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Compression Tights

June 7, 2017

Do elastic compression tights improve running performance?

Transcript

Researchers at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center use motion detectors to measure how compression tights affect muscle vibration while running.

Researchers at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center use motion detectors to measure how compression tights affect muscle vibration while running. (Ohio State University)

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Do tights make you run faster and jump higher? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

When you run, each time your foot hits the ground, your muscles vibrate. Sports scientists have long believed that your body expends valuable energy stabilizing those vibrations, and recommended wearing tight compression shorts to keep muscles from jiggling. At the annual meeting of the American College of  Sports Medicine, Ohio State biomedical engineer Ajit Chaudhari and his team report on tests of athletes running on treadmills both with and without compression tights.

AJIT CHAUDHARI (Ohio State University):

The compression tights we used in the study significantly reduced muscle vibration, but that reduction in vibration was not associated with any improvement in performance or reduction in fatigue.

HIRSHON:

Chaudhari says feel free to keep wearing the tights if you like how they feel. Just don’t expect them to increase your endurance or improve your time.  I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon