Most athletes don't just want to perform well, they want to look the part as well. Since many baseball players see the pros wearing compression gear, athletes at lower levels have been sporting compression garments as well. While undershirts and sleeves are stylish (they come in a number of colorways to match various uniforms), many people aren't familiar with the actual benefits. Here's how compression gear can help you on the field.

Decreased Muscle Soreness
A long season combined with practice and conditioning can put a lot of strain on your body. Based on a study, athletes who wore compression gear before or after exercise, reported less muscle soreness.

A pitcher may want to wear an arm sleeve to decrease muscle soreness on his throwing arm or a player may use a thigh or calf sleeve (like the DonJoy Performance Trizone Calf Sleeve) to decrease soreness from running and fielding.

Less Swelling
Injuries like sprains and strains aren't uncommon during a long baseball season, in addition to the bumps and bruises that come with sliding into base or diving for a line drive. Compression gear, like socks, braces and sleeves, can help to alleviate some swelling from injury or overuse. According to Men's Health, “compression garments “work” by constricting your muscles. That reduces the amount of fluid buildup, decreasing the swelling and pressure.”

Faster Recovery Time
During the season, there's not much time to rest between a practice and a game, so baseball players need to do what they can to speed up the recovery process so their body can bounce back. Compression gear, when worn during physical activity and after, can aid with this recovery. “Wearing the garments may not make you run faster or jump higher, but they may help you recover from a tough workout faster and may help decrease the likelihood that you'll injure your muscles,” according to Biological Conclusions.

Baseball players don't necessarily need the same type of gear as runners or basketball players; here are some baseball-specific compression items.

  • Compression shorts / sliding shorts - Wear padded compression shorts under your baseball pants for added support and protection when you slide.
  • Compression undershirts - wear a single- or double-sleeved shirt under the jersey for added support. Pitchers can wear a single-sleeved shirt for more protection for their throwing arm.
  • Compression Sleeves (Leg and Arm Sleeves) - Sleeves can help to reduce swelling and muscle soreness and help athletes recover faster between games.

Whether you want added support for an existing injury or want to prevent future aches and pains, compression gear can help you endure the long, grueling season.