Almost anyone who has become a biking enthusiast has considered wearing bike shorts. Those tight fighting, padded shorts can make a lengthy bike ride comfortable. These shorts, in the past, were nothing more than Spandex or Lycra and some padding.
Today’s compression shorts and other compression gear have come leaps and bounds from those early days. Tight bike shorts are now so popular that their styles are now often worn by people who don’t even own a bike. So, outside of fashion, what are the benefits of compression wear for cyclists?
For cycling activities — indoors and out — compression shorts improve comfort, reduce abrasions and chafing, and can increase blood flow for quicker recovery. Because of the overall general benefits of compression gear, you are probably seeing cyclists not only wearing shorts, but also compression sleeves, tops, socks and even undergarments.
Here’s a more in-depth look at the many benefits of compression wear for cyclists.
- Injury prevention — When a person engages in sports activities, muscle oscillation can occur, which may cause tiny muscle tears. This is generally what causes sprains and soreness. Compression gear can reduce this muscle vibration, as well as eliminating the building up of fluids that can cause post-workout soreness.
- Keep muscles warm — Compression will help keep muscles warm, which will lead to fewer muscle injuries caused by cold muscles. Additionally, compression gear can also protect the skin against chafing, friction and even scrapes and scratches that may happen, especially among mountain bikers.
- Quicker recovery — Blood can pool or stagnate in the calf muscles after exercising. If you wear compression, your circulation will increase, thus lessening the potential for blood stagnation. This increase in circulation will also cause your oxygen levels to rise and decrease toxins levels in the blood. All of these things will help improve your recovery time.
- Performance — Interestingly, in addition to the above benefits, compression can improve aerodynamics, which can be very beneficial to cyclists. Some studies have indicated that the increase in blood circulation and blood pressure caused by wearing compression gear can provide an increase in perceived performance and endurance.
- Keeps Things in Place — For many cyclists, it is important that body parts — for women, the breasts, and men the testes — stay in place, for both comfort and safety. Compression can eliminate having to wear jock straps or bras with uncomfortable under wires.
When Should You Wear Compression Gear
Several professional cyclists have indicated that wearing calf sleeves during training is especially beneficial due to the exertion placed on the calf muscles. Additionally, many have said that wearing a full compression suit for about two hours after a race or workout will definitely help with the recovery time.
As a general benefit, many athletes (and non-athletes) should wear compression socks/stockings during lengthy travel, especially air travel, where you can be sitting for long periods of time. This can help ensure that you are in the best condition possible for a race or any other activity.
If you have any questions about the benefits of compression wear for cyclists or other sports activities, please call us at ZeroPoint Compression!