It’s not uncommon to see a runner, an athlete, or even a gym buff parading around with calf compression sleeves. For many fitness enthusiasts, this particular workout garment has become a necessary part of every routine regardless of what the sport might be. But what exactly does a compression sleeve do? For as popular as it might seem, a lot of people are still clueless as to what a compression sleeve is for. We asked James Falco, director of marketing for DinoDerm calf sleeves, for some feedback on these questions. If you want to learn more about this workout essential, read on and find out what we learned about how compression sleeves work.
There are lots of athletes and recreational sports players that have sustained serious injuries because they bent an arm or a leg in a way that it wasn’t supposed to. This is where the restraining feature of a compression sleeve comes into play. By limiting a person’s range of motion, a compression sleeve can eliminate the chances of injuries caused by overstretching or over bending a joint or muscle. The restraint also works to improve and maintain posture of certain limbs and joints which is necessary when lifting heavy weights.
When a person sustains an injury, the affected area could permanently suffer from poor circulation. During a sporting event or workout routine, this could prove to be a big challenge, as circulation is necessary for body parts to get the oxygen they need in order to function at their peak. Compression sleeves are designed to improve circulation and increase the blood flow to the area where it’s used, which can greatly benefit those who have had injuries in the past.
Sometimes, some parts of the body are more exposed to trauma and damage that can severely impact a person’s performance. Skin bruises, cuts, and scratches can become very serious issues when engaged in sports. A compression sleeve will help to reduce the chances of trauma to the skin and other body parts that would otherwise be exposed.
Graduated compression sleeves are tighter around distal areas of the limb and get less tight towards the proximal joints. This design helps to circulate blood faster and aims to aid the recovery of sore, overworked limbs. What’s more, a compression sleeve can also work as a psychological immobilizer which limits the movements of a particular joint to reduce the chances of aggravating an injury.
For years, those of us who have played competitive sports have heard that RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) is the go-to treatment regimen for sports injuries. Compression sleeves are designed to be a preventative measure against strains, shin splints, and sprains, which are all common overuse injuries in those who do lots of cardio-heavy activities. For weightlifting, compression sleeves are often worn around joints (elbows/knees) to provide stabilization and support. Given the benefits listed above, perhaps calf sleeves will find their way into weight rooms and gyms to give an extra edge.