If it wasn’t for my Skins… where would I be?
I’ve loved Skins since the day I got my first pair of leggings. Skins is an amazing range of kit that includes leggings, tops, vests etc and offers muscle support and recovery. Skins, which are also known as Compression Clothing, are claimed to help all athletes to train better and recover faster. They are worn by numerous high-profile athletes including cyclists, runners, rugby and football players. Many of my tri club and running pals also swear by them for preventing injury and as a fab recovery aid.
The technical stuff (taken from the Skins website):
SKINS are designed to increase the flow of oxygen to muscles. This is achieved in two key ways:
* Gradient Compression: SKINS are engineered to provide the correct level of surface pressure to specific body parts, enhancing circulation and delivering more oxygen to active muscles. Improved circulation also helps to eliminate lactic acid build-up and other metabolic wastes so you can go harder for longer and recover faster.
* Superior Construction: The fabric in SKINS is warp knitted using multiple fine quality yarns to give superior performance. Warp knit fabrics have no natural stretch – instead, the spandex mix ensures specific levels of elasticity and perfectly controlled compression.
And after a few years of wear, my older style leggings and tops have become a little weary looking. They are still comfy and they still do their job pretty well but I was almost at the point of needing to buy a new set. Then the lovely man from Skins PR decided that I should be sent a pile of the latest version of Skins. “Just to see how you like them!”
Here’s how I like them: To start with, the new look of the latest and updated Skins is fab. The black (and dark grey pannelling of the Recovery RY400 range) is even more flattering than the last version (black with blue threading). If you only want to achieve one thing from Skins I’d suggest that every woman will be thrilled by how streamlined and sucked in they look in a nice pair of tight Skins leggings and long-sleeved tops!
There are also two clearly defined ranges of Skins. An Active range and a Recovery range. Both versions have Memory MX fabric, to offer “unrestricted movement without sacrificing core compression”. The other advantage of this fabric is that the tops won’t ride up to your armpits while you’re active!
I’ve tested the Active (A400 Skins) tights, long-sleeved tops and vest on numerous runs and walks. They are great at supporting my muscles in just the right places but without feeling too over-tight and claustrophobic. Skins seem to have got the “support” and “give” just right in this newest range. (This is apparently because the range is tailored based on 400 key fitting points of the body.) I find the leggings are also great at maintaining the perfect body temperature, which is a brilliant thing if you’ve been running and walking in these difficult wintery situations recently. Personally, I find my skin temperature when wearing the tops a little on the cool side but anyone else I’ve asked has had no such quibbles. I wonder if I just like my upper body temperature to be warmer than my legs?!
Before the snow came the A400 women’s shorts were only ever not worn when they were in the wash. This is the first pair of tight-style shorts that I have felt comfortable running in.
The Recovery (RY400) range are also very comfortable. The 400 key fitting points are again utilised in the tailoring of these Skins garments. And if it hadn’t have been for my Skins Recovery tights over the past few months I would rarely have been able to achieve all the activities I wanted to do.
As you’ll know if you read this blog I like to pack in as many activities as possible, especially during weekends away in Scotland’s outdoors. Following each outing, whether a hill walk, a cycle, a mountain bike ride or yoga I’ve always tried to pop on my Recovery Tights. I wear them under jeans in the evening and I have even been known to wear them overnight!
Brilliantly these sporting wonder garments have always helped to recover my leg muscles in time for the next day or activity. I’m not saying I have completely fresh legs each time but they are definitely legs that feel able to tackle a new challenge.
This weekend’s Lost Key Saga was a great example. Knowing that the day after losing the key I would have to retrace my steps on a long-ish off-road run in search of the lost key I made sure that I wore my Skins Recovery tights overnight. I woke up with legs that were just about fresh enough to do the whole run again. As I’ve blogged before, running off-road on snow is a great deal more tiring than running on a snow-free terrain. I reckon that wearing the Skins Active leggings for both runs also provided much-needed muscle boosting properties.
So if it wasn’t for my Skins… There is no way I’d be able to physically achieve as many activities as my brain always hopes for. And nor would I have been able to go in search of my lost car key. I didn’t find the key but at least I was able to rule out that possibility.
Skins are sold t many sports and running shop outlets and on-line. To find out more check out the Skins website