulting in improved muscle control and a better workout. The extra layer of stability can help prevent injury to muscles and joints — and following an injury, compression gear can provide the same support.
Improved Blood Circulation and Oxygenation
It's common for people with poor circulation to be medically treated with compression gear to stimulate blood flow and disperse lymphatic fluid. Compression wear, which is snug and adds some pressure to the muscles, applies the same idea to athletes: compressing the muscles during and after exercise to help improve blood flow. Encouraging fluid movement in the body means getting rid of waste products from exercise, meaning muscles will get more oxygen and recover more quickly. In addition, athletes may notice improved endurance and performance.
Faster Warm-Up and Reduced Muscle Soreness
Compression gear is especially helpful to muscles by reducing fatigue and distress as well as lessening the time it takes to repair muscles following sweat sessions. Because physical activity causes small tears in muscles as part of the process that builds more muscle fibers, actually making you stronger and faster over time, muscle soreness could be the result of inflammation resulting from these tears. Compression workout clothes can limit post-workout leg soreness, muscle fatigue, and muscle damage from exercise due to the increase in blood flow and lymphatic outflow resulting from the pressure of the gear.
Breathability and Temperature Regulation
Compression workout clothes feature fabrics that are breathable and moisture-wicking to keep the body dry even during intense workouts, unlike traditional athletic wear which can get drenched with sweats, making for an uncomfortable remainder of the session. While this is useful during warm weather, compression gear is also vital when the temperature drops to help regulate body temperature and keep muscles warm to prevent strains. CW-X's skiing tights, for example, are made with WarmStretch temperature-regulation fabric to maintain a constant surface temperature in a variety of conditions, which can be worn as either a base layer or alone (aiding in sports that rely on aerodynamics such as speed skating and skiing).
Enhanced Comfort and Freedom of Movement
While compression workout clothes are form-fitting, they are flexible and do not restrict the range of motion, making them perfect for a variety of workouts. No matter how your body is moving — whether running, lifting, stretching, or playing team or individual sports — compression gear moves with you and never gets in the way. In addition, the fit can help limit movement in areas where you want to reduce bounce. Compression sports bras are effective in reducing chest movement during physical activity for a more comfortable experience that will also prevent pain or injury in the shoulders, neck, and back, while compression tights or compression shorts can provide support in the groin area.
Versatility for Various Workouts and Sports
Because compression workout clothes move with their wearer and can be worn in multiple ways, they are suitable for a wide array of physical activities. Compression gear helps reduce the risk of injury and improve performance in all wearers, but different athletes may notice other benefits as well. Runners, walkers, and bikers praise compression shorts and pants for helping to prevent chaffing that may occur with standard athletic shorts, while rock climbers, weightlifters, yogis, and others favor compression clothing for not being baggy and getting in the way of their workouts. Compression gear also provides adequate coverage without fear of moving around during a high-impact workout.
In addition, compression gear can be worn both as a base layer under other clothing or by itself. When worn alone, compression apparel reduces drag to improve performance in sports where aerodynamics are a factor, such as skiing, running, bobsledding, luging, or speed skating.
Types of Compression Workout Clothes
One of the benefits of compression clothing is that there is a range of options to suit every athlete, whether focused on a specific injury or looking for all-around coverage.
Knees, elbows, ankles, shoulders, and other joints go through a lot of stress during sports and workouts, and compression sleeves can help alleviate joint pain due to an increase in stability — and some believe that the heat from wearing a sleeve or other compression piece is also a benefit. After an injury, support from compression sleeves can help aid in your recovery.
Compression sports bras limit movement and bounce, helping to prevent strain on your neck, back, and shoulders during physical activity. They do not have individual cups to separate the breasts, keeping excess motion under control for a more comfortable experience during any exercise, whether you're going for a low-paced walk or doing jumping jacks in a fitness class.
No matter the length — shorts, ¾-length, or full-length — compression tights enhance a workout by preventing chafing, regulating body temperature, wicking moisture, and giving pressure to muscles for improved performance and faster recovery.
Compression workout clothes help active people stay in the game by enhancing performance during workouts, preventing injury, and keeping recovery times at a minimum. Extra stability means you can continue to do what you love without extended breaks for pain or fatigue. And with so many options available, you're sure to find something that's stylish and functional for every sport.
CW-X has a range of products for both men and women featuring patented EXO-WEB technology, which mimics kinesiology-taping techniques that trainers apply to injured muscles. When applied to muscles and joints, this creates an exoskeletal support system that improves biomechanics for athletes of all arenas looking to achieve their full fitness potential.