In which training cycle period or under which circumstances should I use recovery boosting e.g. compression clothing?


First of all, I am not a professional athlete, just an amateur and an enthusiast of cycling. My main goal is to improve my ability to climb. My basic source of knowledge is TrainerRoad’s Ask a Cycling Coach Video Podcast Series and sometimes I try to dive deeper. I know that there is a lot of knowledge when it comes to the positive influence of compression clothing on recovery. And I also see the positive impact on myself. By using compression I recover faster, my DOMS
is less severe and lasts shorter, and I can train harder. It seems pretty cool, right? I was pretty happy about it until I realized some research stated one shouldn’t interfere with inflammation and recovery process because after doing so the adaptation is not optimal and we don’t get as much as we could from our training. So, where is the sweet spot? When exactly should we use compression clothes? Only during our starting season when the quicker recovery is more important? Maybe during recovery weeks when we execute our training program? Or maybe when we feel so much fatigued we can’t really finish our hard workouts (and if so, how to recognize such moments)?

Thanks in advance.

Best regards,


Here is the links to make an informed choice

  1. # Effects of Compression Tights on Recovery Parameters after Exercise Induced Muscle Damage: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Study


All 19 participants underwent their allocated treatment and passed through the project strictly according to the study protocol. MIES demonstrated significantly (p=0.003) lower overall reductions (155 N) after wearing compression tights. In parallel, lower extremity power significantly (p<0.001) varies between both conditions with lower reductions in favor of the compression condition. Of importance, full recovery for lower extremity muscle strength or power was still not reached 96 h postexercise.


Based on our results we recommend athletes wear compression tights for faster recovery, particularly after intense exercise with a pronounced eccentric aspect.

  1. Lower Limb Sports Compression Garments Improve Muscle Blood Flow and Exercise Performance During Repeated-Sprint Cycling

Evidence supporting the use of lower-limb compression garments during repeated-sprint exercise (RSE) with short rest periods, where performance will rely heavily on aerobic metabolism, is lacking.
A total of 20 recreationally active participants completed 2 cycling RSE sessions, with and without lower-limb compression tights. The RSE session consisted of 4 sets of 10 × 6-s maximal sprints on a wind-braked cycle ergometer, interspaced by 24 s of recovery between bouts and 2 min of recovery between sets. Muscle oxygen consumption ([Formula: see text]) of, and blood flow (mBF) to, the right vastus lateralis muscle was measured during exercise using near-infrared spectroscopy and venous/arterial occlusions of the right lower limb. Cycling performance, oxygen consumption ([Formula: see text]), heart rate, and capillary blood samples (lactate, pH, bicarbonate, and base excess) were also measured/taken throughout the session.


Wearing lower-limb compression tights during RSE with short intervals of rest improved cycling performance, vastus lateralis mBF, and heart rate. These results provide novel data to support the notion that lower-limb compression garments aid RSE performance, which may be related to local and/or central blood flow.

  1. Positive effect of lower body compression garments on subsequent 40-kM cycling time trial performance.


This study aimed to investigate the effect of wearing graduated compression garments during recovery on subsequent 40-km time trial performance. In a randomized single-blind crossover experiment, 14 trained multisport male athletes (mean ± SD: age 33.8 ± 6.8 years, 40-km time 66:11 ± 2:10 minutes:seconds) were given a graduated full-leg-length compressive garment (76% Meryl Elastane, 24% Lycra) or a similar-looking noncompressive placebo garment (92% Polyester, 8% Spandex) to wear continuously for 24 hours after performing an initial 40-km time trial in their normal cycling attire. After the 24-hour recovery period, the compression (or placebo) garments were removed, and a second 40-km time trial was then completed to gauge the effect of each garment on subsequent performance. One week later, the groups were reversed and testing procedures repeated. The participant’s hydration status, nutritional intake, and training were similar before each set of trials. Performance time in the second time trial was substantially improved with compression compared with placebo garments (1.2 ± 0.4%, mean ± 90% confidence interval). This improvement resulted in a substantially higher average power output after wearing the compression garment compared with that after wearing the placebo garment (3.3 ± 1.1%). Differences in oxygen cost and rating of perceived exertion between groups were trivial or unclear. The wearing of graduated compressive garments during recovery is likely to be worthwhile and unlikely to be harmful for well-trained endurance athletes.

1 Like

Regardless of whether it improves recovery or not, I use compression socks every day. I sit at a desk all day and get less lower leg swelling when wearing compression socks and, subjectively, it makes me feel better. That is good enough for me.