Human Performance Study Results
Ergonomic Study: Ball State University, Human Performance Laboratory 2001
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The purpose of this research project was to determine how custom fit compression shorts might affect athletic performance. Further, the mechanical properties of the shorts were investigated to help explain the performance enhancements.
Ten men and ten women varsity track athletes specializing in sprint or jump events were recruited for this investigation. Testing utilized the Antibody neoprene-cloth compression shorts, which run from the knee to just above the waist, and loose fitting gym shorts as the control garment. Both conditions for each of a series of performance tests were conducted on the same day using a balanced, randomized block design to remove day-to-day variation.
Several significant and important effects were revealed for the Antibody garment:
- Importantly 60m sprint speed was not reduced and in fact hip flexion angle was lower suggesting stride rate was increased.
- Skin temperature increased more during a warm-up protocol and was achieved more rapidly for the Antibody garment condition compared to gym short control.
- Muscle oscillation was significantly decreased during vertical jump landings when the subjects wore the Antibody garment.
- Countermovement vertical jump height increased when the subjects were wearing the Antibody garment.
- Elasticity of the Antibody garment provides increased flexion and extension torque at the end range of extension and flexion respectively and may assist the hamstrings in controlling the leg at the end of the swing phase in sprinting. Further, at the completion of the propulsive phase this effect may also assist the hips flexors in accelerating the limb and so may contribute to reducing groin injuries as well as hamstring.
- In the materials testing the Antibody garment significantly reduced impact force compared to football pants alone and this has relevance to any and all impact sports.
Through various mechanisms, these findings may translate into an effect on athletic performance and reduction of injury.