Compression Sleeves Benefits
Have you ever been working out and experienced a heavy, tired feeling in your muscles? Do you experience shin splints or muscle cramps after working out? Do you have an issue with lactic acid building up in your muscles? If any of these sound like you, I’ve got two words for you: compression sleeves.
You might have noticed other runners wearing what look like really thin leg warmers. If you watch professional basketball, you might see an athlete with a sleeve on their arm. I promise, this isn’t a throwback to the 80’s. These runners, like me, have found the advantages of wearing compression sleeves. Compression sleeves are not a fad. They are actually very beneficial to people who experience leg issues when working out. Before we talk benefits, I’ll tell you how they actually work.
How Compression Sleeves Work
Compression sleeves are exactly what they sound like – sleeves of light fabric that compress your muscles. When you heart pumps blood, the blood is oxygenated and circulates down the rest of your body, delivering oxygen to your muscles. Then the deoxygenated blood circulates back to your heart. The more oxygen your muscles get, the better they will perform. The faster your muscles obtain oxygenated blood, the less likely you will experience muscle fatigue.
The Benefits of Compression
There are multiple benefits of compression sleeves.
Faster recovery times for muscle injuries. Injuries swell and bruise because blood tends to pool in the area. By using compression sleeves, the blood is forced to move through the injury with more speed, providing fresh, oxygenated blood to the injured area, promoting faster recovery. Please note that the sleeves will not prevent injury, but can aid in less down time because of the injury.
Prevention of lactic acid buildup. Lactic acid is created when oxygen within the muscles is low. Muscle cells create the acid as your body burns carbohydrates for energy. This acid is very problematic for runners and active people. Your muscles become stiff, sore, and can be quite painful. The purpose of compression sleeves is to increase the oxygen in your muscles, thus decreasing the need for the lactic acid.
Increase of Performance. One of the best benefits of compression socks is the ability to perform at a higher level than before. Your body begins to operate more efficiently due to the increased blood flow, and you can recover from workouts quicker than normal.
Sleeves vs. Socks
Compression sleeves and socks operate with the same principles in mind. They both have all of the benefits I have mentioned. However, if you have any lower leg or foot injuries, compression socks are slightly better for you than the sleeves. The socks compress through the ankles and down through the foot, so that you can cover these injured areas. I have found that the socks have been very helpful with my plantar fasciitis.
There are many brands and styles of compression socks and sleeves. You can find them at many sports stores, and I have even seen them sold at some races during packet pick-up. There are two brands that I have tried and like for my needs. First, I use Feetures compression socks. The socks target specific areas, which is key for me, they come in different heights, provide different cushion levels, and they have a 100% Money Back Guarantee. You can truly tailor the sock to your needs. The other brand I prefer is the ProCompression brand. These socks are made in different heights as well, but they include socks that will cover you calf muscles.
Whatever brand you decide to pick, I highly recommend compression sleeves/socks for your workout. They provide such an amazing advantage to your workout and your recovery, it’s worth the investment.