The effects of wearing lower-body compression garments during endurance cycling

Aaron T. Scanlan, Benjamin J. Dascombe, Peter R J Reaburn, Mark Osborne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The present investigation examined the physiological and performance effects of lower-body compression garments (LBCG) during a one-hour cycling time-trial in. well-trained cyclists. Methods: Twelve well-trained male cyclists ([mean ± SD] age: 20.5 ± 3.6 years; height: 177.5 ± 4.9 cm; body mass: 70.5 ± 7.5 kg; VO2max: 55.2 ± 6.8 mL·kg-1·min-1) volunteered for the study. Each subject completed two randomly ordered stepwise incremental tests and two randomly ordered one-hour time trials (1HTT) wearing either full-length SportSkins Classic LBCG or underwear briefs (control). Blood lactate concentration ([BLa-1]), heart rate (HR), oxygen consumption (V o2) and muscle oxygenation (mOxy) were recorded throughout each test. Indicators of cycling endurance performance were anaerobic threshold (AnT) and VO2max values from the incremental test, and mean power (W), peak power (W), and total work (kJ) from the 1HTT. Magnitude-based inferences were used to determine if LBCG demonstrated any performance and/or physiological benefits. Results: A likely practically significant increase (86%:12%:2%; η2 = 0.6) in. power output at AnT was observed in. the LBCG condition (CONT: 245.9 ± 55.7 W; LBCG: 259.8 ± 44.6 W). Further, a possible practically significant improvement (78%:19%:3%; η2 = 0.6) was reported in muscle oxygenation economy (W·%mOxy-1) across the 1HTT (mOxy: CONT: 52.2 ± 12.2%; LBCG: 57.3 ± 8.2%). Conclusions: The present results demonstrated limited physiological benefits and no performance enhancement through wearing LBCG during a cycling time trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-438
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


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