Only if you’re swimming is there a performance improvement by shaving your body. However, there are 5 “other” reasons why shaving may be beneficial for overall sport performance.
1. Easier Healing of Road Rash
One of the reasons for shaving is that it makes the healing of “road rash” (that painful patch of skin that has been ripped off your body after a nasty fall) that much easier. Cleaning the wound is simpler with no hair in it, and you lessen the chance of infection in addition to minimizing the painful problem of hair getting trapped in the scab as the wound dries out.
2. Makes Massage More Pleasant
One of the best things about being an athlete is the massage sessions that follow a day’s exercise. Having a clean shaven body or limb makes it easier and more pleasant for the trainer to perform massage. Plus, there’s no pulling on the hairs when they really start working the muscles hard.
3. More Attractive Appearance
To many people, shaved legs simply look better than hairy ones. Tanned, muscular and lean legs are enhanced by smooth skin. After all, that’s the same reason weightlifters shave their body hair – to look better when they’re strutting around stage. And anybody who has followed professional athletes knows there is no shortage of preening in the pre-competition area. Similarly, if by simply shaving your legs gives you a psychological boost, then your mood can make a big difference in the quality of your exercise intensity, and push you to get to that next level of fitness.
Maybe one of the strongest appeals to shaving one’s legs as a cyclist is the tradition involved. For years cyclists have simply shaved their legs, and to shave your legs as well marks you as one of that group, regardless of how fast you actually go on a bike. Half of being a cyclist, some might say, is looking the part.
5. To deter ticks.
If you exercise in the woods (or even on back roads, ) ticks can jump off weeds and grab your leg hair, then make their way around your body until they decide to bite. Smooth legs don’t leave them much to grab onto, so it’s less likely that a tick will stay on your body. It will also be easier to spot a tick if there isn’t a mass of hair obscuring your vision.