Graded Compression Garments Worn During Resistance Exercise: Impact on Muscle Damage, Fatigue, and Oxygenation in Untrained Individuals

Joshua A. Cotter, Makenzie R. Stade, Bria G. Morse, Evan E. Schick


Background: Use of compression garments during and after exercise has gained notable popularity, yet their utility in augmenting performance and recovery from resistance exercise remains elusive. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of wearing compression garments during resistance exercise on exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD), muscle fatigue and muscle oxygenation. Methods: Ten healthy, untrained individuals (8 females, 2 males, 22.10 ± 2.23 years, 159.09 ± 3.47 cm, 66.22 ±15.93 kg; mean ± SD) performed two exercise trials in a randomized crossover (within-subject) design: 1) with compression garments worn on the legs and 2) without compression. Exercise trials were randomized and separated by seven days. Participants performed 12 sets of 10 maximal repetitions of knee extension, at a velocity of 120 degrees per second, in the CON/ECC mode of a HUMAC NORM isokinetic dynamometer. Muscle oxygenation of the vastus medialis oblique was assessed using time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy (TRS-21, Hamamatsu). Leg circumference, ratings of perceived muscle soreness (RPMS) and blood samples for creatine kinase (CK) were collected before, immediately after, and 24, 48 and 72 hours after exercise. Results: Total hemoglobin (p = 0.021) and deoxyhemoglobin (p <0.001) were significantly reduced by 8.6% and 9.2% respectively with compression compared to control. No significant differences were found in oxyhemoglobin, oxygen saturation, muscle fatigue, leg circumference, RPMS and CK (p = 0.0791) between conditions. Conclusions: Although lower body compression worn during resistance exercise reduced total hemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin, there was no impact on muscle fatigue, RPMS, leg circumference or CK.


Creatine Kinase, Isokinetic Dynamometry, Muscle Fatigue, Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared, Resistance Training, Hemodynamics

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