Compression Garments: Influence on Muscle Fatigue

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This study assessed whether opposing compression forces produced by commercially available “compression shorts” affect the repetitive force production capabilities of the thigh muscles during repetitive open- and closed-kinetic-chain exercise tests. Twenty healthy young adults (10 men, age 25.2 ± 3.8 yrs; 10 women, age 23.2 ± 4.8 yrs) volunteered to take part in the study. All were recreationally trained and participated in both weight training and endurance training programs in their weekly exercise routines. Testing was conducted using a balanced and randomized treatment design with two experimental conditions consisting of compression shorts (CS) and control (no compression) shorts; thus all subjects served as their own controls. Testing consisted of 3 sets of 50 maximal isokinetic knee extension/ flexion movements at 180° * sec−1 on a Cybex 6000 dynamometer and the maximal number of reps at 70% 1-RM using a Trusquat exercise machine. No significant differences were found between the CS and control conditions in peak torque or total work performed in the isokinetic knee extension/flexion exercise or in max number of reps performed with the Trusquat. The results indicate that compression garments made for long-term wear and commonly worn by athletes and fitness enthusiasts during training and competition do not contribute to any additional fatigue in repetitive high-intensity exercise tasks.

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