The effect of custom-fitted compression garments worn overnight for recovery from judo training in elite athletes

Freddy Brown, Jessica Amie Hill, Ken van Someren, Glyn Howatson, Charles Pedlar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


This study investigated the effects of custom-fitted compression garments (CG) worn during recovery over a multi-day training camp in elite judo players (judoka). A single blind, placebo-controlled study was carried out in 11 elite judoka, using a two-way crossover design. Two three-day training camps were completed in CG and placebo conditions in a random order. Changes in performance and physiological markers were compared between conditions. Judoka were assessed before training for (maximal) isometric knee extension and grip strength, countermovement jump performance and bench-press velocity, alongside soreness, limb circumferences, plasma creatine kinase activity (CK) and perceived bruising. Measurements were repeated after 12 h, 36 h and 43 h of training, whereupon judoka rated the effectiveness of each intervention. Knee extension and bench-press performance demonstrated significant familiarization (p < 0.001), and were excluded from subsequent analysis. Jump performance was unaffected by training (p > 0.05). Grip strength declined throughout training (p < 0.001), with peak decrements of - 9.7 % indicating mild muscle damage. Increases in bruising, CK and soreness demonstrated highly variable, if significant (p < 0.001) responses. Although CG were perceived as significantly more effective than placebo for recovery (p = 0.046), no effects were observed for any other outcome (p > 0.05). Compression conferred no statistically significant impact upon recovery markers in elite judoka throughout training. Muscle damage responses were inconsistent in this population. Individual athletes would be advised to monitor habitually-used performance measures while using CG to ascertain whether perceptual benefits translate into enhanced recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-529
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Issue number4
Early online date14 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2022


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