Whether you’re training for an upcoming season or maintaining your fitness between games, running can be fundamental to keeping up a good level of cardio endurance. If you are running as part of your conditioning routine, you might want to give leggings a try – specifically compression leggings. Here’s why:
Leggings are good for running and playing field hockey for several reasons, such as:
- Increased blood flow to muscles
- Reduction in injury
- Reduced Swelling
- Faster Recovery Time
- Added Comfort
- They Are Fashionable
As you can tell, you can get a lot of benefits from a simple pair of tight leggings. It’s sort of like putting on a second skin that helps to take some of the workload off your body. Actually, it’s exactly like that.
While they certainly aren’t a secret weapon to getting in shape, or maintaining it, leggings are an easy addition to your kit and well worth the investment. Let’s take a closer look at what makes leggings a great choice for more than just running.
Why You Should Be Wearing Leggings
The first thing one may notice when donning a pair of leggings is that they really do compress. They are tight, and that’s the point. When you put on compression leggings it reduces the jiggle that is a result of impactful movement. While this is a nice aesthetic bonus, it is also doing some important work.
By reducing the natural sway of your body, you are freeing up metabolic energy that can be better put to use in other areas of your body. And it isn’t just as simple as that, here, we’ll break down the different benefits of leggings.
We are focusing on the benefits you get from running. Compression leggings really shine during aerobic training methods, like running. You just aren’t going to see the same benefits necessarily when looking at lifting and strength training. Besides, that’s not what this article is about anyway. Now, what makes leggings popular with athletes today?
They Help Your Muscles Work
When you run on any surface, whether hard or soft, you are causing your body to vibrate. Especially if you are doing speed drills that involve faster, harder impacts or sharp turnarounds.
When you wear tight leggings or any type of compression gear, it helps to reduce those vibrations by holding everything tighter together. This makes it easier for your muscles to go through their metabolic processes, spending less energy on fighting that vibration.
Not only do leggings cut down on vibration but they help to increase blood flow to the legs and in turn the rest of your body by cutting down on the taxing effects of exercise. WIth compression against the musculature of your leg’s blood pressure is increased by a small amount, which in turn lets your heart get away with working a little less to pump that blood back into your muscles.
They Can Protect Against Injury
Lactic acid builds up in our muscles during strenuous workouts, and that is when we feel that intense burning sensation that forces us to take a breather. Or even sometimes take a knee. Wearing compression gear can help our bodies work better when performing dynamic exercises like sprinting or drills.
This means we can exercise better and longer without feeling “the burn.” Not only is this good for training, as well as playing, but it can help us stave off injury by overworking your muscles.
Additionally, leggings can help with flexibility issues. They won’t allow you to instantly do the splits. But, because of the added compression to the joints and musculature of your legs, you can move a bit more freely, and feel more strength in stretching. By adding support you are less likely to succumb to an annoying injury from movement on the field.
Leggings Can Fight Swelling
Swelling can be a problem, especially in the ankles and lower legs, of anyone that runs. And we all know that dealing with the pain of swelling can really cut down on training and playing. By aiding in blood flow, reducing lactic acid build-up, and controlling vibrations, leggings can also cut down on swelling that occurs after your workout.
So, not only do they help during exercise they can help speed up your recovery afterward as well. The less swelling that your body has to tolerate the more resources it can use on better things, like building muscle, endurance, and recovery.
You Can Recover Faster
Again, it’s all about pressure. Compression and blood pressure. Leggings can use these aspects to decrease your recovery time between runs, training sessions, and game days.
By increasing the blood flow to your muscles by increasing the blood pressures involved, your body is better able to go through the processes that repair the tissues torn during exercise.
With the added benefits of lower swelling, fewer injuries, and less overall exertion, this can be a benefit to the athlete and the non-athlete alike.
The advantages of wearing compression leggings go on even after you’ve finished your run. By reducing the negative impact of your exercise, you get to spend more time with the benefits you receive from doing the work.
We Can’t Forget Comfort
Here is one of the physiological advantages of wearing leggings for running. This even helps on game day or in the gym. Leggings can help you to feel more comfortable. Sometimes your inner thighs can just not stay away from each other.
Forget about injuries related to training for a moment. When you are dealing with a grade A chafing situation you are not going to be on your best game. Leggings can help to manage this by cutting the jiggle and adding a barrier of synthetic material to help with friction and discomfort.
And thanks to the breathable materials available they’re going to help you stay dry on and after a run. Sports, exercise, training, running…they can all focus a bit much on “no pain, no gain.” Mindsets. But, when you are more comfortable, you are going to be able to run farther, train harder, and play your best. Pretty good for a pair of pants huh?
Looking Good On And Off The Field
At the end of the list, is fashion. There aren’t any direct physiological benefits to looking fresh on the field, but looking good certainly doesn’t have any downsides. Besides, you’ve worked hard for that body, shouldn’t you show it off a little bit? Sneakily show the results of those deadlifts. Slyly display the results of weeks of hill sprints. Turn some heads on your 5k.
Not only are leggings a handy tool for increasing performance, but they are also a brilliant accessory for your wardrobe.
Are Leggings Worth It?
Yes – yes they are. For running, sprinting, jogging and any manner of dynamic training, leggings are an article of clothing worth owning. For a small investment, you get a load of benefits that can help you run for longer and get in more of a workout when you do put on your trainers.
Leggings aren’t going to give you the same benefits when strength training and weightlifting, but when it comes to running the benefits are well worth it. The added comfort allows us to stay on the field longer and allows us better control of our willpower. And, lastly, let us not forget that that looking good while off for a run, is just about as important as training recovery times.
In running, the shoes you wear are everything. You could have the most endurance and stamina in the world, yet if your feet are sore from ill-fitting shoes, your performance will be negatively affected. Choosing your running shoes should not be a decision made lightly then. Instead, you want to take your time and do your research. What should you look for in the perfect running shoe?
You’ve recently decided to take up running. You love the freedom you feel when you’ve hit your stride, not to mention how fit running is making you. It’s your goal to participate in a race sooner than later, and you’ve already started preparing. A running buddy of yours suggested you buy some running socks as part of your training, but you’re not so sure. Are running socks worth it?