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Army July 19, 2012
garments are infiltrating just
about every form of profes-
sional, amateur and every-
day sporting and fitness activity.
There are various schools of
thought on these exercise accessories.
Some say the relatively high cost
(compared with "ordinary" lycra
shorts) is not worth it, while others
swear by them.
Compression garments (CGs) are
form-fitting garments with strategically
placed elasticised support.
They come in a range of items such
as shorts, tights, singlets, shirts and
Information from the manufacturers
and retailers say the main benefits of
CG are that they keep muscles warm to
prevent muscle strain and fatigue, draw
sweat away from the body to prevent
chafing and rashes, and may enhance
But does this actually happen?
A review published in Sports
Medicine (Vol 41, No. 10, 2011), found
no conclusive evidence that CGs aid
"Despite widespread acceptance of
CGs by competitive and recreational
athletes, convincing scientific evidence
supporting ergogenic effects (increased
performance) remains somewhat elu-
sive," the review stated.
It said, in regards to after-exercise
recovery, CGs have been reported to
reduce muscle soreness and swelling
and, when jumping, CGs have been
shown to reduce the amount of mus-
A tight fit for sports
Hartigan finds out if
really help sporting
Not all about looks: Compression sportswear garments may not deliver all they promise.
Photo by LS Paul Berry
However, studies have so far not
shown any concrete evidence to sup-
port the use of CGs to assist perfor-
mance, injury prevention or recovery,
and the review recommended further
So should we still wear them?
Sydney-based fitness profession-
al Don Stephenson said while he did
notice a moderate reduction in post-
training muscle soreness after heavy
weight training, he believed perfor-
mance enhancement during training
was either non existent or too small
"I do agree that compression gar-
ments may have some injury-preven-
tion benefits, particularly in sports or
training that involves repeated jumping
or running movements," he said.
"They also can aid in warming up
and wicking away sweat during exer-
cise and may help with preventing
chafing compared to looser clothing.
"But, for there to be any chance of
having a benefit, the tights need to be
However, he said CGs would only
last about six months before they
started to stretch.
"In that regard, the cost can be quite
high and I'm not sure if the benefits
justify the cost at this stage," he said.
Of course, there are pure aesthetic
reasons for wearing these items too.
Compression shorts are becoming
more popular among female athletes,
especially those who wear skirts dur-
ing games, for aesthetic as much as
Compression shorts have increased
in popularity among males too, attrib-
utable perhaps to their less embarrass-
ing look than jockstraps and compara-
But then, wouldn't cheaper, generic
lycra do the same?
Well, to believe current research,
yes, but brand snobbery and advertis-
ing effectiveness come into play in this
regard, especially among those who
see their favourite sport stars wearing
CGs all the time.
So, before spending your hard-
earned money, do some extra research,
you may find a cheaper, just as effi-
However, if you do choose to wear
CGs, wear regular sport shorts over
them, for our benefit, not yours.
PUT your aprons on and
get ready to sizzle, chop
and stir because Dental
Health Week is looming
and the Defence Dental
Recipe Challenge is look-
ing for your best teeth-
Don't Accept Dental
Decay is the theme for
Dental Health Week,
which will be held from
Good eating is not
only essential for a
healthy body but is cru-
cial to maintain good oral
What we eat and how
often we eat are impor-
tant factors and Army
master chefs can help
their service colleagues
with some mouth-water-
Tips on submissions
for cooks and taste-
testers can be found
Recipes are to be submitted
by July 27 to Cpl Kerri-Ann
Steindl at: kerri-ann.steindl@
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