As we enter Week 2 of the Six Nations, all eyes are on the professionals as they prepare for - and play in - the world’s biggest rugby event. With stakes this high, the pressure is always intense - both on and off the pitch.
So how do the sport’s biggest stars recover from the intense toll on the body, in one of the world’s most-watched sporting events?
A rugby recovery protocol is crucial for when you bring your all onto the pitch. Perhaps no other team sport has the same levels of impact trauma and intensity as rugby does - which takes a clear toll on the body. Muscle damage, dislocated fingers, toes and joints, strained tendons and fractured bones are all part and parcel of the professional rugby player’s injury repertoire. Tackling injuries head-on to keep them as minimal as possible is at the root of all recovery protocol, closely followed by the need to refresh and rejuvenate tired muscles.
Players (and fans) will be familiar with some of the elements of rugby recovery - ice baths, sports massage therapies, and regular osteopath appointments are part of a regular post-pitch recovery programme. Each of these mid-season recovery protocols plays an important role in keeping players active and ready to perform at their best - after all, prevention is always better than cure.
One of the most high-tech entrants into the recovery scene is the compression for rugby players. Implemented to be a direct treatment to muscles after the game, compression joins massage, nutrition, sleep, hydration and psychological recovery as a must-have for recovery after rugby events. So how does compression for rugby players work?
How do I use compression, post-play?
Compression is one of the most effective and efficient ways of boosting venous return around your body after play. Simply slip on your compression wear when you are clean, dry, and have completed any necessary ice baths after the game, and keep these on for as long as possible - but the next 48 hours are key to reducing swelling, invigorating blood flow and restoring venous return between heart and muscles.
How does compression work for rugby players?
Compression refers to the compression of muscle groups involved in play, so depending on the compression garment of choice this can be lower limb (glutes, quads, calves and hamstrings) upper body (abdominal, arm, back) or even the feet with our compression socks.
By applying graduated pressure to the muscles, CRX compression garments stimulate the blood flow in these areas, maximising venous return and bringing oxygen-rich blood to the muscle. For players who’ve been on the pitch for over 80 minutes at a time, restoring energy to the body and limbs is crucial - especially in a tournament over days and weeks at a time.
Compression is also key to prevent painful lactic acid buildup, which is caused by trauma and intense activity but creates localised swelling or microswelling. This swelling then presses on pain receptors, called nociceptors, triggering a pain response in your body - limiting movement and function.
By removing the buildup of lactic acid in the muscle and stimulating blood flow at the same time, players gain the full use of the muscle faster and even report improved function and muscle power the next day. Sustained compression helps re-energise muscles for improved performance on the pitch - which makes it vital as a central part of recovery from rugby.
Why is CRX the professional compression partner of choice?
CRX is the compression of choice for professional rugby players and teams throughout the UK. Our partnership with the Dragons squad means that our compression is tried-and-tested in championship games - and our players know that CRX puts the pressure where it needs to be. Our unique custom blend of 20% lycra means our compression tops, tights, calf sleeves, shorts and socks all offer a seamless second-skin fit, while our 80% nylon provides the ultimate compression and support for overworked muscles.
Lightweight, durable, and portable, CRX compression for rugby goes wherever you do - and supports you along the way.