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Tight Margins: Compression Garment Use during Exercise and Recovery—A Systematic Review

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posted on 03.08.2022, 06:07 authored by Alana LeabeaterAlana Leabeater, Lachlan JamesLachlan James, Matthew DrillerMatthew Driller
Background: Compression garments (CGs) are a popular tool that may act on physiological, physical, neuromuscular, biomechanical, and/or perceptual domains during exercise and recovery from exercise, with varying levels of efficacy. While previous reviews have focused on the effects of CGs during running, high-intensity exercise, and exercise recovery, a comprehensive systematic review that assesses the effectiveness of garment use both during and after exercise has not been recently conducted. Methods: A systematic search of the literature from the earliest record until May 2022 was performed based on the PRISMA-P guidelines for systematic reviews, using the online databases PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and Google Scholar. Results: 160 articles with 2530 total participants were included for analysis in the systematic review, comprised of 103 ‘during exercise’ studies, 42 ‘during recovery’ studies, and 15 combined design studies. Conclusions: During exercise, CGs have a limited effect on global measures of endurance performance but may improve some sport-specific variables (e.g., countermovement jump height). Most muscle proteins/metabolites are unchanged with the use of CGs during exercise, though measures of blood lactate tend to be lowered. CGs for recovery appear to have a positive benefit on subsequent bouts of endurance (e.g., cycling time trials) and resistance exercise (e.g., isokinetic dynamometry). CGs are associated with reductions in lactate dehydrogenase during recovery and are consistently associated with decreases in perceived muscle soreness following fatiguing exercise. This review may provide a useful point of reference for practitioners and researchers interested in the effect of CGs on particular outcome variables or exercise types.


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27p. (p. 395-421)



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© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

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