Supertest: Compression Leggings for the Best Recovery

Under Armour Vs Canterbury Vs Skins

With the new rugby season upon us, it’s time for another Rugbystore Supertest. With season-long performance in mind, it’s imperative to prepare your body to be in the best shape possible during preseason. To do this, you’ll undoubtedly be hitting the gym to maintain strength and pushing yourself in mid-week fitness sessions.

In order for your body to benefit from all your hard work, you need to ensure that recovery is at the top of your priorities. With this in mind, what better product to test than recovery compression leggings? We have our two testers, Zach and Andrew, back again from July’s rugby boots supertest who will be putting the following three compression leggings to the test.

you need to ensure that recovery is at the top of your priorities.

Andrew and Zach put themselves through some gruelling leg sessions involving squats, Romanian deadlifts, hack squats, interval bike work, lunges and machine work to determine how effective wearing these leggings post-exercise can be for recovery. Andrew tested two pairs of the leggings and gave sufficient rest between sessions in order to give the fairest review possible.

Four key criteria will be used to assess the compression leggings: how comfortable the product is, how well the technology performs, recovery promotion and durability.

Comfort

Canterbury Mercury Compression Leggings

 

Under Armour Recharge Energy

The first thing I noticed was that these were quite warm to wear. They’re comfortable around the waist but have the feeling that they may get too warm to wear for longer periods of time. The seamless design provided a good fit that didn’t irritate my skin as some leggings have done in the past.

Skins RY400 Recovery

The Skins offered a comfortable fit and were easier than expected to settle into. I had no issues wearing them for long periods of time after exercise, even at times forgetting I was wearing them altogether. When I got around to taking them off, my legs were so used to them that I genuinely wanted to put them back on.

Canterbury Mercury Compression

The Canterbury Mercury compression leggings were really comfortable. The waistband did not dig in at all and you could really notice the different levels of compression in certain sections of the garment which contributed to good overall comfort. The cooling effect of these leggings was also noticeable and they were easy to wear for long periods of time.

Result

Rugbystore comfort compression leggings review

 

Technology

Rugbystore recovery compression leggings review

Under Armour Recharge Energy

Under Armour state that the leggings are proven to reduce muscle soreness by 58% and promote 14% faster muscle repair. My experience supported this as after wearing them my muscles were definitely less tender than usual.  I didn’t feel fresh enough however to perform moderate exercise on them the following day. Under Armour do state that for best results, leggings should be worn for up to 24 hours. I only wore them for around 6 hours which could have impacted these results. Although, as mentioned, I think that comfort would have been an issue if I was to attempt to wear these for 24 hours.

Skins RY400 Recovery

The team at Skins designed the RY400 using 3D body scans of hundreds of athletes of differing sizes and proportions. The result – a full-length compression garment optimised to 400 key fitting points, encouraging blood flow to the most important recovery areas of your legs. Not only do they encourage blood flow for enhanced recovery, they also boast Memory MX mobility panel technology around the knee to allow for natural, uninhibited movement. A carefully designed pair of compression leggings that, in my opinion, delivered the promised results.

Canterbury Mercury Compression

I found that the Canterbury cooling technology was effective in these leggings. Canterbury state that they can reduce muscle soreness by up to 30% which I can definitely support as I felt much fresher than I usually would the following day. In fact, I felt that I could have done some fairly intense exercise on my legs as the full sensation of DOMS never reared its head.

Result

Rugbystore technology compression leggings review

 

Recovery

Skins RY400 recovery compression leggings

Under Armour Recharge Energy

I feel that the Under Armour Recharge garment promoted some level of post-exercise leg recovery but perhaps not to the level I was expecting. I’d be interested to see if using them over a longer period of time would affect my opinion. I did however feel less sore than I would have without any compression wear and would still be confident in recommending their performance to friends without hesitation.  

Skins RY400 Recovery

As sceptical as I’ve been in the past in relation to the performance enhancing benefits of compression garments, I was pleasantly surprised with the Skins. Without doubt from my experience, if I hadn’t worn the Skins, I would’ve been feeling the effects far more in the days following the intense leg workouts. Rather than dreading all forms of exercise for days after a tough leg session, I more or less felt comfortable getting back to the gym the next day – a pleasant, unexpected surprise.

Canterbury Mercury Compression

After wearing the leggings for many hours after training, I woke up the next day with fresh legs. When I would normally experience the worst muscle pain two days after, I honestly could have completed the same leg session again. I would like to test them out further to see if the results continued and would happily wear them after each leg session. I can definitely say they had a huge impact on the speed of my recovery.

Result

Rugbystore recovery compression leggings review

 

Durability

Under Armour recharge energy recovery compression leggings

Under Armour Recharge Energy

The leggings have a thin layer, seamless design with a sturdy feel. As they are designed specifically for recovery, I’d expect they’d be extremely durable if worn in a resting state. However, being quite thin, it would be interesting to see how they responded to regular machine washes as I got the feeling they might wear quicker than their Canterbury and Skins rivals.

Skins RY400 Recovery

Skins have performed research that suggests your body’s compression needs are vastly different during exercise in comparison to recovery. Being designed specifically for the needs of recovering muscles, and therefore most likely to be worn in a resting state, you’ll get good wear out of these Skins. The fabric felt likely to retain its elastic property and difficult to rip meaning you can be confident that they’ll stand up to your recovery needs.

Canterbury Mercury Compression

Being especially effective when worn post-exercise, the Canterbury leggings are more than durable enough to stand up to the test. They feel as though they’d  last a long time and really justify their price tag. The seamless joining areas of the garment felt durable and resistant to ripping.

Result

Rugbystore durability compression leggings review

 

The Overall Verdict

Rugbystore compression leggings review

 

So the results are in and the winners are the Canterbury Mercury Compression Leggings! A narrow victory over the Skins RY400 with the Under Armour Recharge in a respectable third place.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to optimise your post-exercise recovery, you should read our post from May on the Top 5 Recovery and Injury Management Products.

It’s important to remember however that having the right products is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to post-exercise recovery. You need to ensure that your nutrition is up to scratch and that you allow your body sufficient sleep to encourage muscle repair.

The season is underway, so make sure you are prepped to get the most out of your mid-week training and put the leggings to the test yourselves. We’re interested to hear your thoughts on them, so try them out and let us know what you think.

 

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