The effects of compression garments on recovery of muscle performance following high-intensity sprint and plyometric exercise

Published:September 30, 2009DOI:


      This study compared the effects of compression garments on recovery of evoked and voluntary performance following fatiguing exercise. Eleven participants performed 2 sessions separated by 7 days, with and without lower-body compression garments during and 24 h post-exercise. Participants performed a 10-min exercise protocol of a 20-m sprint and 10 plyometric bounds every minute. Before, following, 2 h and 24 h post-exercise, evoked twitch properties of the knee extensors, peak concentric knee extension and flexion force were assessed, with blood samples drawn to measure lactate [La], pH, creatine kinase (CK), aspartate transaminase (AST) and c-reactive protein (C-RP). Heart rate, exertion (RPE) and muscle soreness (MS) measures were obtained pre- and post-exercise. No differences (P = 0.50–0.80) and small effect sizes (d < 0.3) were present for 20-m sprint (3.59 ± 0.22 vs. 3.59 ± 0.18 s) or bounding performance (17.13 ± 1.4 vs. 17.21 ± 1.7 m) in garment and control conditions. The decline and recovery in concentric force were not different (P = 0.40) between conditions. Full recovery of voluntary performance was observed 2 h post-exercise, however, evoked twitch properties remained suppressed 2 h post-exercise in both conditions. No differences (P = 0.40–0.80, d < 0.3) were present between conditions for heart rate, RPE, [La], pH, CK or C-RP. However, 24 h post-exercise a smaller change (P = 0.08; d = 2.5) in AST (23.1 ± 3.1 vs. 26.0 ± 4.0) and reduced (P = 0.01; d = 1.1) MS (2.8 ± 1.2 vs. 4.5 ± 1.4) were present in the garments. In conclusion the effects of compression garments on voluntary performance and recovery were minimal; however, reduced levels of perceived MS were reported following recovery in the garments.


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