Best Compression Shorts for Women
When it comes to athletic performance, weight loss and generally getting in the shape of our lives, we often focus on what goes into our body - and rightly so. But what about what we put ON our body? Fortunately the garment manufacturers are on top of it - and the compression sports garment market is flourishing. In this article we focus specifically on compression shorts for women.
We’ll compare and review the top 5 pairs of compression shorts for women. In addition, we will discover why you should bother with compression shorts in the first place.
Find what you should look for when looking to buy compression shorts and examine the different types of compression shorts for women that are available.
Top 5 Compression Shorts for Women
Type of Women Compression Shorts
- Three-inch compression workout shorts
- Seven-inch compression workout shorts
- Crossfit Compression Shorts
- Plus Size Compression Shorts
- Compression Shorts for Running
- Padded Compression Shorts
What to look for in a Women’s Compression Short?
There are a large number of benefits to wearing compression shorts as detailed in the next section. However, none of them equate to much if the shorts are so tight that you feel overly constricted.That’s why your first consideration when looking for a new pair of compression shorts need to be the tightness of the fit. You need to find that sweet spot between optimum performance compression and uncomfortable restriction. The easiest way to find it is obviously to try a pair on. But you can only do that if you are in a bricks and mortar store. When you are shopping online you need to be guided by customer reviews and the compression guide listing.
A pair of compression shorts that has a listed compression of more than 20 mmHG is considered a high grade compression garment. Between 10 and 20 mmHG is thought to be medium compression. Many women find that compressions levels above 20 mmHG are too restrictive for them, but others have no problem with them.
If you are really stuck about whether or not to go with a pair that are rated at more than 20 mmHG you can always try a pair on in a bricks and mortar store and then buy online accordingly.
Compression shorts for women will almost always consist of a blend of two or more fabrics. Each fabric has its own properties. Here are the key things you need to know about the most popular fabrics used in compression shorts.
Polyester is not as thick as some of the other fabrics used, but it is the best choice if you are going to be spending a lot of time in the outdoors. As well as being water resistant, it will provide you with excellent UV ray protection.
Nylon is second only to neoprene in terms of durability. You will usually find it blended with lycra (spandex) in a 2 to 1 ratio.
This is very smooth fabric that feels great against the skin so is a good choice if you are problem to skin irritation.
Lycra, otherwise known as spandex, is found in most pairs of compression shorts to some degree. Its popularity stems from the fact that it is amazingly flexible without losing any of shape or functionality. As a result, it is mainly responsible for the form hugging fit of compression shorts.
Neoprene is the thickest and most durable of all compression short construction materials. It is also extremely lightweight. On the downside is the least breathable of any of the materials listed here. That is why it is usually paired with another fabric. It is resistant to water and sunlight.
Because of their tightness, compression shorts will get hotter and cause more sweat than conventional training shorts. As a result, it is important that the compression short that you select is able to effectively deal with this issue. It should have moisture wicking technology built in that allows for the quick wicking away of sweat. You should also look for a garment that has been treated with odor protection.
Benefits of Women’s Compression Shorts
Compression clothing is designed to increase blood flow and lymphatic activity to specific parts of the body. In the case of compression shorts these muscle groups are the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. Here are some specific benefits of wearing compression shorts during exercise or sports training and game play . . .
Compression is well known as an ingredient in post exercise or injury recovery. Scientists understand that when a muscle group is compressed, or tightened, blood flow activity is increased. This results in the faster transportation of blood and nutrients to the muscle group. At the same it will carry away waste products such as lactic acid more quickly from the muscle area.
A study that was published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research looked at athletes who had a 24 hour gap between two 40 km time trials. Those who wore compression shorts were able to recover faster and performed far better in the second time trial than another group who were given a placebo pair of shorts to wear.
Wearing compression shorts after your workout is also a good idea. The compression will speed up the blood flow of nutrients to get the amino acids that your muscles are crying out for into the cell as quickly as possible.
More Muscle Control
When you wear compression shorts, the muscles in your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings are more tightly controlled. This allows you to perform such exercises as squats and lunges with better form and greater efficiency.
A research project conducted by the Australian government found the following specific exercise related benefits of wearing compression shorts . . .
- Enhanced blood circulation
- Reduced blood lactate during peak exercise
- Increased skin temperature which enhances warm-up
- Increasing vertical jump height
- Improving repetitive jump power
- Reducing muscle oscillation upon ground contact
- Increasing torque generated about joints, improving performance and reducing the risk of injury,
- Enhancing recovery following strenuous exercise by aiding in the removal of blood lactate and improving subsequent exercise performance
- Reducing the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness in the days following strenuous exercise
- Increasing feelings of positive leg sensations both during and following strenuous exercise.
Research that was conducted by the Australian Institute of Sport revealed that athletes who wore compression garments had a 10.6 second improvement on their time over a 10km run compared to when they ran the distance wearing conventional shorts.
A 2013 meta analysis of more than 30 individual studies found that compression shorts were especially beneficial for improving the vertical leap of an athlete. That is why you see so many professional basketballers and volleyballers wearing compression shorts under their uniforms. The same meta analysis showed that compression clothing was also great for improving an athlete’s performance when moving explosively.
The compression clothing industry was in its infancy in 2001, when NBA bad boy Alan Iverson scored 51 points in a game while wearing a full length compression sleeve. That performance put compression garments on the map. It turned out that Iverson had bursitis of the elbow and the compression sleeve had done wonders in helping him to play through the injury.
Compression is the perfect way to treat swelling or reduced blood flow. It can help to control muscle cramps and restless leg syndrome as well as helping to alleviate lower body blood clotting and venous issues.
If you are exercising outdoors, then you need to think about protecting yourself from the Sun’s rays while you are exercising. Compression shorts, especially those made from polyester, offer a high degree of protection from the sun’s z UV rays. Some of the better brands offer sun protection of up to UPF50+.
The best pair of women’s compression shorts on the market are the Copper Compression Women’s Shorts, which are 88 percent copper infused nylon, delivering the benefits of both copper and compression. They also feature a high waistband and have moisture wicking properties.Our second favorite is the Nike Women’ 3 Inch Compression Short, with its polyester blend, triangular gusset and ability to remove sweat and odor. Rounding out our top three is the FITTIN Women’s Active Compression Shorts, which features a polyester, spandex band, has a right side pocket and is also moisture wicking.