‘Calf sleeves’, ‘calf guards’, or simply ‘calf compression’ - whatever you call them, you know what we’re talking about. Lower limb compression is a core part of cricketing apparel today - but what exactly does it do, and when should it be worn?
Compression garments for the lower limbs, specifically the calves and ankles, are a wardrobe staple for any professional cricketer. This might take the form of compression calf sleeves, compression socks and even compression arm sleeves for certain players. Of these, the lower limb compression is the most common compression garment seen in cricket, to protect muscles from strains, sprains, tears and DOMS. But how does it work?
How do calf sleeves work?
Calf sleeves provide lower body compression localised to the calf and a little to the ankle in order to support people pushing themselves to their max on the field. The graduated compression offered by our 20% lycra blend means that blood flow in the area is stimulated. Venous return back to the heart is boosted, which simultaneously clears out waste products of intense exercise like lactic acid and infuses the muscle with oxygen-rich blood from the heart.
This improved circulation effectively energises the muscle at the same time as preventing swelling and pain - a circular system which means any minor or micro-injuries are targeted with that nutrient-rich blood as soon as possible.
Calf sleeves, as part of a cricket recovery protocol, make you faster, stronger, and sharper: boosting your value on the pitch - and to your team - when going after the gold.
When should cricketers wear calf sleeves?
One question that you may have if you’re just starting out in professional cricket is about when to wear compression calf sleeves. Professional cricketers are often spotted sporting (no pun intended) calf sleeves during play, which can lead pros-in-training to think that’s the best use of the garments. In fact, here at CRX compression, our team is made up of professional athletes, trainers, and medical professionals - and our view is that compressing post-play gives you the best chance of reducing that recovery time.
Compressing with CRX calf sleeves couldn’t be simpler. Once you’re finished on the pitch, you’ll implement compression as your last recovery protocol (for instance after any massage therapies). Our experts advise that you implement CRX compression after and between matches for best results - but there may be benefits to implementing during play as well, so the choice is yours.
What are the benefits of calf compression?
CRX compression sleeves have been designed by professionals, for professionals. Our compression experts know that the pain points and priorities of every cricketer might vary slightly, but the end goals are the same: reduce recovery, prevent injury and improve performance.
CRX compression works to boost venous return, which in turn hits each of these targets. With increased VO2, muscles receive more nutrients and oxygen faster than they would without the venous stimulation. This means that any minor injuries, like microtears or swelling, are targeted immediately - making recovery a faster and less painful process. In turn, tackling injuries at the site of trauma as soon as they happen and ensuring swelling is reduced helps to lessen the potential for these injuries to develop and worsen, which can help to keep recovery time minimal and get you back on the green.
Finally, recovering full muscle function and motility as soon as possible post-play means you’re able to keep up with your training and workout regimen, ensuring you stay in the best possible shape. Not having to miss a session means you’re more likely to keep smashing targets and personal bests, which means you’re more of an asset on the field. Our partner athletes report faster recovery and increased muscle strength the next day - so they know CRX keeps them at their best.
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