Women’s compression leggings are popular in a lot of workout circles—especially those who enjoy high intensity workouts. You’ll see runners wearing them, and they’re a staple for weightlifters and powerlifters alike. Crossfitters sometimes wear them, and you’ll even find compression shorts specifically made for bikers.
Read below to learn more and discover the best compression leggings for women in 2022.
What Are the Best Compression Leggings in 2022?
The best compression leggings are the ones that are most comfortable for you. Some are high waisted, some mid-rise, and some feature a drawstring or adjustable bands to keep them extra tight at the waist. Ultimately, no matter what workouts you’ll be doing, choose what looks and feels best.
High Waisted Compression Leggings
High waisted compression leggings are great alternative to waistbands that slip or bunch. When you’re bending and twisting, the high waist is more likely to stay put than the waist on midrise leggings. Others prefer high waist styles specifically for core compression. Either because it helps with performance — or because it flattens the tummy a bit and helps with confidence.
Mid Rise Compression Leggings
Some prefer mid rise because while they offer compression through the hips and legs, they don’t place pressure on core muscles.
Adjustable Compression Leggings
Adjustable waistbands and drawstrings can be advantageous. If you struggle with waistbands that slip or roll down and are doing a lot of bending, look for adjustable options.
What Are The Best Plus Size Compression Leggings For Women?
Again, choose what looks and feels best—and give a nod to the types of workouts you’ll be doing, too. In other words, less snug for mobility and flexibility, more snug for more support. Also look for high waisted options, which are much less prone to rolling down at the top.
Best of all are high waisted leggings that feature wide waistbands. These offer a couple of advantages in that they comfortably support the stomach area—and they have a slimming effect, which will give you a confidence boost.
Here are our picks of the best plus size compression leggings for 2022:
Compression Leggings FAQ
What Are Compression Leggings?
They look a lot like regular leggings — but whereas regular leggings are stretchy and often feel weightless, compression leggings apply gentle pressure and support to leg muscles. Because of this, they’ll feel tighter and heavier than your average pair of leggings.
What Do Compression Leggings Do? Why Wear Them?
When wearing them for yoga or a high intensity workout, the best compression leggings are all about performance.
- Weightlifters of all types wear them for the support. Especially when doing large compound lower-body moves like barbell squats. Increased pressure on the muscles in your legs can mean the difference between completing or failing a rep.
- Compression leggings improve blood flow. The pressure increases the amount of blood flowing from the legs to the heart, which gives you a boost when you’re doing cardio like running or cycling. This can also help prevent cramping.
- They reduce muscle soreness. Wear compression leggings post-workout to help your lymphatic system drain away lactic acid, which is the cause of the muscle soreness you feel after working out.
- Compression leggings improve balance. The constant pressure stimulates sensory receptors, keeping you more aware—and better able to maintain your balance.
Apart from workouts, there are other reasons to wear compression leggings or other types of compression garments. They can help with certain ailments like swollen legs and ankles, circulation disorders, or nerve pain.
What Are Compression Leggings Good For?
For the reasons listed above, they are great for several things. During workouts, they help you improve performance in a variety of ways. After workouts, they’re a good way to help prevent muscle soreness. For people prone to swollen legs and ankles, or people with circulation problems, they can help improve circulation and alleviate your symptoms.
How Tight Should Compression Leggings Be?
The answer to this question depends on what you’ll be doing in them. In general, compression leggings should be snug, but not so snug that they’re uncomfortable. They should never cut into your skin at the waist or ankles, nor should they be tight enough to cut off circulation.
Beyond that, choose the level of snugness based on your needs. Runners, bikers, and other high-intensity cardio enthusiasts should go with a fairly snug fit that applies light pressure through the hips, legs, and calves without restricting motion. This moderately snug fit is also good for people with circulation problems or if you’re wearing them post-workout to prevent muscle soreness.
People who need the utmost freedom of movement—yoga practitioners, or people who are into pilates, dance, or other activities where flexibility is important—will benefit from a less snug fit. You should still be able to feel pressure, but only just enough to stimulate sensory receptors to help maintain balance. They should not interfere with your movement at all.
People into strength training are at the opposite end of the spectrum. In fact, in the upper echelons of strength sports, athletes wear specialized compression suits to provide an extreme level of support in order to power through larger lifts. For most strength trainers, however, compression leggings with a super snug fit are ideal. Keep in mind that despite the snugness, they should still never cause discomfort or cut off circulation.
Do I Need to Limit the Amount of Time I Wear Compression Leggings?
For most people, no—there are no limits to the amount of time you can wear them. Save them for your workout or post-workout, or wear them all day so long as you’re comfortable! However, there are medical-grade compression garments that some wear to treat various medical conditions. If you’re treating a medical condition with compression garments, it’s best to work with your physician to learn where and when you should be wearing them.
Can I Wear Compression Leggings While Pregnant?
Lots of women love compression leggings as maternity wear! Aside from the fact that these leggings are flattering on everyone, they also offer a lot of support through the back and legs. Wear them as an alternative to belly bands or support belts—or alongside them—to help ease aches and pains throughout pregnancy.
Time To Give Them a Try!
If you’ve never worn them before, you might find that women’s compression leggings can quickly become your new favorite piece of clothing. They help with athletic performance, they’re shaping and flattering—and you can find them in lots of cool colors, styles and prints!