What Do Arm Sleeves Do?
If you watch just about any major sport you will inevitably notice the compression sleeves on the arms and legs of athletes. Arm sleeves are more than just a fashion trend. In fact, compression sleeves have been used for decades across many sports. So, what do arm sleeves do? Athletes will wear arm sleeves for many reasons, including for performance and recovery, arm protection provided by padding, and UV protection. We'll go over the top 7 reasons why athletes wear arm sleeves.
Compression Aids Recovery
Arm sleeves are primarily worn for the benefits of the compression they provide. Reputable arm sleeve brands use advanced technical fabrics that provide ideal elasticity to compress (lightly squeeze) the arm muscles. Various sports medicine studies have shown that this compression helps to stabilize the arm muscles and increases blood flow, both of which help in recovery after rigorous activity or minor injuries. These same studies stress the importance of having the right fit and fabric to receive the benefits. This makes sense - if the sleeve is too tight, blood circulation becomes restricted which actually can be harmful to recovery, while loose sleeves slip down and provide no compression.
Arm Sleeves Enhance Performance
The compression benefits that aid recovery for athletes also enhances game-time performance. From basketball players to major league pitchers and tennis pros, arm motions are critical to their playing careers. The muscle support and improved circulation from compression sleeves gives many athletes an edge over the competition.
Pads for Protection
You may notice that athletes, especially football players, will have a flexible pad on the forearm or elbow portion of their arm sleeve. These players wear arm sleeves for the added protection that the padding offers. Elbow injuries can end the season for a football player. The simple padding on an arm sleeve reduces the risk of injury during hard hits or tackles to the ground.
Arm Sleeves Take The Burn
Arm sleeves that are made from quality material can take lots of abuse. Sports players in contact sports often use sleeves to prevent "rug burn" and skin rash from contact with the playing surface. This is especially needed on turf fields where skin rash can be quite painful.
Arm Sleeves Block UV Rays
Runners, bikers, golfers, and other athletes who spend hours in the sun can benefit from the UV protection that arm sleeves provide. Sleeves made from quality material wick sweat and keep you cool, so wearing them is not a burden in hot weather. The UV protection can reduce the risk of significant sunburns and UV exposure.
Arm sleeves are often used to cover tattoos that may be considered offensive or inappropriate. Even athletes use them for this purpose. Allen Iverson, a former NBA star, is often credited for popularizing the arm sleeve. Evidently, he had to wear one to cover an arm tattoo during play.
Arm Sleeves Just Look Cool
Finally, athletes at all levels wear arm sleeves to add a flare of style. Let's face it, arm sleeves look slick and can compliment team colors or be used to send a message. There is some truth to the statement "look good, feel good, play good." Some athletes just like the look of arm sleeves.