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The Effects of Compression Garments on Recovery

Davies, Vanessa1; Thompson, Kevin G2,3; Cooper, Stephen-Mark4

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b42589
Original Research
Abstract

Davies, V, Thompson, KG, and Cooper, SM. The effect of compression garments on recovery. J Strength Cond Res 23(6): 1786-1794, 2009-The purpose of this study was to investigate whether wearing lower-body compression garments attenuate indices of muscle damage and decrements in performance following drop-jump training. Seven trained female and four trained male subjects undertook blood collection for creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), a mid-thigh girth measurement, and reported their perceived muscle soreness (PMS). A series of performance tests were then completed including sprints (5 m, 10 m, and 20 m), a 5-0-5 agility test, and a countermovement jump test. In a randomized crossover experimental design, separated by 1 week, subjects completed 5 × 20 maximal drop-jumps, followed immediately after exercise by either wearing graduated compression tights (CG) or undertook passive recovery as a control (CON) for 48 hours. CK, LDH, mid-thigh girth, and PMS were retested after 24 hours and 48 hours of recovery. The performance tests were repeated after 48 hours of recovery. Analysis of variance for repeated measures indicated that for female subjects, CK values were elevated after 24-hour recovery (p = 0.020) and a greater PMS was observed after 48-hour recovery in the CON condition (p = 0.002) but not for the CG condition. For all the subjects (n = 11), a greater PMS was observed after 48-hour recovery in the CON condition (p = 0.001) but not the CG condition. Significant increases in time were reported for 10-m (p = 0.016, 0.004) and 20-m sprints (p = 0.004, 0.001) in both the CON and CG conditions and for the 5-m sprint (p = 0.014) in the CG condition. All other parameters were unchanged in either condition. Data indicates that CK responses and PMS might be attenuated by wearing compression tights in some participants after drop-jump training; however, no benefit in performance was observed.

Author Information

1Sports Council for Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom; 2English Institute of Sport, Gateshead, United Kingdom; 3Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom; and 4Cardiff School of Sport, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Vanessa Davies, vanessa.davies@scw.org.uk.

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association