Purpose: Existing studies have failed to provide evidence of a positive effect on exercise performance by wearing a compression short-tight covering only both thighs. This could be due to an inadequate pressure intensity that otherwise has a significant effect if applied on the crucial point in the thigh. This study aimed to examine the effect of pressure intensity of elastic compression short-tights on the metabolic state of thigh muscles during submaximal running.
Methods: Two groups of eleven male subjects performed treadmill running at 12 km/h in three conditions in each of experiment 1 (short-tights with a compression intensity at the thigh of 8 mmHg (LOW) and 15 mmHg (MID), and non-compression short as a control (CON1)) and experiment 2 (short-tights with 20 mmHg (MID-HIGH) and 25 mmHg (HIGH), and CON2). Before and immediately after the running exercises, T2-weighted magnetic resonance images of the right thigh were obtained without testing garments. From the images, skeletal muscle proton transverse relaxation time (T2) of each muscle in the thigh was calculated.
Results: T2 was significantly increased after the treadmill running in all conditions in the hamstring and adductor muscles. In experiment 1, after the running T2 elevation was significantly smaller in MID than in CON1 for the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, adductor longus and adductor magnus muscles. In experiment 2, after the running T2 elevation was significantly lower in MID-HIGH than in CON2 and HIGH for the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and adductor longus.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that wearing a compression short-tight with a pressure intensity of 15-20 mmHg at the thigh can reduce development of fatigue of exercising muscles during submaximal running exercise in healthy adult males.
(C) 2014 American College of Sports Medicine