The truth about compression.
The benefits of compression garments like the 2XU Performance Run Sleeves are something of a hot topic in sports science these days, with some studies supporting the claimed benefits while the skeptical are left wondering if it's all just superstition. This divide is partly because of popular misunderstandings of what compression garments actually do, so bear with us while we walk through some of the myths and benefits of compression for endurance athletes. First, the big myth. It seems that the claims that compressive clothing limits the accrual of lactic acid put forth by some early studies are ultimately without merit.
During a workout or race, compression helps in three ways. The first way is through increased blood circulation through compression that graduates up the legs in order to maintain a consistent flow of oxygen. This technique has been used in medical treatment for decades.
The second benefit compression provides is that it literally buttresses-up your flagging muscles, reducing fatigue by reducing vibration and the need for muscles to self-stabilize. It may be helpful to compare compression to weight lifting. Lifting free weights vs. machine weights or using separate dumbbells instead of an Olympic bar forces your muscles to stabilize while lifting, adding an additional fatiguing element to the exercise. By reducing vibration and supporting the muscles during endurance runs and cycling, compression garments reduce similar fatigue and increase stamina.
The final benefit is that compression supplements your body's proprioception. OK, buckle up, cuz it's science time. Many of our most basic, unconscious actions (like maintaining balance) rely on a network of proprioceptors in our bodies that, essentially, map our bodies' positions as we move through space — hence the name proprioception or "sense of self." This map consists of coordinates relating to things like the length and tension of specific muscles and the changing angle of a joint in motion. As you can imagine, these little guys are pretty important for athletes, whose success or failure typically hinges on how well they control their bodies. 2XU's Run Sleeves actually increase the effectiveness of proprioceptors, giving you what might be best described as an increased awareness of where your limbs are in space.
The Performance Run Sleeves are built according to 2XU's PWX design philosophy. They're made with a blend of PWX Compression and 105D/K fabrics. These materials use high grade elastane yarns with invista Lycra to compress and wick moisture. They also have antibacterial properties and grant the sleeve a UPF of 50. Flatlock seams eliminate the chafing that a compressive garment might otherwise entail.
The 2XU Performance Run Sleeves are available in five sizes ranging from X-Small to X-Large in the colors Fluro Orange/fluro orange, Hot Pink/hot pink, Titanium/black, and Vibrant Blue/vibrant blue.