If you’re into sports and fitness it’s likely you’ve already heard of base layers – in fact, you might even own some if you regularly take part in outdoor sports, but what are they and why are they so important? Base layers are often the first layer of clothing you put on – It can include items such as compression shirts, bodyshapers, sweat vests girdles and more. Most commonly known for being worn snugly against the body to help regulate body temperature during exercise, base layers feature stretchy, breathable materials that provide the body all the support it needs whilst training.
Adding some extra layers to your gym bag could mean the difference between a good or bad session, but not everyone is aware of the benefits that come with wearing base layers and compression gear. Whether you’re an avid runner, a weekend cyclist or just love spending hours at the gym lifting weights, adding a base layer to your rotation is a smart move. In this blog, we detail the 7 key benefits of wearing base layers.
Increased blood flow to muscles
As we exercise, our bodies begin to fatigue and have to work much harder to pump blood around the body. This fatigue is what leads to lactic acid build-up, which causes stitches and muscle cramps during exercise. By opting to wear a compression base layer such as a t-shirt or a sauna vest beneath gym wear, it can help improve the flow of blood through the body by encouraging oxygen intake as the compression helps to open up the chest, making it easier to breathe and in-turn reduces lactic acid production. As compression base layers are designed to fit more snugly than your regular gym attire, it naturally helps to keep the body warmer, speeding the process of blood flowing back to the heart and allowing you to exercise more comfortably for longer.
As we’ve already mentioned above, base layers and compression wear are great during intense exercise as it lets blood flow to the muscles more fluidly, but compression base layers have a lot of benefits in post-training too. Because compression base layers allow for increased blood flow to and from the heart and support the muscles properly during exercise, it helps you feel less stiff after an intense session allowing you to recover properly and efficiently and feel more flexible next time you train.
Exercise causes us to sweat – fact. Anyone that says they don’t sweat when training is either not pushing themselves hard enough or is lying to you. One of the great thigs about wearing a base layer beneath your gym gear is that it has moisture wicking properties. When you sweat, a base layer wicks moisture away from your body by absorbing sweat from the surface of your skin and allows is to evaporate away – pretty cool, right? By wicking sweat away from the body, a base layer helps to keep you dry, comfortable and allows your muscles to stay warm for increased blood flow.
Make you appear slimmer
Although base layers are most commonly used in sports, you can also use them as a form of shapewear. Due to their tight-fitting nature, base layers help to improve the look and feel of your waistline, giving the illusion of a trimmer and more toned look. If you’re after a slimmer appearance then men’s tummy tuckers or men’s girdles may be two items you want to consider. Available in a range of colours, styles, sizes and materials, base layers are easy to wear beneath your regular clothes and will ensure you feel confident day in day out.
When we exercise, our muscles move as a result of vibrations that occur when running, cycling or walking. This wastes energy and can sometimes lead to injury or trauma. By opting to wear a base layer, specifically a compression base layer, it allows the muscles to be compressed, limiting movement while exercising. Compression base layers don’t just prevent energy from being wasted, but it also helps to reduce vibrations in the muscles meaning you’re less prone to injury and muscle tears.
Poor posture can lead to a whole array of issues; from neck and back pain as well as headaches, it can also affect exercise performance by obstructing breathing and restricting movement. When you improve your posture, you don’t only feel better, but it has a positive effect on your athletic ability and flexibility too. Base layers can help to support your posture in your day-to-day activities as it helps to compress the torso and ensure you adopt the correct posture for the activity you’re undertaking helping you feel more confident, positive and making you look slimmer in the process too.
Shaping of Quads and Glutes
Lower body base layers usually come in the form of shorts or leggings in order to focus on the compression of the upper leg and glutes. While they can add an extra layer of protection during sports helping to support the leg muscles from cramping, lower body base layers can also help to shape unruly quads and glutes. When opting for a lower body base layer you’ll want to choose something that fits more snugly than your usual jeans or shorts to allow for any lumps and bumps to be effectively ironed out giving your legs a smooth appearance for a more flattering physique.
Whether you’re a seasoned sportsman or just a guy looking to improve his appearance, base layers are the perfect garment to incorporate into your closet. What type of base layer you go for completely depends on you and the activity you’ll be doing and with so many options out there, you’ll be spoilt for choice.