The way I see compression gear is that they are a much more specific term for the generic name of ‘athletic apparel.’ A lot of brands like to throw around their words for the compression design and material to use as a marketing tactic. For example, Nike coined this fabric as “DRI-fit” material. While it sounds fancier and technical, it’s still a piece of compression apparel. At the foundation, they are made of similar fibers compression gear uses. It’s a branding tactic, so don’t let that trip you up. Most items you look at when shopping for athletic apparel is most likely a type of compression fabric.
The other thing compression apparel is known for is their skin-tight nature. For those of you who are new to compression apparel, it might seem uncomfortable to wear. But a high-quality piece of compression gear will conform to the shape of your body and features a breathable design.
The Different Types of Compression Clothing
There are several types of clothing apparel to choose from to accommodate your training outfit. I recommend that you select the one that is best for you.
- Compression shirt: A sports compression top is ideal for individuals who are performing a lot of upper body exercises such as weightlifting. They provide a type of direct compression which applies pressure on your body to keep blood circulating. This compression will help improve blood circulation and movement internally.
- Compression leggings/tights: Compression bottoms are great for lower body recovery from working out and exercise. They are the most common piece of apparel between men and women. They’re great to wear as layering material in the colder seasons. You can see these worn by runners, basketball players, and as a lifestyle piece.
- Compression Socks: The better alternative to regular cotton socks. Graduated compression socks provide a benefit with recovery and reducing soreness. It’s excellent for daily lifestyle wear and offers compression benefits, allowing for the passive recovery process during wear.
- Compression sleeves: Knee and elbow sleeves are better suited to be used as support and protection during wear. They’re ideal for individuals who find themselves using their limbs more often in a sport or activity like basketball and soccer, and running.
I would recommend checking each of our best review guides to find one that is better suited for you and your daily activities.
The overall benefit provided by compression apparel is unsurprisingly the compression aspect. But here’s what it entails specifically, there are various types of compression, but at the end of the day, they apply pressure to a particular area of your body. This pressure triggers your internals to start moving. It helps prevent blood clots by promoting blood circulation. It helps pumping blood back to your heart, which will help with the recovery process. Also, compression provides better support compared to loose and baggy athletic wear. While it may seem minuscule at first, small amounts of compression for more extended periods add up. If anything, they don’t hurt performance at all, and can only help. Lastly, they have many sub-benefits from the fiber construction of a kind piece of compression clothing. The material fibers that compression apparel offers sweat-wicking properties that help regulate sweat. This wicking also helps combat odors and bacteria, promoting good hygiene after a workout.
It doesn’t hurt to try compression apparel. They are a versatile piece of clothing that has so many more benefits besides just looking good. I recommend them for use as lifestyle wear but more importantly for athletic and exercise wear. You can wear them when going out for the day or when you’re about to play basketball or go to the gym. Wherever you go or whatever you use it for, they will have a place.
One of the staples every man and women need in their training wardrobe are a pair of quality compression shorts. Whether that be for weightlifting, running, or casual wear, a couple of compression shorts provide benefits, such as
- Targeted Compression in the Thighs
- Moisture Wicking & Sweat Regulation
- Additional Support for Lifting or Running
- Recovery and Blood Flow/Circulation
- Long-Term Comfortable Wear
You don’t see these type of benefits in regular basketball or athletic shorts. You can expect compression shorts to do more than look good in the gym. And the best part? It is one of the simplest ways to help improve your lifting or running experience. All you have to do is put them on, and the passive benefits from just wearing the shorts will come with it. With that in mind, I chose and reviewed the five best compression shorts on the market right now that can help improve your workout and exercise experience.
See Quick Summary & Info
|Compression Shorts||Best for||Key Features||More Info|
|Mava Men's Compression Shorts||Runners & Weightlifters||Strong Compression (15-25 mmHg), Moisture Wicking||View on Amazon|
|Sport-It Compression Shorts||Runners (People who want a pocket)||Pocket for Phone, Above-Knee Coverage||View on Amazon|
|2XU Compression Short||Baselayer Shorts||Optimal Coverage, Secure Fit||View on Amazon|
|Copper Compression Recovery Shorts||Comfort and Recovery||Copper-Infused Fibers, Comfortable||View on Amazon|
|Under Armour Heatgear Shorts||Casual Wear||Budget-Friendly, Trusted Brand||View on Amazon|
1. Mava Men’s Compression Short
These form-fitting, low-profile compression shorts are one of the best compression shorts you can take to accompany you to the gym or running. You can expect both excellent coverage and strong compression on your thighs as you go through each one of your exercises. Also, the nylon/spandex blend feels great against the skin and stretches to conform comfortably to the natural shape of your thighs. Diving deeper into the compression aspect: Their shorts apply 15-25 mmHg, which is that sweet spot between light to moderate levels of compression that is perfect for most individuals. It promotes mild compression to help recovery and healing in the thighs after a workout by getting the blood circulating. That means if you’ve been doing squats or any other lower body/leg based exercise with an emphasis on the thighs, it will help alleviate some of the pain and soreness. It will help improve your recovery speed after said workout or run.One other thing to appreciate about these shorts is the moisture-wicking technology. Whether you wear them by themselves or under another pair of athletic shorts, the moisture regulation helps keep things cool compared to just soaking up the sweat. It adds to the comfort and long-term wear of this particular pair of compression shorts.
2. Sport-it Men’s Compression Shorts
What I love about this particular pair of compression shorts is the overall coverage of the shorts and the support it offers for both runners and lifters. It’s on the lengthier side compared to the other short on this list covering the entirety of the thigh region. So if you don’t like the “short shorts” look of most compression shorts, this pair by Sport-It might help alleviate your appearance concerns. Besides the exterior benefits of the shorts, it also helps alleviate some of the burdens of your workout by providing the right amount of support and posture to improve your form and performance while exercising.These shorts feature a unique design and functionality (that not many competing shorts have) with a pocket on the side. This simple solution improves your overall experience by having a place to store your phone while lifting or running. You won’t have to carry it in your hand or place it somewhere that is potentially unsafe. It is very much convenient having to not lug around my phone. I highly recommend these shorts for anyone who likes additional thigh coverage and wants a pocket in their compression shorts.
3. 2XU Men’s Compression Shorts
You can’t go wrong with a trusted brand in the compression and sports apparel industry. 2XU not only offers one of the best compression shorts in the market, but they also provide the customer support and service to go with it. If you prioritize customer service when shopping, I recommend checking out their compression shorts line. But the reason they’re a big player in the athletic apparel industry is that of the material design of their clothing. Their shorts are made with durable construction and weave design that should hold up for many future runs and workouts. Also, the form factor provides the ideal level of support and full compression for each leg to help with recovery after weightlifting or running. The level of coverage is targeted to help support muscle groups such as the quads, hamstrings, abductors, and glutes. These are great as standalone shorts or wearing them under another pair as base layer shorts. All this is possible thanks to the 70 Denier Construction of the shorts. It ties everything in together to create a great all-around pair of athletic shorts.You can trust these to help you perform well with squats, deadlifts, leg press, and other lower extremity exercises.They have a secure and comfortable fit you can trust to keep up with even the most intense workouts.
4. Copper Compression Recovery Shorts
One of the trends in compression apparel is a new material construction with copper-infused fibers. And Copper Compression specializes in designing quality compression shorts that use this material to help promote blood circulation and recovery.The benefit of this copper material is that it helps to stimulate and build your muscle back quicker after a workout. Also, it enables you to get back in the gym faster to help repeat the process. Having a pair of these compression shorts would help tremendously when weightlifting or a long run, and you find your legs sore.These are probably one of the most comfortable compression shorts on this list. The material fabric and weave construction feel great against the skin. Wearing a pair of these compression shorts to the gym provides a comfort factor. Even just wearing these shorts as baselayer apparel under a pair of shorts would still give the same relief and compression benefit.If you’re looking for unique weave design and construction with a comfort factor, check out this pair of compression shorts.
5. Under Armour HeatGear Sonic Compression Shorts
If you’re looking for something a little cheaper compared to the other compression shorts on this list, Under Armour has your back.They are a household name in the athletic apparel business that you can trust to have quality shorts.Each pair of shorts checks all the boxes needed to be one of the best compression shorts for weightlifting. These shorts are comfortable against the skin with its durable, and soft polyester/elastane material. Also, the compression pressure applied is firm but not constricting. Lastly, they offer a secure fit that will support the legs while exercising the thighs, glutes, and hamstrings.You can’t go wrong with a classic pair of compression shorts.The shorts have a low-profile design that you use as base layer apparel. Just put another pair of workout shorts or pants over it. You’ll still be able to get the same benefits.Overall: if you want something familiar, you can’t go wrong with weightlifting and working out with this pair of compression shorts.
Quick Tips for Buying Compression Shorts
There a few things to consider when buying compression shorts that you should know before taking the plunge. Some compression shorts are shorter than others. Most manufacturers design their lengths that cover up to different areas of the thigh. Some will go to the knee while others will go halfway (like compression underwear). The amount of coverage is essential to get enough application area for the needed compression and support for weightlifting. Also, keep in mind sizing. You don’t want to get the wrong size of shorts that are too loose or too tight. With those tips in mind and the information I provided: you should be able to find the best compression shorts for weightlifting that is right for you.