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The physiological effects of lower-body compression garments in well-trained cyclists during an incremental exercise test

conference contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Aaron ScanlanAaron Scanlan, Benjamin DascombeBenjamin Dascombe, M Osborne, Peter ReaburnPeter Reaburn
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the physiological and endurance performance benefits of lower-body compression garments (LBCG) during incremental exercise. Twelve male cyclists ((X ± SD) 20.5 ± 3.6 yr; 177.5 ± 4.9 cm; 70.5 ± 7.5 kg; 55.2 ± 6.8 mL•kg-1•min-1) participated in the present study. Subjects randomly completed two step-wise incremental tests wearing either LBCG (full-length SportSkinTM Classic) or underwear briefs (CONT). Blood lactate, heart rate, and VO2 were recorded and used to calculate anaerobic threshold (AnT) and VO2max. Changes in vastus lateralis oxygenation were measured using near-infrared spectroscopy during both tests. Parametric statistics revealed no statistically significant differences in power output at AnT (LBCG: 259.8 ± 44.6 W; CONT: 245.9 ± 55.7 W), VO2max (LBCG: 53.5 ± 6.5 mL•kg-1•min-1; CONT: 55.2 ± 6.8 mL•kg-1•min-1) or maximal muscle deoxygenation (LBCG: 26.0 ± 18.3 %; CONT: 24.2 ± 13.0 %) between the LBCG and CONT conditions, respectively. Similarly, no significant condition effects were observed in any submaximal physiological response. Effect size comparisons demonstrated only likely practical improvements in power output at AnT (86%:12%:2%; η2=0.6) with LBCG. No practically significant improvements were reported for blood lactate, VO2 or muscle oxygenation responses between the two conditions. Therefore, wearing LBCG appeared to increase power output at AnT but did not affect other physiological responses to exercise. Future research should investigate the effects of whole body compression gradients and compression gradients.






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External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health; Queensland Academy of Sport; TBA Research Institute;

Era Eligible


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