Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Compression Sportswear:
Improved Performance and Protection for All Athletes

In recent years, astute sports fans have noticed a trend in athletic wear while watching recreational, college, and even professional sporting events: the use of formfitting, spandex-like garments such as shorts, tights, sleeves, and socks worn with or underneath typical sportswear. Whether beneath a soccer player's shorts, under a female tennis player's skirt, as a basketball player's sleeve, or as a more supportive sock for runners, compression sportswear is a phenomenon that's here to stay.

There's a fundamental reason why compression sportswear isn't just a fad: it provides athletes clear benefits that improve their athletic performance.

Advantages of Compression Sportswear
The primary benefit to wearing compression sportswear is that it keeps the most utilized muscles of a given athlete warm, which prevents both strain and fatigue. Meanwhile, compression shorts, sleeves, socks, or any similar item wraps muscles in a way that decreases movement and promotes focused support. This results in an increased sense of proprioception. Athletes using compression clothing experience less muscle soreness, weakness, and stiffness.

Another enormous benefit is that such garments keep sweat from pooling and dripping directly on athletes' bodies. This prevents chafing and rashes, while allowing the body to regulate its temperature naturally. No matter how intense the workout, the athlete remains dry and functions at his or her optimal temperature.

There's also evidence that compression sportswear improves blood circulation. More oxygen in the blood results in increased strength during a workout and less soreness afterward. And, of course, this reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis, and improves vein and artery health more generally.

While most athletes are vaguely aware of these advantages before first using compression clothing, they always feel the results in terms of increased performance and improved athletic health after regularly using it. However, the reason why many runners, cyclists, tennis, basketball, and baseball players initially purchase such items is because compression gear holds undergarments and other equipment nicely in place. Some male athletes use compression shorts in lieu of jockstraps, and many women use such shorts or tights under skirts to prevent exposure of their underwear. Lastly, some compression sportswear has extra padding built in that is ideal in sports where the athlete may frequently make contact with the ground, such as in baseball and tennis.

Overall, users of compression clothing in sports experience increased athletic performance that allows them to run faster and longer, jump higher, and have improved muscle memory, all while decreasing the risk of sports injuries.

Types of Compression Sportswear
While many types of compression clothing for sports now exist and the technology is rapidly advancing, there are several specific garments that are the most widely used by athletes at all levels.

Compression socks have become a favorite of professional and recreational runners alike. Outdoor runners find that the socks decrease the negative impact that muscle vibration causes. Also, runners' legs and feet feel more supported with compression socks.

Anybody who watches NBA basketball have noticed that many players now wear compression sleeves on their shooting arm. It keeps the arm warm and ready to shoot, improving their strength, accuracy, and muscle memory. These advantages are present in other sports that make prominent use of arms as well.

As for compression shorts, they without question are beneficial to cyclists, runners, baseball players, tennis players, and all kinds of other athletes. They cover and support a sensitive region of the body that needs strong blood flow and protection. The comfort that compression shorts provides is reason enough for most athletes to give them a try.

While many trends in athletics that promise to improve performance are unsupported by research, this is not the case with compression sportswear. Such garments now have a long track record of clear benefits and increased athletic performance for all types of athletes. Whether to keep muscles warm, improve blood flow, or provide increased support and protection, compression gear has numerous uses.

About MMAR Medical: MMAR medical is a supplier of medical sports therapy equipment including rehabilitative knee braces, cold therapy systems and CEP sports compression.

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