What Are Compression Leggings?

What Are Compression Leggings?
What Are Compression Leggings?

Compression leggings are everywhere, worn by anyone from a well-known athlete like The Rock who trains intensely to a random yogi, enjoying the calmer practice of yoga. They are virtually everywhere. Interestingly, compression leggings find their origin in compression socks, which were primarily designed to combat problematic varicose veins. While they still offer that benefit, compression leggings provide so many more benefits when compared to compression socks alone. The following is more information about compression leggings and why they are the new “must-have” item for everyone from the committed athlete or the employee who has to stand on their feet all day at work to everyone in between:

How Compression Leggings Work

Compression leggings work by applying gentle pressure to the leg muscles. This pressure subsequently improves the blood circulation within the legs. This improved circulation is especially beneficial for those who stand or sit for long periods during their day. Athletes use this compression to maximize their performance either during their workout or throughout a game. (more on this below) The increased blood flow through the legs also reduces painful swelling in the ankle area.

What Are Compression Leggings?

Compression leggings are pieces of clothing that go on just like tight-fitting pants. They cover the entire lower half of the body, stopping at the ankles and waist. They fit and look similar to leggings and/or tight-fitting athletic pants (a comparison between them and leggings is outlined below). They fit snuggly and are designed to compress the body and the muscles, hence the name. They differ from compression sleeves or socks in that they fit the entire lower half of body, not merely the lower part of the leg. They differ from stockings or panty hose in that they can be worn as pants on their own, while panty hose and stockings are generally worn underneath clothing to provide a measure of support usually cosmetic in nature or for warmth in other cases. Some compression leggings are worn under shorts or pants but this is usually based on the preference of the wearer and not necessarily a design requirement. Obviously, some places of employment have uniform requirements that don't allow employees to wear compression leggings only. In addition, athletes will often wear them under uniforms during games. However, runners, yogis, athletes and the like frequently opt to wear compression leggings as their pant of choice for their workout.

Benefits of Compression Leggings

The following is more specific information on the benefits of compression leggings:

Increased Blood Flow: As mentioned above, one of the primary benefits of compression leggings is improved blood flow. Not only will it increase blood flow reduce swelling, but it will also give muscles a boost, which can improve performance thanks to the fact that muscles will become less fatigued, especially towards the end of a hard workout. This is obviously beneficial to athletes who want to improve their endurance and overall performance. Athletes also claim that they experience less cramping in their legs, which is another byproduct of improved blood flow.

Reduce Soreness: Compression leggings also work by helping the lymphatic system do its job. Consequently, because compression leggings help drain lactic acid build-up, which happens when a person exercises, they can actually reduce the amount of inflammation a person experiences while working out. This in turn will reduce soreness overall immediately after a workout and can even improve delayed onset muscle soreness. This can also reduce the amount of recovery time needed between workouts.

Improve Balance: Compression is believed to stimulate the sensory receptors of the body, which helps improve awareness and balance. This means that compression leggings could actually improve balance for some people, which can be especially beneficial to those practicing yoga who need to hold complicated poses.

Helps Ailments: While the benefits for athletes and everyday people have been explored already, compression leggings can also simply help improve various ailments like circulation issues, nerve pain or swollen ankles or legs. This benefit is especially helpful for seniors who are more prone to these conditions.

Less Skeletal Vibration: Some athletes, especially runners, regularly experience the unpleasantness of skeletal vibrations. This harsh, intense movement of the muscles and/or bones and joints can be taxing on the body and result in soreness and other issues. Compression leggings help alleviate at least some of this issue by holding the body tightly in place, even when the wearer is jogging or doing something else that involves intense movements.

What Makes Compression Leggings Different From Regular Leggings?

There is a significant difference between regular leggings and compression leggings, though they might look similar. Compression leggings are designed to be form-fitting and tight, almost constrictive. They are often constructed of Lycra or some similar fabric and are worn for a specific purpose, either medical or physical, though they still look really cool. Regular leggings are worn more for fashion purposes alone and can be constructed using a wide range of fabrics. They are also not designed to be extremely tight or excessively form-fitted. 

How Long Should One Wear Compression Leggings?

While regular leggings can be worn all day, many people find compression leggings too confining for wearing all day long. However, others wear them all day without any discomfort. The length of time a person should wear compression leggings is really up to each individual. Medical grade compression leggings, though, do have some limits to the amount of time they should be worn simply because of the compression intensity they provide.

Types of Compression Leggings

There are two basic types of compression leggings, supportive or therapeutic. Therapeutic can be worn during workouts or when working and standing or sitting for long periods of time. Supportive leggings are made to be worn only when recovering from an injury or for a specific event like wearing them to prevent swelling during a long plane ride.

Bottom Line: Compression Leggings Offer Many Benefits

Compression leggings are beneficial for a wide range of people and for a variety of purposes. They can help the athlete perform better and keep them from getting too sore. However, they can also help the senior who is suffering from nerve damage or help a worker who has to sit or stand for hours each day. Bottom line is that compression leggings are a welcome addition to anyone’s wardrobe for a variety of purposes.

Previous article:
Next article:
Leave your comment
Your email address will not be published
this product is great

Subscribe to newsletter