Playing team sports or practicing fight sports or other explosive efforts (jump, sprints…), compression garments can help you especially improving postural stability and coordination! (Explosivity is a term frequently used to show the ability of an athlete to make a variety of sudden movements). Research data related to running using compression garments (CGs) has demonstrated reductions in muscular vibrations, damage and fatigue and improvements in prolonged performance and injuries prevention. Recently Michael et al.  found improved postural stability while athletes wore CGs… Focus on this amazing results!
A double blind, randomized cross over study to investigate the effect of compression garments on the balance ability of elite athletes
12 participants volunteered to participate in this study. They were required to perform a single leg balance trial across two conditions; including eyes-closed while wearing conventional shorts (control) or CGs (from ankle to waist). Each trial began once the participant was in a ‘ready’ position and gave a verbal cue to indicate he felt comfortable in a quiet stance balancing on their dominant leg. Postural stability was assessed by measuring the overall stabilization time as well as the movement of the center of mass from baseline measures using a camera motion analysis system.
Significantly greater postural stability was observed with the compression!
During one leg stance, a significantly greater balance time was observed with eyes closed when wearing CGs compared to conventional shorts. The study also revealed a lower variability of movement with CGS. These results indicate that control of posture may benefit from the use of CGs. Indeed, they are thought to produce increased cutaneous and muscular stimulation allowing for improved proprioceptive feedback and joint positional awareness.
Improving postural stability, compression garments may be beneficial for athletic sports involving jumps, sprints…
Enhanced equilibrium may be beneficial for athletic sports involving jumps, sprints and direction changes – including team sports, fight sports and other explosive efforts. For example it has been demonstrated that enhanced repetitive jump performance [2, 3] and an increased vertical jump height  resulted with use of CGs. In addition to those mentioned above, possible mechanisms may include enhanced coordination function and facilitated muscle contraction [2, 3, 4].
- Michael JS et al. What is the effect of compression garments on a balance task in female athletes? Gait Posture. 2014; 39: 804-809.
- Kraemer WJ et al. Influence of compression garments on vertical jump performance in NCAA division I volleyball players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 1996; 10: 180–183.
- Kraemer WJ et al. Influence of a compressive garment on repetitive power output production before and after different types of muscle fatigue. Sports Medicine, Training and Rehabilitation. 1998; 8: 163–184.
- Doan BK et al. Evaluation of a lower-body compression garment. Journal of Sports Sciences. 2003; 21: 601–610.
About the Author
Dr. Arnaud M. comes from Besançon in France. He has a PhD in Life and Health Sciences and works at the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon (EA 3920, Exercise Performance Health Innovation Laboratory). Arnaud is also the Scientist Manager for Compressport International. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org