This study compared the effects of compression garments on recovery of evoked and voluntary performance following fatiguing exercise. Eleven participants performed 2 sessions separated by 7 days, with and without lower-body compression garments during and 24h post-exercise. Participants performed a 10-min exercise protocol of a 20-m sprint and 10 plyometric bounds every minute. Before, following, 2h and 24h post-exercise, evoked twitch properties of the knee extensors, peak concentric knee extension and flexion force were assessed, with blood samples drawn to measure lactate [La(-)], pH, creatine kinase (CK), aspartate transaminase (AST) and c-reactive protein (C-RP). Heart rate, exertion (RPE) and muscle soreness (MS) measures were obtained pre- and post-exercise. No differences (P=0.50-0.80) and small effect sizes (d<0.3) were present for 20-m sprint (3.59+/-0.22 vs. 3.59+/-0.18s) or bounding performance (17.13+/-1.4 vs. 17.21+/-1.7 m) in garment and control conditions. The decline and recovery in concentric force were not different (P=0.40) between conditions. Full recovery of voluntary performance was observed 2h post-exercise, however, evoked twitch properties remained suppressed 2h post-exercise in both conditions. No differences (P=0.40-0.80, d<0.3) were present between conditions for heart rate, RPE, [La(-)], pH, CK or C-RP. However, 24h post-exercise a smaller change (P=0.08; d=2.5) in AST (23.1+/-3.1 vs. 26.0+/-4.0) and reduced (P=0.01; d=1.1) MS (2.8+/-1.2 vs. 4.5+/-1.4) were present in the garments. In conclusion the effects of compression garments on voluntary performance and recovery were minimal; however, reduced levels of perceived MS were reported following recovery in the garments.
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