Efficacy of Compression Garments on Recovery From a Simulated Rugby Protocol

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Upton, CM, Brown, FC, and Hill, JA. Efficacy of compression garments on recovery from a simulated rugby protocol. J Strength Cond Res 31(11): 2977–2982, 2017—The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of lower limb compression garments on recovery in club-level rugby players. Nineteen participants (age, 20.3 ± 1.7 years, height, 184.2 ± 7.5 cm, and body mass, 89.5 ± 9.9 kg) completed a rugby-specific, muscle-damaging protocol before being assigned to a compression garment group (n = 10) or a SHAM (“recovery” drink) treatment (n = 9). The compression group wore the garments for 48 hours after exercise, whereas SHAM consumed a sweetened, low energy drink within an hour of protocol completion. Perceived muscle soreness (PMS), creatine kinase (CK), maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), and countermovement jump (CMJ) height were measured at baseline, post, 24, and 48 hours after exercise. Perceived muscle soreness was significantly lower in the compression group compared with the SHAM group at both 24 and 48 hours after exercise (p ≤ 0.05). The compression group was also subject to lower CK values than SHAM, as demonstrated by a significant time by group effect (p ≤ 0.05). There was no significant group effect for MVIC or CMJ (p > 0.05). Wearing compression garments after a rugby-specific, muscle-damaging protocol seems to reduce PMS and circulating concentrations of CK, suggesting improved recovery from muscle-damaging exercise.

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