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Wearing compression socks during exercise aids subsequent performance


Brophy-Williams, N and Driller, MW and Kitic, CM and Fell, JW and Halson, SL, Wearing compression socks during exercise aids subsequent performance, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22, (1) pp. 123-127. ISSN 1440-2440 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Sports Medicine Australia

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2018.06.010


Objectives: To assess the effect of wearing compression socks on immediate and subsequent 5 km running time trials, with particular attention to the influences on physiological, perceptual and performance-based parameters.

Design: Counter-balanced cross-over experiment.

Methods: Twelve male runners (mean  SD 5 km run time 19:29  1:18 min:s) each completed two experimental sessions. Sessions consisted of a standardised running warm-up, followed by a 5 km time trial (TT1), a one hour recovery period, then a repeat of the warm-up and 5 km time trial (TT2). One session required the use of sports compression socks during the first warm-up and time trial (COMP), while the other did not (CON).

Results: The decline in run performance in CON from TT1 to TT2 was moderate and significantly greater than that experienced by runners in COMP (9.6 s, d = 0.67, p < 0.01). No difference was found between experimental conditions for oxygen consumption, blood lactate or calf volume (p = 0.61, 0.54, 0.64, respectively). Perceptual measures of muscle soreness, fatigue and recovery were also similar between trials (p = 0.56, 1.00 & 0.61, respectively).

Conclusions: Wearing sports compression socks during high intensity running has a positive impact on subsequent running performance. The underlying mechanism of such performance enhancement remains unclear, but may relate to improved oxygen delivery, reduced muscle oscillation, superior running mechanics and athlete beliefs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:running, time trial, compression garments, athletes, circulation economy
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Exercise physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Brophy-Williams, N (Mr Ned Brophy-Williams)
UTAS Author:Kitic, CM (Dr Cecilia Kitic)
UTAS Author:Fell, JW (Associate Professor James Fell)
UTAS Author:Halson, SL (Dr Shona Halson)
ID Code:129677
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2018-12-12
Last Modified:2020-05-25

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