Perhaps the questions itself sounds a bit strange at first sight, but many of our customers and athletes in general starting to use compression apparel are wondering what's the right way to wear the compression apparel whether it's compression shirt or pants? I.E.. Are you supposed to wear a regular shirt on top if or not?
What Are Compression Shirts (what is a compression shirt)?
Compression shirts are shirts that tighten in particular areas of your chest to strengthen your body. Short-sleeved tops tend to tighten your upper body and chest specifically, while long-sleeved ones tighten in the extremities to increase the blood flow back to your core.
That makes them beneficial for anyone who ends up sitting or standing a lot, even if they’re not planning on working out for the day. If you are working out, though, these tight and supportive shirts can reduce swelling and inflammation on your upper body.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT COMPRESSION SHIRT SIZE?
Choosing the right size of compression shirts is very important before you buy one. It is crucial that the shirt is close fitting to make sure that you will get the many advantages from the compression technology. It is not really necessary for you to purchase a size that is smaller than your body size otherwise it will be too fit on you and will feel like you are wearing a tourniquet. So how do you buy compression shirts? Below are the things that you need to consider when buying one.
- Consider the manufacturer’s size chart: Different manufacturers of compression shirts follow different size standards. It is important that you look at the size chart of the manufacturer first to see which size fits you well.
- Choose a larger size: If it is your first time to wear compression clothing, it is a safer option to choose a compression shirt that has a larger size so that you will not feel like being squeezed while wearing the shirt.
- Wear one size down: Wearing a shirt one size down can provide you with enhanced performance and other benefits. Wear one size down only if you already have a lot of experiences wearing compression shirts in the past so that you will no longer be surprised with the squeezing sensation that you get from the shirt.
NOTE: On our www.iamsuperhero.com shop there is a SIZE GUIDE tab on a all of our product pages displaying the size chart along with the instructions on how to take measures and select the best size.
HOW TO WEAR COMPRESSION SHIRTS
It mostly depends on the purpose you will be wearing it for, but in general, if you are wearing compression shirts for doing various types of sports (running, cycling, gym workout etc.) as most of us do, then the best way is to wear compression shirt on it's own without any additional shirt either under or on top of it.
One of the benefits of synthetic/spandex/lycra and wool clothing, which are the basis of compression shirt, is that it wicks away moisture and drys fast. If you wear cotton over your compression shirt, the cotton will still stay soaking wet once it gets wet depending on your physical activity.
Beisdes, having an amazing compression shirt looking like these ones:
Would really be shame to hide, don't you agree? :)
If you aren't going to get wet or sweat too much, it's not really a big deal, but if your shirt is gonna get wet for any reason, cotton is gonna suck.
Also, during the cold time you can wear the compression shirt underneath other layers of clothing as it will keep your warm and keep the body temperature.
COMPRESSION SHIRT BENEFITS
Most who choose to wear compression garments (shirts/leggigns/socks) anticipate that they will experience improved circulation and mechanics. It is thought that compression garments may reduce muscle oscillations which will theoretically optimize the contraction direction of muscle fibers, resulting in improved mechanical efficiency and running kinematics.
Use of compression gear may also reduce vibration in skeletal muscle during training and competition. It is hypothesized that the reduced vibration would contribute to less muscle trauma, and as a result, less fatigue and biomechanical alterations during the course of an endurance event. Following the event, the combined benefit of these outcomes would be reduced exercise-induced muscle damage.
As a result, athletes are expected to experience less soreness, edema and faster recovery in the days after exercise.
Other purported benefits of compression sportswear are:
- It keeps the muscles warm to prevent muscle strain.
- It wicks sweat away from the body to prevent chafing and rashes.
- Helping relieve pain from muscle stiffness and soreness.
- Reducing the time taken for muscles to repair themselves.
- When the right amount of compression is used (will vary depending on body area, typically in the range of 10 to 25 mmHg), improving venous return and oxygenation to working muscles.
WHAT DOES THE SCIENCE SAY?
A recent study to be published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research investigated whether wearing compression garments during recovery, improved subsequent repeated sprint and 3 km run performances.
This study included 22 well-trained male rugby players. Each was given either a compressive garment to cover their legs or a similar style garment that was non-compressive and used as a placebo. The compressive garment was comprised of 76% Meryl Elastane and 24% Lycra. 1
Each athlete wore his assigned garment continuously for 24 hours after performing a series of circuits that were used to imitate a rugby game. The garments were removed after the 24 hour recovery period, at which point each athlete performed a 40 meter repeated sprint test (10 sprints at 30 second intervals). This was then followed by a 3 kilometer run, 10 minutes later. A week later, the assigned groups were reversed, and testing was performed again. 2
The results of the study revealed that when players wore the compressive garment their time in the 3 km run was slightly decreased, and their sprint times also improved. Additionally, the fatigue times were also reduced during the repeated sprint test when wearing the compressive garment. Another result that occurred when the compression garment was worn was that delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) was significantly lower. The mechanism behind the improved performance from the compression garments still remains unclear, but a theory is that wearing these garments post-exercise acts to increase blood flow, which may enhance arterial muscle blood flow and result in improved recovery. 3
While previous studies have investigated the effects of compression garments, this is the first known study to compare the effect of wearing a compression garment versus a similar non-compression garment on subsequent repeated sprint and endurance performance. The results confirm the beneficial effect of wearing compression garment during recovery and suggest that wearing those garments may be an effective method of recovery for rugby players. Although the study was performed on rugby players, there is enough evidence to support the claims that compression garments could benefit recovery for a variety of athletes.
Plus compression shirts can look really cool! Don't believe us? Take a look for yourself here: