Compression leggings or compression tights are typically known for their use in medical circumstances. Used to apply pressure to the legs, they’re often worn by those with circulation issues to help blood flow.
More recently though, they’ve been given a place in the fitness world too. Worn by both men and women, you can now get a range of different styles and colours of compression leggings from lots of different activewear retailers.
So, what are they for? The latest fitness fad or something that can really support your recovery?
What are compression leggings for?
Traditionally, and in the medical sense, compression tights or compression stockings are used to aid circulation. However, compression clothing has now found its way into the fitness space, alongside claims that they can support your recovery from exercise and even improve your performance.
Compression clothing comes in all sorts of forms. You can get compression socks, compression leggings, and even compression vests.
Compression clothing is typically worn by long distance runners and triathletes, citing benefits for both their performance and their recovery. However, it’s much more common to be worn during recovery time in an attempt to reduce inflammation and speed up muscle recovery.
The truth is, the exact science behind how and why compression clothing works is inconclusive. But, that’s not detracted from its popularity and a huge majority of endurance type athletes swear by it.
Do compression leggings really work?
The really key question. Because researchers don’t yet understand exactly how compression clothing aids recovery, it’s difficult to conclude it effectiveness. However, it’s widely popular, meaning evening if it’s just a placebo effect, it’s supporting some people.
Compression clothing is graded in its tightness. The higher the grade, the tighter the clothing. When it’s tighter, it’s aiding blood flow more. How exactly this supports exercise recovery isn’t yet known, but there’s a few studies which look into the potential reasons. Helping increase oxygen uptake in the muscles, reducing lactate levels in the blood, reduced muscle vibrations. All of these are potential reasons for why it works.
However, tight and compressed activewear is now popular for more reasons too. It’s comfortable, helps you stay dry, lets you be more flexible, is breathable, and lets you be a little more streamline. Lots of perks that make the purchase worth it.
Who should wear compression leggings?
Although many of the benefits listed for compression clothing would seem to suit long distance runners, cyclists, or triathletes, there’s really no limit to who can wear it.
It’s becoming increasingly more common for gym goers to opt for compression tights and tops. Evidence suggests that it can offer a degree of stability, meaning if you’re lifting heavy loads, you’re supporting key stabiliser and fixator muscles that help you do the job.
The answer to who should wear compression leggings, is whoever likes wearing them. If you find that your exercise feels supported and your recovery quickened by this type of clothing, then wear it. If it’s not your thing, then don’t.
Can you wear compression leggings all day?
Some people wear compression leggings whilst exercising, and then remove it afterwards. Some people prefer to wear compression leggings after exercising to support their recovery. It’s all down to personal preference.
There’s no real danger in wearing compression leggings all day, although it is recommended you take them off at night. It’s also not recommended to sit around in them doing nothing all day. You’ll probably start to feel uncomfortable after a while anyway. That’s a good point to wear something a little looser. If you’re generally healthy and active, feel free to wear your compression clothing for as long as you like. From the gym and even into the pub.
What are the best compression leggings?
Compression clothing, and leggings in particular are now all over the activewear market. Most of the major brands do a version of compression clothing to a degree of tightness, and some more specialist providers will offer a large range and grade of compression clothing.
Skins Compression offer a huge range of compression leggings for both men and women. It’s specifically and scientifically designed to provide the benefits associated with compression clothing. If you’re looking to try it out, this is the best place to start your browsing.
Activewear giants Under Armour also offer a good range of compression leggings. You’ll just need to determine which products are truly compression focused, and which ones are more like tight gym leggings.
For both men and women, Fabletics offer a huge and great value range of sports leggings. Again, not all of these are actually defined as compression leggings, but if you’re looking to bulk out your sportswear section, they offer loads of different style, colour, and feel options.
When you’re ready to see if the benefits of compression clothing suits you, use a Hussle pass to get multi-gym access from venues all around the UK. Oh, and an online fitness subscription too if you fancy it. Start building your personalised fitness pass for a fitness routine that suits you.