Are you looking to run longer, faster, and recover better than ever before? SKINS Compression Tights just might just be your ticket!
I remember a time when the only athletes wearing compression gear where the tri geeks, you know the one, “that guy”with his compression socks and shorts at the family barbecue. The same guy wearing his aero helmet out on a Sunday afternoon training ride. Triathlete have long been early adopters of new sport science technology but over the years compression gear has been taking the main stream sports by storm. Over time compression gear has gained a solid acceptance and seems to have permeated every sport out there! Just check your Instagram feed after a race weekend, you will see plenty of runners in knee high socks, and we are not talking just the elite athletes. But before we jump on the compression band wagon is the science there to back up the trend? Let’s get into how compression gear works!Want to improve your #run? @SKINS_USA #compression tights review, so can run faster, longer, and recover better #skinsUSA #SKINScompression #TeamSkins Click To Tweet
How Compression Tights Work
How exactly does compression gear work? To understand the science behind compression gear you will need a basic understanding of the circulatory system. The heart pumps oxygen and nutrient rich blood out to your tissues. On the other end however there is no pump designated for venous return, this is the blood coming back to your heart through your veins. Venous return is facilitated by muscle contractions. Compression gear is designed to assist this return process. Using graduated compression, think tighter at the ankles and gradually loser as you move towards your hips, compression tights apply pressure that increase venous return. There is a mountain of research supporting the idea that compression tights indeed perform this function. In fact, while compression gear may still be the new kid on the block in the sport arena they have been a long time player in the medical industry.
Do Compression Tights Enhance Performance?
While the research results are mixed, there is strong support that compression tights may indeed increase performance in endurance athletes. Take for example this 2006 study published in the International Journal of Sport Medicine which found that wearing compression tights significantly decreased VO2 slow component. In this study the researchers looked at three separate groups, compression tights, elastic tights, and shorts. The decrease in VO2 slow component was by 26% compared to the elastic tights, and 36% compared to the conventional shorts, respectively. What does this mean for your running performance? Basically, this translates to running further at a faster pace before hitting your VO2 Max.
Further more, there have have been studies that found compression tights increased cardiac output and stroke volume, these changes essentially translate to the heart performing more efficiently. These changes could improve sport performance, as your heart would be able to achieve the same amount of work at a low heart rate.
Looking for more performance enhancing gear? Check out this review on the One Piece of Equipment That Will Make You a Faster Runner.
Do Compression Tights Improve Recovery?
There is a solid body of research supporting the use of compression garments for recovery. Take for example this 2015 published in the Journal of Strength and Condition Research study which set out to determine the effect of compression socks on functional recovery. The study took endurance runners and timed there performance to exhaustion on a treadmill test 2 weeks after a marathon. One group wore compression socks for the 48 hours after the race, while the other did not. The group that wore compression socks had a 2.6% increase in time to exhaustion vs. the placebo group, which experienced a 3.4% decrease in time to exhaustion. Their conclusion was that wearing compression socks post marathon significantly increased functional recovery.
When I got my SKINS Compression Tights I was very excited to put them to the test, I couldn’t wait to get them out on a long run! I love compression gear. While I can not say definitively if the SKINS Compression Tights improved my performance I can tell you that my legs felt great on my long run! These tights hug my legs perfectly giving a nice feeling of support that kept my muscles feeling good even late in the run. The SKINS Compression Tights didn’t have any hot spots and no issues with chaffing. To make the test complete I did not where my tights after my long run, instead I changed, showered and relaxed. Even though I did not use them for recovery my legs still felt good the next day, suggesting that wearing the SKINS Compression Tights during exercise may have helped to prevent damage.
To test the recovery performance of the SKINS Compression Tights I absolutely destroyed my legs with a heavy lifting day, then wore the compression tights after my strength session. Putting the tights on gave my achy muscles almost instant relief. I was actually surprised at the intimidate difference I felt. I went from tender, achy and a little miserable, to just a little sore in the span of time it took to put on the tights. That is better results than I have ever had from an NSAID! I have been a long believer in using compression gear for recovery and on this front I would say my SKINS Compression Tights really did the trick!
Pro Tip: the general guideline for recovery with compression gear is to wear your compression tights for twice the amount of time spent in activity. For example if you just completed a 2 hour triathlon you should wear your compression tights for the next four hours
Now let’s talk about the SKINS Compression Tights themselves! These tights have a nice clean design that makes them stand out among the competition. I love the designs SKINS features, from the plain black and pink tights that I wore for this review to the fun patterns SKINS has some great looks that I have not seen anywhere else on the market.
The first thing that garbed my attention when I opened up the box was how nice the material was. I have owned a few pairs of compression tights and the materials used by SKINS is much nicer than what I have seen in other brands. It is nice and thick with out being bulky. For me finding that balance is a big deal, too thin and you worry about not only durability but also how much compression you are actually getting from the material. To thick and they just don’t feel great for running or relaxing. The material used to make SKINS compression tights is the perfect balance.
As I mentioned above not all compression tights are created equal, and some tights just don’t deliver that nice supportive feeling that I am look for in my compression gear. The pressure exerted by the SKINS Compression Tights is right in that sweet spot. Supportive and snug but not constrictive.
The Down Side
When I first put these tights on the ankle seems felt a little on the snug side, although this feeling went away after the first few minutes it was something I was initially concerned about. The other issue I found with my SKINS Compression Tights was the sizing, when I ordered these tights I was on the boarder line between Medium and Large, as I wanted to make sure the compression was right for my legs I went with the medium. While they feel great on my legs the waist band was a little snug on my mid section. Not a major issue as this really comes down to finding the right size for your frame.Improve your #marathon with @SKINS_USA compression tights #review #skinsUSA #SKINScompression #TeamSkins Click To Tweet
When all is said and done my SKINS Compression Tights have fast become my new favorite compression tights. They far out perform anything I have used in the past and with the quality materials and construction I look forward to training and recovering in this tights all season!
I’d love to hear from you, do you wear compression garments? If so have you noticed a difference in your performance or recovery?
*I did receive a pair of compression tights and compensation for this post, however I pride myself on providing open and honest feedback to my readers, all opinions contained in this post are my own.*