The effects of compression garments on intermittent exercise performance and recovery on consecutive days

School of Human Movement Studies, Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia.
International journal of sports physiology and performance (Impact Factor: 2.66). 01/2009; 3(4):454-68.
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to determine whether compression garments improve intermittent-sprint performance and aid performance or self-reported recovery from high-intensity efforts on consecutive days.
Following familiarization, 14 male rugby players performed two randomized testing conditions (with or without garments) involving consecutive days of a simulated team sport exercise protocol, separated by 24 h of recovery within each condition and 2 weeks between conditions. Each day involved an 80-min high-intensity exercise circuit, with exercise performance determined by repeated 20-m sprints and peak power on a cart dynamometer (single-man scrum machine). Measures of nude mass, heart rate, skin and tympanic temperature, and blood lactate (La-) were recorded throughout each day; also, creatine kinase (CK) and muscle soreness were recorded each day and 48 h following exercise.
No differences (P=.20 to 0.40) were present between conditions on either day of the exercise protocol for repeated 20-m sprint efforts or peak power on a cart dynamometer. Heart rate, tympanic temperature, and body mass did not significantly differ between conditions; however, skin temperature was higher under the compression garments. Although no differences (P=.50) in La- or CK were present, participants felt reduced levels of perceived muscle soreness in the ensuing 48 h postexercise when wearing the garments (2.5+/-1.7 vs 3.5+/-2.1 for garment and control; P=.01).
The use of compression garments did not improve or hamper simulated team-sport activity on consecutive days. Despite benefits of reduced self-reported muscle soreness when wearing garments during and following exercise each day, no improvements in performance or recovery were apparent.

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    • "Commercially available compression garments of multiple producers are available on the market, engineered not only to snuggly fit the body but also to potentially improve exercise performance [6], and benefits such as improved recovery when worn after endurance [2] [7] [8] or strength exercise [9] have been observed in some while not in all studies [10] [11] [12] [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Compression garments are often worn during exercise and allegedly have ergogenic and/or physiological effects. In this study, we compared hemodynamics and running performance while wearing compression and loose-fit breeches. We hypothesized that in neutral-warm environment compression breeches impair performance by diminishing body cooling via evaporative sweat loss and redistributing blood from active musculature to skin leading to a larger rise in body temperature and prolonging recovery of hemodynamics after exercise. Methods: Changes in hemodynamics (leg blood flow, heart rate, and blood pressure during orthoclinostatic test), calf muscle tissue oxygenation, and skin and core temperatures were measured in response to 30 min running (simulation of aerobic training session) followed by maximal 400 m sprint (evaluation of running performance) in recreationally active females (25.1 ± 4.2 yrs; 63.0 ± 8.6 kg) wearing compression or loose-fit breeches in randomized fashion. Results: Wearing compression breeches resulted in larger skin temperature rise under the garment during exercise and recovery (by about 1 °C, P < 0.05; statistical power > 85%), while core temperature dynamics and other measured parameters including circulation, running performance, and sensations were similar compared to wearing loose-fit breeches (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Compared with loose-fit breeches, compression breeches have neither positive nor negative physiological and performance effects for females running in thermoneutral environment.
    The Scientific World Journal 08/2014; 2014(353040). DOI:10.1155/2014/353040 · 1.73 Impact Factor
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    • "The CGSS significantly lowered our subjects’ rating of perceived exertion by the upper leg muscles, which are key contributors to sprint performance [54]. In a similar manner, earlier research has shown that compression clothing lowers perceived exertion, especially in those suffering from severe muscular pain and discomfort [55-58]. However, with our experimental protocol this lower rating of perceived exertion might be a placebo effect. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Repeated sprint performance is determined by explosive production of power, as well as rapid recovery between successive sprints, and there is evidence that compression garments and sports taping can improve both of these factors. Methods In each of two sub-studies, female athletes performed two sets of 30 30-m sprints (one sprint per minute), one set wearing compression garment with adhesive silicone stripes (CGSS) intended to mimic taping and the other with normal clothing, in randomized order. Sub-study 1 (n = 12) focused on cardio-respiratory, metabolic, hemodynamic and perceptual responses, while neuronal and biomechanical parameters were examined in sub-study 2 (n = 12). Results In both sub-studies the CGSS improved repeated sprint performance during the final 10 sprints (best P < 0.01, d = 0.61). None of the cardio-respiratory or metabolic variables monitored were altered by wearing this garment (best P = 0.06, d = 0.71). Also during the final 10 sprints, rating of perceived exertion by the upper leg muscles was reduced (P = 0.01, d = 1.1), step length increased (P = 0.01, d = 0.91) and activation of the m. rectus femoris elevated (P = 0.01, d = 1.24), while the hip flexion angle was lowered throughout the protocol (best P < 0.01, d = 2.28) and step frequency (best P = 0.34, d = 0.2) remained unaltered. Conclusion Although the physiological parameters monitored were unchanged, the CGSS appears to improve performance during 30 30-m repeated sprints by reducing perceived exertion and altering running technique.
    05/2014; 6(1):21. DOI:10.1186/2052-1847-6-21
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    • "The current research demonstrates that wearing UBCG does not improve flat-water kayaking performance , with only trivial increases in the distance covered (0.26%) and average power (0.75%) between conditions. This supports previous findings that have shown wearing CG does not improve performance in cycling (Scanlan et al., 2008), running (Bringard, Perrey, et al., 2006; Dascombe et al., in press; Goh et al., 2010; Sperlich et al. 2010), or simulated teamsport activities (Duffield et al., 2008; Higgins et al., 2009; Houghton et al., 2009; Sear et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract While the effect of lower body compression garments on performance and physiological responses are well documented, no studies have examined the effect of upper body compression garments (UBCG) on upper-body dominant exercise. This study examined the effects of wearing UBCG on performance and physiological responses during simulated flat-water kayaking. Five male (mean values±s: 21.8±2.8 years; 83.5±9.2 kg; 63.0±5.5 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1)) and two female (mean values±s: 25.0±4.2 years; 71.4±2.7 kg; 51.0±4.8 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1)) elite flat-water kayakers completed a six-step incremental test followed by a four-minute maximal performance test (4minPT) in both UBCG and control (no shirt or sports training bra) conditions in a randomized counter-balanced order. Heart rate and oxygen consumption ([Formula: see text]O2) as well as performance measures (power, distance covered, stroke rate) were recorded during the tests, and blood lactate was measured immediately after each incremental step and three minutes following the 4minPT. Near-infrared spectroscopy-derived measures of blood flow and oxygenation of the flexor carpi radialis were monitored continuously for all tests. No significant differences between the UBCG and control conditions were evident for any performance, cardiorespiratory or oxygenation measure across the incremental step test and 4minPT. It was concluded that wearing UBCG did not provide any significant physiological or performance benefits during simulated flat-water kayaking.
    07/2013; 13(4):341-9. DOI:10.1080/17461391.2011.606842
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