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Team USA Don Compression Tights in Sochi

Compression Technology SochiThe fever of the Winter Olympics has taken hold and with the able bodied competition finishing just last week watched by millions all over the world, the Winter Paralympic games have brought about a renewed sense of excitement and anticipation.

With avid winter sports fans speculating as to who will bring home the gold, new technology involving compression garments has been broadcast to be a key factor in increasing the chances of winning medals. It would seem compression technology has made quite an impact in Sochi…

How did compression garments make the news?

The USA Speedskating team failed to take home any medals in the first part of the games despite being the hot favourites and made a quick decision to revert back to an older design of uniform mid-competition. The newer uniforms used in the speedskating competition included air vents which were intended to dump excess air and increase speed but actually had the opposite effect and caused drag instead. Although the main power lies with the men and women competing in these events, the fabric and design of their uniform is incredibly important in increasing speed and aerodynamics.

How has compression technology been used?

Compression tights have long been used by sportsmen to help with ailments such as aches and pains and stretched or torn muscles. However, Team USA and uniform designer Under Armour used compression technology and incorporated it into uniforms so sportsmen and women got the physiological benefit of compression tights whilst competing. The suits designed for Team USA combined aerodynamics, compression, fluid dynamics, human physiology and biomechanics to form a complete suit which targeted every part of the body used in competition. This meant that more power was held in the muscles, optimising the function of the competitor’s body when it was under pressure.

What does the future hold for compression garments in sport?

Compression tights and other support garments will always be used to help with injuries that can occur when practising sport on a regular basis, but incorporating them into the uniforms worn when taking part in sport is a new idea that has now been adopted by a range of top-level sports, not just speedskating. Any sports that require their competitors to wear skin tight uniforms, such as cycling and swimming for example, have certainly benefitted from the added musclular and tissue support given by compression technology. You may remember at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in fact that the technology was so impressive 70 world records were broken in the pool and this new type of swimsuit was banned

It appears as though the future of sport uniform design will incorporate more compression and support technology to allow sports men and women to perform better for longer – the winter olympics has been the perfect advert for the benefits of compression!

If you're looking to improve recovery times after exercise, see how our sports compression socks could help you.

* Image taken from http://www.technewsworld.com/story/79942.html

Susie Thickpenny find me on Google+.

7th March, 2014