How to look the fittest in the best compression pants?

Have you seen runners sliding by on the streets in slick looking clothing items that look like yoga pants? Nowadays almost every competitive runner wears compression leggings to prevent muscle injuries and help the recovery process after races. Let’s take a look at why these products are so useful, and which are the best compression pants available for men and women today.

According to Wikipedia even the ancient Greeks used clothing items on the limbs to treat ulcers. The medical industry came a long way since, with a whole industry evolved for manufacturing the highest quality compression garments.

Nowadays sportsman frequently use them to aid muscle recovery. These items have a large part to play in speeding up the recovery process. During competition these clothing items give a lot of support to the muscles and the tendons. Compression wearables can be seen on NBA players even during games.

On the 11th of January in 2001 Allen Iverson wore a lengthy white hosiery over his right arm in an NBA game. Fans and media were wondering if this was just a marketing vehicle, a fashion item or it had something to do with basketball. It turns out that Iverson was suffering from swelling on his right arm, and one of his coaches recommended that he wore a compression sleeve over the problem area. The game marked the start of a whole movement of NBA players wearing compression items. The New Yorker has an excellent piece about Iverson and the game.

Why are these items so beneficial?

Basketball is an intermittent sport. The athletes have to perform short bursts of high speed actions, with longer stretches of jogging, or even resting on the bench. The body has to use multiple energy production systems to keep going through the different speed brackets. As long as the body is working at a comfortable speed, the activity is aerobic in nature. The muscle can burn carbohydrates with enough oxygen, with carbon dioxide and water as waste materials. These leave the body through sweating and breathing.

When the athlete starts performing sprints, the burn becomes anaerobic in nature, there is not enough oxygen and the burning process starts producing waste materials such as lactic acid. When the muscle stores too much lactic acid, muscle soreness and inflammation occur.

The compression wearables help by reducing the time it takes for the muscle to recover from inflammation. These items aid blood circulation, which in turn helps the transportation of the lactic acid away from the muscles, and the blood rich in oxygen and nutrients can reach the muscle quicker.

Better blood circulation also means that excess fluids that appear during swelling can be transported away from the problem area quicker.

Varicose veins and spider veins can be treated with this method as well. These appear when the walls of the veins loose their firmness. Blood pools up in these parts, and circulation slows down.

These items help the tendons as well as the muscles. Certain tendons might loosen up after reoccurring injuries. The firm grip of a high quality compression legging provides extra support by taking away excess space and advocating a more economic movement pattern.

The same goes for muscle movement. Muscle injuries occur most commonly when the tired muscle can not react to a sudden impact that finds it unprepared. The added support can keep the muscles in shape even when they can not look after themselves. If you often suffer from overtraining, or you have a history of muscle injuries, compression pants are for you.

Different items for your legs

What is the difference between compression socks and pants?

The length of the model determines how many muscle groups are put under pressure. You would say that the best model is the one that applies pressure on the highest number of muscles, but you would be wrong. These products are hard to put on, since they are designed to sit tightly on your skin.

Compression socks start on your feet, and reach just below your knees. These models are excellent if you experience problems at your calf muscles.

There are some socks that end above your knees. They are harder to put on, since you have to pull them over the knee joints. They are also harder to keep up, because they move around and wiggle as your knee moves. They are made with an elastic band at the top, which hugs tightly around your thighs.

Most compression leggings reach up to your belly button. These put pressure on the veins around the naval area, and can be an excellent aid if you experience inflammation in your derriere muscles.

However they can take ages to put on, not to mention all the effort involved. You absolutely must get their sizing right. If they are too tight, the waist band will cut into your stomach. If they are too loose, they will come off, or cause skin burns and blisters.

They can be a real challenge to get off when you have to go to the toilet. So choose wisely. If you don’t use your thighs as much, and you only have problems with your calves, a pair of socks will do the trick.

What are the main benefits of compression wearables on the legs?

These products are designed to wrap around your skin tightly, applying pressure on the intended muscle groups. If you choose the right model, it will feel a bit tight at first. It might take a bit of time, but you will get used to it.

The firm grip has a significant aesthetic benefit. It will hold your shape together, making you a lot slimmer and more muscular. You will notice how much firmer and better you will look.

But what are the main benefits, why are these models so popular?

Increased Speed of muscle recovery

The added pressure on the veins makes it possible for the blood to transport waste materials away from the muscles quicker. Then the blood is pumped through the organs by the heart and gets filled up with oxygen and other crucial materials for muscle work.

They not only speed up muscle recovery, but help prevent delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). This problem refers to the phenomena of experiencing muscle aches and problems 24 or even up to 72 hours after exercising. Removal of lactic acid after workouts works wonders when it comes to avoiding this problem.

Decrease in the number of muscle injuries

The number of muscle injuries will decrease. Most muscle injuries occur, when the fatigued muscle can not correct for bad posture or positioning in the moment of impact. Since compression garments hold the muscles tightly, the muscles will stay in the right position even when you land from a jump, or you bump into opponents on the court.

Use muscle movement to aid blood circulation

Since the garment sits tightly around the muscles, it offers a nice, firm cradle for them. This way the muscles sit tighter, closer to the veins. The movement of the muscles affects the shape of the veins. Veins that might be a little bit bigger in diameter normally are squeezed together again by the rhythmic movement of the muscles.

More economic movement patterns

The oscillation occurs when the muscles tighten, or when they flex. If the muscles work with bad timing compared to each other during movement, or they use excess force to create the movement pattens injuries might occur. By  forcing the muscles to work in a tighter space, they have to find ways to use less energy and synchronise their timing, thus reducing the number of injuries.

Overall the combination of better blood circulation around the muscles, better structural support and better temperature control will not only reduce injuries, but help your muscles operate at the top of their potential.


During the winter months a compression garment can keep the muscles warm even during outdoor workouts. Products that have silk inside them will even keep the skin cool during the summer months.

Better looks

The garments can help eliminate varicose veins and spider veins, leading to better aesthetics. The shaping effect of the product will give your body a fitter, more muscular tone.

Reduced risk of deep vein thrombosis

The better circulation will reduce the risk of suffering from deep vein thrombosis. This disease occurs when a blood cloth gets caught in a vein and prevents the blood form flowing through. It is no more than annoying in most cases with swelling and muscle soreness as the most common symptoms, but if a blood cloth travels to the lungs or the brain, it can have fatal consequences.

Aerodynamic benefits

Have you noticed that all olympic swimmers and runners shave their heads? They want to achieve a more aerodynamically beneficial shape this way. With the tight hug of compression products, you will be able to have the same benefits on your legs, without shaving your skin.

Protection from the elements

You likely experience the nagging of little pieces of stones and debris hitting your shins during running. Or if you accidentally step into a puddle, the water splashes up, causing an uncomfortable feeling. If you wear a compression product, all of these problems will go away.

The types of compression out there

There are basically three types of compression products that differ in the way they apply pressure on the muscles. The first type is graduated compression. The other two are uniform and targeted compression.

Graduated compression is the most popular out of the three on the market. This works the best in aiding blood circulation without putting excess pressure on the limbs. These put the most pressure on the ankles, and then slightly less and less pressure as the blood gets higher and the veins are closer to the heart. The reason for its success is because it helps the veins fight gravity. The veins further away from the heart (around the ankles) have to work a lot harder at pushing the blood up, since they have to fight gravity a lot harder. As the veins get closer to the heart, the aid of the compression leggings is needed less, hence the smaller pressure applied.

Uniform compression puts the same amount of pressure everywhere on the legs. Most of these models are available only if a doctor prescribes them, it is unlikely that you will come across them in commercial use.

Targeted compression refers to products that apply more pressure around certain muscle groups while applying a baseline pressure level on the remaining areas. These models are also prescribed by doctors in most cases. They can be very helpful if you have medical problems or frequent injuries with certain muscle groups.

What kind of compression stockings should you buy?

There are a whole number of product out there, and it can be difficult to choose the best compression stockings for males or females in 2016.

The price range of these products can vary from just a few dollars up to and over a hundred dollars on Amazon.

You don’t need to find the best, most pricey product to benefit from all the upsides of compression therapy. It is more important to know how many times you want to wear them. I recommend that you to get at least two models if you are going to wear them several times for workouts during a week. This way you won’t have to wash them all the time, and you will be able to rest them between uses, which will significantly lengthen their lifespan.

On the product description pages of Amazon, you will be able to find several tips, and all the information you need about each product. You will see many user reviews which will help you immensely in choosing just the right product for you.

Here are some keywords to look for when searching through Amazon product descriptions:

Clinically tested.

These products are heavily tested. They guarantee graduated compression with the pressure levels they endorse.

Faster recovery, improved blood circulation.

In such products trials and test have confirmed that it is indeed beneficial to the veins, and it will help your muscle recovery.

Smart fabric that ensures maximum comfort.

Most models are made of polyethylene. However if some nylon, or spandex is added, the product will be a lot more stretchable, and it will give you a lot more comfort.

Anti-bacterial, moisture wicking garment that fights odor.

Some silver included in the product prevents bacterial or fungi development. If cotton or silk is added, the material can prevent excessive sweating and bad odor by letting the skin breathe a little bit.

No questions asked, 100% money-back guarantee.

Most companies offer to pay you back your money right away if you are not satisfied. This goes a long way in eliminating the risks involved with a bad purchase, and it also shows how confident the manufacturer is in the quality of its product.

Machine washable.

Some models are just hand washable. Machine washable products can save you time and hassle.

Non see through.

This is essential if you want to wear them in public, and avoid going to jail for public indecency.

Available in multiple colours.

A nice range of colours and style will ensure that you find the one that fits your taste the most.

UV blocking.

The best products can be up to 98-99% UV blocking. This goes a long way in making sure your skin stays healthy even after years of playing sports in heavy sunlight.

Which compression pants does compression carl recommend?

I looked through the Amazon listings, and compiled a few compression pants that fit all the requirements on the list. These are all high quality products, with excellent ratings on Amazon.

Models for men

Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Armour Compression Leggings

Under Armour is a respectable company in the market for compression wearables. They are sponsors to top sports teams such as the English Premier Football League outfit Tottenham Hotspurs.

This product offers a nice, smug fit 84% polyester and 16% elastane. The company made a special, extremely stretchable and mobile product that offers comfortable motion for the person wearing it. It comes with a special moisture wicking system to allow the skin to breathe and dry fast. The product comes in 17 different styles.

[DRSKIN] Compression Tight Pants or Shirts Base Layer Running Leggings Men Women

This product is available in five colours, black, grey, red, brown, and military. All are made of 92% polyester, with the remaining 8% spandex giving the tights nice elasticity. The leggings let the air circulate, and they allow the skin to breathe. They dry up quickly. The garment is said to offer nice heat retention during the winter, keeping the athlete warm, while it is cold during the summer months. The garment is 98.8% UV blocking. They have an elastic band at the top, which holds them in place well.

Defender Men’s Compression Baselayer Running Tights

This machine washable compression legging is available in thirteen different colours. It is made of polyester, with a little bit of spandex mixed in for extra elasticity and a superior fit. The material is equipped with a quick moisture wicking system, that transports the sweat away from the skin and lets your legs remain dry. It is a clinically tested product, it is proven to help with circulation and help muscle recovery. It has and UPF 30 rating, protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

BeneU® Mens Camouflage Sports Running Basketball Compression Tight Leggings Pants

These pants are available in four colours, black, blue, flash blue and brown, all with camouflage shapes all over it. It is manufactured with a seamless construction, which gives it a feel just like if you would be wearing a second skin. The muscles inside these pants get warmed up faster thanks to the increased blood flow. It also improves the performance of the athlete wearing it with better muscle movement efficiency. It is made of a mix of polyester and lycra to provide better elasticity and a snug feel. The product is machine washable, which makes it an excellent product to have during runs, basketball or even playing squash or tennis.

Compression Pants or Shirts, Smartdoo Under Base Layer Sport Long Tight Pant Legging Men Stretch Ankle for Running Basketball Football

This product is tested and proven to provide better movement and better muscle mobility. It warms up the body excellently during the winter, and cools off the skin during the summer. The compression pants absorb the sweat and keep dry even through strenuous use. It is machine washable and keeps its elasticity even after multiple uses. It supports the muscles, and accommodates movements, while helping blood circulation.

Red Plume Men’s Compression Elastic Tight Leggings Sport Spider Printing Pants

I am throwing this one in here because of its design. The spider man paint is the dream of any man. Let’s face it, we all want to get our superhero grooves on from time to time. There is no better product to do it with, than this pair of compression leggings made of 86% polyester and 14% recycled polyester. It is a soft, moisture wicking breathable fabric equipped with anti-odor technology. If you are looking for other compression leggings with a superhero look, you can find multiple ones on

Best compression leggings for women

Women’s Compression Pants – Best Full Leggings Tights for Running, Yoga, Gym by CompressionZ

These compression leggings are excellent for women. They improve blood circulation at the lower body, and they give plenty of support to the muscles with their great fit. It is designed to reduce muscle pain during physical activity, thus allowing to go on for longer. They are also excellent for night time recovery compression leggings. The product aids blood circulation, thus preventing muscle soreness from occurring the next day. The company offers 100% money back guarantee with no questions asked.

Active Research Women’s Compression Pants

Active research is a major player on the compression leggings market. It has been manufacturing leggings, trousers, socks, sleeves and other compression wearables for years. It has put all of its experience into designing this premium quality product. It has a breathable, moisture-free, antibacterial and anti-odor fabric. The fabric eliminates itching, and skin irritation, and it also prevents skin burn and blisters from occurring. It not only helps with muscle recovery, it also aids joint recovery. The increased circulation reduces inflammation and increases mobility. They offer a thirty day satisfaction guarantee. You just need to contact them and ask for a full refund on your product.

Prolific Health High Compression Women Pants Yoga Fitness Leggings

These are high compression pants, intended for those who experience severe pains during their workouts, or have been suffering from frequent muscle soreness. As a result of the high compression, they can feel a bit tight, but they were designed to be that way. It is a graduated compression product, which puts between 25 mm Hg and 10 mm Hg pressure not he muscles, depending on the area in question. The material is sweat wicking. It helps relieve the pain from muscle soreness and muscle stiffness. It drastically reduces the time it takes for muscles to recover. This pair of leggings comes in a  total of ten different colours.

90 Degree by Reflex Women’s Power Flex Yoga Pants

This product is a value choice, it is available for a lower price range. It comes in 32 different designs. I included this one in the list not only because of its excellent ratings on Amazon, but also because I think these are excellent products to include in your wardrobe if you are looking to add a few extra pairs of compression garments. Maybe you have a pair of running shoes, and you don’t have a pair of compression leggings that would go very well for them? This product is an excellent one to get for a cut price. Or if you just want to order one to see if compression socks are for you or not. You can do that for a very low price. The product is made of a mixture of nylon, spandex and polyester. This mixture removes the sweat from your body and lets it breathe – an integral combination during workouts. They are perfect for everyday use as well as use in a yoga class, running, or just in the gym. The fabric hugs the contour of your body perfectly, giving you a slim, nice look.

What are your experiences with compression pants? Which one of these is the best compression leggings in your opinion? Leave a comment below!

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