There been something of a movement over recent years as tightly fitting running shirts have started to become more and more popular. The science of compression shirts whilst hard to comprehend doesn’t seem to be in dispute. So what exactly do compression shits do for us.
Well top of the list is a reduction in muscle vibration. Muscles work in a linear direction, but the nature of exercise means that we often place different strains on muscles, perhaps because of the terrain we’re running on. By holding the muscle tightly a compression top prevents unnecessary movement. This in turn reduces energy used, and the onset of fatigue.
The other main benefit of compression garments is blood flow improvement. A simple example of this are flight socks. These are designed to prevent problems such as deep vein thrombosis by improving blood flow in the lower legs. Compression shirts and shorts can have a similar effect. Compression improves bloody flow and so can enhance performance and recovery.
There are other beneifts. Some runners find lose fitting running tops uncomfortable. The either get wet with sweat, or if your out in the rain. A cotton Tee shirt will be incredible uncomfortable, but even technical lose fitting tops are often not ideal. Compression shirts stop all movement, and allow you get on with performing.
There are an increasing number of manufacturers moving into the production of compression shirts. Some are indeed excellent. These are usually the main sports manufacturers and running specialists. So if you are looking for that extra dimension to help your running performance, you should have a look at what is available and perhaps try a compression top.