CrossFit prides itself on being a program that works for everyone. The workouts, which change every day, are designed to be adapted for people of any age or fitness level to help them achieve their personal fitness and health goals.

CrossFit experts stress that it is the movement that matters, leaving room for creativity and adaptation that works best for each individual.

CrossFit Compression Gear Guide

To help you get started, we’ve constructed a list of all the best compression gear for CrossFit enthusiasts looking to take their training and performance to the next level. Explore this guide or check out the full lists of the best compression gear in each category in men’s and women’s clothing.

The Role of Compression in CrossFit

CrossFit takes a broad approach to general fitness, focusing on ten different physical skills:

  • Cardiovascular and respiratory endurance
  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Accuracy 

To successfully develop and perfect these skills, CrossFit uses a wide range of workouts, including interval training, gymnastics, weight lifting, and throwing. Many people choose a routine of three days on and one day off to optimize their results. 

A typical workout that incorporates the elements above looks like this:

  • Warm up
  • 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps of lifting at a comfortable pace
  • 10-minute circuit of gymnastics elements at a fast pace
  • 2-10 minutes of high-intensity metabolic conditioning

Because CrossFit incorporates such a wide variety of workouts, compression gear can play a huge role in your success. CrossFit combines cardio and endurance with strength and stability. Their workouts can move from running and jumping to lifting, squats, and burpees in a matter of minutes. Wearing the right gear to help you seamlessly flow from movement to movement can make an enormous difference in your performance during a CrossFit workout.

CrossFit workouts are typically fast paced and intense, making comfort extremely important. Before even discussing the technical benefits of compression gear, the comfort factor alone is enough to recommend it here. Clothing that provides support, temperature control, and protection can help you up your game no matter what the workout of the day (WOD) throws at you. From protecting your skin from chafing to wicking away sweat to providing support and stability, compression gear offers comfort benefits for every element of a CrossFit workout.   

Beyond comfort, choosing the right compression gear can also mean improved performance and recovery. The two primary benefits of compression gear are (1) more efficient removal of lactic acid from the muscles in the short term and (2) reduction of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the long term. Taking advantage of these benefits will help you optimize your CrossFit workout.

The short term benefits of compression pants, shirts, sleeves, and other items can keep your muscles strong for the duration of your workout. Faster lactic acid removal from the muscles can mean getting through one more set to reach a PR. On the other hand, compression gear’s proven ability to reduce DOMS will help you stick with your workouts and show up at the gym every day.

Best Leg and Arm Sleeves for CrossFit

In addition to performance-improvement during a workout or activity, compression clothing helps while recovering from physical exertion. From improving blood flow to helping alleviate lactic acid buildup, compression can help get you back on your feet sooner than not wearing it.

Best Knee Sleeve for CrossFit: RiptGear Compression Knee Sleeve

RiptGear’s compression knee sleeve takes compression to the next level. This sleeve offers high-quality, graduated compression to support your knee through both difficult workouts and injuries like tendonitis or muscle tears. Despite it’s excellent support, the design allows for a full range of motion. With firm compression around the entire knee, this sleeve effectively reduces inflammation, muscle tightness, and pain.

Best Calf Sleeve for CrossFit: SB SOX Compression Calf Sleeves

The right calf sleeves can help protect your muscles and promote faster recovery. SB SOX knows compression, and this product does not disappoint. With reliable 20-30 mmHg compression, these calf sleeves are the real deal. They offer four different sizes based on calf diameter to be sure you get the fit you need. Recommended by both doctors and trainers, these calf sleeves are just what you need to keep your legs in optimal shape during and after a day at the CrossFit box. 

See All of the Best Calf Sleeves

Best Arm Sleeve for CrossFit: CompressionZ Arm Sleeves

Compression arm sleeves are great for CrossFit. They provide added stability and control to your forearms and elbows, which is particularly helpful during both weight and resistance training. These comfortable, reliable sleeves are lightweight, durable, and provide all the support you need in the gym. They even offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied with the product.

Best Socks for CrossFit: Vitalsox Original Performance Graduated Compression Socks

Vitalsox are a wonderful choice no matter what sport or activity you choose. Their patented graduated compression creates the perfect compression level to maximize circulation, reduce injuries, speed up recovery time, and help you reach optimum performance.  Their compression starts mid-foot to support your plantar ligaments, arch, and heel in addition to creating effective compression up your calves. They are ideal for the vast range of movements thrown at you during a CrossFit workout.

See All of the Best Socks for Men
See All of the Best Socks for Women

Best Men’s CrossFit Compression Gear

Best Men’s Compression Pants: Sub Sports Elite RX Mens Graduated Compression Base Layer Tights/Pants

These pants offer graduated compression through the legs to improve blood flow and oxygen supply during and after workouts. Mesh inserts throughout the pants add targeted ventilation to keep you cool and dry during even the most intense interval or weight training. They are durable and comfortable, maximizing your range of motion while offering the support you need. They are also an excellent choice for post-workout recovery.

See All of the Best Pants for Men

Best Men’s Compression Shorts: CompressionZ Men’s Compression Shorts

CompressionZ’s shorts are an excellent choice for any workout. Their patented fabric blend is designed to feel smooth and comfortable while providing the right level of compression in the right places. Their compression shorts are comfortable and breathable while offering true compression technology, not just a tight fit. Their anti-itch material and anti-chafing design mean they will keep you at peak performance no matter how long or intense your workout is.

See All of the Best Shorts for Men

Best Men’s Compression Shirt:  Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Long Sleeve Compression Shirt

UnderArmour is always a reliable choice when it comes to compression gear. This shirt provides effective compression while also offering enough comfort to be worn all day. It’s stretch-mesh underarm panels create strategic ventilation that will keep you cool throughout a workout. This shirt can be worn as a base layer or on its own, to keep your arms, chest, and core safe and supported.

See All of the Best Shirts for Men

Best Women’s CrossFit Compression Gear

Best Women’s Compression Shorts: Tough Mode 3” Compression Shorts

If you are looking for a reliable, sturdy pair of compression shorts to get you through any CrossFit workout, Tough Mode’s 3” shorts are a sure thing. These shorts are well constructed with durable, thick fabric to offer you the coverage, support, and comfort you need. They will stay put throughout your workout, no matter how much bending, squatting, lifting, jumping, or running you do. And, with their 30-day money-back guarantee, you can be sure you love them before committing.

See All of the Best Shorts for Women

Best Women’s Compression Pants: Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Armour Leggings

Under Armour’s HeatGear leggings are an ideal choice for CrossFit. They offer excellent compression and coverage without constricting your movement. Their well-crafted waistband holds them in place, but is comfortable enough to be worn all day. The fabric is designed with anti-odor technology and wicks away sweat, keeping you cool, dry, and fresh even during the most intense workouts.

See All of the Best Pants for Women

Best Women’s Compression Shirt: WANAYOU Women’s Compression Shirt

It can be difficult to find a high-quality, properly fitting compression shirt for women. WANAYOU provides a comprehensive sizing chart based on bust, waist, and length, and sizes S to XXL so you can be sure you’ll get the fit and compression level you need. The lightweight, quick-drying, breathable material offers the support you need while still keeping you cool. It even comes with built in UV protection to keep your skin healthy inside and outside the CrossFit box.

See All of the Best Shirts for Women

What is Compression Gear?

At the most basic level, compression gear is a category of clothing and other accessories designed to fit tightly around the skin. 

Compression gear has a wide variety of applications including, medical, fitness, and personal uses such as fashion and travel, and continues to grow in popularity as athletes, doctors, patients, and regular people find more creative ways to benefit from these products.

Read our What is Compression Gear? article to get a bigger picture of the role compression gear plays in Fitness, Health, Travel, Fashion, how compression works, and what its benefits are.

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