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Do Compression Tights Work? Finally, The Truth!
Recently, I have seen a lot of people wearing compression tights, in the park jogging, in the gym and sports stars on TV – not only that, every time I go into a sports shop I notice that the mannequins are adorned in these tight fitting compression clothes. My question is, do compression tights work?
The only way for me to find out was for me to buy a pair for myself to see what they were like. Check out the video review below.
What Compression Clothing Promises…
Compression clothing claims that it will “reduce the vibrations in your muscles during exercise”, the idea being that when your foot makes contact with the ground it causes a vibration up your leg… That vibration can cause damage to the muscle fibers, this clothing inhibits that action.
The idea is that compression pants will wrap around your leg (or whatever body part you wear them on) and create a safety blanket which limits the excess muscle motion lessening the damage to muscles over time, making your movements much more efficient.
With recovery from strenuous exercise, compression clothing claims to aid the circulation of blood around the body. By increasing the blood flow around the body and helping the body to reintroduce oxygen rich blood into the lower body areas by increasing circulation – therefore introducing beneficial nutrients that help broken down muscle tissue to heal much faster after exercise.
Some compression pants are made to fit tighter and looser in specific areas so that certain muscle groups work more efficiently – this is meant to improve performance and endurance for certain sports and exercises.
All sounded very impressive. I decided to buy these:
Nike Pro Combat Hyperwarm Compression Max Shield Tights
Did I pay the right price?
In order to answer the question ‘do compression tights work‘ I had to buy a pair. I saw some tights going for as much as £80 and some going for as little as £10 I decided to go for around the mid-point. These retail at £40 which I felt is a little high for a pair of tights but after reading the benefits promised I felt the price wasn’t too bad. Plus, I read on the site that they have a 2-year warranty which I was impressed with, so if they aren’t as durable as I had hoped I could always get them replaced they said.
I am Superman!…
Trying these on was a very new feeling for me. I’ve never worn anything that hugs my body when I train, I usually wear loose fitting clothes. They awakened my inner child and for a moment I felt like Superman. After humming the Superman theme tune for some time I noticed there was a genuine feeling of springiness in my legs, walking felt new, climbing the stairs felt as though I was being assisted in some way – there was a definite difference in feeling. After jumping up and down on the spot a few times like a crazy person, I was very eager to get out to the park and go jogging in them.
How Do They Really Feel?
The tights are made with Nike’s ‘Dri-FIT’ fabric, which is made up of 92% polyester and 8% elastane. When you exercise you sweat a lot, the idea of the Dri-FIT is to keep the sweat away from your body and keep you feeling dry and comfortable – The overlays and gusset/gusset lining are made with a slightly different Dri-FIT equation, using 100% polyester and an 84% polyester/16% elastane combination. Nike’s Dri-FIT pretty much works like other brands (Adidas have ‘Climalite’ and Reebok have ‘PlayDry’), but the way they are put together in different areas makes a significant difference in the way it feels when you’re wearing them. There wasn’t any riding up or pinching and I was able to maintain normal range of motion during my exercising.
The tights kept me very warm during my 7 o’clock morning jogs. They are very snug, like a second skin, I also felt the Dri Fit benefits wicking moisture away when I sweat during exercise, especially in the groin and buttock area. They didn’t feel so tight that my legs felt numb, it was just the right level of tightness.
Change in recovery times
Another major factor is that with these tights my recovery times became much shorter. The leg pain in the days following a heavy squat and deadlift routine was not as significant as it has been before, I recovered faster and have been able to train my legs more frequently. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel as much of a burn in my legs when running uphill, quite a new feeling.
“After two weeks of use. I felt very different about compression clothing.”
Compared to other tights I have tried, I would say this particular pair of Nike compression tights are the most comfortable I have worn.
They keep their form very well, giving fantastic support, allow for the range of motion that I need, and perform the near-impossible task of keeping my muscles both warm and dry from the elements, while still keeping my body at the right temperature and sweat-free, avoiding that chill you get when moist clothing catches a breeze. On a cold morning runs these are really great.
The tights are machine washable and seem durable. I’ve washed them twice since and they haven’t lost any elasticity or effectiveness.
Whenever there are a number of positive things to say about something, there is still the fact that no product is perfect for everyone.
The price tag…
The Nike brand, albeit with a decent reputation, still comes with a higher price tag than some other similar products so they may not be right for everyone’s budget. I would love to buy another pair, maybe in a different color but the price is a bit too high.
They come in various attractive color options, something which wasn’t available when I bought them. I wish I could have gotten a differencolorur.
Do Compression Tights Work? – The Wrap Up
I was so ready to dismiss compression clothing as another overhyped fitness fad, but I’ve been impressed.
There may be something significant to take away from this. I have seen a marked improvement in my recovery times after heavy weight training sessions and they keep me very warm during my early morning outdoor sessions. I felt the price was a bit high which is why I gave them 4 stars, but they do seem very well made and look like they will keep their shape for a long time. I’m actually considering buying another pair in a different color – ‘Superman blue’ would be awesome!
So do compression tights work? My answer is yes they do.
The Nike Pro Combats I bought are available here.
Do you wear compression clothing?
Do compression tights work for you?
Let us know how you find them in the comments below.