29 Mar Why Every Man’s Workout Wardrobe Needs A Compression Shirt
Compression gear is the best friend of exercise
Mens compression shirts are arguably the number one staple in any serious athletes wardrobe. Go ahead, pick a sport, whether it be football, baseball, basketball, golf, every sport has their own line of compression shirts. Why is it that compression wear is so popular in the fitness and athletic industries?
Whether you are a serious athlete or a casual exercise fan, there are many benefits to wearing compression clothing while exercising. Not only will it make you look and feel stronger, compression garments such as compression shirts, sleeves, long sleeve tops, and tights come with a wide range of health benefits.
The fitness experts at Made By Compression weigh in below on the history, types, and benefits of compression gear.
Why are compression shirts so popular amongst Male Athletes?
Compression garments are pieces of clothing that fit snugly around the skin.
When used in medical fields, compression garments provide the user with better circulation to the compressed regions.
They can also be used to prevent deep vein thrombosis, and reduce swelling!
In a sports context, spandex compression is often used by athletes to prevent chafing and rashes as regular clothing materials can rub awkwardly against the skin.
Athletic sports such as (but not limited to), football, baseball, track & field, golf, hockey, basketball, and tennis are generally plagued with injuries.
From torn ACL’s, to tendonitis, to chronic elbow/shoulder pains, the cons of competitive sports have made themselves widely known over the years.
Compression garments such as sleeves, shirts, and vests can all help to prevent these sport related injuries.
By increasing the circulation and blood flow to the skin and muscles of the compressed areas athletes are better able to keep their muscles warm and allow the blood to flow freely through them.
This allows the athletes greater degrees of movement and flexibility! The effects of compression materials on the body are anything but a placebo effect.
Studies have shown compression sportswear are able to:
- Keep the muscles warm and prevent muscle strain
- Wick sweat away from the body to prevent chafing and rashes
- Help relieve pain from muscle stiffness and soreness
- Reduce the time taken for muscles to repair themselves
- Improving the oxygen flow to the specific compressed muscles
- Stabilize joints to prevent injury
The Post-workout Benefits of Compression Shirts
Not only do compression shirts keep you looking fit and stylish in the gym, they also have proven post-workout benefits. According a study, published in the the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research:
“ Compression garments have been shown to help athletes during the active recovery process. Research shows that following a high intensity treadmill workout, compression garments helped to decrease the heart rate and lactic acid buildup in athletes. “
Lactic acid is built up during strenuous workouts as the body switches from its usual aerobic respiration to anaerobic respiration. In short, lactic acid is the stuff that makes our muscles feel heavy, tight, and sore after a particularly hard workout. Compression garments, such as compression shirts have been shown to reduce the amount of lactic acid build up in the muscles, which for you could mean the ability to bounce back much faster after exercising!
Types of Compression Gear
There are two main types of compression used in apparel.
Compartmental compression – tighter in particular areas and usually tailored for specific sports.
Graduated compression – tighter in the extremities and used to help increase blood flow back to the core during workouts.
Those who spend a lot of time in sedentary sitting, or standing positions (i.e the majority of American office workers) can benefit from the use of graduated compression.
As we will dive into later, wearing compression clothing such as shirts and long sleeve tops is proven to cut down on muscle swelling and inflammation. This means you will be able to bounce back from a workout that much faster!
Types of Compression Materials
The most common type of compression fabric is Spandex. The reason being is that spandex has a lot of unique properties, which make it well suited to certain applications, such as sports apparel. As we covered above, compression materials can be used to increase blood flow and circulation to your muscles, as well as help you recover faster after workouts.
The reason why spandex is used primarily to do this, is because Spandex is able to expand up to 600% and spring back, without losing any of its material integrity!
Compression shirts or compression garments are generally combinaitons of materials that allow your skin to breathe, improve your blood flow, and oxygen to circulate through the compressed areas.
The most commonly used materials in compression garments are:
A lot of Made By Compression garments also include a small percentage of Cotton as well. This is done in order to improve the softness and feel of the material. If you’d like to learn more about Spandex, it’s properties and benefits, you can read about it here.
Health Benefits of Compression Clothing
According to a study by Duffield R. and M. Portis (which you can skim at your own pleasure here), although there were few observed changes during their event, cricket players wearing compression garments showed fewer blood markers of muscle damage and reported less soreness during the 24-hour post-workout period.
Other studies have also been conducted to support the idea that compression garments are effective at reducing post-workout declines in jump height, minimizing strength loss, decreasing swelling, and easing muscle soreness after competition.
If that doesn’t make you want to throw on your compression long sleeve shirt, some shorts, and a pair of running shoes we don’t know what will.
What is the right fit for a compression shirt?
A compression shirt should not be too tight or binding around your torso as to restrict your ability to move, breathe, or otherwise conduct your day to day activities.
A compression shirt should feel as if you have put on a t-shirt which is one size too small. It should be tight, but not uncomfortable or restricting.
There are four main levels of compression your clothing may come in, they are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHG).
- Mild compression: 8-15 mmHg
- Moderate compression: 15-20 mmHg
- Firm compression: 20-30 mmHg
- Extra Firm Compression: 30-40mmHg
Generally speaking, a compression garment which provides 20–30 mmHg or higher usually require a doctor’s prescription, and we do not stock these materials.
For the healthy individual who enjoys a workout mild compression garments
Can be worn before, during, and after workouts. Moderate level compression clothing should only be worn during exercise.
It is not recommended to keep prolonged pressure on the skin and muscles of levels above 15-20 mmHg. Compression clothing is also not designed to be worn while sleeping
(*unless you are recovering from surgery, and a medical professional has recommended this *).
Mens compression shirts & Gynecomastia
Gynecomastia, as described by the Mayo Clinic is “ the swelling of the breast tissue in boys or men, caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. Gynecomastia can affect one or both breasts, sometimes unevenly. ”
While it is not a life threatening issue (depending on who you ask), it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for those coping with it. There are many different options for dealing with gynecomastia, such as changes in diet, increasing your amount of daily exercise, surgery and liposuction.
Compression shirts and gynecomastia go hand in hand as they are useful not only for hiding the area affected by gynecomastia, but also aiding in the recovery process after male breast reduction surgery. Compression shirts help to shape, hold, and contour the chest over the period of recovery after surgery.
While we do not stock medical grade compression shirts and vests, the compression wear we do have can be used a couple months post surgery to give a lighter form of compression to the affected area allowing the user greater flexibility, and mobility as they re-establish their exercise routine.
Why you should buy your next compression shirt from Made By Compression
Buying from our store offers you the unique experience of being able to deal directly with a company whose sole focus is creating and sourcing the highest quality compression shirts, garments, and materials. A lot of the major companies who sell compression garments, such as Nike, and Under Armour are known to charge an arm and a leg for the same quality compression garments we stock.
The reason we are able to offer significantly better pricing options is that we do not run a massive marketing machine. The money we save by not devoting a large part of our budget to advertising is then directly passed down to you!
We work hard to ensure that our compression clothing stock is full of unique designs and styles. There is something for every athlete and exercise enthusiast at Made By Compression!
But, if we haven’t sold you just yet – you will also have the pleasure of dealing directly with a company whose major focus, aside from compression garments, is award winning customer service. We are happy to help every step of the way, from selection, to purchase, to delivery.
If you don’t love the compression shirt you buy from us we also offer a 60-day return policy making it easy for you to return the product, receive a full return, and continue shopping until you find the best possible compression shirt for you. If that’s not enough, we also offer free shipping to all customers so the price you see is the price you will pay, there are zero hidden fees!