Choosing the ideal compression for sports recovery

In the start of a series of monthly blogs with guest specialists, we speak to leading researcher Dr Charlie Pedlar, of St Mary’s University, Twickenham, to discuss what you should look for when choosing compression for effective recovery from exercise and competition.

“I’m part of a team at St Mary’s University including Dr Jess Hill, who have undertaken research on compression over the last few years. We have worked with numerous elite athletes and we’re always looking for appropriate recovery strategies including compression.

“Surprisingly, a lot of the existing research available on compression hasn’t looked at measuring the level of additional compression that the garments provide and have relied on the stated pressure on the packaging being correct, but this ignores the fact that athletes’ limbs are all different shapes and sizes. We know any tight garment will deliver a level of compression, but it’s important to measure the pressure to be able to understand how effective it is.  Just like knowing what dose of drug a doctor has administered to evaluate how effective it is. 

“We have looked at different biomarkers – blood test data – to show a physiological disturbance. We measure muscle damage and inflammation, strength, soreness and perception of recovery. These are important markers for checking whether compression is making a real physiological difference on recovery – either perceived or actual. I would say that so far, research shows that there is a consistent perceived improvement in muscle strength when athletes wear tight compression and our overall meta-analysis of compression studies show there’s an overall positive recovery effect for various markers.

“Isobar Compression garments have allowed us to consistently be very precise with achieving suitable pressure no matter what shape the limbs are of the athlete. Our rugby player study was the clearest evidence so far that there is an augmented effect with this level of compression. 

“What we’ve found is… compression garments that fit work really well. Athletes’ legs are all different shapes and sizes, so they need something individual.” 

“Recovery strategies are important for athletes. We know that sleep and nutrition are vital and certainly the first things that need to be considered in a recovery strategy. However, if you’re looking for the extra percentages you need to look at additional strategies with ice baths and compression falling into that camp.  

“The most-savvy teams will have really clear compression protocols for travel, especially when they have a busy competition schedule. This is true of basketball where teams will be playing up to three games a week and travelling to different cities. It’s vital to sustain performance. Sports scientists are concerned about accelerating recovery for competition. We also know they need better advice and protocols on how compression can help with this.

“Compression applies to a lot of different teams and different sports. Most have some idea on compression approach, but they’re not always experts in that area. They do use off the shelf because it’s in stock right now rather than individualised compression, but there is not a more superior garment out there than Isobar in terms of performance. The advantage is all about delivering the right level of compression.”

Dr Charlie Pedlar is a Reader of Applied Sports and Exercise Science at St Mary's University, Twickenham, in the School of Sport, Health and Applied Science. He has a keen interest in the application of scientific research to the training of elite athletes, and as such has been involved in the preparation of elite athletes for international competition. Charlie has been involved in several independent research studies into the efficacy of compression for athletes.

Launch event with new licensee

We are excited to be partnering with Greater Manchester physiotherapy network Harris and Ross as part of our new licensee programme. Harris and Ross has four clinics including a flagship centre at Total Fitness in Wilmslow and work with the general public as well as offering elite rehabilitation programmes for professional athletes.

Harris and Ross will offer 3D scanning for custom-fit compression across their clinics and we'll be showcasing our innovation at a launch event later this month. The open evening on November 29th will see demonstrations of our innovation in compression as well as a talk by Olympic performance nutritionist Freddy Brown, who has undertaken independent research on the effectiveness of Isobar on amateur and elite athletes.

To book to attend the launch event, please visit Harris and Ross.

Find out how you can partner with us here.

Licensee programme announced

Today we’re launching an exciting opportunity for physiotherapy and travel clinics offer innovation in compression to their clients by becoming an Isobar Compression licensee. By offering custom-fit compression from a 3D scan, clinics will be able to show better outcomes from their clients, patients and customers as well as generate secondary income.

Isobar Compression garments have been developed, refined, researched and we are now ready to launch our first licenses for 50 physiotherapy clinics across the UK. With substantial evidence behind the accuracy of fit, pressure, durability and efficacy, Isobar Compression provides outstanding outcomes for athletic recovery, improved venous return for patients with vascular conditions and reduction in DVT risk in travel, post-surgery and during pregnancy.

Due to technology advances, clinicians can now scan for custom-fit compression in their own clinics through the use of their own tablet, free Isobar software, and a 3D camera (available for purchase if not already being used in clinic for bespoke orthotics).

Click here to find out more information and order a no-obligation licensee pack.

Isobar partners with performance experts Orreco

Isobar Compression is pleased to announce its partnership with Irish sports and data science company Orreco to provide custom-fit compression garments to their roster of elite athletes and teams.
Isobar's custom-fit compression garments are proven to provide significant athletic recovery by reducing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and improving strength recovery after 48 hours of competing/training.
Isobar garments are clinically proven to improve the venous (blood) return from the legs and arms back to the heart, which helps prevent and treat vascular conditions and reduces the risk of DVT in long-haul travel and aids recovery from injury. 
Based in Galway and LA, Orreco uses machine intelligence to find hidden signals in data including GPS and performance statistics to help improve athletic performance and reduce the incidence of illness and injury.  
Orreco’s actionable data products have already gained significant traction with clients and professional sports stars in Formula 1, on the PGA tour, and with players and teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and Olympic sports. One of Orreco’s clients is English Premier League side Newcastle United.
Isobar is working with players and teams across Olympic and Paralympic sports, as well as football, rugby and cricket in the UK, plus athletes in the PGA Tour, NBA, NFL, MLB and US colleges. 
Orreco believes that supporting the athlete to perform at their best requires healthy travel and optimal recovery after training and competition. Under the new partnership with Isobar Compression, Orreco-supported athletes will undergo a unique 3D scan of the leg or arm, with a personalised garment then created which delivers accurate pressure, a perfect fit for their limb size and shape. This will aid their sports recovery and travel health.  
Commenting, Orreco co-founder and CEO Dr. Brian Moore said: “At Orreco we work with some of the best athletes on the planet. We are very proud of the peer reviewed research that drives our support and are constantly looking for evidence based and clinically proven technology that can help our clients. We have certainly found that with Isobar Compression. We are excited about our partnership and the possibility of bringing our collective world-class expertise to bear on this important area which can help to optimise performance.”
Dr. Jim Hampton, Isobar Compression Medical Advisor, said: “We are delighted to be working with Orreco to provide custom-fit compression garments for their incredible roster of world-leading athletes. Isobar Compression delivers the precise pressures needed for each indication, whether improving performance and recovery for elite athletes, DVT prevention, or treating lymphoedema and leg ulcers. This exact fit and accurate pressure cannot be achieved by any existing compression stocking or bandaging system and we are delighted to offer this service to Orreco’s elite sportsmen and women."

To find out how we can help your team improve their recovery or travel, contact us on 02476 284041 or email

Isobar partners with HRG

Isobar has entered a new partnership with HRG, the Global Travel Management division of Hogg Robinson Group. Under the terms of the agreement HRG and Isobar will work together to promote the use of custom fit Isobar Compression flight socks during travel to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The partnership will see HRG clients benefitting from an increased provision of travel health briefings, workshops and seminars to inform them on how best to protect their corporate travellers against DVT risks.

Amanda Hanlin, Director of Commercial Marketing commented: “A partnership with Isobar Compression enables us to continue to ensure that our clients and their corporate travellers receive the very latest advice and guidance to help protect them.”

Professor Charles McCollum, Isobar Chief Medical Advisor and Head of Academic Surgery at the University of Manchester, UK added: “We are delighted to be in partnership with HRG and look forward to working with them and their clients.”

If you are interested in hearing more about this partnership, please contact Joe Barter at or on 02476 284041.

A new lease of life for patients

Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester has been using Isobar Compression hosiery at its specialist leg ulcer clinic for 18 months and is achieving great healing results for its patients.

"The benefit of Isobar Compression hosiery is we can put patients in compression that it would be very difficult to get made-to-measure or off-the-shelf for," Jo Clarke, leg ulcer specialist nurse, told Isobar.

"We can get misshaped and large limbs into Isobar Compression hosiery. We can make sure they're getting the specific compression that is not going to give any detriment to their arterial status."

You can watch a case study on patient Christopher Lee here. Christopher has seen fantastic results since wearing Isobar to treat three ulcers on his left leg and has been able to return to work as a groundsman, which has given him a new lease for life.

Robin Drysdale gives Isobar the thumbs up

Former professional tennis player Robin Drysdale has given the thumbs up to custom-fit Isobar Compression socks. Robin, who reached the 1977 Australia Open quarter-finals, and is now a successful businessman, chooses to wear Isobar compression socks.

Robin commented: “The socks are by far the best I've worn and I have had several different pairs of compression socks from different manufacturers. In fact, I wore them for 12 hours sitting and standing yesterday and at the end of the day my legs felt fantastic.

“I enjoyed the experience of having my leg scanned by the Isobar team and having a pair of compression socks made specifically to fit my legs. I find the socks are comfortable to wear and are very good quality, so will last a long time. I regularly wear them when I travel to protect against DVT and also keep my legs feeling fresher. I would happily recommend Isobar to others and I will continue to use them and order more.” 

Isobar supports boxer ahead of fight

Isobar ambassador Charlie Quinn is preparing for his next professional fight this weekend after making the switch up to the heavier Cruiserweight title. In this guest blog, Charlie tells us about his fight preparations and how his Isobar Compression garments have aided his training.

It’s been two years since I turned professional and it’s been a steep learning curve. It’s really suited me as I’m learning constantly, from sparring to developing as a boxer. I used to find it hard boxing at a lighter weight, as I would have to spend the last couple of weeks getting down from 86kg to 81kg which is a big drop. I’d feel the loss of power.

I decided with my team after the last fight to make the step up to cruiserweight, which meant putting on two stone. I took some time out from fighting to concentrate on putting on the weight and putting a lot of work into strength and conditioning. This has meant that the last couple of weeks leading up to my fight this weekend has been spent on technical work rather than weight loss.

My worry with going up a weight was that I’d get slow, but this hasn’t happened at all. In fact, I feel more powerful and I’m actually faster on track! These early fights are my learning fights and as only a four-rounder, I have chance to get used to the challenge of the fight. At this weight everyone can punch hard. It’s a slim division though so I can hopefully move through the rankings quickly.

While training for this fight, I’ve been making the most of my Isobar products. I’ve been wearing arm sleeves and full-length socks for recovery and they’ve really made a difference. I used to feel the DOMS the day after training hard, but now I can just get up the next day and train hard right away. I also have travel garments that I wear for travelling to London and Manchester for training or sparring, which have helped too.

Charlie’s fight is on 10th March at York Hall, London. Find out more about Charlie at:

Sale Sharks recover faster with Isobar

John Kirkpatrick of Sale Sharks talks about how his players have recovered significantly from training and games this season after wearing Isobar Compression custom-fit compression technology.

"Isobar use the most innovative technology when it comes to tailoring the compression garments to each individual athlete. Isobar use a 3D scanning machine to attain a perfect fit for each leg. This process ensures that the correct pressures are applied to the ankle, calf and quadriceps. This process means each athlete has a bespoke garment that is a perfect fit ensuring maximum performance in recovery.

"Isobar came into the club and provided the squad with an excellent presentation highlighting the optimal compression the garments provide in comparison with other market leading brands. They show cased the technology they use to attain the correct and accurate compression as well as sharing feedback and early research on the performance of both the calf socks and the full-length tights.

"The squad at Sale Sharks has really benefitted from wearing the garments. They have found that by wearing the garments after games and training sessions have significantly improved recovery times. We have also noticed that recovery has improved in their jump scores post game (fatigue test we use) as well as an improved score on their wellbeing survey (questionnaire on player health).

"I have personally found Isobar to be an excellent product. The ongoing support they have offered the squad has been first class. They have supplied replacement garments when necessary and have provided 3D scanning for new players within a very short time frame.

"I would recommend this product to any athlete/sports teams as I feel the garments have really helped in achieving faster recovery times allowing the players to train harder on a daily and weekly basis. The Isobar garments are an essential tool for each player’s recovery protocol and having used Isobar with the entire squad for the entire season, I am in no doubt that, they are the market leaders in sports compression garments."