Do Compression Shorts Help Running?

Do Compression Shorts Help Running?

You have probably heard that compression gear is all the rage at the moment. You have also probably heard that compression is an important part of injury recovery.

Thus it would be valid to assume that using compression gear to prevent injury is effective.

Training for a marathon?

Running for pleasure or exercise?

Compression shorts can be an advantage to you in your long-term goals. More often than not, we have some sort of objective when taking on the feat of running. It is important to consider these things when choosing the proper gear to wear while training and on race days. Compression shorts are fantastic for your running journey for a variety of different reasons, so if you’re interested — read on! 

What are the benefits of compression shorts when running? 

Nike Compression Shorts

To fully understand the benefits of compression gear for running, it’s important to talk blood circulation and injury prevention. Now, I am going to get scientific, but don’t worry — I will break it down for you. 

The body relies on the musculovenous pump for your blood to circulate.

Your body does this naturally! Especially when running.

This is important because you need the oxygen from your blood to run long and hard.

Compression shorts speed up this process by constricting your tissues. In return your body and clears your blood quicker and recirculates it back through your heart. Increased venous return is essential because the metabolic byproducts, such as lactic acid are wiped out of your blood.

Know what that means? It makes you less prone to injury. 

Now when you run, your body “jiggles”, and more specifically, your muscles do too.  Yet, the more your body has to tune or vibrate, the more prone it is to injury. Compression pants and shorts minimize this “jiggle” and in turn, reduces your chance of injury.

If you run on hard surfaces, compression gear can be phenomenal to aid with the impact.

Moving on from the scientific advantages…wearing compression pants or shorts helps with the psychological element of running. Everyone knows that running is not only a physical endurance sport but it is also a mental endurance sport.

If you hate running, it is precisely for this reason! We are all capable of running and learning to run well, but our minds are more powerful than we think. Many athletes in studies admit that running with compression gear keeps them more focused and more likely to run longer. This could be a placebo effect of compression gear — but we’ll take it! Running is a mentally straining sport and even the smallest amount of motivation can make a huge difference.

Do compression shorts just help while running? 


Absolutely not!

Compression pants and shorts are proven to help post-training as well.

Wearing compression gear after a training session reduces inflammation in the muscles.

Using compression gear has been shown to benefit you if you use them 3-4 hours after a hard training session.

It could definitely be a smart decision if you’re looking to continue running long-term.

Workouts are strenuous in general, and it is part of the program for you to protect an nurture your body!

So consider compression shorts after a run or workout to recover faster, improve strength and cope with muscle soreness. Days after a speed workout or long run, the typical leg brick feeling can be greatly reduced.

As mentioned above, inflammation reduction and toxin clearance are some of the primary benefits. As expected, less inflammation indicates less soreness and quicker healing!

What are the disadvantages of compression pants and shorts? 

#1: There aren’t many disadvantages to wearing compression shorts, and gear in general, but there are a few disclaimers. Compression shorts are extremely beneficial for dynamic movements, such as endurance running and running in general. For static exercises, there is not a lot of evidence that it helps with your performance. You can still wear compression gear to lift weights or do yoga, but the main benefits lie with dynamic and recovery activities.

#2: It might be a little too tight (discomfort)! This is understandable. To workout and perform, you want to be comfortable. Of course, part of this is wearing the right gear. Don’t buy anything too small because you’ll regret it! This sounds self-explanatory, but many times people think that “it’s supposed to fit tight” so this is fine. No! If it’s too tight, it’s too tight, and get the next size up, you’ll thank yourself later. 

#3: The weather! (this may be more of an advantage mixed in with a slight disadvantage!) If it’s a hot day, I would wear compression shorts and not pants. Obviously don’t wear pants on a hot summer day! Compression gear does tend to be warmer than other types of clothing since it’s closer to your body. On the other hand, this can also be an advantage in the winter when it’s freezing out. Then you need layers. You can wear compression gear under your clothing and boom! You’re layering up! 


In essence, compression pants and compression gear in general are phenomenal for running. They are extremely beneficial for your long-term and short-term running goals and if you haven’t already considered starting to wear them, I hope this article changed your mind. Through scientific research, we know the advantages of compression gear. There are also the psychological benefits you gain! Not wearing compression gear may be a waste of the potential you have inside of you.

Remember: with running, strength and speed gains are only part of the story! You have to take advantage of these things to maximize your gains! Get your compression gear together and lace-up! 

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