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15 Scientific Studies on the Benefits of Compression Sleeves

Posted by Eric Grabin on

Every day, athletes are looking to find new ways to improve their performance in as many ways a possible, naturally. For most, this begins with the proper training routine on a day-to-day basis. And like a sports car that needs the premium or race gasoline, an athlete needs proper nutrition in order to fuel the body. But as a sports car continues taking a beating on the road, it needs to replace its suspension system to hold up to the constant rigors of racing. Similarly, an athlete that continues to wear their body down will need to start paying close attention to protection and recovery— this is where compression sleeves play a vital role. Compression sleeves are fairly new to the sports industry and booming! The overall mission of compression sleeves is to protect and support muscles and joints, reduce swelling and increase blood flow. However, since compression sleeves are new, many that have never worn them—especially Enerskin—they assume that this is just another fashion trend in the world of health and fitness. Thankfully, there is continued growth from the sports medicine industry that are studying and proving the benefits of compression sleeves. So to show you more than just one's own personal experience, we've given you 15 scientific studies on the benefits of compression sleeves:

1.) Squeezing the Muscle: Compression Sleeves and Muscle Metabolism During Recovery from High-intensity Exercise.

"These results demonstrate that wearing compression shorts with ~37 mmHg of external pressure reduces blood flow both in the deep and superficial regions of muscle tissue during recovery from high-intensity exercise..."

2.) Bringing Light Into the Dark: Effects of Compression Sleeves on Performance and Recovery.

"Results indicated small effect sizes for the application of compression clothing during exercise for short-duration sprints (10-60 m), vertical-jump height, extending time to exhaustion (such as running at VO2max or during incremental tests), and time-trial performance (3-60 min). When compression clothing was applied for recovery purposes after exercise, small to moderate effect sizes were observed in recovery of maximal strength and power, especially vertical-jump exercise; reductions in muscle swelling and perceived muscle pain; blood lactate removal; and increases in body temperature. These results suggest that the application of compression clothing may assist athletic performance and recovery in given situations with consideration of the effects magnitude and practical relevance."

3.) Effect of Lower-limb Compression Sleeves on 400-m Sprint Performance.

"...there was a trend for an increased rate of blood lactate clearance when wearing compression garments. A significantly lower RPE (p > 0.05) was however observed during LG (13.8 ± 0.9) and SG (13.4 ± 1.1) when compared with CON (14.0 ± 1.0). This study has demonstrated that lower-limb compression garments may lower the effort perception associated with 400-m performance, despite there being no differences in overall athletic performance."

4.) Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Compression Sleeves in Managing Secondary Lymphoedema.

"Compression gradient wrap sleeves are an alternative to bandages in controlling lymphoedema, but there is very little data on the effectiveness of these products. This small study examined their effect on compliance and patient outcomes." Although there is little data, compression sleeves may have a chance at helping lymphoedema. We recommend consulting with your physician to see about trying compression sleeves.

5.) Benefits of Wearing Compression Sleeves After ACL Reconstruction

"Drop landings with the bandage produced significantly larger (P < 0.001) peak ground reaction forces in the vertical and anteroposterior direction, suggesting increased subject confidence in their knee. Wearing the knee bandage also enabled the patients to reduce all measured parameters in the anteroposterior direction (rmsFx, intFx, rmsAx) during both the adjusting and balancing phases (P < 0.001 ). A significant reduction in the center of pressure path length further indicated an enhanced steadiness during the one-legged stance. It was concluded that a compression sleeve improved the total integration of the balance control system and muscle coordination."

6.) Compression Sleeves Promotes Muscular Strength Recovery After Resistance Exercise.

"Wearing a CG after resistance exercise facilitates the recovery of muscular strength. Recovery for upper body muscles significantly improved within 3-8 h after exercise."

7.) The Roles of an Upper Body Compression Sleeves on Athletic Performances

"In golfers, there were significant (P ≤ 0.05) improvements in driving accuracy (NC: 86.7 ± 30.6 vs. CG: 68.9 ± 18.5 feet), as well as approach shot accuracy (NC: 26.6 ± 11.9 vs. CG: 22.1 ± 8.2 feet) and chipping accuracy (NC: 2.9 ± 0.6 vs. CG: 2.3 ± 0.6 inch). There was also a significant (P ≤ 0.05) increase in comfort for the golfers (NC: 3.7 ± 0.8 vs. CG: 4.5 ± 1.0). These results demonstrate that comfort and performance can be improved with the use compression garments in high level athletes is most likely mediated by improved proprioceptive cues during upper body movements."

8.) A Novel Compression Sleeve with Adhesive Silicone Stripes Improves Repeated Sprint Performance - a Multi-Experimental Approach on the Underlying Mechanisms.

"Results: Although the physiological parameters monitored were unchanged, the CGSS appears to improve performance during 30 30-m repeated sprints by reducing perceived exertion and altering running technique."

9.) Lower limb Compression Sleeve Improves Recovery From Exercise-induced Muscle Damage in Young, Active Females.

"Plyometric exercise had a significant effect (p < or = 0.05) on all indices of muscle damage. The compression treatment reduced decrements in countermovement jump performance (passive recovery 88.1 +/- 2.8% vs. treatment 95.2 +/- 2.9% of pre-exercise), squat jump performance (82.3 +/- 1.9% vs. 94.5 +/- 2%), and knee extensor strength loss (81.6 +/- 3% vs. 93 +/- 3.2%), and reduced muscle soreness (4.0 +/- 0.23 vs. 2.4 +/- 0.24), but had no significant effect on creatine kinase activity. The results indicate that compression clothing is an effective recovery strategy following exercise-induced muscle damage."

10.) Effects of a Whole Body Compression Sleeve on Markers of Recovery After a Heavy Resistance Workout in Men and Women.

"We observed significant (p < or = 0.05) differences between CG and CON conditions in both men and women for vitality (CG > CON), resting fatigue ratings (CG < CON), muscle soreness (CG < CON), ultrasound measure swelling (CG < CON), bench press throw (CG > CON), and CK (CG < CON). A whole body compression garment worn during the 24-hour recovery period after an intense heavy resistance training workout enhances various psychological, physiological, and a few performance markers of recovery compared with noncompressive control garment conditions. The use of compression appears to help in the recovery process after an intense heavy resistance training workout in men and women."

12.) Wearing a Sports Compression Sleeve on the Performance of Visuomotor Tracking Following Eccentric Exercise: a Pilot Study. 

"...the results suggest that the wearing of sports compression garments post-eccentric exercise has a positive effect on functional motor control."

13.) Evaluation of a Lower-body Compression Sleeve.

"Several significant effects were revealed for the custom-fit compressive garment. Although 60 m sprint time was not affected, hip flexion angle was reduced. Skin temperature increased more and at a faster rate during a warm-up protocol. Muscle oscillation was decreased during vertical jump landing. Countermovement vertical jump height increased when the participants were wearing the custom-fit compression garment. In materials testing, the elasticity of the compressive garment provides increased flexion and extension torque at the end range of extension and flexion, respectively, and may assist the hamstrings in controlling the leg at the end of the swing phase in sprinting. The compressive garment significantly reduced impact force by 27% compared with American football pants alone. Through various mechanisms, these findings may translate into an effect on athletic performance and a reduction in injuries." 

14.) Positive Effect of Lower Body Compression Sleeves on Subsequent 40-kM Cycling Time Trial Performance

"Performance time in the second time trial was substantially improved with compression compared with placebo garments (1.2 ± 0.4%, mean ± 90% confidence interval). This improvement resulted in a substantially higher average power output after wearing the compression garment compared with that after wearing the placebo garment (3.3 ± 1.1%)."

15.) Effect of 3 Weeks Use of Compression Sleeves on Stride and Impact Shock During a Fatiguing Run

"Training with compressive stockings for 3 weeks reduced impact acceleration and the rate of increase in acceleration compared to placebo stockings. These findings suggest that compressive stockings may play a protective role by reducing impact accelerations during running."

Let's Recap the Benefits of Compression Sleeves:

  • Enhanced blood circulation as a result of improved venous return.The deoxygenated blood goes back to the heart faster, which in turn helps to improve blood flow of oxygen rich blood back to the body. 
  • Faster recovery following strenuous exercise and improved performance by aiding in the removal of blood lactate. Reducing blood lactate concentration during maximal exercise bouts, allows for an increased lactic threshold. Studies have shown that athletes with a high lactate threshold perform better.
  • Enhanced warm-up via increases in skin temperature.
  • Reduced muscle oscillation/vibration upon ground contact, providing stability to the muscle help prevent micro trauma to the muscles, making for a faster and easier recovery.
  • Reduced effects of delayed onset muscle soreness in the days following strenuous exercise through alleviating swelling and inflammation.
  • Increased muscle support, which increases performance through improved muscle efficiency.
  • Improved leg power and vertical jump through enhanced proprioception.

Don't wait for an injury to start protecting your body. Get your Enerskin Compression Sleeves now at


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