When it comes to basketball (or any sport, in general), players will do almost anything to gain an edge over the opposing team during high-stake matches. Hence, it should not come as a surprise that professional basketball players wear tights to boost their performances. As with any trend today, compression gears claim to shorten recovery time, help stimulate blood circulation, and so on.
But in the end, why do basketball players wear tights in addition to their shorts? If you are unable to comprehend the fact behind the sudden popularity of wearing tights under shorts, this article might have the answers that you are looking for.
Here, you will all the interesting information that you are looking for, including the benefits and composition of compression pants. Once you grab the basic essence of compression pants and the characteristics, you will be able to know why do basketball players wear tights.
- 1 What Are Compression Garments?
- 2 What Are Compression Tights Made Of?
- 3 How Do Compression Pants Work?
- 4 Why Do Basketball Players Wear Tights During Their Games?
- 5 What Compression Tights Won’t Do For You?
- 6 Choosing The Right Compression Tights For Basketball Players
- 7 Final Thoughts
What Are Compression Garments?
There are a lot of names for the thing that NBA players wear on their legs; however, the common term is compression clothes. In the simplest terms, any clothing can be categorized under compression garments if they are made up of spandex-type fibers and can tightly wrap around your body (skin-tight).
Unlike conventional clothing, these compression tights also aid in supporting body functions when it comes to performing physical activities that require stamina and strength. Depending on the type of sport, players wear compression garments that are optimized for different functions. In the last few years, multiple NBA players have started considering tights as an indispensable part while playing.
What Are Compression Tights Made Of?
In today’s time, you will find all kinds of compression tights and shorts for NBA players flooding the market. They are produced in different sizes and colors, but the material stays the same.
Quality compression tights are made to be stretchable and tight for additional support, whether it is about your lower legs or thighs. Additionally, elasticized material that can cling close to the body is also used since they are known to be snug and do not get sweaty and wet easily. Compression is gradually applied to the important areas.
The top brands in the market utilize clothing material that offers some resistance and have anti-microbial properties as well.
How Do Compression Pants Work?
Watch this video below to understand how compression tights work:
Why Do Basketball Players Wear Tights During Their Games?
Why do basketball players wear tights? On average, an NBA player starting the night in, night out for their team in a season will play about 3.15 games each week, with over 82 game season stretching out for 26 weeks.
Also, the schedules of these games tend to fluctuate between a single match and four games per week; however, the majority of the games played each week can vary between three and four.
All these are aside from the daily training, both in and off-season. Given this information, it is no wonder that NBA players make use of tights during their basketball games to assist with faster muscle recovery. However, there are also some other reasons why basketball players wear tights during their games:
The idea of compression tights is to wear them skin-tight. This added pressure from the tights to the supported muscle group will keep them steady and substantially reduce the vibrations through the muscles.
A loose-fitting compression tight will not be able to provide enough support and can prove to be more of a hindrance during a sporting activity like basketball.
Of course, compression tights are not only available in the standard single-layer style that can be seen worn by athletes on and off the court. You have the choice of purchasing compression tights with pads, which are also ideal choices for playing basketball with.
For instance, if you are a high-roller who loves crashing on the boards and jumping through hoops, your game will also include bruises and bumps. With the help of these compression tights with pads, your injury can potentially be minimized.
You might also have noticed some NBA players wearing tights that have honey-comb padding built on it; this particular design has been made to protect important parts of their bodies like elbows, knees, etc.
3. Prevents deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition when the blood starts clotting in the veins; this condition normally takes place in the lower region of the legs and even the thighs. This problem can happen to anyone, no matter the age.
DVT causes pain and swelling, and the skin feels warmer than normal. People who have recently had some kind of trauma or surgery are at greater risk, as well as overweight people and regular smokers. Additionally, it has been studied that compression garments also help after surgery.
DVT is a dangerous medical condition as the blood clot can travel to the lungs and cause artery blockage. Doctors mostly recommend compression gears to minimize swelling and improve the flow of blood.
4. Increases blood flow
It has recently been studied and published by the University of Regensburg, Germany, that the blood flow increases massively to the arteries when using compression tights during any physical or sporting activity.
As the blood flow increases in the body, the heart is able to provide oxygen-rich blood supply to the limbs faster than usual. This improves the functioning of the internal organs and also promotes healthy cell growth.
The long-term effect here is that your body becomes quite capable of fighting off infections and diseases. Hence wearing compression tights is a huge yes for this aspect alone for basketball players!
5. Sweat management
Of course, sweating is a part of any sporting activity that includes jumping and running. Mostly, the materials used to make these tights are either nylon or polyester. Both materials are lightweight, breathable and will wick away moisture from the skin to the outside of the tights, thereby allowing the moisture to evaporate and resulting in the tights staying dry.
Additionally, you will also find that most brands like Adidas and Nike have come up with fancy labels for their garments like Adidas Climacool tights and the Nike Dri-FIT compression tights. However, if these products are way above your budget level, you can make use of any tight that has plenty of nylon or polyester in the fabric.
Of course, in countries like the US, it tends to get extremely cold. In these seasons, one can only imagine how cold the players feel when they have to endure an entire game wearing nothing but their jerseys, shoes, socks, etc.
However, there are theories that state compression tights keep the limbs and muscle groups warmer for longer assisting to prevent injuries.
This does make a lot of sense when you think about it that compression tights trap heat, thereby keeping the muscles warmer for longer time duration and slowing down the process of the muscles becoming cold quickly.
You might have seen players using heavy compression tights like the Nike Dri-FIT compression tight while playing basketball or simply running outdoors during the cold months. According to top experts, the entire body, including your legs, stay warm during the games and takes a lot more time for them to cool down at the end of the game.
7. Extends the benefits of stretching
At times, when the basketball game goes over-time, there is simply more of playing time. Since most of the players stretch right before the game begins, the muscles can get very tight as the game continues to stretch.
The most interesting benefit of compression tights is that it helps prolong the advantages of stretching throughout the game. When the game has a lot of stopping time, the compression garments will keep the muscles warm and prevent them from getting cold.
8. Delayed onset muscle soreness
Muscle fever is a common phenomenon that usually takes place after approximately two days of an exercise routine that contains eccentric contractions (like gym workout). In most cases, genetics is the substantial factor behind the cause, apart from other biological stresses like sleep.
As of now, there is no medical explanation behind delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS); most NBA players believe that massaging helps, apart from taking ibuprofen to help deal with the pain.
Using compression tights during training and gameplay can reduce the oscillation of the muscles, thereby limiting micro-tears that cause DOMS. With the right nutrition, NBA players can manage the electrolytes and the glycogen-easing soreness after a heavy work-out.
9. Skin rubbing
This point might not be quite an obvious one when you think about purchasing compression tights and their benefits on the human body. Quite simply put, tights cover all parts of the thighs that are more likely the area that will chafe and rub during intense and prolonged sporting activity.
If you wish to reduce chaffing, you will find a lot of anti-chaffing products that can help you deal with the problem.
10. Keeps everything in place
Apart from optimal performance, most basketball players tend to wear compression leggings to keep everything in place. It can get very uncomfortable to run and play when certain parts of your body are simply dangling around. Also, people tend to notice such stuff.
Compression NBA tights will keep your genitals pressed against your body, thereby saving you from the discomfort and embarrassment while jumping and running.
Some compression garments are fitted with padded sections that will make you feel better during basketball matches, whether you are just starting or are a professional.
The days of showing off a little leg on the court are long gone! Today, the theme is all about color blocking and matching for professional NBA players. You do not have to be a fashion aficionado to know that when players match the color of their tights to the primary color of the uniforms, the uniforms tend to pop out a little bit.
Additionally, you will also see some compression tights that are available in some nice and unique colors for players who wish to be seen on the court.
What Compression Tights Won’t Do For You?
From the above, we have come to know what the benefits of compression tights are. Now it is time to learn what they won’t do for you! First and foremost, they will not help you perform better. None of the compression gears you wear will actually help you play better. You will not jump higher, shoot better, or run faster.
Secondly, wearing compression tights does not mean that you will be safe from any type of injury. There will always be a way to get injured. You can get your nose broken by a fall while diving for the basketball or by accident or you can twist your ankle. You are never completely safe.
Choosing The Right Compression Tights For Basketball Players
With so many choices available to you, it can be very difficult to narrow down the search for the best compression tights for NBA players. However, there are some key factors that you can look through and will help you choose the right compression tights. These pointers include:
The primary reason why you are buying compression shorts is to make you feel more comfortable on the court. Hence, you should not forget this factor while looking for compression gear. Most people tend to get caught up in the jargon that brands use while advertising their products with phrases like ‘innovative technology’, and forget about the simpler things like comfort.
Compression pants might have all the gadgets and technology in the world, but if they are not comfortable, they are going to prove detrimental to your game. Most of these products tend to feel too tight for comfort, which can cause you to lose focus on the game. Alternatively, if the pants feel too loose, it will feel like you are wearing a pair of baggy pants for the game.
None of the above will help you concentrate on the basketball game; hence, you need to ensure that the compression pants you buy are comfortable.
Compression tights are available in a variety of lengths. Hence, you need to know the precise measurements before looking for one. Most NBA players prefer wearing compression pants that will hardly be visible beneath the basketball shorts.
These pants provide no benefit to the lower leg muscles. However, people who wear them do so because of the feel. Mid-length compression tights reach around halfway down to your lower leg and are a great option for people who are looking for the best of both short and long compression pants.
The longer ones will go all the way down to your ankle and is beneficial for your entire leg. Each length has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it will narrow down to which length suits you the best.
Durability is a factor that is closely related to price, with more expensive compression tights generally lasting for a longer period of use. The bad ones will not last for a long time and the stitching will start falling apart after a few uses.
Also, less durable compression garments are itchy and uncomfortable while you play and will eventually require you to buy a new pair almost immediately. Of course, it is difficult to know which tights are durable and which are not; hence, the best way to do this is to read as many reviews as you can and find what other real-life customers have experienced.
Mostly, tights utilize a mix of polyester and elastane at a ratio of 9:1 as its fabric. Commonly, the more the elastane used, the stretchier the tights become. Additionally, you should also look at the thickness of the fabric.
Thinner materials will be able to provide better ventilation and will help in the cooling of the body’s temperature. On the other hand, thicker materials will keep you warm and minimize heat loss. Hence, you need to take your personal preferences into account while looking for suitable compression tights.
5. In-built features
Apart from the standard characteristics like dimensions, you must look for what the tights have to offer in terms of features. For example, you will find some compression gears that have antimicrobial properties that will help preserve and maintain the sanitary of the wearer.
Also, some compression leggings are designed to prevent your ‘organs’ from dancing around. In any case, it is always beneficial if you assess the integrated features of different tights to end up with the best deals.
From the above, we now understand why do basketball players wear tights under their shorts. Additionally, we have also seen that compression gears are not miracles that will solve all your problems. It is simply just another training gear, with its own sets of pros and cons.
Compression tights will keep your muscles warm, which will lead to better gameplay. It will also increase the flow of blood in your body. Hence, you will see so many NBA players wearing compression tights.
Do feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below; it would be great to hear your feedback as well.