Aches and pains come as part of the job when you’re giving 100% on the pitch – but if you’re the sort of player that is squeezing in 3-4 games or training sessions a week, we’re sure the vast majority of players would welcome something to help ease the creaks that come after 90 minutes.
Which is why we were especially intrigued by Equmen – a brand that has already received glowing reports in golf, tennis, baseball and cricket – who offer precision baselayers with physiotherapy-inspired compression and ergonomic support built in.
Now, we were a little skeptical after visiting the site – the message of ‘streamlining’ garments is one we’re hoping to avoid engaging with until at least our midlife crisis – but we’re certainly no stranger to performance garments having a physiological benefit.
adidas’ TechFit or Powerweb, for instance, has been proven to boost muscular power output and support key groups.
So, when offered the chance to try out some of the range – the Core Precision Singlet, Long Trunks and Socks – we were more than a little intrigued at gauging what the Equmen range was capable of besides taking an inch off your waistline.
Starting with the ‘how’ of the products, the Equmen range is covered with high or low-elastic zones seamlessly integrated into the garment around key muscle groups.
Working with the shape of the vest or shorts, this helps pull your shoulders and other limbs back into their most anatomically ‘correct’ position and support the core and lower back.
Let me get this out of the way: if you’re used to playing in a vented baselayer – or indeed no baselayer at all – the Equmen range is not for playing in.
Whilst vented in many of the places you’ll find on a football shirt, the density of the material and tightness of the fit is not conducive to that free movement of moisture that most shirts allow. Suddenly, you appreciate how far ‘sweat wicking’ has come in the last 20 years.
However, after a game, you really appreciate what a product like this brings to the table. After a weekend match, all I want to do is slump; my posture relaxes and I might start to carry my weight awkwardly if I’ve got a strain or knock.
In the upper body, at least, the singlet ‘reminds’ your body of where the shoulders should be. And whilst I didn’t find the trunks offered much besides comfort, the socks are nicely padded for sore feet and offered a great deal of compression to the calves and ankles, with plenty of K-tape-style channels to promote stability and circulation.
Whilst I definitely feel that if you, as a player, are coming off the pitch with back or core issues after every match you should seek proper physiotherapy consultancy, I do think the Core Precision upper-body range from Equmen certainly has practical usage for the amateur footballer.
Whilst the pro’s might enjoy an ice bath and a session with a sports masseuse after a match, the reality is a lot of players of our level will spend their Saturday or Sunday’s after a game putting their posture through a wringer by working in the afternoon, stood up in a bar watching the football or doing the shopping.
It’s this sort of player who will benefit the most from what Equmen has on offer; who could do with something to keep help look after their core and back, before it turns into a problem for a physiotherapist.
Overall, if you like to squeeze more out of your weekend than just playing football, then the Equmen Core Precision undershirts are a great way of making sure your key muscles are back to their best by the time you go back to work on Monday.