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The use of compression clothing such as elastic shorts, full-length tights and knee-high socks has become more common among weight trainers, serious athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The increased use of compression clothing is likely due to accumulating scientific evidence showing enhanced exercise performance1,2 and muscle recovery3,4 when using compression garments.

Enhanced Blood Flow and Muscular Endurance

While initial studies investigating the use of compression garments for medical purposes showed a reduction in blood clot formation within the veins of postoperative patients that were prone to clot formation due to inactivity from being bedridden, these patients also demonstrated an increase in venous blood flow within their lower extremities. The increased blood flow led scientists to believe that compression garments could also improve exercise performance, as increased blood flow would bring more essential nutrients and oxygen to laboring muscles while simultaneously removing metabolic waste, which would collectively enhance muscular performance during exercise.

Well, it turns out that several studies have demonstrated the positive influence of compression garments on blood flow, and that the use of compression garments does improve muscular endurance, especially during maximal-intensity endurance training.5,6,7 For example, one study in particular8 examined the effect of wearing waist-to-ankle compression garments on active recovery after high-intensity treadmill running, with one training session incorporating the use of compression garments and a second session having each test subject exercising in regular running shorts. After each training session, blood samples were collected to determine levels of the metabolic byproduct lactate in the blood, and heart rates were also measured. The results of this study indicate that wearing compression garments augments the active recovery process by reducing lactic acid levels and lowering heart rate after high-intensity training.

Boost Strength and Power Output

The positive influence of compression garments doesn’t simply stop with enhanced endurance, as maximal strength and power can also be improved with the use of compression clothing.2 This effect likely stems from the rather unique capacity of compression garments to improve overall body movement and joint mechanics by enhancing a process known as proprioception, which is essentially the ability of the central nervous system to perceive body position and movement.4,9 Proprioception is a highly advanced system regulated by a variety of neural pathways coming from receptors in the skin, muscle and ligaments.2,3,10 The enhanced proprioception believed to be triggered by compression garments is mediated by receptors in the skin, known as mechanoreceptors, which are activated by the tension created from the compression garment. Greater activation of these mechanoreceptors increases feedback signals to the central nervous system11, which fine-tunes the perception of body and joint motion, ultimately improving proprioception.12,13 The enhanced proprioception likely improves control of all proprioceptors within this system, including those within muscle tissue that have the ability to increase muscle cell activation and muscle fiber recruitment, which should improve muscular strength and power.

While studies14 have reported mixed results regarding gains in strength when using compression clothing, a review of the literature by Born et al.15 revealed several positive results associated with the use of compression clothing in specific types of strength and power displays, such as sprint performance and vertical jumping. As a matter of fact, improvement in short sprints separated by short recovery periods was shown to rely heavily on several different metabolic and neuronal factors that enhanced muscle activation and muscle fiber-recruitment strategies16, indicating that improved proprioception, caused by the use of compression garments, played a significant role in improving sprint performance.

Improved Muscle Recovery

Weight training can induce muscle damage, especially when performing new training regimens or movements involving a lot of eccentric muscular contraction.17 The resulting muscle soreness is accompanied by a feeling of stiffness within the exercised muscle groups18 as well as a loss of strength and range of movement, also within the trained muscle groups.19,20 Some have claimed that compression garments can attenuate the negative symptoms associated with muscle damage by providing mechanical support to the injured muscle tissue, thus lowering the requirement for activity of the damaged muscle tissue, which will most certainly speed up the healing process.21

In fact, research has clearly shown that wearing compression sleeves for several days, following a muscle-damaging training session, does actually lead to a more rapid reduction in blood concentrations of the muscle damage marker creatine kinase, indicating a greater rate of recovery. Reductions in muscle soreness and decreased range of motion have also been observed when using compression garments, further indicating a greater rate of muscle recuperation.21

The squeezing effect from compression garments has also been shown to minimize swelling of the damaged muscle tissue by increasing the flow of lymph fluid from the lymphatic system, in a process known as lymphatic outflow. Since some of the swelling that occurs in muscle tissue is due to an increased pooling of lymph fluid within the muscle, the increased efflux of lymph from the muscle tissue caused by compression garments reduces post-exercise muscle swelling and pain.21 In fact, one study in particular looked at the effect of compression clothing, showing that reductions in muscle swelling when using compression clothing 24 to 48 hours after exercise was complete.14 Moreover, this reduction in swelling corresponded to improved recovery of muscular strength and power.

Enhanced Performance

In conclusion, it is pretty clear that compression clothing can enhance performance, especially while engaging in short bursts of high-intensity exercise such as repeated sprinting and jumping. This is likely because this form of anaerobic work generates high amounts of lactic acid, which reduces muscular function – and compression garments effectively remove lactic acid from muscle tissue, ultimately promoting a longer duration of muscular function. Additional benefits of compression clothing use also involves a greater rate of muscle recuperation stemming from the capacity of compression garments to reduce levels of muscle damage, swelling and soreness, resulting in greater recovery rates. Moreover, the improved recovery seems to be most pronounced when compression is applied for as long as one to two days after engaging in damage-inducing exercise to the muscle.

For most of Michael Rudolph’s career he has been engrossed in the exercise world as either an athlete (he played college football at Hofstra University), personal trainer or as a research scientist (he earned a B.Sc. in Exercise Science at Hofstra University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Stony Brook University). After earning his Ph.D., Michael investigated the molecular biology of exercise as a fellow at Harvard Medical School and Columbia University for over eight years. That research contributed seminally to understanding the function of the incredibly important cellular energy sensor AMPK – leading to numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals including the journal Nature. Michael is currently a scientist working at the New York Structural Biology Center doing contract work for the Department of Defense on a project involving national security. 


1. Bringard A, Perrey S and Belluy, N. Aerobic energy cost and sensation responses during submaximal running exercise – positive effects of wearing compression tights. Int J Sports Med 2006;27, 373-378.

2. Doan BK, Kwon YH, et al. Evaluation of a lower-body compression garment. J Sports Sci 2003;21, 601-610.

3. Gill ND, Beaven CM and Cook C. Effectiveness of post-match recovery strategies in rugby players. Br J Sports Med 2006;40, 260-263.

4. Kraemer WJ, Flanagan SD, et al. Effects of a whole body compression garment on markers of recovery after a heavy resistance workout in men and women. J Strength Cond Res 2010;24, 804-814.

5. Ali A, Caine MP and Snow BG. Graduated compression stockings: physiological and perceptual responses during and after exercise. J Sports Sci 2007;25, 413-419.

6. Berry MJ and McMurray RG. Effects of graduated compression stockings on blood lactate following an exhaustive bout of exercise. Am J Phys Med 1987;66, 121-132.

7. Ali A, Creasy RH and Edge JA. The effect of graduated compression stockings on running performance. J Strength Cond Res 2011;25, 1385-1392.

8. Lovell DI, Mason DG, et al. Do compression garments enhance the active recovery process after high-intensity running? J Strength Cond Res 2011;25, 3264-3268.

9. Silver T, Fortenbaugh D and Williams R. Effects of the bench shirt on sagittal bar path. J Strength Cond Res 2009;23, 1125-1128.

10. Duffield R and Portus M. Comparison of three types of full-body compression garments on throwing and repeat-sprint performance in cricket players. Br J Sports Med 2007;41, 409-414; discussion 414.

11. Perlau R, Frank C and Fick G. The effect of elastic bandages on human knee proprioception in the uninjured population. Am J Sports Med 1995;23, 251-255.

12. Barrack RL, Skinner HB and Buckley SL. Proprioception in the anterior cruciate deficient knee. Am J Sports Med 1989;17, 1-6.

13. Kuster MS, Grob K, et al. The benefits of wearing a compression sleeve after ACL reconstruction. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999;31, 368-371.

14. MacRae BA, Cotter JD and Laing RM. Compression garments and exercise: garment considerations, physiology and performance. Sports Med 2011;41, 815-843.

15. Born DP, Sperlich B and Holmberg HC. Bringing light into the dark: effects of compression clothing on performance and recovery. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2013;8, 4-18.

16. Bishop D, Girard O and Mendez-Villanueva A. Repeated-sprint ability – part II: recommendations for training. Sports Med 2011;41, 741-756.

17. Armstrong RB. Initial events in exercise-induced muscular injury. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1990;22, 429-435.

18. Howell JN, Chleboun G and Conatser R. Muscle stiffness, strength loss, swelling and soreness following exercise-induced injury in humans. J Physiol 1993;464, 183-196.

19. Nikolaidis MG, Jamurtas AZ, et al. The effect of muscle-damaging exercise on blood and skeletal muscle oxidative stress: magnitude and time-course considerations. Sports Med 2008;38, 579-606.

20. Nosaka K and Clarkson PM. Changes in indicators of inflammation after eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1996;28, 953-961.

21. Kraemer WJ, Bush JA, et al. Influence of compression therapy on symptoms following soft tissue injury from maximal eccentric exercise. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2001;31, 282-290.

 Ron Harris is pictured wearing compression garments.

The post Better Workouts With Compression Garments appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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By: Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D.
Title: Better Workouts With Compression Garments
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Published Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2020 15:47:34 +0000

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Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs



Powerful and thick thighs require gut-busting exercises like squats and leg presses. However, once you have acquired adequate thigh mass and strength, you should consider adding some balance and sharpness to the muscle bellies in your thighs. Although tough to accomplish, leg extensions provide a great way to carve the separations between the muscle bellies, and to accentuate the “teardrop” shape of the four quadriceps muscles of the anterior thigh.

Active Muscles in Leg Extensions

The three vasti muscles comprise most of the anterior thigh.1 The vastus medialis covers the medial (inner) part of the femur bone (thigh bone). When it is well developed, it forms a teardrop-like shape over the medial side of the knee joint. The vastus lateralis muscle attaches to the lateral (outer) part of the femur bone. The vastus intermedius connects to the femur bone between the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis muscles. The fibers of all three vasti muscles come together at the quadriceps tendon, which crosses the patella (kneecap) to attach to the tibia bone just below the knee.1

Together, the three vasti muscles extend the leg at the knee joint, although the vastus intermedius may be more fatigue resistant than the vastus lateralis.2 The vastus medialis oblique (VMO), which is a small part of the vastus medialis muscle, attaches to the medial part of the patella. It is thought to help the patella track properly during movement of the knee. Improper tracking can increase the likelihood for knee injury.

The vastus medialis and especially the VMO part of this muscle are primarily responsible for tibial rotation (rotation of the tibia bone of the lower leg on the femur) during knee extension. This rotation or “twist” has been shown to increase the activation of the VMO portion of the vastus lateralis even more than doing knee extensions with the hip adducted (thigh rotated so that the medial portion of the knee is facing mostly upwards).3 Dorsiflexion of the foot (moving the ankles so the toes are pointing towards your head) also increases the activation of the VMO by more than 20 percent.4 Likely this is because the dorsiflexor muscles stabilize the tibia during knee flexion and resist rotation of the tibia on the femur as the knee straightens.

The fourth muscle of the quadriceps group is the rectus femoris muscle. It attaches to the anterior part of the hip bone just above the hip joint.1 The largest bulk of the muscle fibers are located on the upper three-quarters of the thigh, whereas the largest belly of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis are more inferior (i.e., closer to the knee). The distal end of the rectus femoris muscle becomes tendinous and it creates a deep valley between the lateral and medial vastus muscles as it approaches the knee.1 It assists the other quadriceps muscles by extending the leg at the knee joint, although it is less effective when the hip is flexed than if it is straight.

Leg Extensions

The three vastus muscles of the anterior thigh are strongly activated by single-leg knee extensions. The rectus femoris is not activated as strongly, but it does undergo some overload when the anterior thigh is under contractile effort, about halfway up to the top of each repetition.

1. You should always warm up your knees with some stationary cycling prior to getting into leg extensions. Furthermore, the resistance on your first set should be fairly light to allow the joint to fully warm up before you get to the heavier stuff.

2. Adjust the knee extension machine so that the pivot point of the lifting arm is directly adjacent to the center of the side of your knee joint.

3. Position the ankle roller/leg pad over the lower part of the leg (above the ankle joint).

4. Take about three seconds to slowly extend (straighten) both leg so that the weight is lifted upward from the stack.

5. Continue upwards until the tibia and the femur bones form a straight line and the knee angle is straight. Hold this for two seconds at the top.

6. Slowly lower the weight (about four seconds down) towards the starting position. Once the knee has reached 90 degrees, start the upwards extension phase again. Continue for 12-15 repetitions for the first set. Lower the number of repetitions but increase the resistance for subsequent sets.

7. On the next sets, lift the weight upwards until the knee joint becomes almost straight, but just slightly short of a total knee lockout. Be careful that you do not “jam” the knee joint into a fully locked out position, because this could cause knee cartilage damage5, especially with heavy weights. Hold the top position for a count of three before lowering the weight.

8. Lower the weight slowly (four to five seconds) towards the starting position where your knee is flexed to 90 degrees. Just before the weight stack contacts the remaining plates at the bottom, start lifting it upward for the next repetition.

The downward movement should be slower than the upward phase because you are resisting the pull of gravity. The slow lowering of the weight stretches the muscle under a resistance and this is a great stimulus to improve muscle shape and size.6

Make sure that you do not hold your breath during the lift upwards.7 Rather take a breath at the bottom (start) of the lift, and exhale as you extend the knees/legs. Take another breath at the top and slowly exhale as the weight is lowered. Take another breath at the bottom and repeat the sequence.

This is a mechanically simply exercise, but it really can be very challenging and blood depriving8,9, especially if you try to control the weight as it is moving up and down. However, if you are willing to work through some discomfort, you will be soon enjoying your new shape and slabs of carved thighs.

GettyImages 674163248 600


1. Moore K.L. Clinically Orientated Anatomy. Third Edition. Williams & Willkins, Baltimore, 1995; pp 373-500.

2. Watanabe K, Akima H. Neuromuscular activation of vastus intermedius muscle during fatiguing exercise. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2010;20:661-666.

3. Stoutenberg M, Pluchino AP, Ma F et al. The impact of foot position on electromyographical activity of the superficial quadriceps muscles during leg extension. J Strength Cond Res 2005;19:931-938.

4. Coburn JW, Housh TJ, Cramer JT et al. Mechanomyographic and electromyographic responses of the vastus medialis muscle during isometric and concentric muscle actions. J Strength Cond Res 2005; 19:412-420.

5. Senter C, Hame SL. Biomechanical analysis of tibial torque and knee flexion angle: implications for understanding knee injury. Sports Med 2006;36:635-641.

6. Alway SE, Winchester PK, Davis ME et al. Regionalized adaptations and muscle fiber proliferation in stretch- induced enlargement. J Appl Physiol 1989;66:771-781.

7. Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011;43:1334-1359.

8. Denis R, Bringard A, Perrey S. Vastus lateralis oxygenation dynamics during maximal fatiguing concentric and eccentric isokinetic muscle actions. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2011;21:276-282.

9. Ueda C, Kagaya A. Muscle reoxygenation difference between superficial and deep regions of the muscles during static knee extension. Adv Exp Med Biol 2010;662:329-334.

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By: Stephen E. Alway, Ph.D., FACSM
Title: Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs
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Published Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2022 19:11:16 +0000

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PRIMAL Preworkout



Training hard and intensely is the only way to train – you can’t step into the gym in low gear or
asleep at the switch and expect results. To get the most out of every training session with no
compromises, you need a pre-workout that will power your performance and enable you to crush
it every time you train. Bottom line, you need to maximize your workouts by pushing yourself to
your limits and that’s what Animal’s PRIMAL Preworkout delivers.

A Better Pump

PRIMAL is Animal’s most comprehensive pre-workout supplement ever, and is scientifically
designed for the advanced, hard trainer. Animal worked tirelessly to find the right combination of
ingredients that could be worthy of the Animal name. First on the agenda was giving you a better
pump, which is why PRIMAL Preworkout is empowered with the breakthrough, patented
3DPump-Breakthrough ® . Not only does it increase nitric oxide for the valued “pump,” but it also
helps increase exercise capacity and endurance and helps optimize vascular endothelial function,
aka vascularity.†

Other key benefits of PRIMAL come from four scientifically formulated blends that work in tandem
to deliver the ultimate pre-workout:

• Endurance & Performance Complex so you can train longer and harder. Beta-alanine,
betaine and taurine are combined as a powerful endurance trio†. Beta-alanine is a vital ingredient
used to combat the urge to quit.

• Focus & Intensity Complex helps you keep your head in the iron game so you train hard and
maintain focus. Includes the amino acid tyrosine, which is involved in neurotransmitter production;
Huperzine A for brain health; and choline bitartrate, which supports energy metabolism and helps
the brain send messages for improved mental endurance and focus†.

This blend is completed with the patented Teacrine ® . Among its many benefits includes increases
in energy without the jittery feeling, increases in motivation to accomplish tasks, mental energy
and decreases in feeling of fatigue†.

• Quick and Sustained Energy Complex is the energy core of PRIMAL Preworkout . It is
powered by a combination of tried-and-true caffeine, along with an herbal complex of green tea,
coffee bean extract and guarana†.

• Electrolyte Complex to support muscle hydration and help get you through those intense
training sessions – because proper hydration is key for maximal performance. PRIMAL
Preworkout tops it off with a combination of AstraGin ® to support nutrient uptake and Senactiv,
which helps the production of citrate synthase, an important enzyme that is responsible for
producing more ATP†.

How to Use PRIMAL
30 minutes prior to training, consume 2 rounded scoops (20.3g) with 8-12 oz of water or your
favorite beverage. Users that are sensitive to stimulants should start off with 1 rounded scoop
(10.1g) to assess tolerance.

PRIMAL Preworkout

• Enhances energy and endurance†
• Supports muscle hydration†
• Supports intense focus†
• Contains AstraGin ® to support nutrient uptake†
• Contains Senactiv ® which helps the production of citrate synthase, an important enzyme that is
responsible for producing more ATP†
• Absorption and nutrient enhancers
• Great tasting, easy to mix

PRIMAL is a pre-workout that will power your performance and enable you to crush it every time you train.

For additional information, visit
†These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This product is not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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By: Team FitRx
Title: PRIMAL Preworkout
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Published Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2022 16:51:41 +0000

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