What are Compression Shorts and How to Wear Them?

What exactly are compression shorts?  Essentially, they are tight fitting shorts that are designed to compress your leg muscles, kind of like a second skin. Compression shorts keep your muscles warm, stable and thus reduce the likelihood of any injury.

Compression shorts are typically made of a tight Spandex material and are usually 15% (approx) smaller than standard athletic wear. An important factor to note is that these shorts fully compress the muscles, while at the same time not actually restricting our movement in a negative way. This fantastic benefit means that your performance is only positively affected.

This article is a ‘compression shorts 101’. You will find out what they are, how to wear them; as well as discovering plenty of other useful tips. Enjoy!

What are compression shorts for?

compression shorts for athletesIf you are an avid sports watcher then you may have seen your favorite athletes wearing some kind of compression wear, especially the compression short. No, these are not tights. But why are they wearing them? What is the purpose?

There is mounting evidence that compression wear can provide some serious physiological benefits to the wearer, many of these benefits occurring AFTER exercise has come to a halt.

Compression shorts can be an effective tool in reducing the onset of fatigue in your muscles. The tight fit of the shorts aid blood flow and force blood back to your heart. This increased flow of blood results in your muscles feeling fresh; while other people are feeling hard-pressed.

Ever had a deep-tissue massage after a workout? If yes, then you’ll know that applied pressure can reduce inflammation and soreness in the targeted muscle area. Compression wear has the same sensational effect as the massage does; wearing the shorts for a period of time (1-2 hours) after your workout can measurably reduce swelling and fatigue.

Please have a watch of the video that outlines the main benefits of wearing compression shorts.  Specifically, the video covers how compression shorts can aid your blood flow and reduce muscle fatigue.

Do you wear underwear under compression shorts?

This is a question that is frequently asked when visiting the topic of compression wear. The answer… No. Many people make the common mistake of wearing underwear under their compression shorts. I mean, it makes sense. We have been putting our underwear on first our whole lives, so to put on a pair of tight shorts does not come natural.how to wear compression shorts for football players

Wearing underwear at the same time as compression shorts is not a good idea; it results in the shorts becoming somewhat redundant. The true effectiveness of the product is affected and you may compromise the helpful benefits, such as keeping you sweat free and your ensuring your muscles are compressed.

Compression shorts provide a great benefit to the wearer. Moisture is transferred away from your skin to the outside of your shorts; this keeps you moisture free and feeling fresh during exercise..

These above reasons are why you do not want to wear your underwear along with your compression shorts. Last thing you want is to have sweat-drenched underwear, which is in direct conflict with the amazing benefits of the compression shorts.

Are compression shorts underwear?

Compression shorts act as a kind of ‘active underwear’. As we have just discussed, compression shorts aren’t meant to be worn over your usual underwear. This means that, by default, your compression shorts become your underwear. With compression shorts, you don’t have to worry about any rubbing or bunching of your underwear. The shorts keep everything secured in place and allow you to fully focus on your workout

Compression shorts also offer more protection, especially for all you men out there. Compression wear helps to keep ‘everything’ in place and this means that you have more protection and are far less likely to suffer from an awkward injury.

However, what about when you aren’t partaking in sporting activities? Whether you want to wear compression shorts as underwear in your day-to-day activities is your choice. This is a choice many people are now taking seriously, and the amount of people wearing compression shorts as their underwear seems to be on the rise.

That said, most compression shorts are made of a synthetic material. This material is not the most comfortable and is perhaps not the most suitable choice for your underwear. Semi-tight underwear that compromises of a soft cotton material will provide far better comfort.

How to wear compression shorts?

Okay, so you now have a good idea of what they are and why you should wear them. But HOW should we wear them? Compression shorts are designed to be ultra snug how to wear compression shorts rightto your skin; the shorts will transport sweat from the surface of your skin to the external surface of your wear. It really is a case of just slipping on a pair of compression shorts and you are away! Although, it is worth noting that compression shorts can take a bit of effort to put on and take off.

Wearing loose shorts over your compressions shorts is also an option; this is something you will see basketball players do. This option gives more of a conservative look. Let’s be honest, wearing ultra tight compression shorts does attract attention, if this attention is unwanted then you can always wear a second layer on top. I regularly end my runs with a stop off at the local shops or to a coffee shop; in these situations, I wear shorts on top of my compression wear.


You should now have a clear understanding of what compression shorts are and how to wear them. Compression shorts provide a whole multitude of benefits that you should be taking advantage of. These specialized shorts keep your muscles warm, secure and can help in reducing injury risk.

It is important to once again note that you shouldn’t wear any underwear under your compression shorts. Doing this compromises the helpful benefits, such as keeping you sweat free and your ensuring your muscles are compressed.

If you an athlete that desires to get the most out of their effort, reduce injury risk and increase performance then wearing compression shorts is worth a shot.