Andrew Craig-Jones1, Jacquelyn Sertic2, Brittany Shimana3, James W. Navalta, FACSM3, John A. Mercer, FACSM3. 1Augusta University, Augusta, GA. 2University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN. 3University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV.

BACKGROUND: In recent years, compression clothing has become a billion-dollar market. Despite this boom in popularity, there is a relatively small amount of research investigating its effect on physiological variables during exercise. The purpose of this study was to compare muscle oscillation, muscle activation time, and oxygen consumption while wearing compression pants vs. a control garment during running. METHODS: Participants (n=11; 1.7±0.1m; 74.3±12.6kg; 26.7±12.7yr; 5F, 6M) ran in compression pants (20-25 mmHg) and a control garment (CON). Participants ran 6 min at: preferred speed (PS), preferred speed minus 10% (PS-10%), and preferred speed plus 10% (PS+10%). Muscle activity of the rectus femoris, biceps femoris, gastrocnemius, and tibialis anterior was measured through electromyography (EMG). Muscle Oscillation (MO) was measured with accelerometers attached to the thigh and shank. EMG, MO, stride frequency (SF), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured during the last minute of each condition. Rate of oxygen consumption (V̇O2) and heart rate (HR) were recorded and averaged over the final 3 minutes of for each condition. MO was assessed over the 0-60 Hz range by averaging power across 10 Hz bins per leg segment. EMG data were processed by removing any zero offset, rectifying, and averaging activation time over 5 strides. Dependent variables (Muscle activation time, MO, V̇O2, HR, RPE, SF) were each compared between conditions using 2 (garment) X 3 (speed) repeated measure ANOVAs (α=0.05). RESULTS: MO or activation time were not influenced by the interaction of garment and speed for any frequency bin assessed (p>0.05). MO up to 40 Hz was lower during compression pants vs. control garment (p<0,05). Muscle activation time for each muscle was shorter while wearing compression pants for RF, BF, & GA (p<0.05). V̇O2, RPE, SF, nor HR were influenced by garment (p>0.05). CONCLUSION: Wearing compression pants resulted in a reduction in MO and activation time; however, these changes did not translate into a reduction of V̇O2.With a reduction in muscle activation time it is possible there may be less fatigue for the runner and V̇O2 may be affected on longer running bouts. However, more research is needed to test this hypothesis.

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