Here at CRX, we’re proud to be the official compression partners of the Dragons! Since teaming up with the Dragons in 2020, we always love to see how the team is using our rugby compression garments to storm ahead to success. CRX compression enjoys the official partnership with the team and is one of the team’s favourite ways to ensure they’re getting their compression in - without having to compromise their comfort.
23-year-old Aaron Wainwright, flanker for the Dragons, is no stranger to a gruelling training regime. Aaron, and Dragons hooker Elliot Dee, 26, both use CRX compression to supplement their recovery and boost their energies during intense and tightly-packed weeks in training. Elliot and Aaron let us know how they implement CRX compression into their daily schedules - and the benefits they see on a regular basis.
Let’s take a look at a regular day in the life of our Dragons - and where their CRX compression kicks in to get the most out of their game.
Mobility with CRX
It’s an early-morning start to the week, with Monday morning kicking off that all-important stretching session. First thing, the team has to get out on the pitch and perform their standard stretch routine, involving simple motions like a hamstring stretch, shoulder stretch, counter-movement stretch, amongst others. These exercises have multiple benefits - a simple way for players to prepare for the day ahead, a benchmark to measure against, and a way for coaches to check there aren’t any underlying injuries or issues.
If Aaron doesn’t hit his normal range of motion here, it lets him know that something might be wrong - which could mean it’s time to slip on his compression garments. Tight compression on a microtear in the shoulder, leg or chest could reduce the swelling or fluid buildup around the injury - easing pain and improving mobility before the injury has a chance to develop.
Training with CRX
Next, it’s onto on-pitch skills and training sessions led by expert coaches. The team splits into two groups, one made up of the team’s forwards and the other the team’s backs, to make training and gymming more manageable! While one team hones their on-pitch skills, the second group heads into the gym for cardio and strength training.
If the team has more than one set of compression available to them, slipping into CRX compression tights for an upper-body gym session (or vice versa) can bring a whole host of benefits: warming up the muscles while nutrition-rich blood hits those inactive sore spots, letting compression support the body as the players start their day. With a 43% reduction in DOMS, getting compression in before the intensity steps up is crucial for the players.
‘Wearing CRX during rest periods is an easy way to get my compression in - the fabric is light and breathable but gives me the compression when I need it most, as well as being sweat-wicking after a morning workout or training session’.
Recovery with CRX
Aaron, Elliot and the team know the importance of actively supporting their performance on the pitch - so a high-fibre, high-protein breakfast is provided by the Dragons’ dieticians to ensure the boys are receiving maximum nutritional value. The chance to sit down and rest gives the team an opportunity to slip on their compression garments, immediately tackling any aches, pains or niggles leftover from the weekend’s game.
The compression gets to work while the players are at rest, boosting venous return and ensuring nutrition-rich blood is sent to any microtears or traumas as needed, before heading back out to the pitch. With their CRX garments offering a 5% increase in power and a 2% increase in speed, it’s not hard to see why the Dragons take any opportunity to get their compression gear on! Elliot experiences the benefits of getting CRX into his daily routine:
‘Using CRX to recover has helped me to play better on the pitch. My legs feel lighter and more energised when I’ve been using compression garments, which lets me go further and faster than usual. Implementing CRX as part of my training means I’m always on form, even after a big game’.
Contact Session with CRX
The post-breakfast session sees the team back into their gym or back out onto the pitch for another skills-based training class, before pausing for a rest with a nutritional lunch. Lunch offers the players another opportunity to get their compression gear on, especially if the boys have only brought one set of garments with them. If not, there’s always the opportunity for the players to keep their compression clothing on when they hit the pitch - but our experts always advise prioritising compression for rest periods. A small compression break during lunch can be just enough to keep tired muscles energised ready for a heavier contact session to close the day out.
With the type of training sessions varying throughout the week, the structure of each day changes for the team. Tuesdays are more intense than Mondays, Wednesdays typically a rest day, and a lighter session on Thursday before the game on Friday night, Saturday or Sunday. With such a huge variety in intensity, it’s key to keep showing up well-rested and recovered from the day’s activities.
Active recovery on a Wednesday during pre-season, for instance, provides the perfect opportunity for the team to slip on their compression garments. For Aaron and Elliot, CRX Compression offers a way to keep energised and muscles optimised, no matter what the day brings.
The exact way compression garments are used are up to the team, the players and of course, the team’s expert physiotherapist, Ben Stirling.
Stirling commented: ‘CRX compression wear is created by a team embedded in pro sports and sports medicine who are focused on improving recovery, preventing injury and maximising performance.
“Recovery is key. CRX will ensure all our players, in terms of both recovery and injury prevention, have access to the very best and latest in compression technology.”