The Benefits of Compression Gear for Powerlifters
Powerlifting is a grueling sport with athletes being subjected to strenuous workouts and competitions, and often falling victim to a range of injuries ranging from mild to severe. While a scientific review of as many as 20 different studies found that powerlifting produced only one injury for every 1,000 hours of training, many athletes complain about extensive stiffness and pain following vigorous bouts of exercise, whether in the gym or at a competition. Luckily, advances in terms of sports gear, such as compression gear, is contributing significantly to not only reduce the occurrence of injury but to decrease recovery time as well. When it comes to powerlifting, two types of compression gear are particularly popular: compression shorts and compression knee sleeves.
Compression knee sleeves
Lifting weights, although beneficial to your body, can also subject it to a lot of stress. It is estimated that nearly one in fifty Americans older than 50 have at least one artificial knee, a condition experienced by athletes such as powerlifters at a much greater frequency. When you repeatedly lift heavy objects, steadily increasing the weight, you are literally grinding your kneecaps onto themselves. Compression knee sleeves will help keep your knees protected from the common wear and tear associated with powerlifting.
Do all powerlifters need knee sleeves?
Knee sleeves are not required for all powerlifting activities. If you, however, find yourself engaging in squats, clean & jerk and snatches, you will need sleeves to protect your knees. At the beginning of your powerlifting journey, your knees won’t have enough pressure on them to necessitate the use of a sleeve, although there are no rules prohibiting you to wear them from the get-go. As you advance in technique, and age, you will find yourself requiring more gear to aid your workout efforts, offering support and decreasing your risk of injury. During powerlifting competitions, nearly all competitors will be seen wearing knee sleeves in some form or another. It is important to remember that a compression sleeve does not offer the same support as a knee brace and if your knee lacks stability it is best to have it seen to by a medical practitioner.
Compression shorts can be of extreme benefit to a powerlifter due to the high prevalence of squatting. Wearing compression shorts during weight lifting can both enhance your performance and reduce your risk of strain. Compression garments such as the shorts frequently worn by powerlifters are specifically designed to improve oxygenation of the muscle tissue which may improve athletic performance for shorts bursts at a time. Apart from possibly boosting your performance, compression shorts are also extremely comfortable to wear and cause less friction and chaffing than more traditional sportswear. The also won’t ride up and cause discomfort while you are busy doing stretches or squats.
Does compression gear aid in recovery?
Sore muscles can be rough after an intense training session, with athletes constantly seeking ways to reduce muscle-inflammation and best utilize their recovery periods. When compression gear is worn for a couple of hours after an intense workout, it has been known to significantly reduce both swelling and fatigue. Quality compression gear stabilizes your muscles and limits fatigue by preventing your muscles from rolling, also reducing the impact of shock waves. The gear is further known to increase the blood flow to your muscles, increasing the speed at which recovery takes place. If it is cold out, compression gear can also be used as a base layer to protect your muscles against the cold when you are not busy working out. For optimal recovery, you can invest in a pair of compression tights and a long-sleeved shirt, that are both comfortable enough to sleep with, giving your healing process a solid boost.
While the use of compression gear alone may not boost your powerlifting abilities to Olympic standards it will enable you to exercise to the best of your ability, prevent injury and decreasing recovery time. The US consumer market is inundated with compression gear in various shapes, sizes and degrees of dependability. Be sure to opt for a high-quality product that will not only give you value for your money but be of the most benefit to you physically as well.
Author: Jennifer Dawson