Development and maintenance of physical capabilities is an essential part of combat readiness in the military. This readiness requires continuous training and is therefore compromised by injury. Because Service Members (SMs) must be physically and cognitively prepared to conduct multifaceted operations in support of strategic objectives, and because the Department of Defense’s (DoD) non-deployable rate and annual costs associated with treating SMs continue to rise at an alarming rate, finding a far-reaching and efficient solution to prevent such injuries is a high priority.
Compression garments (CGs) have become increasingly popular over the past decade in human performance applications, and reportedly facilitate post-exercise recovery by reducing muscle soreness, increasing blood lactate removal, and increasing perception of recovery, but the evidence is mixed, at best. In the current study we explored whether CG use, and duration of use, improves recovery and mitigates muscle soreness effectively in an elite Marine training course. In order to test this, we subjected Service Members to fatiguing exercise and then measured subjective and objective recovery and soreness using participant reports and grip and leg strength over a 72-hour recovery period.
Findings from this study suggest that wearing CGs for post training recovery showed significant and moderate positive effects on subjective soreness, fatigue, and perceived level of recovery. We did not find statistically significant effects on physical performance while testing grip or leg strength. These findings suggest that CG may be a beneficial strategy for military training environments to accelerate muscle recovery after high-intensity exercise, without adverse effects to the wearer or negative impact on military training.
Proud to partner with Reconnaissance Training Company (RTC) , School of Infantry-West and DFND USA to study the use of compression garments in RTC Trainees and Instructors.