Sports

Study claims compression tights don't reduce fatigue

Study claims compression tight...
Dr. Ajit Chaudhari observes as one of the test subjects runs while wearing tights
Dr. Ajit Chaudhari observes as one of the test subjects runs while wearing tights
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Dr. Ajit Chaudhari observes as one of the test subjects runs while wearing tights
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Dr. Ajit Chaudhari observes as one of the test subjects runs while wearing tights
Motion sensors were used to track vibrations of the leg muscles
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Motion sensors were used to track vibrations of the leg muscles

When one of our muscles vibrates, a contraction of that muscle is triggered – and that contraction uses energy. Therefore, the thinking goes that the more we keep our muscles from vibrating, the less fatigued we'll get. That's why many long-distance runners wear compression tights. According to a new study from The Ohio State University, though, tights make no difference in reducing fatigue.

Led by Dr. Ajit Chaudhari, researchers had test subjects run on a treadmill for 30 minutes at 80 percent of their maximum speed. They did so twice, on two different days, once while wearing compression tights and once without them.

Motion sensors were used to track vibrations of the leg muscles
Motion sensors were used to track vibrations of the leg muscles

As they were running, a motion capture system tracked their position on the treadmill to within less than a millimeter. Force sensors in the treadmill also detected changes in how hard their feet landed on and pushed off of it, plus they wore a heart rate monitor to measure their rate of exertion.

Additionally, both their jump height and leg strength were tested before and after each run.

According to Chaudhari, although the tights did indeed reduce vibrations of the leg muscles, there were no differences in fatigue between the compression and non-compression runs. That said, he does believe that the support provided by tights may provide a psychological advantage to runners, which would still be good reason to wear them.

Source: The Ohio State University

When one of our muscles vibrates, a contraction of that muscle is triggered – and that contraction uses energy. Therefore, the thinking goes that the more we keep our muscles from vibrating, the less fatigued we'll get. That's why many long-distance runners wear compression tights. According to a new study from The Ohio State University, though, tights make no difference in reducing fatigue.

Led by Dr. Ajit Chaudhari, researchers had test subjects run on a treadmill for 30 minutes at 80 percent of their maximum speed. They did so twice, on two different days, once while wearing compression tights and once without them.

Motion sensors were used to track vibrations of the leg muscles
Motion sensors were used to track vibrations of the leg muscles

As they were running, a motion capture system tracked their position on the treadmill to within less than a millimeter. Force sensors in the treadmill also detected changes in how hard their feet landed on and pushed off of it, plus they wore a heart rate monitor to measure their rate of exertion.

Additionally, both their jump height and leg strength were tested before and after each run.

According to Chaudhari, although the tights did indeed reduce vibrations of the leg muscles, there were no differences in fatigue between the compression and non-compression runs. That said, he does believe that the support provided by tights may provide a psychological advantage to runners, which would still be good reason to wear them.

Source: The Ohio State University

5 comments
Imran Sheikh
If leg is considered as an engine then those tights will work as a shock absorber.. and when it comes to legs all kinds of shock reduction is helpful for reducing damage and endurance
KaiserPingo
It does not reduce fatique ! It reduces microtears in the muscels, witch reduces the change of fiberinjuries and in loger runs, acts as reducing fatique. For old runners, it works miracles !
MerlinGuy
Just more snake oil. But if you believe the snake oil works then keep spending your money on it. The best part is that the more money spent on snake oil, the more snake oil they invent. Just think of how fast you will be running with your zero lift, toed shoes with compression socks and compression tights. With your memory foam, sleep number, fitbit monitored night in bed, you awake to your cold pressed juice and Kombucha probiotic tea you are absolute machine!
Stradric
In my personal experience, compression tights have helped reduce recovery time. Significantly so. They also seem to reduce the chance of muscle cramps. I use calf compression when cycling and they have proven to be quite beneficial.
GS
This report is nonsense. For a start, surely the way to measure any gain is to time runners over a set distance with and without compression shorts. Secondly, the benefits from wearing compression shorts are obtained through reduced leg muscle aching after running. Years ago, when compression shorts became popular I bought a pair thinking that they were worth a try but not expecting much. Over a run which normally took me 26 minutes my time was immediately reduced by 2 1/2 minutes which was good I thought. However, since I am not a competitive runner, the real benefit came from much reduced aching in my legs, which allowed me to play football two days later, feeling in better physical condition straight from kick off. Reading the other comments seem to back this up.