Compression kit seems to be everywhere these days. At it’s most basic compression wear is simply close, actually very close, fitting socks, shorts, leggings or tops with a high lycra (or similar elasticated material) content for which manufacturers make some quite extraordinary claims. It has long been recognised that in the case of socks/stockings such gear can help post-operatively and it was this discovery that has lead to the evolution of these sometimes disturbing looking items of apparel into performance enhancing must-haves. With this in mind we took a look at the CompresSport F-Like Full Legs…
Whilst claims that compression leggings aid venus return (the return flow of blood back to the heart) are probably true – whether or not this is a true benefit is still open to debate. If lactic acid (simply a by-product of breathing during cardiovascular exercise) is viewed as in some way “bad”, as it still is by some experts, then increased venus return is certainly beneficial because, the argument goes, lactic acid causes muscle fatigue and possibly cramping. However Cyclo understands that there is a growing school of thought that lactic acid is, if anything, benign – which certainly undermines some of the claims made by compression wear suppliers. Regardless, there are still ample benefits to sporting leggings during a long ride. Muscle oscillation is reduced which can stretch the amount of time to fatigue and even more helpfully they help to keep the muscles warm and therefore performing at their maximum for longer.
CompresSport are one of the newer kids on the block and their excellent “F-Like Full Legs”, which look rather like hold-up stockings, measure up well – so well in fact that the likes of Ironman (woman?) extraordinaire Chrissie Wellington sports them. Admittedly Cyclo found these a touch – shall we say – feminine? They have a rather odd semi-Goth squiggle just at the part of the thigh that you would least like someone to stare at, but, and this is probably more important, they are incredibly comfortable and felt supportive of the muscle through the whole length of the leg. Useful too for post-ride recovery which is an area in which compression kit has clear and well recorded benefits. Not cheap at £70.00 a pair, but if they are going to help you ride harder and recover faster they could be worth every penny.
Available from www.compressport.uk.com