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Sure it might make you look like Peter Pan in the gym, but if basketball players like Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant are sporting these lower-body tights underneath their shorts, then they must be doing something right.

There are multiple benefits of wearing compression clothing: they can improve your recovery time, limit the muscle damage and inflammation that results from strenuous exercise, and may even improve your performance. The pressure placed on muscle tissue by the compression clothing also reduces inflammation and causes reflexive dilation of the small blood vessels, which improves blood flow to the heart. This increased blood flow also brings more oxygen to your muscles in the form of fresh blood, which helps speed recovery. A German study which observed moderately trained runners wearing compression stockings found that their running duration jumped 4 percent while maximum speed increased by 2 percent. Sure it sounds insignificant, but in running, every percent counts.

Of course, we’re not saying you need to wear compressions tights for underneath your office gear. But you would probably speed up muscle recovery if you wear the compression gear only while you train. So if you fall under the runners, cyclists, or swimmers category, you should probably invest in full lower body compression leggings for maximum benefit. As for the fit, it should be snug yet remain comfortable throughout your workout.

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