Due to the vastly mixed data from studies on conventional compression garments, distinct benefits are dubious. Beneficial effects when worn during training are potentially psychological in nature. Subjective benefits may be mediated by improved proprioceptive cues during movement (Hooper et al 2015). Compression garments may, however, enhance recovery when worn after strength training in particular. Although even post-training compression garment findings are equivocal.
Wearing conventional compression garments after DOMS has been induced has no significant effect on the development of muscle edema, muscle soreness, range of motion or muscle circumference.
Compression garments do not appear to be beneficial when worn during exercise, but may help during the recovery period, especially for resistance training.
Overall, there were no performance benefits when using the compression garments.
Considering exercise modality, compression most effectively enhanced recovery from resistance exercise, particularly at time points >24 h.
Lower leg compression garments were not associated with performance improvement during high intensity exercise.
Rennerfelt (2019) reproduced these findings: “wearing exercise compression stockings (CS) during and following a 10-km treadmill run elevated intramuscular pressure (IMP) and reduced muscle tissue oxygenation in the anterior compartment of healthy runners. Furthermore, the use of exercise CS did not prevent early exercise-induced muscle damage, as measured by serum biomarkers.” This suggests the potential for negative recovery effects for endurance/cardio exercise.”
Other studies have suggested a possible, albeit modest, benefit during endurance events (particularly cycling).
Due to the large variance in research outcomes, further research is warranted.