When you've crushed a triathlon, mowed down the competition in an obstace race, or maxed out in an AMRAP workout, you need your body to start repairing and recharging immediately. Problem is, you're a busy guy holding down a job and a family on top of demolishing your fitness plateaus. You don't necessarily have the time to foam roll and ice once your muscles power down.
That's where compression gear comes into play.
Not to bore you with an anatomy lesson, but blood travels faster through narrow blood vessels than wider ones. Compression clothing works to boost recovery by narrowing your veins, forcing blood to flow faster and more effectively up to your heart, which pumps oxygen-rich blood back to your aching muscles. Targeted compression can also clear lactic acid buildup to relieve soreness, offer support to your most over-used muscles and joints, and—well, we won't give everything away. Read on for the most powerful pieces of gear.
NOTE: Unless otherwise stated, don't wear recovery compression during workouts. Your compression needs during a relaxed state are way different than the demands of intense activity.
These full-length tights are crafted from a powerful fabric that stabilizes your muscles. They limit fatigue by keeping your muscles from rolling and reducing the impact of shock waves, protecting your joints and muscles. The graduated compression enhances blood flow through your legs for quicker muscle repair. These can be worn during the day, and they're also comfortable enough to sleep in for maximum recovery.
Skins RY400 Men’s Compression Long Sleeve Top for Recovery
Whether you've been logging double-digit mileage, cycling your way around a city, or blasting through a CrossFit workout you know you'll feel it tomorrow. This long sleeve compression top from SKINS' evolutionary RY400 range has your back. Like the tights, this top can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness and speed up your recovery time. Throw this on for at least three hours to reap the maximum benefits. Wear both (the top and bottom) for total-body muscle recovery and optimized circulation.
Graduated compression zones apply direct pressure on your main-moving muscles (i.e. quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves), forcing lactic acid out to prevent excess swelling. The compression also provides better muscle alignment and proprioception.
The defining feature that sets these compression sleeves leagues above the rest is Orca's patented fiber that gives your muscles a micro massage with every move. The 360° compression accelerates the rate of blood flow back to your heart and prevents blood from collecting in your muscles. Bonus: The sleeves serve as the perfect transition piece between seasons worn under your shirt.
CEP has been specializing in medical-grade compression for decades. These tights aren't like any others you've worn; they're made from a super breathable fabric that manages heat and moisture so you can throw them on after a difficult sweat session without having a mini meltdown (whether you're wearing them during the day in the heat of summer or overnight when you sleep). (Note that they are a bit sheer.) The compression is designed to boost overall circulation, prevent congestion, and accelerate lactate acid breakdown so you can get back on your feet faster than ever. You'll feel the recovery effects of these super-strong compression tights after just two hours, they say.
SKINS RY400 Men’s Compression Long Tights for Recovery
Wear these tights, from SKINS recovery line, for at least three hours to get the best results. The second-skin fit offers premium comfort, so you can even wear them while you sleep to speed up your body's natural recovery process.
After a taxing sprint session or endurance workout, these quad compression sleeves are an absolute life saver. From Orca, these sleeves are the only compression product sized to your upper leg muscles—not your waist—letting your quadriceps and hamstrings get the benefits of amplified circulation in addition to IT band support. Slip them on under your shorts for maximum recovery after all-out exercise.
The Zensah Recovery Tight utilizes ankle-to-hip compression to elevate circulation for improved recovery time. Extra support is given to your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and knees to treat existing injuries or prevent overuse and excessive soreness. The material is super light and breathable, as well as moisture wicking so you won't be bogged down by heavy, sweat-soaked tights. Wear these after running, swimming, cycling, and any and all sports.
These pants provide stronger compression along your calves and quads, as well as knee reinforcement to offer extra stability after heavy weight training. Constructed from high-tech materials known to improve circulation, repair and replenish overworked tissues, muscles, and nerves, you can expect to reduce inflammation and decrease muscle pain after sliding these on.