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Aerobic Energy Cost and Sensation Responses During Submaximal Running Exercise - Positive Effects of Wearing Compression Tights


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This study aimed to examine the effects of wearing compression compared to classic elastic tights and conventional shorts (control trial) on oxygen cost and sensation responses during submaximal running exercise. In part I, aerobic energy cost was evaluated in six trained runners at 10, 12, 14, and 16 km x h(-1). In part II, the increase in energy cost over time (i. e., slow component expressed as difference in VO2 values between min 2 and end-exercise) was determined in six trained runners at a constant running pace corresponding to 80% of maximal VO2 for 15 min duration. All tests were performed on a 200-m indoor track with equivalent thermal stress conditions. VO2 was determined with a portable metabolic system (Cosmed K4b2, Rome, Italy) during all testing sessions. Runners were asked their ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and perceptions for clothing sweating, comfort, and whole thermal sensations following each trial. Results showed in part I a significant lower energy cost only at 12 km x h(-1) by wearing compression and elastic tights compared to conventional shorts. During part II, wearing compression tights decreased significantly VO2 slow component by 26 and 36% compared to elastic tights and conventional shorts, respectively. There were no differences in sweating and comfort sensations, RPE, and for whole thermal sensation between clothing conditions in parts I and II. Wearing compression tights during running exercise may enhance overall circulation and decrease muscle oscillation to promote a lower energy expenditure at a given prolonged submaximal speed.
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Modern training clothing are often worn simply as a fashion gar-
ment and the wearer requires neither performance nor protec-
tion beyond that offered by normal sports clothing. In fitness
and leisure sports, compressive garments (e.g., tights, pants,
stockings) have become more and more popular with the need
to minimise the stress of walking or running, by improving phys-
iological factors such as the energy cost of locomotion (EC, i.e.,
energy expenditure per unit of distance, [10]) and comfort. With
this in mind, many fabrics have been introduced to the athletic
apparel market with manufacturers’ claims of improved health
benefits. Individualised exercise programs used in conjunction
with compressive garments may enhance lymphatic drainage,
minimise subjective complaints, and restore strength, flexibility,
and endurance of the lower limbs [13, 31]. Aerobic EC has been
identified as a critical element of overall success in distance run-
ning [1] and skiing [25] activities. Among the number of factors
that affect EC, clothing and possibly fatigue are additional factors
that can change EC in running [9]. During submaximal heavy
constant running exercise, a delayed rise in oxygen uptake (V
response occurs after about 2 3 min of exercise onset and
This study aimed to examine the effects of wearing compression
compared to classic elastic tights and conventional shorts (con-
trol trial) on oxygen cost and sensation responses during sub-
maximal running exercise. In part I, aerobic energy cost was eval-
uated in six trained runners at 10,12, 14, and 16 km·h
. In part II,
the increase in energy cost over time (i. e., slow component
expressed as difference in V
values between min 2 and end-ex-
ercise) was determined in six trained runners at a constant run-
ning pace corresponding to 80% of maximal V
for 15 min dura-
tion. All tests were performed on a 200-m indoor track with
equivalent thermal stress conditions. V
was determined with
a portable metabolic system (Cosmed K4b
, Rome, Italy) during
all testing sessions. Runners were asked their ratings of per-
ceived exertion (RPE) and perceptions for clothing sweating,
comfort, and whole thermal sensations following each trial. Re-
sults showed in part I a significant lower energy cost only at
12 km · h
by wearing compression and elastic tights compared
to conventional shorts. During part II, wearing compression
tights decreased significantly V
slow component by 26 and
36% compared to elastic tights and conventional shorts, respec-
tively. There were no differences in sweating and comfort sensa-
tions, RPE, and for whole thermal sensation between clothing
conditions in parts I and II. Wearing compression tights during
running exercise may enhance overall circulation and decrease
muscle oscillation to promote a lower energy expenditure at a
given prolonged submaximal speed.
Key words
Compressive garments · fatigue · oxygen cost · running · slow
Training & Testing
EA 2991 Efficience et Déficience Motrices, Montpellier, France
Centre de Recherche Décathlon, Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
Stephane Perrey, Ph.D. · EA 2991 Motor Efficiency and Deficiency Laboratory · Faculty of Sport Sciences ·
700 avenue du pic saint loup · Montpellier 34090 · France · Phone: + 33467415761 · Fax: + 33 4 67415708 ·
Accepted after revision: March 30, 2005
Int J Sports Med 2006; 27: 373 378 © Georg Thieme Verlag KG · Stuttgart · New York ·
DOI 10.1055/s-2005-865718 · Published online July 25, 2005 ·
ISSN 0172-4622
A. Bringard
S. Perrey
N. Belluye
Aerobic Energy Cost and Sensation Responses
During Submaximal Running Exercise
Positive Effects of Wearing Compression Tights
causes V
to rise above the expected energy requirement
[2, 6, 7,12,16,20,29, 30], that is an increase in EC. This continued
rise in V
termed the slow component (SC) of V
, and usually
expressed as the difference in V
between the end-exercise and
the second minute of exercise [2,16] is attributable to the work-
ing muscle [29,30]. Technical innovations in clothing are one
possible intervention that may decrease EC of running at a given
intensity and alleviate stresses during aerobic exercise, as endur-
ance training [7] did.
To date, the effects of compressive clothing on athletic perform-
ance have been mainly evaluated during power sports (volley-
ball, [18]; track and field, [11]) and after supramaximal running
exercises [3, 4]. Kraemer et al. [18] demonstrated that compres-
sive garments enhanced repetitive vertical jump power in varsity
volleyball players. Based on lower body kinematics and jump
performance, Doan et al. [11] have suggested that particular
compressive pants may improve short, explosive types of ath-
letic performance, and reduce injuries. Possible mechanisms
contributing to the enhanced performance include a reduction
in muscle oscillation [11] and increased resistance to fatigue
[18]. Wearing compression stockings during and after an exhaus-
tive running exercise has been shown to lower blood lactate lev-
els [3] but this effect was not evident when wearing compression
tights [4]. These authors hypothesised that the pressure exerted
by tights was too low compared to compression stockings and
was not sufficient to increase venous return. Thus, it is still un-
known whether or not wearing compressive garments can have
positive effects on some physiological parameters especially dur-
ing submaximal running exercise. Recently, Moritani [26]
showed that V
and muscle activity tend to decrease during
submaximal cycling exercise whilst wearing long compression
pants compared to control garments. Yet it is still unknown
whether such pants have any influence on some “muscle effi-
ciency” indices, such as EC and V
SC during submaximal run-
ning exercise. These issues remain to be investigated. Even if the
efficacy of the compressive garments is confirmed with physio-
logical assessment, subjective evaluations of comfort, sweating,
and fatigue need also to be addressed.
Therefore the purposes of this study were to examine the effect
of wearing compression tights compared to wearing shorts and
classic tights on aerobic EC of running at various submaximal
running intensities in experiment 1, and to evaluate the effects
of wearing compression tights on the excess in V
over time
(i.e., V
SC) usually observed during a constant running pace of
15 min duration in experiment 2. It was hypothesised that wear-
ing compression tights would (i) decrease both EC and V
SC in
a group of trained middle-distance runners compared to wearing
classic tights and no tights, and (ii) enhance comfort, thermal
and fatigue sensations. This study was possible through using a
portable telemetric gas exchange system, which measured con-
tinuously the time course of V
in real conditions of practice.
The present study contains two separated parts (PI and PII). The
aim of PI was to determine EC and subjective sensation re-
sponses during different submaximal exercise intensities with
three types of clothing. Six male trained runners ([mean ± SD]
age 31.2 ± 5.4 yrs, body mass 66.0 ± 8.8 kg, height 177.3 ± 6.6 cm)
volunteered to participate in PI. The purpose of PII was to ex-
amine whether wearing compression tights influenced the V
SC and subjective sensation responses during prolonged sub-
maximal running exercise. Six male trained runners (age
26.7 ± 2.9 yrs, body mass 68.7 ± 10.6 kg, height 179.5 ± 7.2 cm)
took part in PII. All subjects were healthy and non-smoking, with
no history of cardiopulmonary disease. All the subjects were giv-
en full details (except the purposes of the present study) of the
experimental protocol and any possible risks or discomforts
associated with the experiment. Then each subject gave written
informed consent before the first day of testing. This study com-
plies with the Declaration of Helsinki for human experimenta-
Experimental protocol
A repeated-measures experimental design in which subjects
served as their own control was used in both PI and PII. All sub-
jects performed several track-running trials from July to Septem-
ber (mean temperature of 31
C in PI and of 23.6
C in PII) on the
same indoor 200-m track marked every 25 m. In both PI and PII,
all subjects wore during running trials either compression tights
), classic elastic tights, or conventional shorts (con-
trol trial) in a counterbalanced order. The same compression
tights were used in 4 sizes according to the anthropometrical
characteristics of each subject. The classic elastic tights were
made of 80% polyester and 20% elasthan. The same running
shoes were used for all clothing conditions.
To assess maximal V
) in PI, the runners carried out on
three different days a continuous incremental exercise test to
voluntary exhaustion. The running pace was set by sounds emit-
ted through a speaker controlled by independent digital chro-
nometers to ensure precise control of speed by setting an audible
cadence. This test was derived from the protocol proposed by
Léger and Boucher [23]. The initial speed was 10 km· h
was increased by 2 km · h
each stage until the end of the test.
Each stage consisted of a 3-min period. Each subject was encour-
aged to exert a maximum effort. The test was stopped when the
athlete could not maintain the required velocity, and when the
subject had a delay of more than 25 m (that is one mark). The cri-
terion used to assess V
included a respiratory exchange ra-
tio greater or equal to 1.10, a heart rate (HR) in excess of 90% of
age predicted HR
(220 age), and an identification of a plateau
(< 150 ml· min
increase) in V
despite a further increase in
velocity. In all tests, at least two of three criteria were met. In
PII, the runners performed a constant running exercise at 80%
of V
of 15 min duration on three different days. Before per-
forming this test, V
was determined once with a ramp-like
For each test, pre- and postexercise values for body mass were
determined. Body mass loss was then calculated as the differ-
ence in pre- and postexercise body mass (expressed as a percent-
age), which was determined using a bioelectrical impedance bal-
ance (TBF-300 Body composition analyser, Tanita Corporation,
Tokyo, Japan) accurate to ± 100 g. Pressure contact electrodes on
the platform allowed determination of impedance and estima-
Bringard A et al. Oxygen Uptake Response and Wearing Improved Clothing Int J Sports Med 2006; 27: 373 378
Training & Testing
tion of total body water. Each session was conducted on a sepa-
rate day and at the same time of the day 1 h) to prevent circa-
dian effect on the physiological parameters.
Gas exchange measurements
Gas exchange measurements (V
, carbon dioxide production
], respiratory exchange ratio [RER = V
], and min-
ute ventilation [V
]) were determined breath by breath with a
telemetric portable (weight of 450 g) metabolic system (Cosmed
, Rome, Italy) during all testing sessions. Immediately before
each test, gas analysers were calibrated with ambient air (O
20.93% and CO
: 0.03%) and a gas mixture of known composition
: 16.00% and CO
: 5.00%). An O
analyser with a polarographic
electrode and a CO
analyser with an infrared electrode sampled
expired gases at the mouth. At the end of exercise the drift rate
for both analysers (drift rate = analyser drift/time collection) we
observed a few times was minimal (less than 0.008%/min for
analyser and + 0.004%/min for CO
analyser), and therefore
did not affect VO
values (% error < 0.3) at the end of exercise.
The facemask, that had a low dead space (70 ml), was equipped
with a low-resistance, bidirectional digital turbine (28 mm di-
ameter). This turbine was calibrated before each test with a sy-
ringe of known volume (3 L, Hans Rudolph Inc, Dallas, USA). Face
masks allowed subjects to simultaneously breathe with mouth
and nose, for more comfort. HR was continuously measured via
a wireless Polar-monitoring system (Polar Electro Oy, Kempele,
Rating of perceived exertion and subjective ratings
Following the gas exchange measurement, subjects were asked
to provide a rating of perceived exertion (RPE) between 6 and
20 for the whole body [5]. Perceptions of clothing sweating sen-
sation [14], clothing comfort sensation, and the whole thermal
sensation [15] were also obtained after each testing session. The
scales are listed in Table 1.
Gas exchange analyses
Values for V
(in absolute and relative terms) were smoothed
over 5 breaths for each testing session to de-emphasise breath-
to-breath variation in V
. As initially proposed by di Prampero
[10], net aerobic EC (ml · kg
) in PI was calculated by divid-
ing the net V
(exercising V
minus resting V
) averaged over
the last 15 s of each 3-min stage by speed for the following run-
ning exercise intensities: 10, 12, 14, and 16 km · h
. In PII, The SC
of V
(ml · min
) was calculated by subtracting the V
values during 20 s) at the second minute of exercise from the
end-exercise V
[2,16]. We used absolute terms for V
SC espe-
cially for comparison purposes with literature in the field [2, 7,
12,16, 20,29, 30].
Statistical analysis
The running test response for cardiorespiratory and subjective
variables was evaluated by a one-way analysis of variance
(ANOVA) with repeated-measures across clothing conditions,
followed by a Student Newman-Keuls post-hoc analysis used to
isolate differences among conditions. The Friedman rank test
was used when the normality or the equality of variance was vio-
lated. Data was reported as mean ± SD unless otherwise speci-
fied. The level of significance was set at p < 0.05 for all analyses.
There were no differences in thermal stress, in body mass loss, in
clothing comfort and sweating sensations, and perceived exer-
tion between the three clothing conditions in both PI and PII
(see Table 2).
Responses during incremental exercise: PI
The overall results of the incremental tests performed in PI are
shown in Fig. 1 for EC.
At 12 km · h
, there was a significant effect among the three
clothing conditions (F [2.5] = 4.61, p < 0.05 with a statistical
power of 0.53). Aerobic EC was significantly lower by wearing
compression and elastic tights compared to shorts (Fig.1). Note
Table 1 The degree of subjective ratings of clothing comfort, cloth-
ing sweating, and whole thermal sensations
1 comfortable 1 dry 1 very hot
2 moderately
2 clammy 2 hot
3 a little
3moist 3warm
4 not at all 4 wet 4 slightly
5 uncomfortable 5 dripping wet 5 neutral
6 slightly
7 cool
8 cold
9 very cold
Fig.1 Mean values SE) of net aerobic energy cost for different sub-
maximal running exercise intensities among different clothing condi-
tions. * Significantly different from Shorts condition at p < 0.05. n = 6.
Bringard A et al. Oxygen Uptake Response and Wearing Improved Clothing Int J Sports Med 2006; 27: 373 378
Training & Testing
that there was the same trend at 10 and 14 km ·h
(p < 0.1). There
were no differences in HR and V
values among clothing condi-
tions for each stage of the incremental exercise test. Values of
were not different between shorts, elastic and compres-
sion tights (60.9 ± 4.4, 59.0 ± 10.3, 60.3 ± 4.8 ml· min
, re-
Responses during the constant work load exercise: PII
Values of V
and associated maximal aerobic speed for the
group of subjects tested in PII were 52.2 ± 7.1 ml · min
17.3 ± 0.9 km · h
(range of 16.3 18.4). The mean running speed
corresponding to 80 % of V
was 13.8 ± 0.7 km· h
The V
SC magnitude values (defined as the difference between
min 2 and end-exercise value) are displayed on the Fig. 2 for the
three clothing conditions tested. Magnitude of V
SC was signif-
icantly different among the three clothing conditions (F [2, 4]
= 7.96, p = 0.013 with a statistical power of 0.79). Post-hoc tests
revealed that magnitude of V
SC was significantly lower when
wearing compression tights compared to shorts (p = 0.01) and to
elastic tights (p = 0.04). There were no differences in HR and V
between clothing conditions at some specific times (2 and
15 min, Table 3) corresponding to the development of the V
The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of wearing com-
pression tights on some traditional “muscle efficiency” indices
(EC and V
SC), degree of fatigue, and comfort sensations during
various submaximal exercises. In the environmental conditions
tested, the major finding of the present study was that wearing
compression tights decreased (i) the energy cost of running at
some submaximal intensities compared with conventional
shorts (control trial) but not with classic tights during short-
term duration exercise (PI), (ii) and the V
SC compared with
wearing shorts (by 36%) and classic tights (by 26%) during pro-
longed submaximal exercise (PII). The ratings of perceived exer-
tion were not significantly different between clothing conditions,
as well as clothing comfort and sweating sensations.
Table 2 Mean values SD) of subjective ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), clothing comfort, clothing sweating, and whole thermal sensations in PI (at the end of the incremental exercise) and PII (at
the end of the constant heavy submaximal exercise of 15 min) among different clothing conditions. S: short, E: elastic, C: compression
Temperature (
C) Body mass loss (%) RPE scale Clothing comfort Clothing sweating Whole thermal
PI 30.8 31.0 31.2 0.57 0.51 0.53 16.7 16.3 16.3 1.0 1.5 1.5 2.7 2.4 2.5 2.7 2.0 1.5
± 0.4 ± 0.6 ± 1.2 ± 0.23 ± 0.09 ± 0.18 ± 0.5 ± 1.3 ± 1.5 ± 0.0 ± 0.5 ± 0.8 ± 1.0 ± 1.2 ± 0.8 ± 1.9 ± 0.6 ± 0.5
PII 23.7 23.5 23.7 0.35 0.40 0.41 12.0 12.5 12.0 1.2 1.8 1.2 1.7 2.0 1.5 3.8 3.0 3.3
± 1.0 ± 1.5 ± 1.4 ± 0.16 ± 0.07 ± 0.12 ± 2.4 ± 1.8 ± 1.3 ± 0.4 ± 0.4 ± 0.4 ± 0.5 ± 0.9 ± 0.5 ± 0.8 ± 1.1 ± 0.8
Fig. 2 Mean values SE) of the amplitude of the oxygen uptake tak-
en as the difference between minutes 2 and 15 during constant heavy
running exercises among different clothing conditions. * Significantly
different from Compression condition at p < 0.05. n = 6.
Bringard A et al. Oxygen Uptake Response and Wearing Improved Clothing Int J Sports Med 2006; 27: 373 378
Training & Testing
Human physiological responses may be influenced by various
kinds of garments. To date in the literature, many studies have
been performed on the role of several thermal parameters in the
determination of whole body and local exercise performance
[17]. However, although clothing could influence humans ther-
mally, to our knowledge there is no systematic study as to the
role of clothing for the exercise efficacy, that is the physiological
and perceptual advantages of wearing compressive garments on
fatigue. Fatigue is a complex phenomenon that is characterised
by a decrease in performance. It has been reported that fatigue
induces an increase in energy expenditure per unit of distance
(i.e., energy cost of locomotion). Running economy may be a bet-
ter predictor of endurance performance than V
in a group of
trained athletes [8]. In the present study, no differences in V
were found among the three clothing conditions (PI). However
EC was significantly lower at 12 km· h
(Fig. 1) by wearing either
compression tights or elastic tights compared to conventional
shorts. The positive effect of wearing tights may assist motion
pattern by increasing proprioception, muscle coordination, and
the propulsive force, resulting in less metabolic cost of running
at a given speed. Previous studies have shown an increased pro-
prioception with compressive garments which may improve
technique [28]. A sleeve worn on the knee improved the integra-
tion of the balance control system and muscle coordination [21].
Note that in the present study, EC did not differ significantly be-
tween compression and elastic tights. Some further advantages
of the compression compared to elastic tights may be not appar-
ent during exercise of too short duration (3 min for each stage in
PI) as in this experimental protocol. The “mechanical” support (if
any) of compression tights may have a measurable effect during
a longer submaximal exercise at a constant pace to judge exer-
cise tolerance and energy expenditure changes over time.
The V
SC has been suggested to be an important determinant
of exercise tolerance in both patient populations and athletic
groups [12]. A reduction of the SC with exercise is therefore
highly desirable, as this adaptation may allow undertaking lon-
ger periods of physical activity, and increasing work tolerance
before early fatigue development [12]. Although no consensus
exists, several variables have been identified as predictors of
SC during prolonged exercise including blood lactate con-
centration, cardiorespiratory work, muscle O
availability, and
motor-unit recruitment patterns [12]. However most recent evi-
dence points toward motor unit recruitment patterns in the aeti-
ology of the V
SC [6,20, 29]. Moritani [26] have shown with
electromyographic technique that during cycling exercise, fa-
tigue of thigh muscles was decreased when subjects wore com-
pressive garments compared to a control condition. We noted in
the present study (PII) a 26% and 36% decrease in V
SC by
wearing compression tights compared to classic tights and
shorts, respectively. This indicates that there may be a subtle er-
gonomic interplay between the close fitting garment and some
biological mechanisms over time. Wearing a lower-body com-
pressive garment may reduce muscle fatigue by supporting more
active muscles and applying pressure in such a way as to support
muscle fibers in their contraction direction. Reduced longitudi-
nal and anterior muscle oscillation upon landing from a maximal
vertical jump [11] was speculated to be a contributing factor to
increase repetitive jump performance by reducing fatigue [19].
The proposed ergonomic mechanism is that reduced muscle os-
cillations with support may optimise neurotransmission and
mechanics at the molecular level [24], and in turn, reduce myo-
electric activity ([27], a paradigm of muscle tuning). Effects of
the muscle tuning associated with an ergonomic interface such
as a compressive garment could be seen in performance, fatigue,
and comfort characteristics of repetitive impact loading during
running. Compressive garments have been shown also to be ben-
eficial in that they help the muscle pumping action of the cardio-
vascular system (increased venous return) to remove blood lac-
tate from exercising muscle [3,19]. Although coincidental rather
than causal, several previous cross-sectional studies have shown
a close relationship between the magnitude of the blood lactate
increase and the V
SC [7,12]. Indeed Saunders et al. [30] report-
ed that increased motor unit recruitment was responsible for the
close relationship between the V
SC and blood lactate increase.
Altogether, effects of compressive garments on blood lactate re-
moval and muscle support function may lead to a reduced
muscle fatigue and a better exercise tolerance (i.e., lowered V
SC). The mechanisms for such improvement remain speculative
and require further study.
In the present study we did not observe any difference in envi-
ronmental temperature during the experimental tests in PI as in
PII. During exercise, clothing can influence exercise HR due to
differences in tympanic temperature [22]. However we did not
observe any differences in HR among clothing conditions both
in PI and PII. Thus, the thermoregulatory stress associated with
each exercise test was likely identical. In spite of differences in
the amount of skin surface covered by elastic and compressive
clothing compared to shorts condition, we did not observe any
differences in sweating and comfort sensations, perceived exer-
tion, and for whole thermal sensation between clothing condi-
tions in both PI and PII. Note however that during PII, comfort
sensation for wearing compression tights was perceived as com-
Table 3 Mean values SE) of the difference in heart rate (HR) and minute ventilation (V
) between minutes 2 and 15 during constant heavy
running exercises among different clothing conditions
(l· min
) HR (beats · min
Short Elastic Compression Short Elastic Compression
Amplitude of increase 12.3 ± 2.8 11.5 ± 2.1 13.1 ± 2.5 12.2 ± 2.3 11.4 ± 3.0 9.8 ± 2.8
Minute 2 77.5 ± 5.9 79.1 ± 7.8 78.1 ± 5.9 162.1 ± 2.5 163.6 ± 3.9 165.2 ± 2.8
Minute 15 89.8 ± 5.8 90.6 ± 6.7 91.2 ± 7.8 174.3 ± 3.5 175.0 ± 3.2 175.1 ± 1.3
Bringard A et al. Oxygen Uptake Response and Wearing Improved Clothing Int J Sports Med 2006; 27: 373 378
Training & Testing
fortable as wearing shorts. There were no significant differences
in weight loss between clothing conditions, suggesting that in
the moderately warm temperature test conditions (range of
24 31
C), neither clothing nor skin coverage affects body mass
loss. Overall, our results are in accordance with those of Gavin et
al. [14] who demonstrated that at 30
C neither the addition of a
modest amount of clothing nor the fabric characteristics of the
clothing alters thermoregulatory and thermal comfort, and
sweating sensation responses during and after 30 min running
(70% V
) and 15 min walking (30% V
) exercises.
In conclusion, these preliminary results showed for the first time
that in the same environmental conditions a lower energy cost
was obtained at a submaximal exercise intensity ( 12 km · h
by wearing compression and elastic tights compared to conven-
tional shorts. During heavy running exercise for 15 min duration,
wearing compression tights decreased by 26 and 36% the V
slow component compared to elastic tights and conventional
shorts, respectively. Wearing compression tights during running
exercise may enhance overall circulation and decrease muscle
oscillations to promote a lower energy expenditure at a given
submaximal speed (i.e., lessening muscle fatigue). Further stud-
ies in this area are needed to understand the mechanisms of this
ergonomic interface during submaximal and prolonged running
The investigators would like to express their thanks to the sub-
jects who made this study possible. This project was supported
in part by funds from Decathlon Creation Research Center.
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Training & Testing
... However, the effect of compression tights on RE are limited to just three investigations. 8,13,14 Bringard et al., assessed the effects of wearing compression tights on economy of six trained athletes running at 10, 12 14 or 16 km·h −1 . Compression improved economy when running at 12 km·h −1 only. ...
... Compression improved economy when running at 12 km·h −1 only. 13 Dascombe et al., found no differences in the economy of eleven well-trained runners at 10, 12, 14, 16 or 18 km·h −1 . However, compression tights impaired economy at 8 km·h −1 . ...
... An a priori sample size estimation was performed based on previously observed differences in economy with and without compression tights at 12 km·h −1 . 13 The effect size in this study was 1.25. With an alpha = .05 ...
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The effect of compression tights on running economy is unclear. The purpose of this investigation was to assess the influence of compression tights on economy. Following an incremental test to exhaustion to determine aerobic capacity (V̇O 2max) and peak running speed (vV̇O 2max), twenty-six moderately endurance-trained males (28 ± 7 years; 76.1 ± 8.4 kg; V̇O 2max = 54.7 ± 4.8 mL·kg −1 ·min −1) were allocated to either a 60% (n = 8), 62.5% (n = 9) or 65% vV̇O 2max group (n = 9) using block randomisation. Participants ran for 15 min at the allocated vV̇O 2max with compression tights and a non-compression control condition in a randomised, counterbalanced order, separated by seven days. Oxygen consumption (V̇O 2) and expired carbon dioxide (V̇CO 2) was measured to determine economy as caloric unit cost. No difference was observed between conditions for the 60% and 62.5% vV̇O 2max groups, however economy was improved with compression at 65% vV̇O 2max (P < 0.01). Combined analysis of all participants revealed ΔRE (Δ = control − compression) correlated with relative aerobic capacity (%V̇O 2max) (r = 0.50, P < 0.01) but not running speed (r = 0.04, P < 0.84). These data suggest that compression tights influence economy at 65% vV̇O 2max or at relative exercise intensities of approximately 75-85%V̇O 2max .
... In this context, the garments were used to promote blood flow from superficial veins into deep veins, thereby preventing cutaneous venous stasis and the development of conditions such as chronic venous insufficiency [8,9]. Early research with healthy populations suggested benefits to exercise performance such as increased proprioception and reduced muscle oscillation [10], and decreased blood lactate [11] during running and cycling, respectively. Meanwhile, decreased muscle soreness [12,13], increased blood lactate removal [11], and increased perception of recovery [14] have been reported in studies focusing on the application of compression as a recovery method for athletes. ...
... Similarly, very few positive effects of CGs during exercise have been reported for other cardiorespiratory measures, including oxygen uptake and saturation, respiratory exchange ratio, ventilation, cardiac output, and carbon dioxide production. A highly cited early report by Bringard, Perrey, and Belluye [10] showed a reduction in aerobic energy cost and VO 2 slow component while wearing compression tights (of unspecified length and applied pressure) during indoor running, suggestive of an improvement in exercise tolerance. Given that this was conducted on a sample of only six men, more recent investigations of a similar design could be cited to demonstrate the effects of CGs on oxygen consumption at fixed workloads; for example, a significant improvement in VO 2 (but not VO 2 max) with undersized and regular-sized compression tights [31]; and, a moderate reduction in %VO 2 max attained and large reduction in %HR max attained during a time-to-exhaustion test while wearing graduated below-knee compression socks [33]. ...
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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.
... We attempted to resolve this by embedding taping lines into compression tights. Previous studies have shown that tights can also enhance running economy [24,25], attenuate soft-tissue vibration [26,27], and improve jump performance [28,29]. Multiple studies also report that tights can enhance performance and mitigate injuries during manual labor by applying proper compression to specific muscles and segments [30,31]. ...
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Out-toeing gait may cause alterations in lower limb biomechanics that could lead to an increased risk of overuse injuries. Surgery and physical therapy are conventional methods for mitigating such gait, but they are costly and time-consuming. Wearable devices like braces and orthoses are used as affordable alternatives, but they apply non-negligible stress on the skin. Haptic feedback-delivering shoes were also recently developed, but they require actuators and power sources. The purpose of our study is to develop compression tights with inward directing taping lines that apply compression to lower limb muscles and segments to facilitate inward rotation of the foot, overcoming the drawbacks of previous methods. These compression tights were manufactured to fit the average height, leg length, hip girth, and waist girth of South Korean females in their twenties. The efficacy of these compression tights was evaluated by comparing walking kinematics and user satisfaction of 12 female dancers with an out-toeing gait under three conditions: wearing tights with taping lines, tights without taping lines, and basic bicycle shorts. The foot rotation angles and joint kinematics were recorded using a pressure-pad treadmill and motion capture system, respectively. Multiple pairwise comparisons revealed that the compression tights with inward-directing lines significantly reduced foot rotation angles (up to an average of 20.1%) compared with the bicycle shorts (p = 0.002 and 0.001 for dominant and non-dominant foot, respectively) or the compression tights without taping lines (p = 0.005 and p = 0.001 for dominant and non-dominant foot, respectively). Statistical parametric mapping revealed significant main effects of the tight type on joint kinematics. Also, t-tests revealed that the participants reported significantly higher ratings of perceived functionality and usability on the compression tights with inward-directing taping lines. In conclusion, we developed a comfortable and practical apparel-type wearable and demonstrated its short-term efficacy in mitigating out-toeing gait.
... It has been reported that cardiovascular stress on athletes reduces due to enhanced cardiac input and venous return by wearing compression athletic wear [169]. The metabolic cost of energy can be reduced, and the submaximal running economy can be increased by using compression garments [170]. Previous studies also showed that athletes can run at faster speeds to enhance leg power [171] and increase lactate clearance by 13 International Journal of Polymer Science using compression garments [172]. ...
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In the recent era of development, the global market for the sportswear textile manufacturing industries has increased with the increase in consumption of active sportswear. The sportswear manufacturers not only focused on the market trends but also focused on material diversification with technology enhancement. The performance characteristics of active sportswear directly influence comfort level and athletic performance during sports activities. Different types of sportswear products require different performance characteristics. Appropriate moisture and heat management are the key factors for the endowment of the required physiological comfort level. In highly engineered textile-based sports goods, special characteristics are incorporated in the polymer/fibers/product manufacturing procedures/finishing techniques to obtain the maximum performance and comfort level. In this review paper current market trends, highly engineered polymers, fibers, fabrics, finishes, nanomaterials, and the recent developments in the manufacturing techniques of sportswear are illustrated.
... The abovementioned researches basically focus on how to use knee pads to protect the knee joint, but in daily life people seldom wear knee pads when running as it is one of the most common sports activities. In fact, nowadays more and more enthusiasts choose compression pants as their daily sports trousers because these trousers can not only improve the subjective comfort of sports but also play a role in relieving fatigue 14,15 and speed up sports recovery 16,17 . ...
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The aim of this study was to clarify how human movement speed and pants elasticity affect the athletic performance of knee joint protection by testing pants with different elastic properties: CP1 (tight pants) and CP2&CP3 (elastic compression pants), which reinforce the knee joint. In addition, CS (cotton sport pants) was developed as a control garment. Three subjects wore CP1, CP2, CP3 and CS while running on the treadmill at three kinds of human movement speed. A three-dimensional motion capture instrument was used to capture the three-dimensional trajectory of the marked points of lower limbs. As a result, the influence of the movement speed on the kinematic parameters (AKJ & gait cycle) was more obvious than the fabric elasticity. If elastic pants are worn during running, the change of AKJ will be stable with the increase of speed. When non-elastic pants are worn, the effect is opposite. Not only that, elastic compression pants are efficient in reducing the motion amplitude of the knee joint during the suspension period as far as 41°, making it highly practical in terms of stability. That is, the elastic fabric can protect the joints when the lower limbs are in motion. Moreover, with the increase of speed and elasticity, the elastic pants can reduce the gait cycle by up to 22% compared with non-elastic pants alone. Through the kinematics mechanism of human joints, these findings may translate into an effect on protective performance and a reduction in sport injuries. Therefore, it is necessary to wear elastic pants, especially compression pants, when running at higher speed, as the average gait cycle gradually decreases. This research shows that the knee joint protection functions of elastic compression garments differ according to the level of elasticity and differential movement speed, providing theoretical support for designing and producing elastic compression pants. It also acts as a guide for the research of lower limb joint protection.
... These time trial performance tests utilised either stockings or socks and did not consider full-length tights. When full-length tights elicit a garment pressure of ∼20 mmHg at the calf and 13-20 mmHg at the thigh, 8,9 they were shown to improve variables related to running performance such as running economy (RE), 10 muscle oxygenation 8 and running kinematics. 9 This is in agreement with Watanuki and Murata's proposal of a 'minimum pressure threshold' to improve venous return of 17.3 mmHg at the calf and 15.1 mmHg at the thigh. ...
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The aim of the present study was to examine whether full leg-length compression tights modify physiological and kinematic measures during treadmill running at a competitive race pace in moderately trained runners. Thirteen males and five females completed two 15-minute running tests at a speed corresponding to a recent race time wearing compression tights or loose-fitting running shorts. Running economy (RE) was determined by oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide expiration during the final 3 minutes of treadmill running. Muscle oxygenation, skin temperature, heart rate (HR), vertical oscillation, step frequency and ground contact time (GCT) were measured continuously. GCT was shorter with compression compared with control trials (p = 0.03), however, no differences in RE, muscle oxygenation, vertical oscillation, step frequency, HR or skin temperature were revealed. Despite a shorter GCT with compression tights, the findings suggest that moderately trained runners do not benefit nor limit physiological responses at a competitive race pace.
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The high-elasticity bottoms applying gradual pressurization to the blood vessels of the lower extremities simultaneously assisting to both prevention and treatment of multiple health conditions such as varicose veins. Medical compression stockings are classified as medical supplies, and there is a clear standard on magnitude and application for gradual pressure. However, in the case of leggings, there are no relevant experimental data or papers supporting these findings. This study was performed in order to analyse the gradual compression values in legging. Eight types of leggings currently available on the market by different brands, were analysed to determine the type of pressure applied. The pressure was measured at five points of the clothed body with leggings pulled across lower extremities. An airpack sensor was attached to a wooden leg model and five consecutive records at each measuring point were taken. Afterwards the average values were calculated. As observed in all eight leggings, the measuring point with the highest pressure applied was the back of the calf (mean 18.25 mmHg) or the below the knee circumference (mean 13.83 mmHg), pointing to deviance in applying gradual pressure as proposed in medical compression stockings. The commercial leggings used in this experiment did not show a gradual increase in pressure from the thigh to the ankle body zone. One can presume that the legs’ fatigue would increase over the time. Since, the gradual pressure should be applied in legging construction as seen in medical compression stockings.
La survenue d’altérations neuromusculaires et musculo tendineuses lors d’épreuves de course à pied de fond s’avère être délétère sur la capacité de performance d’endurance et la période de récupération des athlètes. Par ailleurs, la sévérité de ces perturbations peut être exacerbée par les caractéristiques du terrain, et plus particulièrement par la présence de dénivelé négatif. En course à pied de descente, l’amplitude plus importante de ces altérations est sous-tendue par la prédominance du régime de contraction excentrique à l’exercice. Dès lors, la course à pied de descente constitue un challenge pour les coureurs dans leur quête d’excellence athlétique, aussi bien à l’entraînement que lors d’épreuves compétitives. L’exploration de stratégies préventives, ayant pour objectif de mieux tolérer les sections de course à pied en descente, apparaît donc pleinement justifiée dans le domaine de l’optimisation des réponses adaptatives en course à pied. Dans ce contexte, une première analyse prospective de la littérature a focalisé sur l’exploration des stratégies de répétitions de sessions (c.-à-d., usage chronique de la course à pied en descente) et du port in situ de textiles vestimentaires à visée ergogénique (e.g., textiles de compression et réflecteurs de rayons infrarouges lointains). Étant donné que l’usage chronique de la course à pied en descente pourrait également permettre l’instauration d’adaptations bénéfiques sur la capacité de performance des athlètes, il convenait au préalable de préciser les adaptations neuromusculaires et musculo-tendineuses à l’entraînement de course à pied en descente. Ainsi, les objectifs du travail de thèse étaient de caractériser les adaptations neuromusculaires et musculo-tendineuses à l’entraînement de course à pied en descente d’une part, et d’enrichir nos connaissances sur l’apport de stratégies préventives dans le domaine de la course à pied de fond, d’autre part. Les résultats de ce travail ont montré que : (i) l’entraînement de course à pied en descente (4 semaines) peut instaurer de rapides adaptations neuromusculaires (e.g., gains de force, hypertrophie musculaire) et tendineuses (par exemple, augmentation de la raideur du tendon patellaire), sans pour autant atténuer la sévérité des perturbations neuromusculaires à l’issue d’une session de course à pied en descente ; (ii) que le port de textiles de compression à l’exercice peut exercer un « effet protecteur dynamique » sur les groupes musculaires compressés, sans pour autant atténuer les perturbations de la capacité de performance d’endurance des athlètes ; et (iii) que le port de textiles réflecteurs de rayons infrarouges à l’exercice pourrait générer certains effets ergogéniques mais que la compréhension de leurs effets reste à ce jour globalement limitée.
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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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When moderate exercise begins, O2 uptake (VO2) reaches a steady state within 3 min. However, with heavy exercise, VO2 continues to rise beyond 3 min (VO2 drift). We sought to identify factors contributing to VO2 drift. Ten young subjects performed cycle ergometer tests of 15 min duration for each of four constant work rates, corresponding to 90% of the anaerobic threshold (AT) and 25, 50, and 75% of the difference between maximum VO2 (VO2 max) and AT for that subject. Time courses of VO2, minute ventilation (VE), and rectal temperature were recorded. Blood lactate, norepinephrine, and epinephrine were measured at the end of exercise. Eight weeks of cycle ergometer endurance training improved average VO2 max by 15%. Subjects then performed four tests identical to pretraining studies. For the above AT tests, training reduced VO2 drift substantially; reduction in each of the possible mediators we measured was also demonstrated. The training-induced decrease in VO2 drift was well correlated with decreases in end exercise lactate and less well correlated with the drift in VE seen at above AT work rates. The training-induced reduction in VO2 drift was not significantly correlated with attenuation of rectal temperature rise or decrease in end-exercise level of the catecholamines. Thus the slow rise in VO2 during heavy exercise seems linked to lactate, though a component dictated by the work of breathing cannot be ruled out.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether compression shorts affected vertical jump performance. Subjects, 18 men and 18 women varsity volleyball players, were thoroughly familiarized with the jump tests and experimental techniques. Testing utilized compression shorts of normal fit (CS), undersized compression shorts (UCS), and loose fitting gym shorts as the control garment (CT). All tests were conducted on the same day using a balanced, randomized block design to remove day-to-day variation. Jumps were performed on an AMTI force plate interfaced to a computer with customized software to determine jump force and power. Ten consecutive maximal countermovement jumps with hands held at waist level were evaluated. The garments had no effect on maximal force or power of the highest jump. However, mean force and power production over the 10 jumps when wearing the CS were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than CT for both men and women. In men the UCS mean power production was also higher than the CT. The data indicate that compression shorts, while not improving single maximal jump power, have a significant effect on repetitive vertical jumps by helping to maintain higher mean jumping power.
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.
The energy cost of the forms of locomotion discussed throughout this article is summarized in Table 9. This table, as well as the preceding sections of this article, are designed to provide a rather comprehensive and simple set of information for potential readers: medical doctors, who should be able to prescribe to their patients (obese, hypertensive, cardiac, etc.) the correct amount and type of exercise, thus making use of exercise as of any other drug, of which it is imperative to know posology and contraindications; athletes, trainers, and sportsmen in general, who should gear correctly their diet to the type and amount of physical exercise; physical educators, who should be aware of the specific characteristics of the exercise modes they propose to their pupils, as a function of their sex, age, and athletic capacity. However, besides these practical applications, the notions discussed throughout this article bear also a more general interest. Indeed, they allow a better understanding of the motion of man, that is, of the only machine, which besides moving about, also tries to understand how he does it.
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.
The relationship between VO2 and velocity of running (running economy) has been rather casually dealt with until very recently, and there still remains considerable disagreement as to the importance of this variable. Various factors which have been shown, or appear, to affect running economy include environment (temperature, altitude, running surface), fatigue, age, weight, state of fitness, and inherent differences. That differences between individuals and within individuals can and do exist seems clear; the questions which need to be addressed in future research are: (1) What type of training is most effective in bringing about changes in running economy? and (2) How much change in economy can be expected with optimum training? Furthermore, it is suggested that running economy be investigated as an entity, so that changes that may take place with time or training can be more accurately related to their cause.
Compression garments for the lower limb were tested in two groups--general support garments and anti-embolism supports. A total of 98 patients was examined. The method used was by the interposition of partly fluid-filled pressure sensors between garment and skin. A combination of roller bandage with shaped tubigrip (SBB--Seton) and Sigvaris stockings afforded effective pressure in the general support group but only the roller bandage plus pressure garment (Seton) did so in the anti-embolism group, both in the acute and prolonged studies.
There is a great demand for perceptual effort ratings in order to better understand man at work. Such ratings are important complements to behavioral and physiological measurements of physical performance and work capacity. This is true for both theoretical analysis and application in medicine, human factors, and sports. Perceptual estimates, obtained by psychophysical ratio-scaling methods, are valid when describing general perceptual variation, but category methods are more useful in several applied situations when differences between individuals are described. A presentation is made of ratio-scaling methods, category methods, especially the Borg Scale for ratings of perceived exertion, and a new method that combines the category method with ratio properties. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods are discussed in both theoretical-psychophysical and psychophysiological frames of reference.