Effects of compression garments on recovery following intermittent exercise
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The objective of the study was to examine the effects of wearing compression garments for 24 h post-exercise on the biochemical, physical and perceived recovery of highly trained athletes. Eight field hockey players completed a match simulation exercise protocol on two occasions separated by 4 weeks after which lower-limb compression garments (CG) or loose pants (CON) were worn for 24 h. Blood was collected pre-exercise and 1, 24 and 48 h post-exercise for IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α, CRP and CK. Blood lactate was monitored throughout exercise and for 30 min after. A 5 counter-movement jump (5CMJ) and squat jump were performed and perceived soreness rated at pre-exercise and 1, 24 and 48 h post-exercise. Perceived recovery was assessed post-exercise using a questionnaire related to exercise readiness. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to assess changes in blood, perceptual and physical responses to recovery. CK and CRP were significantly elevated 24 h post-exercise in both conditions (p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed for TNF-α, IL1-β, IL-6 between treatments (p > 0.05). Power and force production in the 5CMJ was reduced and perceived soreness was highest at 1 h post-exercise (p < 0.05). Perceived recovery was lowest at 1 h post-exercise in both conditions (p < 0.01), whilst overall, perceived recovery was greater when CG were worn (p < 0.005). None of the blood or physical markers of recovery indicates any benefit of wearing compression garments post-exercise. However, muscle soreness and perceived recovery indicators suggest a psychological benefit may exist.
KeywordsCytokines Inflammation Creatine kinase Muscle function Team sports
The authors would like to acknowledge the cooperation of the dedicated subjects involved in the study. We also thank 2XU Compression Australia for providing the compression garments for the research, Nicholas Gant for providing the LIST protocol and Dr. John Wentworth from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for assistance with blood analyses. This project was funded by the National Elite Sports Council Discretionary Research Fund, Australian Sports Commission.
Conflict of interest
The authors acknowledge that sponsorship agreements exist with the Victorian and Australian Institutes of Sport and 2XU Compression, however, in no way did this influence the results of this study.
The experiments carried out in this study comply with the current laws of Australia.
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