Whether you are a professional athlete or a regular sports enthusiast, you may probably hear about the benefits of wearing compression tights. These tight-fitting garments are said to hold muscles in place, improve blood flow and even reduce muscle fatigue during workout such as running and jogging.
But according to a new Nike-funded study from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, “compression tights don’t help runners go farther or faster”.
“When your muscle vibrates, it induces a contraction that uses energy, so the theory was that less muscle vibration would translate to less fatigue,” said Ajit Chaudhari, an associate professor of physical therapy, orthopaedics, mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering who spearheaded the study.
“However, the reduced vibration was not associated with any reduction in fatigue at all. In our study, runners performed the same with and without compression tights,” he added.
To justify his study, several participants were chosen to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes at 80% of their maximum speed on two different days with and without wearing compression tights.
“What we found, when we tested them after a 30-minute high-intensity run, was that we don’t see any real effects of the compression tights,” said Chaudhari.
Still, the study manages to prove that compression tights do help reduce muscle vibration, even though Chaudhari informed that “the reduced vibration was not associated with any reduction in fatigue at all”.
Despite the negative results, Chaudhari expresses his thoughts that compression tights may pose other benefits — at least, psychologically speaking — where it help runners feeling better while wearing them.