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The Effect of Graduated Compression Tights, Compared With Running Shorts, on Counter Movement Jump Performance Before and After Submaximal Running

Rugg, Stuart; Sternlicht, Eric

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 4 - p 1067–1073
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182610956
Original Research

Abstract: Rugg, S and Sternlicht, E. The effect of graduated compression tights, compared with running shorts, on counter movement jump performance before and after submaximal running. J Strength Cond Res 27(4): 1067–1073, 2013—The purpose of this study was to determine if wearing graduated compression tights, compared with loose fitting running shorts, would increase and or help sustain counter movement jump (CMJ) height after submaximal running. Fourteen competitive runners (6 women and 8 men) participated in this study. The subjects' mean (±SD) for age, height, body mass, percent body fat, resting heart rate, and maximal heart rate were 28.2 ± 14.0 years, 174.7 ± 8.6 cm, 70.2 ± 14.9 kg, 15.5 ± 8.1%, 67.2 ± 7.4 b.min−1, and 186.5 ± 9.5 b.min−1, respectively. During testing, subjects wore a Polar RS400 heart rate monitor. Each trial consisted of 15 minutes of continual treadmill running with 5 minutes performed at 50%, 70%, and 85% of the subject's heart rate reserve. Using a Vertec vertical leaper, each subject performed 3 CMJ, both pre- and postrun trials, with the mean value used to measure relative leg power. In addition to the CMJ height data, each subject rated their level of perceived exertion (RPE), and their comfort level, after the postrun trials. The mean postrun CMJ height in graduated compression tights of 60.3 ± 19.4 cm was significantly greater (at the p < 0.05 level) than both the prerun with tights of 57.7 ± 19.4 cm (4.5% increase) and the postrun running shorts of 57.7 ± 19.6 cm (4.5% increase). In addition, the subjects reported a significantly lower level of perceived exertion and greater comfort values while wearing the graduated compression tights. The results of the present study support the use of graduated compression tights for maintenance of lower limb muscle power after submaximal endurance running.

Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, Occidental College, Los Angeles, California

Address correspondence to Stuart Rugg, stuart@oxy.edu.

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.