Bodybuilders are the new liblings of compression clothing companies. A few years ago if you wanted to buy special shorts to help your blood circulation during a workout, you didn’t have many options. Most bodybuilders used bike shorts or spandex tights, but neither had the medical upsides proper compression shorts available nowadays have. Let’s look at how to choose the best compression shorts for squats.
Squats are one of the most popular exercises for increasing lower body strength. Lifestyle designer Tim Ferriss advocates squatting just as well as many personal fitness trainers. Squatting is a difficult exercise, and you will definitely feel the pain after a few demanding sets. That’s exactly why you will need an excellent compression garment to give more structure to your movement and help with muscle recovery.
This video by the Barbell Brigade explains a lot about squatting and the benefits of compression shorts:
Compression garments help the circulatory system by putting pressure on the skin, which in turn makes the veins tighter, helping the blood flow quicker. Increased circulation results in the waste materials getting washed out of the muscles quicker. As a side effect the blood richer in oxygen and nutrients reaches the muscles quicker, leading to better muscle recovery. With proper shorts, inflammation also becomes a thing of the past. The quicker circulation helps the body get rid of the inflammation faster.
These clothing items can also help during your workout. Having them on during squats reduces the chance of injury. The structure added by the shorts helps the muscles get their job done in a more economical manner, reducing excess movement. Studies have shown that by reducing early muscle fatigue, the athlete can achieve better weightlifting performance.
Squats are notorious for not going easy on the hips. Proper technique is needed to ensure that you get all the strength benefits without any long term damage to your hip joints. One of the biggest benefits of compression short is the added structure, which forces you to perform the exercise with proper posture. These products are worth their weight in gold for just this reason alone.
If you are wondering why squats done badly can have major effects on your hips, watch this video:
It is recommended that serious bodybuilders own multiple compression shorts. Some for wearing during workouts, while others just to have on after they left the gym to speed up recovery.
The seams are a small, but crucial part of any compression wearable. If they are not constructed well, or they cut into your skin, you will suffer from chaffing, blisters and skin burn. The best models are seamless, or they are knitted with special technology.
The really elite models come with reinforced stitching. This makes the model more durable, and give increased support to the hip joints.
Most tights are made of some combination of nylon, polyester, spandex or neoprene. Each material has its own positives, but moisture wicking design is a must.
You don’t want to look totally foolish in the gym. Let’s face it, in today’s world everybody has a cellphone. If you wore a butt ugly pair of shorts in public, you would most likely end up on youtube. And nobody wants that.
Unless the shorts are fitting your legs perfectly, the compression is useless. If the tights are too…tight – see what I did there?! – they will choke the blood out of your legs, and the circulation will be cut off rather than aided. If the shorts are loose, the garment won’t be able to put pressure on the skin. All the medical benefits of graduated compression will be totally ineffective. Which brings me to:
There are two types of models on the market. Graduated compression shorts are the most common, and these are the ones I recommend for wearing in the gym, or recovery. These garments put the greatest pressure on the areas further down the leg. As the blood gets higher in the leg, the pressure gets lower. This way the circulatory system gets just the right amount of pressure.
Below you can find a little guide for the best compression shorts for squatting on Amazon:
Special knitting and 4-way stretch fabric allows greater mobility.
Moisture wicking material keeps you dry even during the most intense workouts.
UPF 30+ protects you from the harmful rays of the sun, an important feature for outdoor training.
Reinforced stitching provides extra support to the hips and groins without slowing you down and reducing your mobility.
Keeps your glutes, groins and hamstrings warm during the workout.
Special design that mimics taping methods to keep your muscles warm, adding support to the hamstrings and quads.
Hip spica wrap for treating hip flexors.
Special moisture wicking technology to keep you dry and wicking moisture away from the skin.
Made of 90% polyester, 10 % spandex. This combination provides tight but comfortable fit while preventing chaffing and skin irritation during squatting.
Seamless construction feels like a second skin on your legs, not preventing your mobility, but still keeping you dry by wicking the moisture away.
Elastic Lycra material keeps its shape even after multiple washes.
What kind of shorts do you use in the gym? Which models are the best compression shorts for squats in your opinion? Leave a comment below!