Basketball Compression Shorts Can Make You Unstoppable On The Court (2023)

It is true that basketball players have a variety of objects and gear in their arsenals, all designed to improve performance and decrease the risk of injuries. One such piece of gear which many players choose to wear are basketball compression shorts.

It might sound odd that a basketball player who runs, jumps, shoots, and more, would want the upper part of their legs compressed, but the fact of the matter is that compression shorts do come with a lot of major benefits. Let’s take a closer look at basketball compression shorts and what they can do for you.

Best Basketball Compression Shorts

Here are the three best basketball compression shorts you can choose from.

Champion’s Powerflex Compression Shorts

These are the most durable, stylish compression shorts basketball players can choose. For their quality they are offered at a surprisingly good price. They are elastic and machine washable. Champion’s signature champion vapor technology evaporates the sweat from your body, keeping you dry and neat.

CompressionZ Athletic Base Layer

Excellent base layers shorts for basketball. You rarely find such elastic shorts. The 4-way stretch fabric ensures that no matter what moves you make on the court, these shorts won’t hinder you. The firm compression helps prevent soreness in your quads, tights and hamstrings.

McDavid MD 7993 Hex 3-Pad Basketball Shorts

The special design of these shorts earned it a place on this list. The three-pad design protects the thighs and tailbone against the bang of basketball. Meanwhile compression increases blood flow to the glutes, thighs, helping you recover sooner. Moisture management technology to keep you dry in even the hardest games.

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Use of Compression Shorts

Compression gear can help add a bit of additional protection to players, such as protection from being hit by the ball, falling to the ground, or colliding with another player.This is the major reason many players wear compression shorts willingly.

Here’s what a sports physiotherapist has to say about compression shorts:

“Most injuries develop because of suboptimal movement patterns.” says Greg Bay, sports physiotherapist and founder of Core Short. “Athletes need stability, mobility and proper movement patterns for optimal movement, and that’s where compression can help.”

Compression shorts can help basketball players increase their power and agility. This means that compression shorts may be able to help basketball players run faster and jump higher.

For basketball players, because compression shorts increase blood flow and muscle tissue oxygenation, they can help players last longer in the game. In other words, muscles don’t get tired as fast, thus allowing for much higher levels of endurance and stamina.

A big reason why basketball players often wear compression shorts and other types of compression gear is because they can help prevent strains and injuries. Simply put, they can help keep everything in place right where it is supposed to be.

Basketball players are on that court for a long time, and by the end of the game, those muscles can become very tired. Muscles take time to recover, but with a good pair of compression shorts, that recovery time can be much faster.

Other Types of Compression Gear in Basketball

Besides compression shorts, there are a few other types of compression gear which are often used by basketball players. Now, the fact of the matter is that we have spoken about a lot of benefits of compression shorts, both in terms of general use and for basketball players specifically. Those same benefits can also apply to other body parts, depending on the specific gear in question.

For instance, instead of compression shorts, basketball players may choose to wear full-length compression pants or compression tights. Instead of benefiting just the upper legs, these benefit everything down to the ankle. Alternatively, some basketball players may choose to wear compression knee sleeves, which are designed specifically to offer compression for the knees.

Next, when it comes to the upper half of their bodies, many basketball players may choose to wear compression sleeves for the arms, elbow sleeves, and wrist sleeves. These can go a long way in protecting the joints, and of course, these items bring all of the other compression benefits to the table as well.

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Benefits of Compression Shorts

Compression shorts are not just beneficial for basketball players, but for all sorts of athletes and people in general. Let’s take a look at the various benefits which compression shorts can have for the average Joe.

Increased Performance and Stamina

The first overall benefit of compression shorts is that they help improve stamina and performance no matter the case. The reason for this is because compression shorts help to slightly increase blood pressure, and therefore they increase blood flow to the muscles, thus increasing oxygenation. Muscles need oxygen to function, and the more they get, the better. Therefore, compression shorts can help to increase your performance whenever doing physical activity. You won’t get tired nearly as fast.

Faster Recovery Time

Another general benefit of compression shorts is that they can help your muscles recover much faster than they otherwise would. That above benefit of increased blood flow and oxygenation also applies after exercise is done. The faster your muscles get large amounts of freshly oxygenated blood, the faster they will recover. This means being able to get back to physical activity much quicker due to your muscles healing back to full strength much faster.

Preventing Injuries and Strains

The next benefit you may reap from compression shorts is that they can help prevent strains and injuries from occurring. They help to provide pressure and stability to keep everything place, so you don’t pull or stretch anything too far. On that same note, due to increased stability and increased circulation, compression shorts may also help you heal from existing injuries faster than you otherwise would.

Overall Comfort

Compression shorts tend to be much more comfortable than basic shorts. They are usually much lighter, more flexible, they breathe easier, and they wick moisture away much better.

Some people ask me if they can wear compression shorts as underwear. Click here to read ore about the subject.

The best compression shorts are designed with comfort in mind. Chafing, skin burn and other skin injuries are forbidden. The seams must not hurt your thighs. Here are some other shorts that never cause chafing.

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What to Look for in Basketball Compression Shorts

Before you go out and buy just any old compression shorts, there are a number of things which you should look out for. The following are the most important purchasing factors to keep in mind before making a purchase.


One of the most important aspects when buying compression shorts is to determine what kind of material they are made of. These can be made out of various materials including Spandex, Lycra, cotton, nylon, polyester, and polyurethane. It is very important that you do a bit of research into each material to see what the benefits and drawbacks of each are. More often than not, compression shorts will be made out of a combination of the above materials.


Of course, you need to get the right fit. While compression shorts are designed to be very comfortable, if you get a pair that are too small, they will be too tight and they’ll actually cut off blood flow and be painful. On the other hand, if the compression shorts are too large, they will not provide you with enough compression, and they will end up riding up your legs.

Amount of Compression

The fact of the matter is that compression shorts are not all the same in terms of how much compression they provide. Some provide light compression, some are very compressive, and some sit neatly in the middle. Here, you need to consider just how much compression is going to be right for you. When all is said and done, this might be an exercise in trial and error to see what works best for you.

Graduated compression shorts are the best for playing basketball. They put the most compression at the end of the shorts, it decreases gradually as you get to the top of the shorts.


Something else to look for is how durable the compression shorts in question are. Simply put, if you don’t get a high-quality pair, they will end up coming apart on you. The most important thing to look for is the crotch of the shorts, as well as the seams. These tend to be the weakest points on compression points, so getting a durable pair is important.


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The whole point of compression shorts is to provide you with compression, but this should not be to the point where you lose flexibility or mobility. The best compression shorts for basketball will provide good compression, but be made out of a fabric that is extremely flexible and stretchy, thus allowing you to retain a full range of motion.


Another important feature which compression shorts should always come with is a high level of breathability. You want the compression shorts to be breathable, because if they are not, you will get very hot and sweaty, which is of course not very comfortable.

Moisture Wicking

At the same time, a good pair of compression shorts should also be moisture wicking. You don’t want compression shorts that either keep the sweat on your legs or absorb it outright. The best pairs are those that can keep you dry and wick moisture away.


The final thing to look for before making a purchase is the price of the compression shorts in question. Simply put, you do get what you pay for, so it is a good idea to invest a few extra dollars into a pair that incorporates all of the features which we just talked about.


The bottom line is that compression shorts can be extremely useful and beneficial for basketball players. The best compression shorts for basketball will help to improve blood flow and oxygenation to the muscles, they help reduce soreness and fatigue, they can increase performance while decreasing recovery time, they wick away moisture, and more. If you are into basketball, but have never thought about wearing compression shorts, you may want to rethink your stance on the issue.

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What do compression shorts do for basketball? ›

Compression garments are designed to increase the amount of oxygen that they receive, according to a publication by Research Gate. Compression are designed to promote blood flow and improve oxygenation of muscle tissue, which can enhance athletic performance during short bouts of exercise.

What are compression shorts good for? ›

Compression shorts apply pressure in a way that may aid muscle recovery after exercise and some sports-related injuries, such as groin strains.

Why do basketball players wear padded compression shorts? ›

They Keep Your Body Warm and Increase Blood Flow

An essential reason for wearing compression pants is that they keep your body warm. They do this by helping you retain heat. And with sufficient warmth around your lower extremities, you will experience an increased blood flow and more oxygen to your muscles.

Are compression pants good for basketball? ›

They can help you recover faster after playing basketball, and they can also help you prevent injuries. It's essential to be aware of the different types of compression pants, so you can decide which ones are best for you. Compression pants are used to support your muscles and ligaments during the game.

Do compression shorts help you jump higher? ›

Both compression and stiffness apparel can have a positive influence on vertical jumping performance. The increase in jump height for the optimal compression was due to increased hip joint range of motion and a trend of increasing the jump time.

Do compression shorts increase performance? ›

Compression shorts offer unique benefits for runners. Adding a pair to your running gear repertoire can improve comfort and cut down on chafing, contributing to better performance. Some athletes even feel that compression shorts help reduce injury risk, stabilize joints, and boost their post-workout recovery.

What are the disadvantages of compression shorts? ›

Negatives of Compression Shorts

If they have too much pressure, they could feel uncomfortable. They may even cause areas to become numb. Those with certain health conditions should not wear compressions shorts. They may not be ideal for those with damaged skin.

What happens if you wear compression shorts too long? ›

Putting pressure on the abdomen squeezes internal organs, which can push acid from the stomach into the esophagus. That's why weight gain can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease, and tight undergarments can do the same thing, says Jay Kuemmerle, a gastroenterologist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Do you wear anything under compression shorts? ›


If you wear underwear beneath your compression shorts, the underwear will bunch and become damp, leading to discomfort and decreased breathability. Wearing your compression shorts as intended will improve your athletic performance and help during the recovery period.

Why are compression shorts so comfortable? ›

Compression shorts are a type of lower body garment that compresses the muscles of the legs and hips gently. They're skin-tight and often made of lycra or some other synthetic, elastic material. This gently squeezes the muscles which provides comfort, as well as immense flexibility.

Did Michael Jordan wear compression shorts? ›

Michael Jordan's Shorts

During his entire career, he wore his North Carolina practice shorts under his NBA uniform for good luck.

What leg compression do NBA players wear? ›

The McDavid Basketball Leg Sleeves are 9-mm thick and are the top choice for professional players.

Does compression help athletic performance? ›

Research suggests that compression garments do not greatly improve circulation or performance during a workout,” he explains. It does, however, have a role in recovery. “Wearing a compression garment is more effective after your workout,” Dr. Kester says.

Do compression pants help prevent injury? ›

The main benefit of compression wear is that it keeps the muscles warm, which helps to prevent muscle strain and fatigue and thereby reduces the risk of injury.

Why do athletes wear compression? ›

Compression clothing claims to increase blood flow to working muscles, and improve recovery and performance. “Compression wear is largely used by athletes who participate in sports, from cycling, running and weight training to rugby, soccer, netball, triathlons and swimming,” says personal trainer Kristy Curtis.

Do compression pants make you jump higher? ›

4) Increased Power & Better Jumping Ability

Compression tights may help in increasing performance during workouts, and improve jumping ability in athletes after an endurance event.

What are the disadvantages of compression clothing? ›

Compression garments might cause some itching, irritation, and discomfort, but they don't cause any major complications. In rare cases, compression garments might cause blood clots, but that negligible risk shouldn't deter you from wearing compression garments.

Do compression shorts slow you down? ›

“We found that compression tights actually reduce the amount your muscles vibrate, but that was not associated with any less fatigue during a 30-minute high-intensity run,” said Ajit Chaudhari, lead author of the study and associate professor of physical therapy at OSU.

Does compression help endurance? ›

Conclusion: Our present findings suggest that by wearing compression clothing, runners may improve variables related to endurance performance (i.e., time to exhaustion) slightly, due to improvements in running economy, biomechanical variables, perception, and muscle temperature.

Does compression affect performance? ›

Data reduction methods, such as compression or deduplication, can have a positive effect on performance, but the significant CPU resources required could overshadow the benefits.

Can you wear too much compression? ›

Overusing compression socks and wearing them incorrectly can break your skin and create conditions where an infection can start. You shouldn't leave the same pair of compression socks on for days at a time, and you should ask a doctor about the length of wear time recommended for treating your symptoms.

Do compression shorts make you hot? ›

While you may think that compression wear would be suffocating on a summer run, it will most likely help you to stay cooler.

Are compression shorts the same as a jockstrap? ›

Compression garments are a step beyond wearing a traditional jockstrap and can be used in conjunction for the ultimate combination of support and comfort. The jockstrap offers stability while the compression garments wick away sweat to prevent irritation.

How many hours can you wear compression? ›

You should wear your compression stockings during the day and take them off before going to bed. Put them on again first thing in the morning. You should be given at least 2 stockings, or 2 pairs if you're wearing them on both legs. This means you can wear 1 stocking (or pair) while the other is being washed and dried.

When should you stop wearing compression? ›

When compression stockings are recommended after surgery, they should usually be worn as much as possible, day and night, until you're able to move around freely.

Do you wear compression shorts under basketball shorts? ›

To reap the intended advantages to the fullest extent, it's best to wear compression garments against your skin—this means you should not even wear underwear under compression shorts.

Do compression shorts stop sweat? ›

Compression shorts are designed to fit tightly to your body, which offers many advantages for those who wear them. In addition to increasing blood flow and helping prevent muscle soreness, the materials used in compression shorts prevent chaffing while also wicking away sweat.

Do compression shorts make you sweat less? ›

Compression shorts are made from a high-grade fabric that offers the wearer compression. The fabric is usually made from a mixture of materials such as nylon, spandex, lycra, and polyester. And what do compression shorts do? In a nutshell, they get rid of sweat, compress the specified area, and let your skin breathe.

Do compression shorts hide sweat? ›

Some styles of compression shorts, like those by Boa, feature moisture wicking material which will absorb sweat and keep it away from the skin. Moisture wicking fabric technology is used in sports bras, form-fitting shirts, and other workout gear.

Are compression shorts Good for circulation? ›

Compression Shorts Help Prevent Injuries

Compression shorts improve blood circulation and reduce fatigue throughout your workout and optimize your oxygen intake.


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