Review: Compression garment testing protocol

Qiuqiong SHI, Kristina SHIN, Hung Kay Daniel CHOW

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


The compression garments (CG) is widely used for competitive sports in order to enhance the athletes’ performance and quick fatigue recovery. The CG improves venous return by artificially increasing extra-vascular pressure with the external gradient pressure so to make the difference between extra- and intra-vascular pressure value closer to resting stage, which then contributes to an accelerated clearance metabolites, improved oxygenation and a reduced vascular load. These positive haemodynamic benefit performance and recovery after strenuous resistance exercise. It promotes muscular strength recovery and fatigue reduction. Also, wearing a CG for 24 hours after the high-intensity exercise (rugby simulation) is associated with better repeated sprint and endurance performance. For instance, a group who wears a compression garment presents a significantly lower error than a control group who is wearing a normal tracksuit during tracking. However, some studies find that CG has no significant impact on performance parameters during endurance sports except cycling.
The CG that are currently available on the market can be categorized into three groups based on the coverage; 1) full-body CG, 2) upper body CG, 3) lower body CG. The design and its subsequent functions of the CG have improved due to the advanced production and material technologies.
Although many studies have tried to measure the impact of different types of CG on the performance and fatigue recovery in line with its fast development, there is no standardised CG testing protocol available up to date. Therefore, this study aims to identify a protocol by critically analysing the testing protocols used in the previous studies. A total of 30 research papers published from 2004 to 2016 are reviewed and compared with a focus on the testing procedures, physiological parameters, testing equipment, and testing duration.
In conclusion, a majority of testing procedures consists of three stages where data is collected from; pre-exercise, exercise/experiment, and post-exercise. Frequently collected physiological parameters include 1) heart rate (HR), 2) blood lactate concentration (La) and blood lactic acid, 3) oxygen in muscle (i.e., oxygen cost), 4) compression, 5) Creatine Kinase (CK), 6) body temperature. These physiological parameters correlate with performance enhancement during exercise and exerciseinduced muscle fatigue recovery and swelling reduction after exercise.
Testing equipment for data collection include 1) F1 by Polar Electo Oy (Finland) for Heart rate record, 2) Lactate Pro by Arkray Inc., (Japan) for blood lactate analysis, 3) Oxycon Pro by Erich Jaeger (Germany) for expired air analysis, 4) Kikuhime pressure monitor by TT MediTrade (Denmark) for compression, 5) Modular P by Roche Diagnostics (UK) for Creatine kinase (CK) analysis. Copyright © 2017 The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 14th Asian Textile Conference (ATC-14) 27 - 30 June 2017
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherThe Hong Kong Polytechnic University
ISBN (Electronic)9789881399953
ISBN (Print)9789881399946
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Shi, Q., Shin, K., & Chow, D. (2017). Review: Compression garment testing protocol. In Proceedings of 14th Asian Textile Conference (ATC-14) 27 - 30 June 2017 (Vol. II, pp. 17-22). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


  • Compression garment
  • Testing protocol
  • Endurance performance
  • Fatigue recovery
  • Physiological parameters


Dive into the research topics of 'Review: Compression garment testing protocol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.