In the past few years, wearing compression garments has become a trend amongst both athletes and amateurs alike. As a result, people started asking questions – what do compression garments do, and can they actually enhance a workout?
The question has been a topic of debate for many. While compression gear may not be the be-all-end-all to a good workout, that doesn’t mean that it serves no purpose. There are certainly some benefits that wearing compression shirts bring. Here are some of the top benefits to reap by wearing men’s compression shirts:
The main benefit of a compression shirt, and compression garments in general, is pretty straightforward – they increase blood flow to the muscles. The increased blood flow basically works like a massage, resulting in reduced fatigue and soreness.
However, always make sure the compression shirt isn’t too tight. While its purpose is to tighten the body, it should never cut circulation to any extremity. In that case, the compression garment may do more harm than good.
The good news is that most compression shirts have a mild to moderate level of compression, where the risk of cutting circulation is low. However, if you are in search of a shirt with a high level of compression, make sure you feel comfortable wearing it.
For those who haven’t heard of proprioception (also called kinesthesia, or kinaesthesia), the term refers to one’s sense of body position or a sense of self-movement in space. It is believed that men’s compression shirts improve a person’s sense of proprioception.
You may wonder how this sense even affects a person’s work out. Theoretically, a better sense of one’s body position increases the efficiency of movement, as well as reduce muscle activity. As a result, the workout itself is less tiring, resulting in longer, and more efficient, exercise.
There is evidence to suggest that wearing compression shirts helps with the alignment of muscles. Specifically, the muscles in your arms, back, and shoulders benefit highly from compression garments, as they tighten these areas and increase blood flow.
Additionally, the act of wearing a tight shirt serves as an incentive for people to be mindful of their posture, and, as a result, improve it. Good posture is an absolute must for any fitness enthusiast and results in better, and safer workouts.
Another reason why professional athletes swear by compression shirts is their role in post-workout recovery. In fact, the evidence regarding men’s compression shirt’s positive effect on a recovery period is the most convincing benefit of these garments.
However, in order to actually reap this benefit, you need to wear the compression gear during the recovery period, aka after a workout. In an ideal world, you would wear the compression shirt for hours following the workout for the greatest benefit, which may not be always feasible.
Naturally, there is no question regarding the benefits of a fast and easy recovery post-workout. Not only are your muscles less stressed, but you can also work out more often, with increased energy and better form.
The Strength of Placebo
While men’s compression shirts definitely provide great support to your workout, keep in mind that some of the perceived benefits may be a result of the placebo effect – a phenomenon where people experience a benefit from an inactive substance. In other words, the shirt itself may not be the reason why your workouts are enhanced.
However, this doesn’t mean that the shirts don’t work. In fact, it may mean the exact opposite. The placebo effect is real, and if a person finds that they have better workouts wearing men’s compression shirts, then they have served their purpose.
To sum up, wearing men’s compression shirts during (and after) a workout has many benefits for your body, including reduced soreness, increased blood flow, as well as a speedier recovery. However, keep in mind that not all shirts are designed the same, nor do they serve the same purpose.
Additionally, some fitness enthusiasts may benefit more from compression gear than others. For example, the gear may be better suited for sports that involve a lot of jumping – such as basketball or tennis. Either way, compression shirts are definitely a must-have for any athlete’s closet, and for good reason.