Compression garment promotes muscular strength recovery after resistance exercise

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Dec;46(12):2265-70. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000359.


Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the effects of wearing a compression garment (CG) for 24 h on changes in muscular strength and blood parameters over time after resistance exercise.

Methods: Nine trained men conducted resistance exercises (10 repetitions of 3-5 sets at 70% of one-repetition maximum (1RM) for nine exercises) in two trials, wearing either a CG or a normal garment (CON) for 24 h after exercise. Recovery of muscular strength, blood parameters, muscle soreness, and upper arm and thigh circumference were compared between the trials.

Results: Both trials showed decreases in maximal strength after the exercise (P < 0.05). However, the CG trial showed faster recovery of one-repetition maximum for the chest press from 3 to 8 h after exercise (P < 0.05). Recovery of maximal knee extension strength was also improved in the CG trial 24 h after exercise (P < 0.05). The CG trial was associated with lower muscle soreness and subjective fatigue scores the following morning (P < 0.05). The upper arm and thigh circumferences were significantly higher during the recovery period in the CON trial, whereas no change was observed in the CG trial. Blood lactate, insulin like growth factor-1, free testosterone, myoglobin, creatine kinase, interleukin 6, and interleukin 1 receptor antagonist concentrations for 24 h after exercise were similar in both trials.

Conclusions: Wearing a CG after resistance exercise facilitates the recovery of muscular strength. Recovery for upper body muscles significantly improved within 3-8 h after exercise. However, facilitation of recovery of lower limb muscles by wearing the CG took a longer time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm / anatomy & histology
  • Arm / physiology*
  • Clothing*
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Myalgia / prevention & control
  • Myoglobin / blood
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1 / blood
  • Resistance Training*
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Thigh / anatomy & histology
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Interleukin-6
  • Myoglobin
  • Receptors, Interleukin-1
  • Lactic Acid
  • Testosterone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Creatine Kinase