What is the effect of compression garments on a novel kick accuracy task?
There is still some uncertainty as to the full application of Compression Garments (CGs), including the effects of long leg garments on kicking performance. Observation of Australian Rules football training sessions show that players frequently wear CGs, and these may be long leg and long sleeved in addition to shorter versions. However, whether the use of garments has an effect on skilled performance is unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the effect of wearing fitted long CGs (itsports model) on accuracy and selected kicking kinematic variables in elite football players, using a standard punt kick task over a novel distance of 5m.
Thirteen male elite players from an Australian Rules football team (M age = 18.9 years ± 1.8) volunteered to participate in this study. Kicking accuracy was tested between three lower-limb garment conditions: two long leg CGs which cover the lower body from the ankle to the hip (fitted and oversized) and training shorts (control). Partici-pants performed 10 drop-punt kicks towards a target for each garment condition with both their dominant and non-dominant leg. Kicking accuracy data was collected using a high-speed camera.
Kicking accuracy between garment conditions was only significantly different when kicking with the dominant leg (p = 0.002). Kicking accuracy was reduced in the fitted CG condition compared to the oversized CG (mean difference = 20 cm, p = 0.018) and for fitted CGs compared to training shorts (mean difference = 21 cm, p = 0.003) indicating that the fitted CGs had a negative effect on kicking accuracy.
Table 1. Kicking Accuracy Distances (metres) from the Target Centre for Each Garment Condition.
Values are mean (95% Confidence Intervals).
The findings indicated a significant deterioration in kicking accuracy on the dominant leg whilst wearing the fitted long leg CG, though hip flexion and ankle plantarflexion on both the dominant and nondominant leg were not significantly different. Specifically, fitted long leg CGs significantly decreased kicking accuracy on the dominant leg, with the best kicking accuracy performance occurring when wearing familiar training shorts.
Lien, N., Steel, K., Graham, K., Penkala, S., Quinn, J., Dogramaci, S. & Moresi.M. (2014). What is the effect of compression garments on a novel kick accuracy task? International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 9 (2), 357-365.