What Are Compression Shorts and Why Wear Them?
If you are wondering what compression shorts are, you are not alone. Compression clothing in general is just tighter apparel items specially made to apply pressure in certain areas of the body. If you google compression clothing, you will find everything from compression socks to shorts, shirts, and arm sleeves.
The fact that compression clothing is made in so many different types of apparel should tell you that it is popular, and many people use it. Are you wondering why wear compression shorts? What are compression shorts for?
What Do Compression Shorts Do?
Made from a tight and flexible material such as spandex, compression shorts are made to apply pressure to your body. There is a particular focus put on your butt and thigh in shorts. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
There are a lot of reasons why you would want compression shorts. The biggest reason is that compression increases the blood flow to that part of your body.
As the shorts promote blood flow and increase the oxygen to the body, they can help improve muscle function.
10 Compression Shorts Benefits
There are many benefits of compression shorts. Here we go:
- Less Muscle Fatigue: Your muscles feel less like they have been through the wringer after a tough workout while wearing compression.
- Decrease Muscle Soreness: Let’s face it – anytime you can engage in a challenging workout with less perceived soreness, that is a win-win.
- Comfort: Although they may take getting used to, people who regularly work out in compression find it more comfortable.
- Faster Recovery: Feel fresher, faster, even after a difficult workout.
- Support: Who doesn’t want to feel like their muscles are cradled and hugged through a workout?
- Improved Flexibility: Many users report that they are more flexible when using compression.
- Lower Perceived Exertion: Even though you may be working out as hard as ever before, you will have improved output if your perceived exertion is lower.
- Improved Muscle Oxygenation: This is crucial to recovery.
- Muscle Support for Injuries: Athletes with injuries often rely on compression to keep everything tight.
- Warmth: Another use of compression is warmth. First, compression can be great as a base layer. Second, some athletes rely on a tight piece of apparel to warm up a part that has struggled with injury (such as a pitcher wearing arm/elbow compression).
How Do Compression Shorts Work?
Compression shorts are made from fabric that holds your lower body tightly in. This compression helps to bring oxygen to that part of the body. Promoting blood flow and bringing about an increase in oxygen is said to improve athletic performance.
Admittedly, the jury is out on if compression works or not. Studies show that running in compression shorts may not improve performance; however, athletes often report less body fatigue when they run wearing the items.
If your perceived exertion is less, isn’t that all that matters? So if compression may not improve performance, why wear it?
When Use Compression Shorts?
Are you wondering what sort of workouts would perhaps warrant compression shorts?
That is unique to individuals; but, anytime you are doing a strenuous lifting workout that has lower body focus, a longer run, or a more challenging tempo type workout, you might find that compression helps you feel better throughout and post-workout.
Compression Shorts for Recovery
Another thing to remember is that many people wear compression for recovery. This can include anything from socks to pants to shorts.
Compression worn after a long run or challenging workout can promote healing and help your legs feel fresher, quicker.
Whether your main benefit seems to be during the workout or post-workout, if you feel good using them, you should.
Are Compression Shorts Bad for Men?
Commonly asked by men is a rather delicate question: Are compression shorts bad for your balls?
This is a great question that demands an answer! While some compression can help you feel more comfortable working out, wearing compression underwear or shorts that are too tight can cause damage.
Too much compression can cause testicular pain and discomfort. According to Men’s Health magazine, tight shorts don’t cause fertility issues in most men.
The right amount of compression can hold things firmly in place, which is helpful if you are running in short-track shorts. No one wants their man parts jumping around, trying to free themselves while you sprint around the track.
Just keep in mind that it is a delicate balance of tight enough to hold things in place without being so tight that you are uncomfortable.
For How Long Can You Wear Compression Shorts?
While there are benefits that many people find from wearing compression attire, wearing compression shorts for too long can become uncomfortable. Most people either wear their compression shorts during the workout or a few hours after the workout, but not both.
Other types of compression gear, such as compression socks or calf sleeves, are sometimes worn for longer periods.
Can You Sleep in Compression Wear?
Sure, you can sleep in compression wear. However, for most types of compression attire, the question is, why would you?
There are no documented benefits of wearing compression shorts to sleep in.
As mentioned before, many people wear compression socks to sleep in the night after a long run.
Ready to Try Them?
Even though there is some debate as to if the benefits of compression are real or psychological, the one thing you can’t dispute is that many athletes use them and swear by the advantages.
I look it like this: any advantage, either perceived or documented as true, is worth investigating.
I say give ’em a try!
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