The effects of wearing whole body compression garments (Skins™) on running economy
University of Wales
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Background: In the current competitive sporting world compression garments are being suggested to improve athletic performance. There have been several mechanisms noted to why compression garments may enhance performance ranging from, increased blood circulation, oxygen delivery and utilization, reduced VO₂ slow component and muscle oscillation and proprioception. Aim: The aim of this study is to observe the effects of whole body compression garments (WBCG) upon running economy Participants: (n = 8) Male athletes (Mean ± SD) age: 21± 0.9 (yr); height: 179.7 ± 3.5(cm) body mass: 80.6 ± 8.2 (kg); VO2max: 53.9 ± 3.5 (kg/ml/min) volunteered to participate in the current study. The participants were recruited from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff’s (UWIC) sports teams. Design: A cross sectional designed study Methods: Two sub-maximal tests at 50% and 80% of the participants VO₂ max were completed with and without WBCG. During these tests, breath by breath gas analysis, heart rate and rate of perceived exertion were taken. All tests were performed in the Exercise Physiology and Kinanthropometry Laboratory at The University of Wales, Institute Cardiff Results: No significant difference was found in either oxygen consumption or the slow component. However a significant difference was found in heart rate and rate of perceived exertion. Conclusion: Wearing WBCG does not have a significant effect upon running economy. It was show that there may have been a slight improvement in the slow component but no significant data was observed. However WBCG do influence a decrease in heart rate and a perceived belief that they make the exercise easier.
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