Compression wear has been making all the noise in recent years across the fitness and professional sports industries, with athletes hailing from every sport imaginable, from archery to weightlifting, opting for compression shorts, sleeves, and shirts to aid their overall performance and recovery. And rightfully so.
Particularly, compression wear is getting increasingly popular in sports where it was nowhere to be found just a few years ago, such as soccer and basketball. It was previously though that track field athletes, cyclists, and gymnasts were the predominant proponents of this type of clothing, however with recent advances made in the manufacturing field, compression wear is finding its way across the sporting universe.
But does it actually work and how can you utilize it to maximize results and give yourself and your team a competitive advantage in the soccer arena specifically?
Does compression wear actually work?
In a nutshell, yes, it does. Mounting evidence is working in support of the numerous anecdotal testimonies from athletes across the world in highlighting the low-to-moderate effect that compression clothing can have on your overall performance, and more importantly, post-workout recovery.
The tight elastic microfibers are not only designed to prevent injuries by keeping the joints and muscles warm, but the way they are constructed also allows blood to be forced in the right direction at the right time. In that sense, leggings are specifically designed to boost the circulation of blood from the lower leg, while shirts are designed to boost circulation through the arms and shoulders.
During your training session
In training conditions, and especially during prep for a game, wearing compression clothes can be highly rewarding for soccer players, as increased blood flow through the lower (and upper for that matter) body is exactly what you need for increased performance and endurance over the course of those grueling ninety minutes. And that is just the mock game itself. Match preps can last for hours on end, so players need all the help they can get.
What’s more, quality compression clothing will also have insulation on the inside to keep the heat from emanating out too quickly and keep the players warm throughout the training session. The good thing about this is that although they are compressing the muscle, they are not restricting movement, so you’re able to stay flexible as well.
Aiding in the post-workout recovery process
Recovery is one of the most important aspects of training, no matter the sport, as it allows athletes to regenerate their strength and come back stronger, faster, and healthier than before. While there are numerous recovery techniques and methods sports scientists, doctors, and professionals have been using for decades, compression wear is slowly becoming one of the staples or recovery as well.
Reportedly, compression clothing is able to decrease the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness, which occurs 24-48 hours after an intense training session. During the meta-analysis trial, researchers have concluded that wearing compression garments can have moderate effects on muscle tissue health and regeneration, aiding the athlete’s natural ability to recover faster.
Essential for professionals in a competitive setting
The positive aspects of compression wear varies with use and application in specific conditions, but no matter the training environment, wearing this type of clothes becomes essential for top-tier athletes competing in professional leagues, or competing in general in order to maximize performance.
Given the evidence obtained through anecdotal testimonies, paired with mounting research, it would be optimal to enable every soccer player to wear compression clothes during rigorous training, the recovery process, and especially during a match, in order to minimize the chances of injury, increase endurance, and prime their nervous system for maximum explosiveness.
Compression wear has been a necessity in many popular sports in the 20th century (individual sports in particular), and now it is making its way across the sports industry as a whole, finding its place in group sports as well in an attempt to create better athletes and prolong their careers. While you shouldn’t expect miracles, you can greatly benefit by wearing and inspiring others to wear compression clothes on a regular basis in order to optimize your training.