More and more soccer players are turning to compression socks during game time and afterward to enhance recovery. Although compression socks used to be thought of as only for those with diabetes or circulatory issues, they have gained popularity in the athletic community because of the many great benefits they tout.
The Physical Demands of Being a Soccer Player
Soccer players frequently sprint short distances to overtake their opponents. Sprinting and changing direction quickly are common in this sport, and that presents unique physical demands for player’s legs and ankles. Because players are using their legs for almost every aspect of the game, strong leg muscles are a must. After intense training or even during a game, muscle pain can rear its ugly head.
Additionally, muscle and ankle injuries are incredibly common in this sport. Compression socks can help in the following ways:
There has recently been a lot of buzz surrounding the topic of compression socks for sports performance, and some have even claimed that they can be seen as performance enhancers. These leg garments keep the muscles warm, and warm muscles have been proven to perform better on the field. This is because compression socks hug the walls of the leg together, which helps encourage proper blood circulation throughout the body.
Good circulation helps to enhance your game by delivering oxygen and other nutrients to the muscles that are needed for peak performance. Additionally, this helps reduce muscle fatigue; meaning you can train harder and longer.
Ankle sprains and ankle spurs are some of the most common injuries affecting soccer players do to side to side cutting, running, and hitting the ball with the outer part and side of the foot. Ligaments are what connect the bones and give the joints stability during physical activity, but repeated trauma can weaken these ligaments, increasing the risk of injury.
Wearing compression socks gives extra protection to the foot, by mimicking ankle taping patterns. Unlike ankle taping however, they don’t weaken your ligaments with prolonged use. They actually do the opposite, helping to strengthen the ligaments over time.
Another great benefit is that most compression socks also feature joint support. Those with weak joints or who have previously suffered and injury can find much needed relief from the dangers or repeat injuries.
Taking care of your body after a workout is incredibly important so that proper rehabilitation can happen between practices. Wearing compression socks helps strengthen the muscles in the leg, leading to shorter recovery times and lessened feelings of fatigue.
Compression socks also help with the compression piece of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Whether you’ve suffered an ankle sprain or your ankles are just sore, compression socks are a helpful part of your post-game recovery.
Don’t leave your compression socks tucked away in your gym bag. Next time you hit the field, make sure to adorn them for peak performance, injury prevention and better muscle recovery for your legs.