Compression wear is the name given to garments woven with spandex-type fibers. The clothing is skin tight. Tighter, actually. The idea is that it compresses your muscles to keep them supported and contained, and improves circulation by squeezing blood back toward the heart.
We’ll get back to the physical benefits in a minute. But there’s another reason it caught on: it looks and feels sporty AF.
“It’s not only about what it gives you in terms of performance benefit, moisture management, support, and comfort,” says Dan Leraris, Under Armour’s VP of Apparel for Men’s Training, Basketball, Golf and Youth. “It’s also about the psychological benefit of how you put it on and lock in.”
Led by Under Armour, athletic brands stoked the trend—selling compression tights, sleeves, socks, and more. But there’s one kind of gear you see everywhere: compression shorts.
Related: Are Compression Suits Worth It?