Guest post by Christine Gorby, DPT, ATC, SCS, CEAS, The Endurance Athlete Center
Walking into a sporting goods store can be a little overwhelming given the amount of workout gear available. Each item claiming to absorb sweat more efficiently or help one recover faster or work out more comfortably. I am really intrigued by the CW-X line of clothing. This brand of gear combines methods of kinesiotape (KT) with sweat wicking technology and morphs it into compression clothing for both men and women.
As a physical therapist, I was attracted to this product since I often incorporate kinesiotape into my treatment plans. Kinesiotape is a soft, flexible tape that when applied to the skin helps to facilitate healing and promotes joint and muscle support. Compression garments, on the other hand, can be worn before, during or after work outs and has the research to back up its claim of lessening swelling. Combining the kinesiotaping method into compression clothing seems genius. The manufacturer claims studies even show an improvement in stride and a decrease in overall energy expenditure.
But does it work?
Consider how you may feel during or after a tough strength training session or cardio work out, and the muscle soreness that you may anticipate. Would you drop money on a CW-X shirt and tights if you could eliminate that potential soreness? Kinesiotape generally lasts a couple of days before needing to be reapplied. Compression garments, depending on how one cares for them, can last for a long time. What is the longevity behind the CW-X line of clothing?
While a novel concept, the product (per the manufacturer’s website) comes with a one year guarantee and follows the retailer’s return policy. The price may leave much to be desired. It’s roughly $130 for a pair of women’s compression tights which may seem a bit steep– but one could easily justify this as an investment rather than an impulse buy.
Online retailers and personal blogs have positive reviews across the board for all products. Running and cycling magazines have featured ads for the products. I tried running in the Stabilyx Tights and the Revolution Tights. Both took a little extra time to get on – but they were quite comfortable. The Stabilyx (capri length) tights were very supportive (especially around the knees), warm and provided some serious compression. I did not experience my usual general calf soreness after running when wearing these tights which I was surprised about! The Revolution Tights were less supportive around the knees, the fabric felt thinner and they had less compression overall. I felt some muscle soreness after running, but not as much as I normally do with wearing regular running tights.
Stabilyx tights gave superb compression
Both tights were comfortable
Both tights were pretty warm
Less muscle soreness after running in Stabilyx
Take more time to put on
Not convinced on the change in stride (If one is training with a certain cadence and has a good understand of proper running form)
Takeaway: For the weekend warrior that goes for an occasional jog or bike ride, this may be an item to pass up due to cost.
For those of us that already regularly use compression socks or recovery sleeves during or post run and for those that self-apply KT tape, I would definitely recommend giving this clothing line a try!
Christine Gorby, DPT, ATC, SCS, CEAS
Check out Christine’s profile HERE.
This blog post was courtesy of The Endurance Athlete Center. To learn more about the EAC and the services they provide, please visit their website at http://enduracenter.com/.