Around the world, millions of people wear compression shorts when performing on the athletic field or exercising to get into shape. However, is a full compression suit worth the money in terms of its effects? The answer to that question starts with what you are trying to accomplish, the timeframe to reach your goals, and the type of exercise or athletic endeavor you are performing.
What is a Compression Suit?
Basically, a compression suit is a combination of pants and shirt that covers the body from the ankles up to the shoulders and down to the wrists. Only the feet, hands, and head are exposed when wearing this type of suit.
It may be a one-piece that unzips so you can step in or out of it when needed. Or, it may consist of separate compression apparel that includes a compression undershirt, long sleeve compression shirts, and compression pants that extend to the ankles.
Effects of Full Body Compression
The overall effect is a tightening to the muscles which helps to increase blood flow. While seemingly counterintuitive, the pressure causes the muscles to pull together and the blood vessels to narrow so that more blood rushes through. This is not a harmful effect, but it is safe for healthy adults who can now enjoy the benefits of increase oxidation to the muscle groups.
More oxygen to the muscles does not increase performance, but rather it helps to reduce fatigue time after a workout is complete. This means that the muscles recover at a faster rate. Plus, you feel more invigorated after each workout session and the muscles themselves warm up faster which means a lower chance of injury.
Is Full Compression Needed?
It really depends on the activities that you are pursuing to determine if you need the full suit or perhaps just a compression undershirt and shorts or just the shorts alone. This is because depending on the exercise involved, different muscle groups are used which means that the benefits will vary. At the very least, compression shorts provide support for the buttocks, thighs, and hamstring which means that they will be worn no matter the workout.
Jogging & Running: All three of these endeavors work the full body, even if the arms are only used sparingly. In track and field athletes, they tend to wear a compression undershirt or vest, leaving the arms free.
Aerobics & Full Body Exercises: This covers a broad range from yoga to swimming to standard aerobic exercises and more. A compression suit offers better benefits than just the shorts, but in many cases the arms will still need to be free. Still, for certain activities like swimming, a full suit does allow the body to move faster in the water.
Weightlifting & Resistance: Here, the primary purpose will be support of the muscle groups which means that long sleeve compression shirts may be a viable option. However, for most a compression vest and shorts will work nicely in getting the benefits.
Of course, your choice of what type of compression apparel works will depend on your preferences. At the very least it provides for greater recovery from the workout routines.