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July 31, 2011 7:03 AM   Subscribe

Aside from preventing chafing, what are the benefits of compression shorts for running? Are there drawbacks?

When I first got into running about 1-2 years ago, I bought compression shorts to help with chafing issues. They work great for that and I've been very pleased. There have been a few times where I've ended up running without them, and chafing issues aside, there was a different feel to running. Thighs/butt jiggled more, which seems pretty obvious, but for some reason that made it feel more difficult. I recently got a running skirt, and that takes care of the chafing issue, although the shorts under the skirt don't have the compression that my regular compression shorts do, so I still feel a bit of increased difficulty running in the skirt compared to the compression shorts.

Is one option better for me? Do compression shorts do something to make a run easier, which means that my body is doing less work and I'm sort of cheating? Or is the perceived difficulty just psychological?
posted by Terriniski to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Compression clothes help keep muscles warm and supported to prevent muscle injury. I wouldn't say you are doing some huge difference. I use compression sleeves for my shin splints, not while I run, but afterwards. It does help with my recovery. So, no - not just psychological or cheating.
posted by quodlibet at 7:38 AM on July 31, 2011

Hmm, my experience with compression shorts is that things jiggle less, and that makes running more comfortable. So this may just be a YMMV kind of question.
posted by cmgonzalez at 7:54 AM on July 31, 2011

CM, that's what the OP said--without the compression shorts, things jiggled more.
posted by bluedaisy at 9:19 AM on July 31, 2011

I have used compression socks for triathlon.

AFAIK, compression shorts are supposed to aid in faster recovery, so that you can go out and train again hard, sooner than without the shorts.

You don't go any faster while wearing them, and they won't help you compete that day, but you will in theory compete better the next day, than you would have if you had not used them.

It seems like there is astudy or two that seems to confirm this.
posted by crawltopslow at 4:42 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

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