It seems every big sports brand now offers some form of compression garment, along with a few smaller specialist companies who started out in this market. Its not exactly a new thing though, having been used in treatment by Doctors for many years previously. Its proven to improve circulation and increase blood flow which has to be a great thing for improving an athletes recovery and performance right? I think so, which is why I have tried various forms and brands over the last 8-9 years, looking for something which works for me, with extremely variable success.
Here’s a few of the claimed benefits-
· Improved venous return (the rate of blood flow back to the heart)
· Reduced muscle oscillation (vibration)
· Kinaesthesia (body awareness)
· Reduction in DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
· Improved posture, body shape and support
· Changes to blood flow
· Body moisture wicking
· Help to prevent swelling and deep vein thrombosis during long periods of travelling
I first tried some compression tops from one of the most well known brands out there, to try and improve performance whilst training for rock climbing. In all honesty the tops just felt like any other Lycra top, stretched horribly and were not actually comfortable in any way. I felt no benefits and quickly the tops got shoved in the draw, I still have them actually but never think I might use them. I have tried a pair of leggings from a different brand but found the same issues. For the last 2 years I have been using Compress-Sport products, which I have found do not stretch out and have been useful for recovery, I’ve practically lived in them between hard sessions and after races. I do believe they helped recovery but always found some drawbacks. I often had slightly cold feet whilst wearing them. However I could never use them during any exercise as my legs quickly went dead and I also suffered with soreness over joints where ligaments etc passed close to the skins surface. I tried the larger sizes but they did not fit over the muscles and were to long and slack in places.
The problem is they just do not fit quite right. Compression needs to be graduated, with less compression the closer you get to the heart and also in the correct place over the muscle group. If it isn’t you are never going to get the full benefits. It also needs to be at the optimal level, too much will lead to poorer circulation, too little and we are back to stretchy tops with no benefits. When you think about it, it’s clear the standard Small-XL sizing is just not going to provide this. The only solution for true performance has to be custom made and quality material choice for the garment is essential.
Enter Kurio Compress! http://www.kuriocompression.com/why-made-to-measure.php
So I was pretty excited when U.K based company Kurio Compression contacted me and asked if I would like to try a pair of there totally bespoke leggings. They are a driven and passionate team who clearly want to deliver the best possible product to help athletes improve performance and are leaving no stone unturned in order to accomplish this. After a long chat this became clear, they have researched every aspect of their product and this is ongoing. Just check out this link and the research they have had conducted on there own product and others in order to achieve this.
Pure attention to detail! I had 34 measurements taken of my legs and after a week or so 2 pairs of leggings, one for recovery and one for training arrived. Being U.K based for design and production certainly has its advantages, I did not expect it to be that quick!
Unboxing the leggings are well packed and come with a letter with care instructions etc, hand signed which I thought was a very nice touch and shows the care and attention to detail taken to produce them.
I am now living in these and have to say I am initially blown away with the performance. Perfect fit, no more cold feet in the recovery tights and my legs just feel slightly warm whilst wearing them, a good sign of increased blood flow. Recovery has been excellent and I have suffered no DOMS after wearing the tights, plus my legs feel fresher going into the next session. I also wore them on the flight for a recent trip to race in
I will post an update once they have had a good thrashing! Be cool to hear what people think about compression and Kurio.