Custom-Made Compression Garments in Sport: Do They Work for Performance and Recovery?

Masters Thesis

Bolessa, J. 2019. Custom-Made Compression Garments in Sport: Do They Work for Performance and Recovery? Masters Thesis University of East London School of Health, Sport and Bioscience
AuthorsBolessa, J.
TypeMasters Thesis

2019 dissertation for MRes. The aim of this study was to investigate performance and recovery benefits of wearing custom-made versus ‘off-shelf’ CG, during and after a 5km running time trial. Eight recreational runners performed three 5km running time trials at self-selected pace, with a week separating trials. Runs were performed wearing running shorts (control), custom-made CG and ‘off-shelf’ CG, with trials completed in counter-balanced order. Custom-made CG were full-length lower limb design, custom-made to each participant (Kurio Compression, Nottinghamshire, UK). Performance CG were worn during the trial and recovery CG were worn for 8hr after the completion of the trial, with variations in applied pressure distinguishing between garments. ‘Off-shelf’ CG were fitted according to manufactures guidelines (height and weight). Run time, pre and post blood lactate and gas analysis data (VE, VO₂, VO₂/kg) were recorded. Biomechanical analysis took place to assess COM displacement, stride length, frequency, cycle time and running velocity. Creatine kinase was taken pre, post and 24hr after the trials. Participants recorded perceived level of DOMS through a VAS, pre, post, 12hr and 24hr after running trials, thus assessing recovery. Run time was quickest wearing custom-made CG (1378±144s) with a significant difference versus ‘off-shelf’ (p=.04, d=.24, small effect) but no significant differences versus control (p=.452, .09, trivial effect). No significant differences (p>.05) between the two CG were found in heart rate, blood lactate, VO₂/kg, creatine kinase and biomechanical measures. Custom-made CG improved the perception of recovery best at 12 hours -19.18±23.64%, with a moderate effect size versus other conditions (vs. control: d=.62, vs. ‘off-shelf’: d=.64). No significant differences (p>.05) at 24 hours were noted between all conditions, suggesting full recovery was achieved. This data suggests that CG provide some benefit during and after a 5km run, but superiority between custom-made and ‘off-shelf’ CG remain inconclusive.

PublisherUniversity of East London
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Publication dates
OnlineSep 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Dec 2019
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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