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Compression clothing and athletic performance -- functional or fad?
Date:6/3/2010

Two Indiana University studies examined the influence of compression garments on athletic performance and both found little influence: Abigail Laymon, researcher in the Department of Kinesiology, is presenting "Lower Leg Compression Sleeves: Influence on Running Mechanics and Economy in Highly Trained Distance Runners;" Nathan Eckert, a human performance doctoral student in the Department of Kinesiology, is presenting "Limb Compression Does Not Alter Jump Height Variability During The Vertical Jump."

LOWER LEG COMPRESSION SLEEVES

Laymon's study found that lower leg compression garments did not impact a runner's oxygen consumption, which meant there was no change in running economy or efficiency. The study also found that calf compression garments did not have an effect on running mechanics.

Laymon examined the impact a lower leg compression garment made by Zensah -- basically, a more compressive tall sock that begins just above the ankle and goes a little below the knee -- had on a runner's running mechanics and running economy. Lower leg compression garments have gained popularity in the professional field of distance running, despite a lack of solid research supporting their use.

"Distance runners may try them out initially, because they see other runners using them with success," Laymon said. "Since some runners are somewhat superstitious, they may continue to use them if they happen to have a good race and attribute it to the compression."

About the study:

  • Sixteen highly trained male distance runners were the subjects of this study. Each subject had to complete two 12-minute running tests -- one with lower leg compression and one without. During each test, the subjects had to run at three speeds: a 6.55 minute per mile pace, a 6 minute per mile pace, and a 5.21 per mile pace. During the tests, the runners spent four minutes at each speed.

  • Running economy is the amount of
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Contact: Tracy James
traljame@indiana.edu
812-855-0084
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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