Gym leggings may seem like a simple wardrobe staple, but finding the right pair that stays in place, looks great, offers optimal comfort and supports your different workouts can be harder than you might think. Fortunately, there are some excellent products on the market. It really all comes down to understanding your own needs and learning what characteristics make the best gym leggings for you!
We’ve created this guide to help you find your perfect fit!
What Makes the Best Gym Leggings?
Your gym gear should keep you cool and dry, no matter what type of workout you’re tackling that day. Stick with polyamides (like nylon) and polyester blend materials. They provide moisture wicking capabilities that pull sweat away from the skin and towards the surface of the fabric so that it can quickly and easily evaporate. While cotton provides a natural fabric alternative, it tends to hold in moisture, which can feel uncomfortable and lead to chafing.
If you want to test how well your leggings can remove moisture, simply place a few drops of water on the material. Ideally, it will be absorbed into the fabric and you will be able to see it visibly spread out. This is exactly how you want moisture wicking material to perform. However, if the water beads up on the surface of the material, you may want to keep shopping.
The right material will also offer maximum breathability. Even compression style leggings that may have a thicker feel should still allow for adequate airflow. You should feel cool and unrestricted during your workout.
Design and Fit
In most cases, you will want to go with a high-waisted gym legging. This style provides extra support around the tummy that will help you achieve a clean look. You won’t have to worry about the dreaded muffin top or battle with waistlines that roll down as you move around. Instead of being distracted by constantly adjusting your clothing, you can concentrate on enjoying your workout.
High-waisted women’s gym legging are also a stylish option that pair perfectly with crop tops and sports bras. You can show off a little bit of skin and stay cool with a look that is flattering to practically any body type. Finally, the combination of high-waist and ankle length leggings can create the appearance of a longer leg. Simply putting on the right leggings can make you look taller and thinner before you even burn any calories!
Gym leggings come in a variety of lengths to accommodate different exercises and personal preferences. Full-length leggings offer maximum coverage and can help you stay warm and dry, especially if you’re exercising outdoors. You can also opt for 7/8 leggings, which are slightly shorter. Many people prefer this length because it offers slightly more freedom. For a cooler legging, take a look at 6/8 leggings and capri options. These shorter leggings continue to offer support as you exercise but may be a better option for summer workouts.
Perhaps most importantly, your gym leggings should make you feel good. We all have our insecurities and for some, just stepping into the gym can bring these out. Feeling good in your clothes and choosing gym leggings that accentuate your natural curves will give you that little boost of confidence that can make all the difference.
The Benefits of Compression Leggings
Different gym leggings will also offer varying levels of compression. If you are headed to the yoga studio, you probably want a softer, more flexible fit that will easily move with you as you go through different flows and poses. However, if you’re running, jumping and taking on a dynamic HIIT workout, you’re probably better off with gym leggings that offer a little bit of compression. Not only will this help provide support, compression also aids in the recovery process. It works to increase blood pressure in the muscles, which accelerates the healing process after muscle fibres have been broken down during a workout. You will experience the benefits of compression leggings both during and after your workout.
Durability and Construction
When you invest in a pair of gym leggings, you expect them to stand up to your workouts and repeated washing. Solid construction and high-quality materials are key to lasting durability. As you shop around, look for leggings with flat seams. Not only is this a sign of good craftsmanship, it will also prevent any scratching and irritation.
You’ll also want to make sure that there’s a gusset in the crotch area. This patch of fabric shows that the manufacturer has you, the wearer, in mind. The gusset may seem like an inconsequential addition, but it plays a key role in preventing the leggings from riding up and will help keep them in place during all sorts of motion. To prevent sharing a little too much at the gym, make sure that you purchase the right size and take a moment to try on the legging. You should be able to bend at the knee without the opacity of the fabric changing.
Don’t underestimate the convenience of pockets when it comes to your gym leggings. Even if you are headed to yoga class and won’t necessarily need pockets during class, they can come in handy when you swing by the grocery store on your way home. Side pockets also provide a secure place to store your phone during your workout so you can listen to your favourite workout songs, or follow and log your exercise program and numbers.
What are the Best Leggings for Squats and Strength Training?
For those who like to spend their time at the squat rack and throwing around heavy weights, here is that you should look for:
Wide waist bands.
A wide, flat waistband will fit comfortably across your stomach and help the leggings stay in place. You won’t have to worry about the band rolling down or folding over as you squat and lift. In addition, the wide band will prevent the leggings from sliding down. Everything will stay perfectly in place so that you can focus on setting new personal records.
Choose the length that you prefer, but be sure to get a high-waist gym legging. Again, this will help provide support while also keeping everything in place.
Strength training actually tears muscle fibres so that you can grow additional muscle. This process requires adequate recovery. Compression leggings can help speed up the recovery process for faster gains and more productive workouts.
Keep your phone handy so that you can stay motivated with your favorite workout songs and log your numbers.
What are the Best Leggings for Running?
In addition to some of the features mentioned above, here are some other things to consider when shopping for the best running leggings:
If you run in the early morning or evening, you may want to opt for leggings with reflective panels. This will help you stay safe and visible to traffic and other pedestrians.
When you’re out running, you want to stay as lightweight and unencumbered as possible. Even if you don’t run to music, you’ll want to have your phone with you for safety reasons. Make sure that you have enough pocket space to carry your important items. Many running leggings will have a hidden pocket just below the rear waistband so that you can discreetly carry valuables.
While it all comes down to personal preference, some runners prefer a combination of a light elastic waistband along with a drawstring. This allows for a looser fit that can be adjusted to each individual.
If you’re running outdoors, be sure to choose leggings that will keep you cool or warm, depending on the weather. Capri and cropped gym leggings are great for the summer while full length options that are designed for cold weather can keep you warm while also offering breathability. Be sure to consider outdoor conditions when purchasing your running leggings.
Best Gym Leggings for Yoga
If you are working on becoming a yoga master, here is what to look for in the right gym legging:
Typically, with yoga leggings, you want to go with a looser, more flowing fit. The legging should stay in place while still easily moving with you and offering maximum comfort. The right yoga leggings will support your practice without creating a distraction and making you conscious about what your clothes are doing.
There are a lot of different gym leggings for women on the market, but not all leggings are created equal. Taking the time to do your research and understanding what makes good leggings and what features are best for you will help you choose the best leggings at the right price.
At Gym+Coffee, we’re extremely proud of the design, testing, refining and retesting process we stick to when it comes to designing our gym leggings. Check out our latest range in women’s leggings now.