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Compression Shorts: WTF?

by Paige Gruszka

As if you thought workout clothes couldn’t get anymore complicated, here come compression shorts. They claim to have lots of benefits, but does slapping on some spandex really do anything? Besides give you another piece of clothing you’ll leave in your gym bag way too long?

Here are the most frequently asked questions I get about compression pants. Weirdly enough, we don’t sell compression shorts and I personally don’t wear them, so I’m not sure why I get asked these questions so frequently. But hey, I’m here to help.

Are compression tights underwear?

Only if you’re out of boxers. And swimsuits. And bike shorts. If you get to a point where compression shorts are your only choice for underwear, just bite the bullet and do laundry already.

There are two mindsets to this question: Some people see compression shorts as the first layer of protective workout gear and consider them to be athletic apparel. Others point out that compression shorts are worn UNDER your PANTS, which makes them underpants.

So then what are men’s compression shorts?

We’ve all seen athletes wearing shorts with tights underneath. Sometimes quarterbacks will wear a compression sleeve on their arm. In basketball, tights under those baggy uniforms are pretty much a given these days. Those are compression shorts. Some athletes swear by them and believe compression shorts enhance their performance in one of the few ways that won’t get them suspended.

What about that jerk I see jogging outside in the winter wearing long pants under his shorts?

I hate that guy. Wearing compression pants under shorts in the winter is how some joggers prefer to regulate their body temperature. Less douchey joggers will just use a treadmill indoors because they’re not insane.

Do you wear underwear under compression shorts?


Do you wear underwear under compression pants?

See above.

Can you elaborate?

Uuuggghhh fine. In order for compression shorts to work properly, they need to fit tightly against your skin. Underwear under compression pants would render the compression shorts ineffective. But like Schrodinger’s Cat, compression shorts are both workout clothes and underwear at the same time.

So adding underwear into the mix would be redundant. Think of it like this: Would you ever wear gloves under a pair of gloves? No. Well, unless you’re on trial for murder.

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What are the benefits of compression shorts?

Look I’m not a compression shorts salesman, but here’s what those spandex enthusiasts will tell you.

  • “They reduce chafing.” I mean I’m never gonna argue in favor of peen chafe so I’ll give them this one.
  • “They keep your muscles in place.” You know what else does that? Your skeleton. And skin. And tendons. Best part? They’re already a regular part of your everyday wardrobe.
  • “They improve blood circulation in your legs.” But at what cost??? Doesn’t that mean there’s less blood moving around other parts of your body? Terrifying.
  • “They reduce muscle soreness after working out.” So does a massage. Treat yourself!
  • “They wick away moisture and keep you cool during strenuous exercise.” You know what else is a great way to do that? Avoiding strenuous exercise.

What are the dangers of compression shorts?

  • If you buy a size too small your whole body could pop like a pimple during spin class.
  • These things are tighter than skin-tight, so if you’re not careful you could wind up in a situation like Ross from Friends.

So do I have to start wearing these now? I just want to fit in.

You can do whatever you want. I’m not trying to pressure you into one decision or another. Well, not in THIS paragraph. But read on, my friend!

This all sounds complicated. Isn’t there a simpler solution? Absolutely. And you won’t believe this, but the solution is a product we sell! Ball Hammock® Athletic Shorts give you some of the same benefits as compression shorts without having to squeeze yourself into a wetsuit before every workout. No chafe. No accidentally flashing your scrote when you’re deadlifting. And unlike compression shorts, they’ve got a built-in extra-large Ball Hammock® pouch to keep your balls supported without having the life squeezed out of them. Also, the fabric is made of a cooling material and there are a bunch of pockets and stuff. But that’s a story for another blog post that I assume I’ll have to write pretty soon.

Of course, if you’re an old-fashioned guy like me and all this talk of lined shorts makes you scared and confused, just stick with the classic: Athletic shorts over a pair of boxer briefs. There’s nothing wrong with that. And with our collection of Men’s Ball Hammock® Pouch Underwear, you can still enjoy the luxury of a supported sack with zero exercise induced dick flappage.

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