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What are Compression Shorts?

Compression shorts are a great addition to your workout gear. These clothes have come a long way over the years, and it is important to understand how best to use your compression gear. Check out all the details our article contains about how compression gear can help you.

This is a close look at a man running on a rocky field while wearing a pair of compression shorts.

Physical fitness has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Over the years, I have seen drastic changes in the world of fitness. One of the most remarkable changes has been in clothes. Years ago, people would wear whatever they could find that felt comfortable.

Technology, science, and knowledge have made improvements to the clothes athletes wear. Compression gear has made huge strides in the world of fitness. Compression sleeves, compression shorts, and other compression gear has taken over the market. For those of you still asking what are compression shorts, keep reading.

What are Compression Shorts?

The best way to get a good idea of what compression shorts are is to think of spandex shorts. Compression shorts are constructed of materials that stretch and form your body. When they conform to your body, they create compression or pressure on the area they are covering.

In the case of compression shorts, they cover your legs and backside. They typically conform so close to your body; they feel righter than your own skin. Other compression gear includes compression socks, sleeves, and tights.

Some athletes wear, like basketball players and Cross Fitters, these shorts underneath their uniform or other clothes. Other athletes, like runners, prefer to wear compression shorts by themselves to make themselves more aerodynamic. 

What Material is in Compression Shorts?

Compression shorts are made of the highest grade fabric to provide you compression. You usually find these types of shorts constructed of nylon, spandex, Lycra, and polyester. This moisture wicking material can help wick away sweat and water from your body to help it breathe.

Can Compression Shorts Help During a Workout?

This is a close look at a man running on a forest trail wearing a pair of compression shorts.

These shorts compress your muscles to support them and keep them contained. They also improve your circulation when they squeeze the blood back towards your heart. These shorts keep your muscles warm, which enhances your performance.

Improved performance also helps to reduce your muscle soreness and help prevent injury, especially during an intense workout. These shorts can help improve your endurance, which extends the time before exhaustion sets in, especially for runners. 

Can Compression Shorts Help After a Workout?

A close look at a man stretching before his work out routine.

A compression short option can help after your workout to treat an injury, likes strains and sprains. Recovery is something that many people do not spend enough time allowing their bodies to recover. Wearing compression materials can help to promote the repair of muscle.

You may have to wear this clothing for several hours after working out for it to help you recover. These compression pants can help remove lactic acid from muscles. When lactic acid builds up in the muscles, it can make them sore. 

Benefits of Compression Shorts

There are many additional benefits to compression shorts and other compression garment options, like compression tights and compression stockings. 

Reduced Exertion

For athletes that participate in endurance or extreme sports, they benefit from the feeling that their workout was effortless and required less exertion. This feeling improves training and improves overall performance.

Increasing Your Power

This is a close look at a man running wearing a pair of black compression shorts.

For any athlete that is looking to increase their power and jumping, compression gear may be the way to go. Compression can also help you recover quickly after a workout where you needed maximum jumping skills. When you maximize your jump, it is perfect for field, track, or the basketball court. 

Prevents Strain

Compression shorts can help limit the amount of strain you are putting on your body. When you have less strain on your body, it can help reduce the chances that you will get injured while working out. If you do strain yourself, compression can help you improve faster. 

Fatigue Reduction

When compression can help reduce the fatigue you feel during a workout, it can increase your performance. The increased performance also means that the soreness of your muscles is not as intense and is reduced quickly. With less fatigue, you will be able to work out longer when you were compression than without it. 

More Oxygen to Muscles

Your muscles need the proper amount of oxygen to the muscles when you are working out. Compression improves blood flow which improves the amount of oxygen that flows to your muscles. When there is proper blood flow to your muscles, it helps increase your performance. You want to find men’s compression shorts that help to promote healthy blood circulation.


This is a close look at a man running on a mountain trail wearing a pair of compression shorts.

Even though compression shorts are known to apply pressure to the area in which you are wearing them, they can be comfortable. They have less wind resistance and will not ride up on you while you are working out. They do not cause friction when you are wearing them. 

Improved Recovery

For athletes that lift weights or participate in other strength training, compression shorts can help them perform and recover better. Often, recovery takes a significant amount of time. Compression shorts help them recover even after the most intense workouts. 


Compression shorts help provide extra support, especially in the groin area. Some compression shorts have cup pockets where you can place your cut to help provide protection to the most sensitive areas of the body. These are ideal for football and baseball. 

Flatter Figure

This is a close look at a man running on a mountain trail wearing a pair of compression shorts.

Compression shorts are incredibly form fitting, which can show off the figure you work so hard for in the gym. These shorts can show off your thighs and butt. When you wear compression shorts, you can see how well your workouts are paying off for you. 

Reduces Chaffing

Compression gear fits closely to your body and, as a result, causes less friction. When you have less friction on your body, that means you have less chafing than other shorts cause, especially running shorts. Compression shorts can keep you warmer and help you stay warm.

You staying warm is helpful during those cold months when you are working out in the elements, like runners. 


How Long Should I Wear Compression Shorts?

You should have compression wear on for about 1 to 2 hours. Wearing compression clothes can improve athletic performance by helping to reduce fatigue and swelling.

Is It Safe to Wear Compression Socks?

Wearing compression socks can be safe, as long they are worn properly. You want to make sure they cover your hamstrings appropriately. When they are not worn properly, the pressure of the socks is not distributed properly.

Uneven pressure on the skin make cause it to break, especially as you get older and have brittle, thin skin. 

Do Compression Shorts Cost More Than Traditional Gym Shorts?

Yes, typically, you will find that compressions shorts cost more than traditional workout shorts, even those with an elastic waistband. Compression shorts are made with a specific purpose in mind. This means they have to be constructed carefully. 

Is There a Difference Between Compression Shorts and Compression Underwear?

Truthfully, it depends on what the compression clothing is intended to do. There are some compression shorts that are intended to be worn as shorts, like cycling shorts or running tights. There are other compression bottoms that are intended to be underwear and are not ideal to be worn as an outer layer.

You should pay attention to the label or packaging to determine how you should wear your compression shorts.

Should I Look For Copper in My Compression Socks?

Copper is a great material to help manage pain, reduce stiffness, and improve the physical function for your legs and body. The copper in the socks can also help to eliminate odor when your feet begin to sweat. This is a nice benefit when you are wearing your socks during a physical activity.