Compression shorts: A complete guide
In the past, jockstraps were used by men under their training shorts during various sports or workouts. These days, compression shorts are in trend, whether you are going for race, cycling or any other sport or workouts.
What are compression shorts and what do they do?
Compression shorts or tights are undergarments normally worn by sports persons. These are known as form-fitting garments and cover the area of the waist to the thigh (mid or lower). They come with different degrees of compression, higher degree, however, requires a doctor’s prescription to use them.
How they work and how to wear compression shorts?
Compression shorts are made of bands of robust fabric to support major muscles of the legs. The support thus provided controls motion of leg muscles (oscillation) during running pace ensuring efficient movements. Athletic performance is enhanced using compression tights shorts as they cut short the amount of energy you would normally spend during the sports or running.
Compression shorts benefits
The following are some of the benefits of using compression shorts:
- Controlled leg movements: These shorts are made up of spandex material that provided elasticity to leg movements while sprinting and helps control leg movements at end of swing phase while running. Reason behind it is compression shorts assist bending of joints and improve force required during particular motions while running or playing other sports.
- Damage control: Compression shorts compress muscle tissues to a level that it delays muscle soreness and hence, there is less damage to the muscles. They also support recovery of muscles.
- Improved blood circulation: Since the muscles are compressed using these sorts, it helps improve the blood circulation during running or workouts and oxygen use is also reduced. Research has proved that people wearing compression shorts spend less aerobic energy in comparison to people who perform without wearing them.
- Fatigue control: The compression provided by these shorts increase lactate retention in the muscles, reducing the amount released into the blood. It directly reduces muscle fatigue.
- Temperature control: compression shorts support faster cooling of the body by tapering sweat from the body and help it disperse at a fast pace. It helps keep the wearer cool during workouts. The athletic performance is enhanced when thermo regulatory system of the body is controlled as declined athletic performance is linked with an increase in core temperature of the body.
- Thrombosis: Thrombosis is a condition in which a blood clot gets formed in some vein deep inside human body. These compressing shorts are proven to be helpful in preventing this condition.
Types of compression shorts
These can be categorized in two ways:
- Underwear: under armour compression shorts is worn under a pair of loose fitting shorts. The material used for making compression underwear is usually spandex or lycra and it should be ideally figure hugging but not unnecessarily tight. They support thighs, glutes and quads and one need not to wear jockstraps with them. The fabric used for making them is usually sweat wicking that helps maintain body temperature while exercising.
- Outerwear: outerwear padded compression shorts are meant to be worn alone. These are more stylish in looks and are made up of thicker material in comparison to compression underwear. Seams and elastic used to make these shorts should be firm and strong to ensure durability of the product. These types of shorts usually sit at waist and have varied lengths. Inseams of women’s outerwear compression shorts are usually shorter than men’s outerwear compression shorts.
Who should wear them
Running compression shorts are popular among sports persons and people who are more fitness conscious. These shorts were earlier used to improve blood circulation in old age people or they can also be used by people having circulation problems due to any medical condition such as diabetes. However, the manufacturers of sports clothing have started selling them claiming they help improve blood flow by compressing muscles, hence improving athletic performance. These shorts help hold body parts in place and prevent thigh chafing.
Hence, it can be concluded that running compression shorts can be worn by people who face thigh chafing while doing some physical activity or by people having circulation problems. However, one should not go after claims by manufacturers that they help improve athletic performance as there is no scientific proof available to support this statement. Still, if it helps you by providing support during your workouts, it is good for you.
Buying guide for best compression shorts
The purpose of long compression shorts is to support muscles, improve blood circulation, prevent muscle injury and support recovery and reduce lactic acid. All this is achieved by their feature of body hugging and the ability to compress muscle tissues in gluteus, quads and hamstrings. Following are the features you should look for while buying best compression shorts:
- Moisture wicking fabric: The fabric used for making starter compression shorts must be moisture wicking to help cool the body temperature while exercising. Wicking out body sweat from skin to outer fabric layer helps keep body cool and dry as much as possible. This fabric makes use of natural capillary action that takes place when liquid flow between narrow spaces without help of external force like gravity.
- Integrated cup pockets: this feature is not available in all compression shorts. If you plan to wear cup, you should look for this feature as it provided extra safety and comfort.
- Wide waistbands: it is a matter of personal choice but since compression shorts are always tight fitting so wide waistbands ensure you do not get cut feeling on your waist that is common with shorts with smaller waistbands.
- Dye sublimated graphics: dye sublimated graphics are one where designs get fused with fabric of compression shorts. These help keep the shorts, lightweight, sleek and there is no chaffing or fading of fabric due to stitching. It is however not related with performance and is a matter of personal choice.
- Size: compression shorts come in varied sizes and lengths, and right choice of them depends on the individual’s size and preference. Size for compression shorts cannot be generalized.
Various Compression shorts brands
- Nike pro combat compression shorts women and men
- Adidas – basketball compression shorts
Look here to see the cheap compression shorts women and men.