Real compression wear is anatomically shaped elastic clothing with a slim fit that applies pressure to the body, designed to maximize an athlete’s potential by increasing muscle coordination and receptive input. According to research, real compression wear can also help athletes to recover quicker after exercise.
”During the past few years, more athletes have started to discover the benefits of real compression wear. The pressure input from the clothing makes our brain and body more aware, which improves both muscle coordination and balance. By increasing blood circulation, the compression also helps athletes to recover faster, by removing waste products and reducing lactic acid in the muscles,” explains Johan Bohlin, Physiotherapist and Head of Development at Rehband.
One study from The British Journal of Sports Medicine, following a team of elite male rugby players, found that when using compression wear the players recovered three times faster in 36 hours compared to taking no recovery measures. The study also showed that the effects of using compression wear are equivalent to that of receiving massage, cooling down with a jog or taking an ice bath following exercise.
“Athletes of all sports can benefit from using compression wear, both for recovery and because it helps your muscles work in synergy. This is especially useful if you are looking to reach a certain goal, like improving your speed, shooting harder or jumping higher. In fitness and team sports, as well as in weightlifting, compression wear supports you during training, ensuring that you perform movements in a more controlled and safe manner, while also helping with your recovery. For endurance sports, like marathon running or cycling, compression wear helps increase your blood circulation so that you have a slower lactic acid build up while also helping you consume less energy due to less soft tissue and muscle oscillation”, explains Johan.
At Rehband’s R&D center in Norrköping, the team of researchers has tested, refined and optimized the compression wear for several years. Johan has been the Head of Development at Rehband for 14 years, and researches and develops all Rehband products in close cooperation with health professionals, athletes and clubs. The team consists of physiotherapists and textile engineers among others. Every year around 1000 prototypes of different products are made and then tested in-house as well as with athletes, in order to maximize their function. Rehband is now launching a new line of compression wear under the name “Raw compression”, with new design and new features. The name signals the real and scientific effects this compression wear will have on both the body and its performance.
Using compression wear differs from using a sleeve or brace on a certain area of the body like the knee. While sleeves and braces are used to prevent or address tears or other injuries in a specific body part, compression wear is used to increase the blood circulation in the entire part of the body where pressure is applied.
“At Rehband we have a long medical heritage, and we are now developing the new generation of sport compression wear. Having been an athlete myself, I know how the body can sometimes have a hard time recovering after an intensive performance. Using compression wear allows you to perform better, last longer and also to recover quicker after a work out. It supports an active lifestyle, says Céline Flach, Head of Product and Marketing at Rehband.
The term “compression wear” is not protected today, which means that some of the products being marketed as compression wear in stores will not provide its positive benefits. It’s important for consumers to stay informed and to research the products they purchase, to make sure that the desired benefits of using compression wear can really be achieved.
“What puts Rehband apart from other developers of compression wear is that we have our own in-house research and development team, working close together with athletes to find the most efficient solutions for compression wear on the market. We are physiotherapists and understand the human body. Having medical research and knowledge in the same building means that we have a better understanding of the benefits and effects of different changes we make when developing our compression wear,” says Johan.
According to a comparative study performed by the independent Hohenstein Testing Institute in Germany, Rehband’s compression wear has the most carefully constructed graduated compression compared to two leading competitors. Graduated compression supports the blood circulation flowing back up in the body, by applying different grades of pressure on different zones of a body part, like over the knee or calf. Please refer to the infographic below for more information on the test.
”Without Rehband, I seriously doubt if I could have completed my 59h and 36 minute non-stop mountain bike ride in which I covered 721km and climbed 22300m though Wales’ toughest countryside,” says Dave Buchanan, Guinness World Recover holder: The greatest distance achieved on a mountain bike in 48 hours.
”I have been working with professional athletes and national teams for years and realize that the time spent in recuperation between matches, especially the first 24 hours immediately following a match or athletic endeavor, makes the difference in performance and injury risk. Finally, with the introduction of these garments, the players feel that they are actively getting ready for the next endeavor immediately after a match, and it has drastically reduced the amount of massage and other modalities that are used to get rid of all the byproducts strenuous exercise causes”, says Dale Reese, Physiotherapist, IFK Norrköping.
There is still a lot of research to be done in the field, even though the amount of teams and athletes using compression wear has increased steadily during the past few years, and they are convinced of its positive aspects.
Some skeptics claim that the effects of compression wear might be placebo, and that it could even be harmful to use compression wear regularly when working out.
“I am a physiotherapist, and I base my research on real results of the human body. The positive effects of using high quality real compression wear are not due to placebo but to the fact that the compression is actively supporting your body, helping you to perform better and more controlled. And there is no risk associated with supporting your body, providing the best conditions when working out. In fact, in a couple of years, I would be more surprised if there are still people not using compression wear when exercising,” says Johan.
Summary from comparative study performed by Hohenstein Testing Institute (Germany) Rehband’s compression wear
8 benefits of using compression wear (summary):
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