Squeeze Out a Faster Recovery

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By: Kevin Rail

By: Kevin Rail

Certified Fitness Coach with a Bachelor Science in Sports Fitness and Wellness.

Did you ever hear a bodybuilder in a gym say, “Squeeze your glutes when you come up from a squat.” What he’s referring to is actually more specifically known as a contraction. It’s this squeeze you experience that a muscle requires to build and get stronger. 

But there is a whole other school of thought involved with squeezing. Let’s address it as compression. It’s a little different than the regular muscle contractions that you are accustomed to. 

If you are looking to literally improve your game performance, or whatever sport you partake in, then you should seriously look into compression garments. They just might be the thing you need to bring your training full circle. 

Compression Garments Explained

You’re probably familiar with that nasty pain you get for several days in a row after a hard workout. It’s called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS for short. According to Jessica Mathews, MS from the American Council on Exercise, this is cased from microscopic tears that develop in the connective tissue and muscles during exercise. 

The extent of this condition can range between individuals. But it certain cases, it can be quite debilitating. 

Compression garments are designed to help reduce this vicious cycle from occurring. They are in the form of pants, shirts and shorts and they are tight to the skin. When you put them on, they cause a slight squeezing effect that is not painful, but you definitely know what’s up! 

Now, here’s where the magic kicks in. When you slip these critters on, the compression they cause, narrows your blood vessels. To spare you a physiology lesson, this hastens blood flow to your heart, which is a good thing. 

Your blood then gets oxygenated faster and returns this glorious blood back to your muscles, where they can recover faster. Booyah!!! You just boosted your recovery time, which can aid you in your next run, race or heavy metal workout. 

It might seem kind of ironic that narrower blood vessels make blood flow faster, but bring that up with Mother Nature and the laws of physiology. 

Your Best Approach

There is a right way and wrong way to use compression gear. Slipping it on before a workout is NOT the way it is designed to be used.

The goal is to work as hard as you can and then put the gear on afterward. It is then that you need the positive blood flow the most to prevent excess soreness and expedite your recoveries. 

That being said, you can wear the gear right afterward, during the rest of the day and even while you sleep. 

When strategically placed, your muscles, joints and overall connective tissue will all see positive benefits that can maybe just get you into the best shape of your life. But there are way worse things that can happen to you, right?  

Be Leary of the Cost

The “cost” here is literal and figurative. Truth be told, compression garments are not cheap. But, the cost of defeat can really bring you down as well. If you feel you are at a level of fitness that is close to exemplary, the cost of the gear might be worth it to get you around the corner. 

And if you’re not willing to take this extra step, then the cost of losing a big race can take an even bigger toll on your motivation and self-image. So think good and hard whether your recoveries are worth the extra cash. 

Departing Words of Wisdom

Be aware that compression garments won’t make miracles happen with weight loss, strength or sport performance if you do not put dedicated hard work in. You might think you’ll look good, wearing them, and that’s fine. If you want to make a fashion statement, by all means go ahead. 

But realize this. Muscles are made in the gym and races are won on the road. If you use compression gear for the purpose of obtaining a better recovery, then you will likely achieve just that. 

Get the most from all your

Recover-Zone Recommendations:

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Amazon Expert Recommendations

Best Value

Physix Gear 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy-On
  • Suitable for Thicker Legs

Cons

  • Can Leave Red Marks
Best of the Best

MudGear Premium 

Pros

  • Guaranteed Fit
  • Attractive Style
  • Comfortable for Most
  • Good Customer Support

Cons

  • Reports of Holes After Normal Use
  • Retains Heat
Featured Pick

VitalSox VT1211

Pros

  • Athlete Specific
  • Patented Graduated Compression
  • Stops Bacteria

Cons

  • Loose Fit
  • Not Ideal for Everyday Use

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