Sunday, December 13, 2009

Get your blood flowing....the SIMPLE explanation for Compression

One of the best methods out there for reducing recovery time is compression - but there seems to be some misconception and confusion out there as to what these garments ACTUALLY do. Compression garments have long been used in medical settings to help patients recover better from surgery.

But the simple reason for athletes to utilize compression is that it aids in increasing blood flow BACK to the heart. This increase in blood flow reduces the swelling and inflammation therefore allowing the muscles to rebuild from the microscopic tearing of muscle fibers (Exercise Induced Muscle Damage or EIMD).

It should be noted that compression garments - particularly calf sleeves and arm sleeves SHOULD be tighter at the furthest point from the heart (i.e. ankles and wrists). The pressure should DECREASE within the garment as it moves closer to the heart. This is called Graduated Compression and is essential to the effectiveness of compression garments. When combined with the muscle pump effect of the calf, graduated compression promotes increased circulation of blood and lymph fluid through the legs.

Check out for compression gear from Zoot and Zensah -- both featuring Graduated Compression engineered for improving athletic performance.

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