What To Look For In Workout Clothes

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March 3, 2017

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Yes, what you wear to the gym does matter. If you’re not comfortable, there’s a good chance you’ll be tugging at your outfit and won’t be focusing your energy on your workout. The right workout clothes can be the difference between a semi-enjoyable workout and a miserable one. Too tight and you’re probably going to feel restricted but then a loose sports bra isn’t going to do you any favours either!

Workout clothes tips

Here’s a quick guide to help you find the right workout clothes:

Sports bras

Breast bounce is definitely something you should try to avoid! Without the correct support, you may suffer damage to ligaments or breast tissue. It can also be really painful.

What to check for:

  • For low-intensity activities: Try lightweight materials with adjustable straps for workouts where there’s likely to be less impact for your body (like walking, yoga or pilates).

  • For high-intensity activities: thick straps and a firm chest band are essential to secure the bra in place during more intense workouts. 

Some women find bras with underwires are too uncomfortable during exercise, as the underwire can add pressure to your chest. It might help to try different types until you find a style that works for you. It’s highly recommended you regularly get fitted for sports bras to make sure they are meeting your needs.

Workout tops

While cotton used to be a favourite in the locker room, these days it’s all about sweat wicking fibres. Cotton tops can end up trapping sweat, which may affect your body’s ability to regulate your temperature.

Sleeveless tops may feel cooler, but keep in mind they don’t offer the same protection from the sun. If you run outside, bright colours or clothing with reflective strips will help other road users to see you.

It’s a good idea to pick tops that can be layered easily. That way you have light material for warmer weather, and can throw on a jacket as you move to and from your workout, or when it’s cooler.

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Workout bottoms

When picking clothing for the bottom half, keep the activities you plan to do in mind. If you are going cycling, wide leg pants could get caught in the pedals, so you might prefer to stick to shorts or tights. Anything too baggy can also move around a lot, which may get caught in the machines at the gym or ride up to reveal more than you anticipated!

For high-intensity activities, try performance tights in a polyester-spandex blend if you want to minimise sweat.

Other features to look for:

  • Reflective piping or features

  • Antimicrobial fibres to reduce odours

  • Sun protection

  • High lycra content for stretch and support.

Other activewear advice

If you can, try on the workout clothes before buying (or check the return policy if you’re shopping online). Waistbands and arm holes that feel a little too firm may become unbearable once you get into your workout.

Comfort and performance should be your top priorities!

What's your favourite kind of workout wear? Let us know in the comments below!

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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