COMPRESSION GARMENTS DO NOT INCREASE STRENGTH OR ENDURANCE
Maitland, M. E., & Vandertuin, J. F. (2002). The effect of compression clothing on muscular strength and endurance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34(5), Supplement abstract 963.
Claims have been made by sport clothing manufacturers that compression clothing improves endurance and jumping performance. For example, Adidas has promoted this as a direct value of wearing its swimming "bodysuit".
Four compression garments were custom fabricated for each of fifteen athletes. Two were T-shirts that extended to the elbows, and two were shorts that extended to the knees. Compression was at 40 mm Hg. Performance was measured by repeated isokinetic testing of elbow and knee flexion. Compression was applied to one limb while not applied to the other in eight sets of tests.
There were no statistical differences between compressed and uncompressed limbs in seven of eight tests. Left elbow extension displayed the only difference with performance being hampered by compression.
Implication. The use of compression garments is a personal choice rather than because of demonstrable performance benefits.
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