Why Do Basketball Players Wear Tights Under Their Shorts?

By Alex Mercer

November 7, 2021

Basketball players often wear short or long-legged tights under their shorts. Many sports enthusiasts may wonder why the players even bother to wear additional long pressed garments when it is already hot when players run and move around the court. Let’s find out why basketball players wear tights under their shorts.

Basketball players wear leg tights because they help compress the muscles in their legs and thighs during the match. Usually, the landing pressure is high in basketball as it involves long and high jumps close to the hoop and swinging on the rim. The tights then help lessen the force on the legs and accelerate blood flow. They also speed up thigh and knee ligament injuries’ recoveries, ensuring players’ good performance.

Besides the health benefits, leg tights are also a fashion accessory for many basketball players. They often customize it to suit the styles that define them.

Why Basketball Players Wear Tights Under Their Shorts

Basketball player tighers
via Wikipedia

The tights basketball players wear under their shorts are called compression tights. Besides looking cool and sporty, they have tons of health benefits as well. They help muscle swelling, normal blood regulation, body heat, etc.

They also help prevent injuries such as exercise-induced injuries, knee and thigh injuries, etc. Overall, the tights enhance overall performance by keeping the muscle strength in check. 

As mentioned earlier, compression tights have all kinds of health benefits for a player.

Here are 9 ways when the basketball tights under the player’s shorts help them ace the game!

Preventing Muscle Swelling 

Myositis is one of the common causes of muscle swelling. Extreme physical stress and pressure often cause the muscles to swell.

Players might experience moderate muscle swelling, muscle cramps, and muscle spasms, etc. This is a frequent occurrence for most players in basketball. 

Tights under their shorts help prevent conditions like myositis and muscle cramps.

Since basketball matches require severe physical pressure in all the running and jumping, the tights ensure he does not experience any post-match muscle inflammation in the body.

Oxygenated Blood Flow 

Under physical stress, the heart sometimes cannot transmit blood around the body properly.

In a sport like a basketball that includes lots of movement, the heart cannot supply enough oxygenated blood to the veins. 

Besides, in this sport, the legs take the heaviest pressure apart from the hands. So, the compression tights help compress the leg muscles to ensure there’s no abnormality in the blood flow in the muscles.

This is especially true for on-court big basketball matches. The tights under the players’ shorts ensure that the blood-pumping heart is in check even under extreme pressure.

Regulating body Heat

During on-court matches, the players often experience irregular body heat exertion. For example, when they are running speedily and suddenly come to a stop, the body heat suddenly drops.

Again, if they are standing and suddenly start running, the heat rises. These kinds of temperature fluctuations are not safe.

Therefore, the tights on their legs help stabilize this fluctuating temperature. They help keep the blood flow smoothly in the legs, not suddenly shifting from one heat condition to another. 

Improves Muscle Strength 

Because basketball relies heavily on leg muscle movement, it is critical that the players do not become overwhelmed by all of the movement on the court.

So, these tights under the shorts keep the leg muscles and veins together, so the player does not feel immediate exhaustion during the match. 

Protection from the Sun

Basketball players sometimes have to play outdoors. Playing outdoors during summer leaves players suntanned and sunburned.

Not only sunburns but long hours of exposure to the sun also increase the chances of different skin diseases and even skin cancer, as dermatologists warn.

However, these tights paired with other compression gears help the players protect their legs entirely.

Therefore, even during long outdoor practices or matches, they do not suffer from skin burns, sunlight-induced rashes, and other skin problems.

Exercise-Induced Injuries

Any sport requires the players to be physically strong. Therefore, besides supplements, players often rely on heavy exercise. These kinds of activities often have severe after-effects.

For example, exercise-induced muscle injuries or cramps and soreness are part of a player’s everyday routine. But before big matches, the exercise intensity is higher, so the after-exercise pain is also higher.

The compression tights often help relieve that pain. After heavy weight lifting or running exercises, the body releases lactic acid, an influx of which would cause the players extreme pain. But the tights compress the muscles.

As a result, the extra lactic is evenly circulated in the body instead of accumulated in the legs.

Knee Injuries

The knee injury is one of the most common in the sport of basketball. They are running at high speed; players might collide against each other, which would harm them physically.

Besides, when the player lands from any jump, the pressure is mainly on the knees and joints, making them the riskiest part of the body.

Basketball leg tights also protect players’ knee ligaments from injuries like knee joint instability, shakiness or spasm, or even extreme knee pain.

Leg tights often hold the knee joints by pressing them so that the knee joints do not suffer.

Thigh Injury 

For many basketball players, thigh injuries are the most terrifying. This sport includes running, jumping, and landing; the thigh muscles and hip are under extreme pressure.

Players experience severe muscle strain or popping because of all the muscle movements.

Sometimes, they also participate in matches with a previously injured thigh.

In these cases, leg tights are the most helpful gadgets for them in the match. The tights relieve their muscle strains or hold them for a while so that the pain doesn’t interrupt their performance.

These tights also help players with thigh muscle cramps or quadriceps spasms.


Sure, basketball leg tights help minimize the player’s injuries, but they also enhance their styles and personalities.

For example, most NBA players wear tights under their shorts that often match their jersey color. Some of them even have their tights carefully customized so that they complement their style and fashion sense.

See Our Complete Basketball Equipment Guide Here

How Often Do Basketball Players Wear Tights?

Basketball players wear compression tights on their legs almost every match. However, wearing tights for less than half a day would hardly help the players, or so the fitness experts say. Therefore, most players wear them for half a day at a minimum. In other cases, they might also wear them depending on the player’s needs.

Since compression tights on legs help leg muscle pains and cramps, players usually wear them for practicing long periods before matches. They also wear tights during matches to ensure optimum performance.

Most fitness experts say if professional players wear tights for more than 12 hours at a stretch, only then is it helpful to them.

Others suggest not wearing tights for 16 hours or more at one go because it might be bad for the players. It might clot blood flow in that particular area or even cause muscle cramps instead of relieving it.

But that varies from person to person. Some players, therefore, like wearing it for long hours, and some don’t.


If you were wondering why basketball players wear tights under their shorts, I hope this article helped clear your confusion. Basketball players often suffer injuries. Therefore, tights do a great job of helping relieve those injuries.

Tights aren’t just good for your health; they also look great! Many players would wear them even if they didn’t have the added health benefits!

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

Our work has been featured on platforms like Mashable.com, SVG.com, and XXL.com.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}