In my quest to ease the ridiculous amount of tightness in my legs, I’m looking for anything that might help. One of those things is a pair of compression tights.
Compression clothing is something that has become more prominent over the last few years. I first noticed it when footballers chose to wear long sleeved tops under short sleeve shirts.
As it’s become more popular, I’ve also seen many reports that say that they don’t do what they claim. I must admit, I’ve always been skeptical when I’ve read about increased muscle oxidation and all that stuff. However, I’ve also laughed at people who buy many sizes too big so it compresses nothing and I’ve also had a reasonable amount of “success” with adidas Techfit Powerweb clothing – the top seems to help my posture and wearing the shorts for the first time appeared to help with a hamstring strain.
However, Skins are expensive and I’ve never gone for anything from this price bracket before, so it was a gamble.
Finding the right size for “a lanky streak of p*ss” (as my cousin affectionally used to call me) was hard because my waist is marginally too small for my height, but recovery tights aren’t supposed to be as tight as the ones you wear during exercise, so I decided to go for the smaller size.
They arrived well packaged in a cardboard box displaying all the sciencey stuff.
Once you get them out the box and look at them, you notice a few things. The first is that the seems aren’t really there – which is great for something so tight! The second is that they look distinctly normal. I can’t work out how they manufacture these things to squeeze some parts harder than others!
They look fine, but I wouldn’t be wearing them out and about without anything over the top!
Getting them on is a struggle! If these aren’t as tight as the non-recovery ones, they must be really tight. For those men worried about the tightness – you don’t need to be. The tights are well fitted to provide a “gentle cupping” rather than a tight squeeze.
There was one other thing I noticed straight away. They appear to have a cooling effect; I can’t explain why!
That’s not really the important part though. I put these on first time after a workout that included a lot of HIIT. I’d done a few sessions and was still getting a bit of muscle soreness but I’m also aware that my muscles very quickly get used to exercise and I need to change things up regularly to continue to get a training effect and not plateau.
I finished my workout, showered, stretched and put on the tights. (Maybe not all in that order – naked stretching might scare the cat.)
I’m not sure how quickly you should notice something, but I noticed a bubbling sensation in my legs within 20 minutes and I did bounce up some stairs in a manner I wasn’t expecting! I wore them for the rest of the night before taking them off for bed. I woke up with no soreness. Happy days.
I did try sleeping in them but found them a little itchy after 7 or 8 hours.
I was buying the tights as a long term investment. In that sense, I would say that they haven’t magically loosened my legs. I also can’t necessarily say how much of my lack of soreness was the training effect or the tights. What I will say, though, is that they did something and it felt like it was a positive thing. I trust it’s enough to take them with me if I’m sitting for long periods of time in cars or planes and they are a part of my warm down kit.
Whatever the science says, they’re something the I trust which I think makes them worth a punt.