Compression sleeves encompass a wide variety of sportswear for the knees, calves, legs, arms and elbows. They confer a wide variety of performance and injury prevention benefits for both serious and casual athletes.
We will explain these benefits in detail in what follows.
We will then provide suggested answers to some questions from those who are just starting to wear compression sleeves.
What Are The Main Benefits Of Wearing Compression Sleeves?
Compression sleeves help to minimize muscle vibration. By so doing, they reduce the risks of injuries such as muscle or tendon strains or ligament sprains.
Compression sleeves also help to enhance your proprioception. This refers to your body’s ability to receive feedback on the relative positions of adjacent body parts. The ability to instinctively do this in the middle of complex sports movements is particularly beneficial. We do not have to rely on consciously doing this ourselves.
This enhanced ability also helps your body to avoid these relative positions when they are potentially harmful.
Hence, a key benefit of proprioception will be an increase in your body’s ability to avoid injuries.
However, its benefits do not stop there. Proprioception also allows your body to more instinctively perform compound actions in a co-ordinated manner.
Many of these complex actions are critical to improved sports performance. Examples are dribbling or shooting a basketball or executing a tennis or golf stroke with correct technique. Each of these requires the various parts of your body to perform different functions. However, the body has to do so in a co-ordinated and instinctive manner.
It is therefore correct to assume that the increased proprioception from compression sleeves will also help to improve sports performance.
There are also many everyday activities that can be improved with better proprioceptive feedback to your central nervous system.
For example, carrying heavy loads, running or walking are all dependent on this feedback. Improved proprioceptive feedback will help you to perform all of them more efficiently and with less risk of injury.
Improved Blood Flow
Compression also improves blood circulation. As a result, wearing compression sleeves will help to improve the supply of fresh blood to specific body parts. This can have several benefits.
First, at the end of a long training or exercise session, your muscles will usually be sore and tired. Wearing compression sleeves will help the body to more efficiently supply those muscles with freshly oxygenated blood. As a result, their recovery period will be shorter. This in turn will, help you to be ready for your next workout that much more quickly.
Second, you may be unfortunate enough to suffer an injury. If so, you will benefit from the enhanced circulation from a compression sleeve.The enhanced ability to replace stale blood at your injury site with fresh oxygen rich blood will help your injury to heal more quickly.
What Should I Look For In The Best Compression Sleeves?
A key feature to look for is wearing comfort. Specifically, the best compression sleeves wick perspiration away from your body and allow it to maintain its natural temperature.
This is an important consideration if the performance benefits of the sleeve are not to be outweighed by the distraction due to its lack of comfort.
When Are Compression Sleeves Most Beneficial?
These sleeves are most beneficial when you:
Are playing a physically demanding sport that requires execution of complex movements. These include sports like tennis, basketball and many others. Improved proprioceptive feedback will help you maintain proper form for longer. This will help your performance, especially as the game wears on;
Have just finished participating in a game or training session and need quick recovery before the next exertion. As we have explained above, compression sleeves will enhance your blood circulation and speed recovery of sore & tired muscles;
Are undertaking a long journey in a plane, train or car. In these situations, many of us with poor circulation experience problems with blood pooling at our lower extremities, such as our feet. Calf compression sleeves (for example) can help to mitigate these circulatory problems by forcing the blood to return to the heart.