2XU Elite MCS Compression tights offer a comfortable and flexible fit that keeps your leg muscles supported during training.
I received the 2XU Elite MCS just before attending a 3-day kettlebell certification hosted by IKFF. This proved to be a great testing situation to see if the Elite MCS actually worked as well as the copy suggests.
MCS – Muscle Containment Stamping
This technology is actually very helpful. Instead of thick seams to offer target support, the MCS is stamped onto the fabric and applies compression without restriction. This is nice when doing compound exercises like deep squats, lunges and hip hinges (kettlebell swing and deadlifts).
PWF FLEX materials – Power Weight Flex for Compression
The front of the tights has 70D PWF FLEX that applies support to the quads. The rear has thicker 105D PWF FLEX material that gives a very good compression to the glutes and hamstrings. This I noticed after doing significant amounts of kettlebell swings. Like an extra pep in the swing. The 105D PWF FLEX is also in the calf area. Providing a nice compression for the gastrocnemius and other calf muscles.
How they are different from others
I have used other compression tights in the past, but tend to not use them for training. I have found them to be restrictive and diminish my perceived range of motion. Most of them featured thicker bands of fabric to offer the “muscle mapping”. While that worked well for recovery, I did not like it as much for training.
How 2XU is tested – AIS
Each piece of gear is tested by the Australian Insititute of Sports to confirm the compression benefits. The tests go over whether or not the products provided relief from muscle stiffness and swelling as well as reducing blood clots. I think that is pretty impressive.
How I tested the Elite MCS tights
Entering the grueling 3-day IKFF kettlebell certification is a daunting task in its own right. So anything I can do to recover quicker and perform better (and safer!) I was game for. The first day of the course I did not use them. This was the control day as I have been through the course a year earlier. Result – I was understandably fatigued and felt par for the course. I have taken a few other 3-day kettlebell instructor courses (StrongFirst SFG1) and did not use compression tights for those either. This was a good baseline to objectively perceive it the 2XU MCS would work.
Day 2 and 3 of IKFF Course – Improved
Entering Day 2 of the course I used the tights. I was reluctant before using them, as previous tights had felt a bit restrictive on deeper exercises (full squats, TGU, etc.). I unboxed them, put them on and immediately was impressed. They felt great! No restriction in movement and lightweight in feel. Performing the kettlebell swing and snatch was awesome. I could feel the extra reinforced area in the hamstring and calves doing their job. Doing a deep squat was no problem. After the course ended, I kept the tights on until going to bed. They were that comfortable! I used them the next day as well and felt the benefits. Though I have no way of quantifying the way they perform, I can say that I did feel more athletic, strong through a full range of motion and did not feel as fatigued as I usually would.
Conclusion on the 2XU Elite MCS Tight – Solid performer
I am impressed with the MCS tights. The fact that they helped me get through level 1 and 2 IKFF kettlebell certification course feeling good is a big plus. I used them for day hikes and other workouts as well. Each time I used them, I felt more supported and athletic. I would recommend these to anyone who is looking on getting even the slightest advantage during training, running, hiking, backcountry skiing, or other sports were compression and support for leg muscles is needed.