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The Effect of Graduated Compression Stockings on Running Performance

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The aim of this study was to examine the effects of wearing different grades of graduated compression stockings (GCS) on 10-km running performance. After an initial familiarization run, 9 male and 3 female competitive runners (VO₂max 68.7 ± 5.8 ml·kg⁻¹·min⁻¹) completed 4 10-km time trials on an outdoor 400-m track wearing either control (0 mm Hg; Con), low (12-15 mm Hg; Low), medium (18-21 mm Hg; Med), or high (23-32 mm Hg; Hi) GCS in a randomized counterbalanced order. Leg power was assessed pre and postrun via countermovement jump using a jump mat. Blood-lactate concentration was assessed pre and postrun, whereas heart rate was monitored continuously during exercise. Perceptual scales were used to assess the comfort, tightness, and any pain associated with wearing GCS. There were no significant differences in performance time between trials (p = 0.99). The change in pre to postexercise jump performance was lower in Low and Med than in Con (p < 0.05). Mean heart rate (p = 0.99) and blood lactate (p = 1.00) were not different between trials. Participants rated Con and Low as more comfortable than Med and Hi (p < 0.01), Med and Hi were rated as tighter than Low (p < 0.01), all GCS were rated as tighter than Con (p < 0.01), and Hi was associated with the most pain (p < 0.01). In conclusion, GCS worn by competitive runners during 10-km time trials did not affect performance time; however Low and Med GCS resulted in greater maintenance of leg power after endurance exercise. Athletes rated low-grade GCS as most comfortable garments to wear during exercise.
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THE EFFECT OF GRADUATED COMPRESSION
STOCKINGS ON RUNNING PERFORMANCE
AJMOL ALI,
1
ROBERT H. CREASY,
2
AND JOHANN A. EDGE
3
1
Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Human Health, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand;
2
New Zealand Academy of
Sport, Christchurch, New Zealand; and
3
Department of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Auckland, Auckland,
New Zealand
ABSTRACT
Ali, A, Creasy, RH, and Edge, JA. The effect of graduated
compression stockings on running performance. J Strength
Cond Res 25(5): 1385–1392, 2011—The aim of this study was
to examine the effects of wearing different grades of graduated
compression stockings (GCS) on 10-km running performance.
After an initial familiarization run, 9 male and 3 female
competitive runners ( _
VO
2
max 68.7 65.8 mlkg
21
min
21
)
completed 4 10-km time trials on an outdoor 400-m track
wearing either control (0 mm Hg; Con), low (12–15 mm Hg;
Low), medium (18–21 mm Hg; Med), or high (23–32 mm Hg;
Hi) GCS in a randomized counterbalanced order. Leg power
was assessed pre and postrun via countermovement jump
using a jump mat. Blood-lactate concentration was assessed
pre and postrun, whereas heart rate was monitored continu-
ously during exercise. Perceptual scales were used to assess
the comfort, tightness, and any pain associated with wearing
GCS. There were no significant differences in performance time
between trials (p= 0.99). The change in pre to postexercise
jump performance was lower in Low and Med than in Con (p,
0.05). Mean heart rate (p= 0.99) and blood lactate (p= 1.00)
were not different between trials. Participants rated Con and
Low as more comfortable than Med and Hi (p,0.01), Med and
Hi were rated as tighter than Low (p,0.01), all GCS were
rated as tighter than Con (p,0.01), and Hi was associated
with the most pain (p,0.01). In conclusion, GCS worn by
competitive runners during 10-km time trials did not affect
performance time; however Low and Med GCS resulted in
greater maintenance of leg power after endurance exercise.
Athletes rated low-grade GCS as most comfortable garments
to wear during exercise.
KEY WORDS athletic apparel, compression garment, compet-
itive athlete, leg power, comfort
INTRODUCTION
Athletes continue to search for ergogenic aids that
can enhance performance during competition and
training so as to gain an advantage over their
opponents (3). Competitive runners have worn
graduated compression stockings (GCS)—a form of mechan-
ical ergogenic aid—during races to enhance their potential to
run faster. Despite the scarcity of scientific research, world
records have been set wearing GCS for 20 km (Lornah
Kiplagat, 1:02:57, October 14, 2007, Udine, Italy) and
treadmill marathon performance (Michael Wardian,
2:23:58, December 11, 2004, Arlington, TX, USA). Though
these world record performances were undoubtedly the com-
bination of exceptional athletic talent and comprehensive
training, the runners’ choice to wear GCS indicates these
athletes place considerable faith in their performance effects.
In support of anecdotal claims made by athletes and
manufacturers, previous research suggests that there may be
some performance benefits from using compression gar-
ments. Recreational athletes ran 5-km races faster wearing
elastic tights (30 mm Hg at the ankle) than without tights (9);
the authors suggest that the compression tights improved the
stride length of the runners, which resulted in the 2.3% better
performance. Further, moderately trained athletes demon-
strated improved running performance, as shown by time
under load, total work, and maximum speed, when wearing
compression stockings (15). Kemmler et al. (15) did not
provide a specific mechanism for the improvement in
performance but suggested it could be because of improved
aerobic efficiency (8) or some other biological or bio-
mechanical effect of compression. However, the participants
in these studies were not blinded to the experimental
procedures, so there remains the possibility of ÔplaceboÕ
effects improving performance.
During competition, endurance runners need to main-
tain muscle power for high-intensity or sprint exercise, and
some studies have reported that muscle power may be
enhanced when wearing compression garments (11,16).
Track athletes showed improved countermovement jump
(CMJ) height while wearing compression shorts as opposed
to loose-fitting gym shorts (11). Moreover, athletes and
nonathletes wearing graduated compression shorts
Address correspondence to Dr. Ajmol Ali, a.ali@massey.ac.nz.
25(5)/1385–1392
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Ó2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association
VOLUME 25 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2011 | 1385
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demonstrated improved vertical jump height after endurance
exercise, possibly as a result of improved proprioception (16).
However, single and repeated-sprint performances were not
altered by wearing compression garments (11,12), so the
relationship between compression garments, jumping and
sprinting performance remains to be clarified. Nevertheless,
no studies have examined the impact of wearing GCS during
fast-paced running on muscle power.
Previous investigations have used garments with a range of
compression levels. However, no study has attempted to
examine the effects of varying grades of compression on
running or jumping performance in endurance athletes.
Moreover, no study has attempted to examine the effect of
graduated compression per se by using an appropriate control
garment. Though clinical trials recommend compression at
the ankle between 15 and 30
mm Hg (that dissipates to the
knee) this may not be appro-
priate for healthy athletes. In-
deed, Lawrence and Kakkar
(18) showed that increasing
compression to 30 mm Hg at
the ankle caused too much
compression and decreased
subcutaneous blood flow and
deep-vein velocity, possibly via
a tourniquet effect. Therefore,
this may have an impact not
only on blood flow but also on
the comfort of the athlete,
which may result in an ergo-
lytic effect on the individual.
Nevertheless, the possibility
also exists that a comfortable
stocking may not necessarily be
the most effective garment for
performance.
Therefore, the main aim of
this study was to examine the effects of wearing different
grades of GCS on 10-km running performance in well-trained
athletes. A secondary aim was to assess the effects of wearing
GCS on various physiological and perceptual responses after
exercise.
METHODS
Experimental Approach to the Problem
This study used a randomized counterbalanced design, which
was blinded to both the participants and experimenters, to
examine the effect of wearing GCS on 10-km running
performance in well-trained runners. We used a within-
subjects design that enabled subjects to act as their own
control. Subjects wore different grades of GCS to investigate
dose–response issues, and a control garment (no compres-
sion) was used to offset ÔplaceboÕeffects.
Subjects
Twelve participants provided informed consent to take part
in this study, which complied with the Massey University
Human Ethics Committee guidelines. All participants com-
pleted and signed health screening questionnaires before
beginning any exercise tests. The athletes were well-trained,
competitive male and female runners who were (mean 6SD)
33 610 years old, 68.5 66.2 kg in body mass, 1.74 60.06 m
in stature, and had a _
VO
2
max of 68.7 65.8 mlkg
21
min
21
.
The participants competed regularly in 800 m to marathon
distances during the previous 12 months. Run training time
ranged from 7 to 16 hwk
21
, interspersed with competitive
events. No participants suffered from deep-vein thrombosis,
varicose veins, or other vascular illnesses. The personal best
Figure 1. Graduated compression stockings (GCS) correctly fitted over legs, flush under the knee, and smoothed
to avoid bunching.
TABLE 1. Compression applied by GCS at the ankle
and below the knee according to the manufacturer’s
guidelines when fitted correctly.*
Trial
Compression at
ankle (mm Hg)
Compression at
knee (mm Hg)
Con 0 0
Low 15 12
Med 21 18
Hi 32 23
*GCS = graduated compression stocking; Con =
control; Low = low-grade GCS; Med = medium-grade
GCS; Hi = high-grade GCS.
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times for 10 km were (mean 6SD; minutes:seconds)
37:30.4 62:00.4 (men) and 40:52.2 63:23.4 (women).
Procedures
Preliminary Procedures. Participants completed a concurrent
_
VO
2
max and lactate test protocol within 2 weeks of beginning
the first trial. Leg measurements were taken to ensure that
participants received the correct stocking size for each time
trial run. The GCS worn by each participant during the time
trials was determined by a partial counterbalanced design
that was double blinded to the experimenters and partic-
ipants. Participants were also familiarized with the correct
CMJ technique. An experimenter described and demon-
strated the correct movements and stressed the importance
that each attempt was a maximal effort. The perceptual scales
used during the study were explained to participants so as to
ensure they gave correct answers for subjective perception.
Compression Garments. The
compression garments were
knee-high stockings that pro-
vided greatest compressive
pressure at the ankle, which
gradually dissipated to the knee
(Julius Zorn GmbH, Aichach,
Germany; Figure 1). The cor-
rect fit for each participant was
determined (according to the
manufacturer’s guidelines) by
measuring the distance from
the ground to the popliteal line
behind the knee, the leg cir-
cumference immediately below
the knee, the leg circumference
at the widest part of the calf and
leg circumference at the nar-
rowest part of the ankle. Par-
ticipants donned the GCS by
turning the stocking inside out
and rolling the sock over the toes, foot, and leg. The stocking
was adjusted so that the top was flush below the knee and
above the calf muscles. Any bunching was smoothed over to
prevent a tourniquet effect. Four different types of stocking
were used. The stocking used for the familiarization (Fam)
and control (Con) trials was designed to have minimal
compression at the ankle or calf (0 mm Hg). The 3 types of
GCS used were designated as low (Low), medium (Med),
and high (Hi) grade compression (Table 1). The different
compression grades at the ankle and calf were achieved by
the length, width, and weave of the garment; tighter weave
produced greater compression around the leg tissues.
Countermovement Jumps. Countermovement jump perfor-
mance was measured pre and postrun to estimate changes
in leg power. Participants were instructed to step on to a jump
mat (Just Jump, Probotics Inc. Huntsville, AL, USA), place
their hands on their hips, and use a countermovement to
optimize jump height. Three maximal-effort jumps were
performed by participants with the best jump used for
comparison with postrun CMJ. All CMJ efforts were
separated by at least a 10-second rest.
Perceptual Measures. The Feeling Scale (FS) was used to
measure the level of pleasure or displeasure before and after
exercise using an 11-point scale ranging from 25 (very bad),
0 (neutral), to +5 (very good) with markers at each odd integer
(13). The Felt Arousal Scale (FAS) was used to measure
participants’ level of arousal-activation before and after
exercise using a 6-point scale that ranged from 1 (bored,
apathetic, tired) to 6 (excited, angry, energetic (19)). The
ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) scale was used to measure
how hard the participants perceived they were running during
the trials, ranging from 6 (very, very light) to 20 (very, very
Figure 2. Performance time for participants completing 10-km time trials wearing different graduated compression
stockings (GCS); filled bars show mean 695% CI, whereas lines represent individual responses; Con (control);
Low (low-grade GCS); Med (medium-grade GCS); Hi (high-grade GCS).
TABLE 2. Maximum countermovement jump height
achieved over 3 attempts before and after 10-km
time trial running wearing different GCS.*
Trial Prerun (cm) Postrun (cm)
Con 33.8 69.2 30.9 69.7
Low 32.4 68.5 33.6 69.4
Med 34.9 68.0 36.6 65.5
Hi 33.6 68.2 33.1 68.4
*GCS = graduated compression stocking; Con =
control; Low = low grade GCS; Med = medium grade
GCS; Hi = high grade GCS.
Values are given as mean 6SD.
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hard (7)). A number of other Likert scales were used to assess
the comfort, tightness, and (where applicable) any induced
pain from wearing GCS (1). Responses for each factor ranged
from 1 (very uncomfortable, slack, no pain) through to 10
(very comfortable, very tight, very painful).
Experimental Procedures. Five 10-km time trials (1 familiar-
ization and 4 main trials) were run on an artificial surface
outdoor 400-m track interspersed by at least 7 days of
recovery. All participants were advised to prepare for the trial
with the same routines they followed before a running race
and to maintain consistency with their preparation in the
48-hour period leading up to each trial. An 8-week testing
period was booked to allow for wet weather, high wind
speeds, or extenuating circumstances preventing participants
from running the time trials. If track conditions were wet or
wind speeds exceeded 5 ms
21
the participants were informed
of an alternative testing date.
Participants arrived at the same
time and day of the week for
each time trial 20 minutes
before they were due to start
the run. During this period the
participants were fitted with
a pair of GCS, a downloadable
heart rate (HR) monitor (Polar
Team System, Polar, Kempele,
Finland), and reported percep-
tual ratings. Participants were
allowed a 10-minute warm-up
(consisting of running and
stretching) period before the
assessment of CMJ. Blood lac-
tate (La
2
) concentration was
measured from finger-prick
samples (Lactate Pro, Arkray
Inc. Kyoto, Japan) immediately
before beginning the time trial
run. Environmental conditions
including wind speed, wind direction, ambient temperature,
relative humidity, and barometric pressure were recorded
using a portable weather station (Kestrel 4500 Portable
Weather Tracker, Neilsen–Kellerman, Boothwyn, PA, USA).
Each participant was started for the 10-km run individually
and separated from the next runner by a 60-second gap in
order from slowest to fastest. The runners were separated to
avoid pacing strategies affecting performance time. Athletes
were also given incentives for achieving a personal best time
or gift rewards for finishing ahead of the runner who started in
front of them. During the run, HR was recorded every 5
seconds and lap counters recorded splits for every 400 m. Run
time was measured with 2 stopwatches to ensure the correct
finishing time. Participants received feedback about the
number of laps they had completed but not HR or lap time
information.
Figure 3. Change in countermovement jump height from pre- to post-10-km time trial runs; filled bars show mean 6
95% CI, whereas lines represent individual responses; Con (control); Low (low-grade GCS); Med (medium-grade
GCS); Hi (high-grade GCS); *Significant mean difference when compared with Con, p,0.05.
TABLE 3. Changes in La
2
(mmolL
21
) from pre- to post-10-km run and heart rate at each 2-km mark of the time trial run.*
Trial
Lactate (mmolL
21
) Exercising heart rate (bmin
21
)
Prerun Postrun 2 km 4 km 6 km 8 km 10 km
Con 1.5 60.8 6.5 62.8 167 69 169 69 169 69 170 611 173 610
Low 1.4 60.6 6.9 62.8 167 68 169 68 169 68 169 68 173 69
Med 1.2 60.5 7.0 62.9 168 69 170 69 172 610 173 610 177 611
Hi 1.5 60.9 6.9 62.8 170 610 170 610 171 68 171 68 175 610
*GCS = graduated compression stocking; Con = control; Low = low grade GCS; Med = medium grade GCS; Hi = high grade GCS;
La
2
= blood-lactate concentration.
Values are given as mean 6SD.
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Immediately after completing the run, participants’ blood
La
2
, leg power, and perceptual ratings were determined. The
starting times and participant running order was unchanged
between trials. No performance feedback was given to
participants until after the final trial.
Statistical Analyses
Data collected for all measured variables were compared
between trials using 1-way or 2-way repeated-measures
analysis of variance (ANOVA, SPSS version 15.0). Mauchly’s
test of sphericity was used to identify when sphericity was
violated. When the assumption of sphericity was violated, the
Huynh–Feldt correction was used. Delta change values
between groups comparing pre and postrun measures were
also assessed using 1-way ANOVA. When significant differ-
ences between GCS interventions were identified paired
t-tests, using the Holm–Bonferroni adjustment, were applied.
Relative effect sizes for performance data were calculated
using Cohen’s dand defined as small (d= 0.2), medium (d=
0.5), or large (d= 0.8). The coefficient of variation (CV) was
calculated to indicate within-participant variation between
the familiarization and Con trials. Correlations between
variables were verified using simple linear regression
equations and reported as Pearson’s correlation coefficient.
Data are presented as mean 6SD (unless otherwise
indicated) and statistical significance was set at p#0.05.
RESULTS
Time trials were run at an average temperature of 18°C
(14–22°C), 71% humidity (53–94%), 2.1 ms
21
wind speed
(0.5–5.0 ms
21
), on a dry 400-m synthetic track under sunny or
overcast conditions at the same time of day (18:00–20:00
hours). The average group run time for the Fam trial
(minutes:seconds, wearing control GCS) was 39:38;
the CV between Fam and Con was 1.6%. No order effect
was observed between GCS
conditions.
Performance Data
No significant differences were
observed between interventions
for 10-km performance time
(minutes:seconds; Con 39:50
64:58, Low 39:26 63:57,
Med 39:41 63:46, Hi 39:51 6
4:01; p= 0.99; Cohen’s d,
0.10; Figure 2).
The 2-way ANOVA per-
formed on the CMJ data re-
vealed no main effects of
treatment or time (Table 2).
However, the change in CMJ
from pre to postrun was signif-
icantly lower in Con (22.9 6
3.9 cm) than Low (+1.2 66.0
TABLE 4. Subjective RPE, pleasure-displeasure (FS), and perceived activation (FAS) experienced by participants during
each trial.*
Trial RPE
FS FAS
Prerun Postrun Prerun Postrun
Con 16.7 61.3 0.8 61.4 1.1 62.5 3.1 60.9 3.6 60.9
Low 16.7 61.5 1.0 61.5 1.2 62.0 3.1 60.8 3.5 60.8
Med 17.1 61.5 20.2 61.8 0.5 62.5 3.0 61.2 3.4 60.9
Hi 16.5 62.0 0.8 61.7 0.6 61.3 3.2 60.9 3.8 61.1
*RPE = perceptions of exertion; Con = control; Low = low grade GCS; Med = medium grade GCS; Hi = high grade GCS;
FS = Feeling Scale; FAS = Felt Arousal Scale; GCS = graduated compression stocking.
Values are given as mean 6SD.
Figure 4. Ratings of perceived comfort (mean 695% CI) when wearing graduated compression stockings (GCS)
recorded pre- and post-10-km running time trials; Con (control); Low (low-grade GCS); Med (medium-grade GCS);
Hi (high-grade GCS).
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cm; p,0.05; Cohen’s d= 0.63) and Med (+1.7 64.8 cm; p,
0.05; Cohen’s d= 1.03) but not Hi GCS (20.6 65.3 cm;
Figure 3).
Physiological Data
The mean HR was not significantly different between trials
(168–169 bmin
21
; Table 2). There was a main effect of time
for La
2
that changed significantly from prerun to postrun
measures in all trials (p,0.001); however, there were no
differences between trials (Table 3).
Perceptual Data
Ratings of perceived exertion was not significantly different
between trials. Participants consistently reported ratings of
16–18 at the end of the run (17 =
very hard; Table 4). There were
no significant time or treatment
effects for ratings of pleasure-
displeasure (FS) or perceived
activation (FAS). Feelings of
pleasure-displeasure for run-
ning were rated as neutral
(between 0 and 1) for pre and
postexercise in each trial. Par-
ticipant ratings of activation
and pleasure-displeasure were
similar between control and
GCS trials.
There was a main effect of
treatment for perceptions of
GCS comfort (p,0.05). Spe-
cifically, Con was more com-
fortable than Med and Hi (p,
0.05) and Low was comfortable
than Med (p,0.05) and Hi
(p,0.05; Figure 4). There was no main effect of time
indicating that GCS comfort did not change from pre to
postrun. There was no correlation between perceived
comfort and 10 km run time (r= 0.15; p= 0.31) or jump
performance (r= 0.18; p= 0.21).
There was a main effect of treatment for ratings of perceived
tightness of GCS (p,0.001; Figure 5). Post hoc analyses
revealed Hiwas perceived as tighter than all other groups (p,
0.05) and Med was tighter than Low and Con (p,0.05).
There was no statistically significant difference between Con
and Low.There was nomain effect of time indicating tightness
ratings remained consistent throughout each trial. There was
a weak negative correlation between ratings of tightness and
jump performance (r=20.312;
p,0.05) but not run time (r=
0.21; p= 0.15).
There were main effects of
time (p,0.05) and treatment
(p,0.001) for perceptions of
pain wearing different GCS.
Post hoc tests showed that Hi
induced more pain than Con
and Low (p,0.05), and Med
induced more pain than Con
and Low (p,0.05; Figure 6).
There was a weak negative
correlation between ratings of
pain and jump performance
(r=20.297; p,0.05) but
not run time (r= 0.13; p= 0.40).
DISCUSSION
The aim of this study was to
examine the efficacy of wearing
Figure 5. Ratings of perceived tightness (mean 695% CI) when wearing graduated compression stockings
(GCS) recorded pre- and post-10-km running time trials; Con (control); Low (low-grade GCS); Med (medium-grade
GCS); Hi (high-grade GCS).
Figure 6. Ratings of perceived pain (mean 695% CI) when wearing graduated compression stockings (GCS)
recorded pre- and post-10-km running time trials; Con (control); Low (low-grade GCS); Med (medium-grade GCS);
Hi (high-grade GCS).
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different grades of compression stockings (GCS) on 10-km
running performance in well-trained runners. There was no
effect of wearing different GCS on performance time when
compared with a non-GCS control. However, vertical jump
height was better maintained from pre to postexercise when
wearing Low (12–15 mm Hg) and Med (18–21 mm Hg)
relative to Con (0 mm Hg). Furthermore, subjective
perceptions of comfort, tightness, and pain were most
favorable during Low and Con trials.
Participants underwent 2 10-km runs wearing the control
(0 mm Hg) garment (Fam and Con) so that they were fully
familiarized with the experimental procedures and so that
a measure of reliability could be obtained. The CV of 1.6%
indicated that the 10-km run was a reliable measure of
performance (14). However, there was no difference in run
times between trials (Figure 2). In contrast, other studies have
shown improved running performance when subjects wore
compression garments (9,15). However, these studies used
moderately trained athletes and did not use an appropriate
control garment. Although elite athletes continue to wear
GCS during competition and training (indeed some world
records have been set when wearing GCS) our results suggest
that GCS do not affect endurance running performance in
well-trained runners.
Countermovement jump height from pre to postrun was
increased when wearing Low (+3.6%) and Med (+4.9%) GCS
but decreased when wearing Con (28.5%). Greater jump
height postrun may indicate improved muscle power
maintenance (16,17); however, running speed was not
measured for the finishing straight of the run. Therefore,
any beneficial effects of maintenance of leg power toward the
latter stages of endurance exercise when wearing low-
medium grade GCS remain speculative and thus warrant
further research.
The reduced jump height postrun during Con could be
because of fatigue affecting the contraction–coupling process
within the muscle (2), skeletal muscle damage because of
repeated contractions and impact causing shear forces (e.g.,
tearing; [4]), or altered neuromuscular activity. In contrast,
CMJ was improved postexercise wearing Low and Med GCS
suggesting that muscle function was better maintained during
these trials. The GCS may have enhanced proprioceptive
mechanisms related to jumping skills (16) or reduced muscle
oscillations that lead to muscle exhaustion or damage (11)
and therefore maintaining CMJ performance. This is
supported by some studies showing reduced postexercise
creatine kinase levels during trials when graduated compres-
sion garments are worn compared with control (10). Further,
Ali et al. (1) showed significant reductions in muscle soreness
ratings 24 hours post fast-paced running when wearing GCS.
Alternatively, the elasticity of the Low and Med GCS may
have improved flexion-extension torque around the ankle
joint similarly to the elasticity observed by Doan et al. (11) at
the hip joint that allowed a greater jump performance when
compression shorts were worn. Although the results of the
present study do not provide mechanisms for the greater
CMJ during the Low and Med trials, they do indicate that leg
muscle function is better maintained after intense endurance
exercise using these GCS. Further investigation is required to
determine why there was a better maintenance of leg power
for participants wearing Low and Med GCS compared with
Con.
Another claim purported by many GCS manufacturers is
improved removal of blood La
2
. In the present study, La
2
samples taken immediately postrun were not different
between trials. Some reports have shown that GCS result
in reduced postexercise blood La
2
(6,10), whereas others
show no influence of compression garments on La
2
(5,12).
The time trials in the present study were all maximal efforts,
and this may explain the similar postrun blood La
2
values
across trials. In these healthy well-trained runners, the muscle
pump may be adequate in removing La
2
anyway thus not
necessitating the use of an aid to help this function.
Nevertheless, to determine if GCS have any affect on blood
La
2
, further studies should control exercise intensity to
determine if there are any differences in the blood La
2
response during constant load exercise, because the blood
La
2
during the time trials may have been affected by the
performance times and pacing strategies the runners used.
However, the present study shows that GCS do not affect the
immediate postexercise blood La
2
response during a 10-km
time trial in well-trained runners.
Exercising heart rate was not altered by wearing GCS
(Table 3). Ali et al. (1) also reported no differences in heart
rate in the GCS trial (compared with control) in moderately
trained athletes. However, that study did not use a maximal-
effort protocol and attempted to pace the participants.
There were also no differences in heart rate between
graduated compression tights and the control condition
during repeated-sprint (12) or endurance (5) exercise. The
current investigation required maximal efforts in each
10-km run, and heart rate was the same across all trials,
thus indicating that GCS are unlikely to alter venous return
in well-trained athletes—possibly because of adequate
functioning of the muscle pump in these healthy athletes.
However, research using controlled constant pace exercise
and more direct measurement techniques are required to
examine this further.
All participants reported a similar effort for each trial
because there were no significant changes in RPE, FS, or FAS
between conditions. The perceptual scales provide a reflection
of subjective intensity and, coupled with the physiological
measures, the indication is that all participants had performed
at the same intensity across all trials. However, the Con and
Low garments were rated most comfortable by the runners.
Participants could also successfully perceive different GCS
grades based on feelings of perceived tightness despite being
blinded to the intervention they were assigned to. Hi GCS
had no measured physiological effect when compared with
the other interventions but showed a weak negative
VOLUME 25 | NUMBER 5 | MAY 2011 | 1391
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
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|
www.nsca-jscr.org
Copyright © National Strength and Conditioning Association Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Copyright © National Strength and Conditioning Association Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
correlation with CMJ performance and higher pain ratings
than other garments. Because the change in jump height from
pre to postexercise was influenced by the grade of GCS, and
Low and Med GCS were preferred by the participants, this
highlights the importance of choosing the appropriate
garment for well-trained athletes.
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
This is the first study that compares the effects of wearing
different grades of GCS on running performance relative
to a control garment. Wearing GCS had no effect on 10-km
time trial performance for well-trained athletes. However,
CMJ height was better maintained from pre to postexercise in
Low and Med GCS relative to Con, and this may have
implications for sprint performance at the end of a race. Well-
trained runners rated Low and Con garments as most
comfortable; therefore, athletes considering wearing GCS for
training and racing should select low-grade compression
stockings.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The funding source for this research was Invista International
S.a
`.r.l. Geneva, Switzerland, and compression garments were
provided by Julius Zorn GmbH, Aichach, Germany. The
authors maintained intellectual property of the research
outcomes to ensure that commercial bias had no effect on
published material. There was no conflict of interest between
Invista International, Julius Zorn, and the researchers. The
authors and the National Strength and Conditioning
Association wish to indicate that the results from this study
do not endorse Invista International or Julius Zorn products.
We would like to sincerely thank all the participants involved
in this study and the research assistants who assisted with data
collection; without their efforts this research would not be
possible.
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Compression Stockings and Performance
Copyright © National Strength and Conditioning Association Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
Copyright © National Strength and Conditioning Association Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
... The predominant modality of exercise that has been examined is running, accounting for 47% of all performance studies included in the present review. Most studies described little to no benefit of lower body CGs on measures of running performance, including finishing time in competitive marathons [20,21], ultramarathons [22], and trail runs [23,24]; distance run in a multi-stage fitness test [25]; outdoor time trials of 5 and 10 km [26,27], and measures of running economy, pace, oxygen consumption, and time to fatigue during various treadmill running protocols [28][29][30][31][32]. However, compression socks appear to result in a small improvement in time to exhaustion [33] and small, significant improvements to maximum speed, the speed at aerobic and anaerobic thresholds, and total work [34]. ...
... Mixed results were reported for the measurement of myoglobin, a protein that can be used to indicate muscle breakdown (though with the same inherent problems as the measurement of CK or blood lactate). While three reports stated no change to myoglobin [21,27,73], there were two instances of decreased myoglobin with the use of CGs: a large decrease following a long-course triathlon wearing compression socks [47]; and a significant decrease during the extended recovery period following a 120-min uphill treadmill run wearing hip-to-knee compression tights [74]. This may offer some practical value for athletes looking to expedite recovery following exercise; however, it is interesting that this apparent decrease in muscle damage was not accompanied by a reduction in perceived muscle soreness or RPE during the exercise protocol [47,74]. ...
... With the exception of Sperlich et al. [44], who investigated the use of a long-sleeved upper body CG during simulated cross-country skiing, the studies that reported a negative effect of CGs on perceptual responses all used below-knee stockings/socks with greater than 18 mmHg of applied pressure at the ankle (though these were predominantly manufacturer reported values). Indeed, in two studies that reported a significant increase in perceived pain and tightness and a decrease in perceived comfort, applied pressure readings of 26-32 mmHg at the ankle were measured for the 'high' level compression stockings used [27,83]. These studies reported few positive effects of CGs on performance or physiological measures, suggesting that athlete comfort is somewhat linked to the efficacy of the garments. ...
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Background: Compression garments (CGs) are a popular tool that may act on physiological, physical, neuromuscular, biomechanical, and/or perceptual domains during exercise and recovery from exercise, with varying levels of efficacy. While previous reviews have focused on the effects of CGs during running, high-intensity exercise, and exercise recovery, a comprehensive systematic review that assesses the effectiveness of garment use both during and after exercise has not been recently conducted. Methods: A systematic search of the literature from the earliest record until May 2022 was performed based on the PRISMA-P guidelines for systematic reviews, using the online databases PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and Google Scholar. Results: 160 articles with 2530 total participants were included for analysis in the systematic review, comprised of 103 ‘during exercise’ studies, 42 ‘during recovery’ studies, and 15 combined design studies. Conclusions: During exercise, CGs have a limited effect on global measures of endurance performance but may improve some sport-specific variables (e.g., countermovement jump height). Most muscle proteins/metabolites are unchanged with the use of CGs during exercise, though measures of blood lactate tend to be lowered. CGs for recovery appear to have a positive benefit on subsequent bouts of endurance (e.g., cycling time trials) and resistance exercise (e.g., isokinetic dynamometry). CGs are associated with reductions in lactate dehydrogenase during recovery and are consistently associated with decreases in perceived muscle soreness following fatiguing exercise. This review may provide a useful point of reference for practitioners and researchers interested in the effect of CGs on particular outcome variables or exercise types.
... In sport, your objective is to improve the venous blood flow from the legs to the heart and to diminish the feeling of fatigue in the lower limbs during and after the exercise (3,4). In the last decades, investigations of runners suggest that wearing compression stockings can provide physiologic (lower heart rate, oxygen uptake), perceptual (lower rating of perceived exertion), comfort, and well-being sensation benefits to its users (5,6); however, controversies still exist on its use. ...
... Although studies have reported that wearing compression stockings provides highest comfort sensation, investigation of affective responses during the exercise, measured by Feeling Scale (FS) and Felt Arousal Scale (FAS), is limited to trained athletes (5,10). Affective responses have been shown to be important in choosing factors that can improve the feeling of comfort and well-being during or after exercise among non-athletes (11,12). ...
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... Conventional knee supporters were generally made of elastic cloth or taping tape imitations that were worn on the knee to restrict joint movement and reduce knee pain [1][2][3][4][5]. Others inserted nylon rods in the direction of the bone axis or added a spring function to the rear of the knee, but there were no mechanical knee supporters that functioned as powerfully as a bicycle suspension. ...
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Conventional knee supporters generally reduce knee pain by restricting joint movement. In other words, there were no mechanical knee supporters that functioned powerfully. Considering this problem, we first devised a device in which a spring is inserted into the double structure of the cylinder and piston, and a braking action is applied to the piston. This mechanism retracts when the knee angle exceeds a certain level. Next, the knee and the device were modeled, and the dynamic characteristics of the device were investigated to find effective elements for knee shock absorption. Although various skeletal and muscular structures have been studied for the knee section, we kept the configuration as simple as possible to find effective elements for the device. A shock-absorbing circuit was devised, and air was used as the working fluid to facilitate smooth knee motion except during shock. Increasing the spring constant effectively reduced the knee load.
... Although performance outcomes are usually the focus of athletes and sports scientists [4], they are also concerned about identifying effective strategies for athletes to quickly recover from fatigue after exercise and for reducing the EIMD-related negative symptoms. Several recovery strategies can help reduce the effects of EIMD or accelerate recovery from fatigue; they include cold therapy [5], use of antioxidants supplements [6], and use of compression garments (CGs) [7]. Studies have reported that relative to other recovery strategies, CG use may provide more advantages in improving post-exercise recovery [7,8]. ...
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Fatigue is a major cause of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD). Compression garments (CGs) can aid post-exercise recovery, therefore, this study explored the effects of CGs on muscular efficacy, proprioception, and recovery after exercise-induced muscle fatigue in people who exercise regularly. Twelve healthy participants who exercised regularly were enrolled in this study. Each participant completed an exercise-induced muscle fatigue test while wearing a randomly assigned lower-body CG or sports pants (SP); after at least 7 days, the participant repeated the test while wearing the other garment. The dependent variables were muscle efficacy, proprioception (displacements of center of pressure/COP, and absolute error), and fatigue recovery (muscle oxygen saturation/SmO2, deoxygenation and reoxygenation rate, and subjective muscle soreness). A two-way repeated measure analysis of variance was conducted to determine the effect of garment type. The results indicated that relative to SP use, CG use can promote muscle efficacy, proprioception in ML displacement of COP, and fatigue recovery. Higher deoxygenation and reoxygenation rates were observed with CG use than with SP use. For CG use, SmO2 quickly returned to baseline value after 10 min of rest and was maintained at a high level until after 1 h of rest, whereas for SP use, SmO2 increased with time after fatigue onset. ML displacement of COP quickly returned to baseline value after 10 min of rest and subsequently decreased until after 1 hour of rest. Relative to SP use, CG use was associated with a significantly lower ML displacement after 20 min of rest. In conclusion, proprioception and SmO2 recovery was achieved after 10 min of rest; however, at least 24 h may be required for recovery pertaining to muscle efficacy and soreness regardless of CG or SP use.
... Our study found that CS worn during and in the ten minutes following maximal exercise did not improve physiological variables including heart rate, lactate, and RPE during a graded exercise test or during immediate recovery. Despite the theoretical mechanism of enhancing lactate removal from muscles by enhancing venous return from the legs, most findings in athletes suggest little or no effect of CS on lactate levels during exercise (2,3,10). Our results seem to indicate similar findings in non-athletes, although larger sample sizes are needed to International Journal of Exercise Science http://www.intjexersci.com ...
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... It is also important to mention that thigh ROIs were assessed based on the results of a previous study showing higher skin temperature in these regions using compression stockings during running [33]. Our data provide additional support to the compression approach's lack of effect in terms of time outcomes for runners, as previously described [34]. ...
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... Dans le cas particulier de la DHR, plusieurs hypothèses peuvent être proposées pour expliquer la dégradation de l'EC au cours de l'effort, comme le recrutement d'unités motrices supplémentaires pour maintenir l'intensité de l'effort et/ou le recrutement préférentiel des fibres de type 2 (Dick et Cavanagh, 1987;Douglas et al., 2017), mais aussi la répétition d'intenses forces normales d'impact et parallèles de freinage, très contraignantes pour le système musculo-tendineux (Gottschall et Kram, 2005b (Dick et Cavanagh, 1987;Westerlind et al., 1992). Ces résultats étaient en accord avec les études précédentes menées chez des sujets bien entrainés rapportant l'absence d'avantage métabolique conféré par le port de CGs sur des efforts de course à pied de plus courte durée (<40 min) (Ali et al., 2011;Sperlich et al., 2010Sperlich et al., , 2011Stickford et al., 2015). (Vercruyssen et al., 2012). ...
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This thesis project aimed at improving scientific knowledge in the field of short distance trail running, a “booming” activity. Situated between "traditional" road races and ultra-trail races, limited research has focused on the analysis of short distance trail running . The first objective was to characterize the physiological determinants of performance during short distance trail running races in a population of highly trained runners, using an experimental setting between laboratory protocols and an official event. The identification of muscular endurance as critical factor in the determination of performance leads to the second objective of the current thesis, based on the acute and delayed effects of wearing compression garments on neuromuscular function and energetic parameters during a short distance trail run or during intense eccentric exercise (i.e. prolonged downhill run). Wearing compression garments contributes to the attenuation of soft tissue vibrations which can reduce, at least in part, the deficit of voluntary activation level measured immediately after downhill running and improve the neuromuscular function during the recovery phase. Our results suggest that the use of garments with high compression intensity during exercise could exert a “mechanical protective effect”, which could therefore constitute an external strategy to tolerate a high training load or optimize the recovery process in multi-stage races.
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Background Compression garments are regularly worn during exercise to improve physical performance, mitigate fatigue responses, and enhance recovery. However, evidence for their efficacy is varied and the methodological approaches and outcome measures used within the scientific literature are diverse. Objectives The aim of this scoping review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the effects of compression garments on commonly assessed outcome measures in response to exercise, including: performance, biomechanical, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, cardiorespiratory, muscle damage, thermoregulatory, and perceptual responses. Methods A systematic search of electronic databases (PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science and CINAHL Complete) was performed from the earliest record to 27 December, 2020. Results In total, 183 studies were identified for qualitative analysis with the following breakdown: performance and muscle function outcomes: 115 studies (63%), biomechanical and neuromuscular: 59 (32%), blood and saliva markers: 85 (46%), cardiovascular: 76 (42%), cardiorespiratory: 39 (21%), thermoregulatory: 19 (10%) and perceptual: 98 (54%). Approximately 85% ( n = 156) of studies were published between 2010 and 2020. Conclusions Evidence is equivocal as to whether garments improve physical performance, with little evidence supporting improvements in kinetic or kinematic outcomes. Compression likely reduces muscle oscillatory properties and has a positive effect on sensorimotor systems. Findings suggest potential increases in arterial blood flow; however, it is unlikely that compression garments meaningfully change metabolic responses, blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiorespiratory measures. Compression garments increase localised skin temperature and may reduce perceptions of muscle soreness and pain following exercise; however, rating of perceived exertion during exercise is likely unchanged. It is unlikely that compression garments negatively influence exercise-related outcomes. Future research should assess wearer belief in compression garments, report pressure ranges at multiple sites as well as garment material, and finally examine individual responses and varying compression coverage areas.
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Compression shorts have become a very popular item of sports apparel. Few data exist about whether they influence athletic performance. The purpose of this study was to determine whether compression shorts affected vertical jump performance after different fatigue tasks (i.e., endurance, strength, and power). In addition, experiments on the influence of a compression garment on joint position sense at the hip and muscle movement velocity upon landing impact was also studied. Healthy college age men and women participated in the various studies. Subjects were thoroughly familiarized with the jump tests and all other experimental techniques. Jumps were performed on an AMTI force plate which was interfaced to a computer with customized software used to determine jump power. Ten consecutive maximal counter movement jumps with arms held at waist level were performed. The compressive garment had no effect on the maximal power of the highest jump in either men or women. The compressive garment significantly enhanced mean power output in the jump test both before and after different fatigue tasks. The compressive garment enhanced joint position sense at the hip at 45°and 60°of flexion. A compression garment also significantly reduced the vertical velocity of muscle movement upon landing. These data indicate that compression shorts do not improve maximal jump power output. However, an enhanced mean power output during the repetitive maximal jump test was observed when wearing a compression garment. The performance improvement observed may be due to reduced muscle oscillation upon impact, psychological factors, and/or enhanced joint position sense.
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of below-knee compression stockings on running performance in men runners. Using a within-group study design, 21 moderately trained athletes (39.3 +/- 10.9 years) without lower-leg abnormities were randomly assigned to perform a stepwise treadmill test up to a voluntary maximum with and without below-knee compressive stockings. The second treadmill test was completed within 10 days of recovery. Maximum running performance was determined by time under load (minutes), work (kJ), and aerobic capacity (ml.kg.min). Velocity (kmxh) and time under load were assessed at different metabolic thresholds using the Dickhuth et al. lactate threshold model. Time under load (36.44 vs. 35.03 minutes, effect size [ES]: 0.40) and total work (422 vs. 399 kJ, ES: 0.30) were significantly higher with compression stockings compared with running socks. However, only slight, nonsignificant differences were observed for VO2max (53.3 vs. 52.2 mlxkgxmin, ES: 0.18). Running performance at the anaerobic (minimum lactate + 1.5 mmolxL) threshold (14.11 vs. 13.90 kmxh, ES: 0.22) and aerobic (minimum lactate + 0.5 mmolxL) thresholds (13.02 vs. 12.74 kmxh, ES: 0.28) was significantly higher using compression stockings. Therefore, stockings with constant compression in the area of the calf muscle significantly improved running performance at different metabolic thresholds. However, the underlying mechanism was only partially explained by a slightly higher aerobic capacity.
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Exercise for which a skeletal muscle is not adequately conditioned results in focal sites of injury distributed within and among the fibres. Exercise with eccentric contractions is particularly damaging. The injury process can be hypothesised to occur in several stages. First, an initial phase serves to inaugurate the sequence. Hypotheses for the initial event can be categorised as either physical or metabolic in nature. We argue that the initial event is physical, that stresses imposed on sarcolemma by sarcomere length inhomogeneities occurring during eccentric contractions cause disruption of the normal permeability barrier provided by the cell membrane and basal lamina. This structural disturbance allows Ca++ to enter the fibre down its electrochemical gradient, precipitating the Ca++ overload phase. If the breaks in the sarcolemma are relatively minor, the entering Ca++ may be adequately handled by ATPase pumps that sequester and extrude Ca++ from the cytoplasm ('reversible' injury). However, if the Ca++ influx overwhelms the Ca++ pumps and free cytosolic Ca++ concentration rises, the injury becomes 'irreversible'. Elevations in intracellular Ca++ levels activate a number of Ca(++)-dependent proteolytic and phospholipolytic pathways that are indigenous to the muscle fibres, which respectively degrade structural and contractile proteins and membrane phospholipids; for instance, it has been demonstrated that elevation of intracellular Ca++ levels with Ca++ ionophores results in loss of creatine kinase activity from the fibres through activation of phospholipase A2 and subsequent production of leukotrienes. This autogenetic phase occurs prior to arrival of phagocytic cells, and continues during the inflammatory period when macrophages and other phagocytic cells are active at the damage site. The phagocytic phase is in evidence by 2 to 6 hours after the injury, and proceeds for several days. The regenerative phase then restores the muscle fibre to its normal condition. Repair of the muscle fibres appears to be complete; the fibres adapt during this process so that future bouts of exercise of similar type, intensity, and duration cause less injury to the muscle.
Conference Paper
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess research aimed at measuring performance enhancements that affect success of individual elite athletes in competitive events. Analysis: Simulations show that the smallest worthwhile enhancement of performance for an athlete in an international event is 0.7-0.4 of the typical within-athlete random variation in performance between events. Using change in performance in events as the outcome measure in a crossover study, researchers could delimit such enhancements with a sample of 16-65 athletes, or with 65-260 in a fully controlled study. Sample size for a study using a valid laboratory or field test is proportional to the square of the within-athlete variation in performance in the test relative to the event; estimates of these variations are therefore crucial and should be determined by repeated-measures analysis of data from reliability studies for the test and event. Enhancements in test and event may differ when factors that affect performance differ between test and event; overall effects of these factors can be determined with a validity study that combines reliability data for test and event. A test should be used only if it is valid, more reliable than the event, allows estimation of performance enhancement in the event, and if the subjects replicate their usual training and dietary practices for the study; otherwise the event itself provides the only dependable estimate of performance enhancement. Publication of enhancement as a percent change with confidence limits along with an analysis for individual differences will make the study more applicable to athletes. Outcomes can be generalized only to athletes with abilities and practices represented in the study. Conclusion: estimates of enhancement of performance in laboratory or field tests in most previous studies may not apply to elite athletes in competitive events.
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10 18–23 yr old telic-dominant and 10 20–22 yr old paratelic-dominant Ss performed a task that represented a video car-racing simulation. 12 of these Ss were interviewed on what they did the previous day, lifestyle, and planning orientation. Data obtained from a survey (110 undergraduates measured for telic or paratelic dominance), the task, and the interview support the construct validity of the telic (serious-minded, planning oriented, arousal avoiding) and paratelic (playful, here-and-now oriented, arousal seeking) constructs. Physiological measurements taken during task performance showed that telic Ss had steeper EMG gradients, higher tonic skin conductance, and greater thoracic respiratory amplitudes than did paratelic Ss. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
232 undergraduates participated in 3 experiments that evaluated the feeling scale (FS) by W. J. Rejeski et al (1987) as a measure of affect during exercise. In Exp 1, Ss were instructed to check adjectives on the Multiple Affective Adjective Checklist—Revised that they would associate with either a "good" or a "bad" feeling during exercise. As predicted, discriminant function analysis indicated that the good/bad dimension of the FS appears to represent a core of emotional expression. In Exp 2, Ss rated how they felt during exercise at 3 rates of perceived exertion (RPE). Exp 3 involved 3 4-min bouts of exercise at 30, 60, and 90% of maximum oxygen consumption. RPE and the FS were moderately related, but only at easy and hard workloads. FS ratings evidenced greater variability as metabolic demands increased, and RPEs consistently had stronger ties to physiologic cues than responses to the FS. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study assessed whether opposing compression forces produced by commercially available "compression shorts" affect the repetitive force production capabilities of the thigh muscles during repetitive open- and closed-kinetic-chain exercise tests. Twenty healthy young adults (10 men, age 25.2 +/- 3.8 yrs; 10 women, age 23.2 +/- 4.8 yrs) volunteered to take part in the study. All were recreationally trained and participated in both weight training and endurance training programs in their weekly exercise routines. Testing was conducted using a balanced and randomized treatment design with two experimental conditions consisting of compression shorts (CS) and control (no compression) shorts; thus all subjects served as their own controls. Testing consisted of 3 sets of 50 maximal isokinetic knee extension/ flexion movements at 180[degrees] * sec-1 on a Cybex 6000 dynamometer and the maximal number of reps at 70% 1-RM using a Trusquat exercise machine. No significant differences were found between the CS and control conditions in peak torque or total work performed in the isokinetic knee extension/flexion exercise or in max number of reps performed with the Trusquat. The results indicate that compression garments made for long-term wear and commonly worn by athletes and fitness enthusiasts during training and competition do not contribute to any additional fatigue in repetitive high-intensity exercise tasks. (C) 1998 National Strength and Conditioning Association
Article
The force produced by muscles declines during prolonged activity and this decline arises largely from processes within the muscle. At a cellular level the reduced force could be caused by: (a) reduced intracellular calcium release during activity; (b) reduced sensitivity of the myofilaments to calcium; or (c) reduced maximal force development. Experiments involving intracellular calcium measurements in isolated single fibres show that all 3 of the above contribute to the decline of force during fatigue. Metabolic changes associated with fatigue are probably involved in each of the 3 factors. Thus the accumulation of phosphate and protons which occur during fatigue cause a reduction in calcium sensitivity and a decline in maximal force. The cause of the reduced intracellular calcium during contractions in fatigue is less clear. During prolonged tetani the conduction of the action potential in the T-tubules appears to fail leading to reduced intracellular calcium in the central part of the muscle fibre. However, during repeated tetani there is a uniform decline of intracellular calcium across the fibre and this remains one of the least understood processes which contribute to fatigue.
Article
It has previously been demonstrated that graduated compression stockings will affect the post-exercise venous lactate profile. To determine the effects of elastic tights on venous lactate levels and the post-exercise response, eight males completed three exercise bouts on a motor driven treadmill. Each subject ran on the treadmill for up to three minutes at 110% of his VO2max. The conditions for the three exercise bouts were: elastic tights worn during exercise and recovery, elastic tights worn only during exercise, and no elastic tights worn during exercise or recovery. Oxygen consumption, heart rates and venous blood samples, for lactate and hematocrit determination, were obtained at rest and at 5, 15 and 30 min post-exercise. Analysis revealed no significant differences (p greater than 0.05) in any of the above variables between the three trials at any of the measurement times. These results indicate that the use of elastic tights will not significantly affect the post-exercise response or circulating lactate levels.
Article
To determine the effects of wearing graduated compression stockings (GCS) on the exercise response, twelve high fit males served as subjects in a series of two experiments. The first experiment consisted of six subjects performing two tests of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) on a treadmill with and without GCS. The second experiment consisted of six subjects performing three separate three minute tests on a bicycle ergometer at 110% of their VO2 max. The experimental conditions for the three tests were: GCS worn during the test and recovery (GCS), GCS worn only during the test (GCS-O/O) and no stockings worn during either the test or recovery (NO-GCS). Oxygen consumption (VO2) was measured at rest, throughout the duration of all tests and during recovery in both experiments. Blood samples were obtained at rest and at 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 minutes post exercise in the first experiment and at rest and at 5, 15 and 30 minutes post exercise in the second experiment for the determination of lactate and hematocrit. The use of GCS in the first experiment resulted in no significant difference in VO2 max, recovery VO2 or plasma volume shifts. Lactate values were lower throughout the duration of the recovery period with the 15 minute values being significantly different with the use of GCS. Significant differences in post exercise blood lactate values were found in the second experiment. The GCS trial resulted in significantly less lactate when compared to the GCS-O/O and the NO-GCS trials. There was no significant difference in post exercise lactate values between the NO-GCS and the GCS-O/O trials. Plasma volume changes were not significantly different among trials. Results of both experiments showed recovery lactate values to be lower with the use of GCS. These lower values are not ascribable to plasma volume shifts but rather appear to be due to an inverse gradient created by the GCS resulting in the lactate being retained in the muscular bed.