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Have you ever wondered what to wear to the gym? As you may already know, wearing any type of clothes while working out isn’t going to make you feel comfortable. Even more, wearing the wrong fitness clothes can even restrict your range of motion and your training efforts.
Gym wear and fitness clothing ensure comfortable and safe exercise. There is a range of different clothing types for gym and fitness training. Most clothing types are available from an extensive number of brands that all specialise in clothing for exercise.
So, what do you wear to the gym?
Fitness clothing evolution has been constant, and you can now find activewear that fits properly easily. Even so, there are people who make the wrong choices when it comes to dressing for the gym. Let’s see why you need to prioritize proper gym wear over other types of clothes, to begin with.
3 Reasons to Wear Fitness Clothing
What is sportswear? It’s a type of fitness clothing specifically designed to be worn for physical exercise. Sportswear or fitness clothing refers to T-shirts, shorts, footwear, and other activewear garments. Here are their benefits.
- It allows your skin to breathe. Sportswear is made from engineered fabrics with the primary role of enhancing breathability. Gym wear is the best clothing for wicking moisture and preventing excessive sweat.
- Better range of motion. Fitted gym wear is ideal for enhanced range of motion. Casual clothes prevent you from performing exercises correctly or to a complete range of motion.
- You will feel more comfortable. Fitness clothes are more comfortable. Designed with almost no excess fabrics, they are made to keep you cool and comfortable even when squatting, doing push ups, or running.
Essential Men’s Gym Wear
Men’s gym wear and fitness clothing are often more straightforward and less flashy, catering to most of the target audience. Block colours and simple design mean that most men are happy with what’s on offer. The main types of gym wear for men are tank singlets, t-shirts, shorts, and tracksuit pants. There are other options that some men like to wear, which include compression leggings/shorts and long sleeve shirts.
What can men wear at the gym? It all starts with the tops. Shorts and shoes are at least as important. Here are the basics fitness clothes to consider for the gym.
- Elastic moisture-wicking shirts. Elastic shirts are ideal for comfort and unrestricted movement. Polyester and spandex are elastic synthetic fibres ideal for gym wear. They support enhanced breathability and better elasticity compared to all-cotton clothes.
- Shorts. Elastic shorts such as running shorts are great for the gym. They also offer better breathability and proper elasticity for exercises such as squats and lunges.
- Joggers. Joggers are the alternative to fitness shorts in cold weather. All joggers should be made from elastic materials such as spandex for unrestricted movements.
- Gym shoes. Gym shoes come in all shapes and sizes. Beginners can start with running shoes as they offer the best comfort and stability both for bodybuilding-type of machine training and for running outdoors or on the treadmill.
Essential Women’s Gym Wear
Women’s gym wear often comes in matching pairs consisting of a form of top and bottoms. These are commonly leggings/yoga tights and either a sports bra, tank top, or t-shirt. Women’s fitness clothing is used for both leisure and exercise, so the clothing aesthetic is a primary factor for each brand. Many of the available options for women come in different lengths to cater to heights, sizes, and desired cuts. Some tops will be cropped, and others are long line, some leggings are ⅞’s, and others are ankle length – again, these are all up to personal preference.
Women have a large range of fitness clothing to choose from. The performance or athletic clothes for women are fitness clothes primarily designed for comfort and performance while training. Here are the basic gym clothes women can start training with.
- Sports bras. Sports bras are made for support and comfort. Ideal sports bras as made from spandex, polyester, elastane, or nylon as these are moisture-wicking materials.
- Tank tops. Tank tops or crop tops for the gym are made from elastic breathable materials. They are typically made from the same materials as sports bras.
- Workout underwear. Workout underwear is made from nylon, spandex, or elastane. Designed to help you stay cool, workout underwear also makes you feel comfortable while at the gym.
- T-shirts. Gym T-shirts are a must-have for women who like training. They are the easiest to wear when you don’t like fabrics too close to the skin which is often the case with compression clothing for the gym.
- Running shorts. Running shorts are an idea for leg day training as gym wear in general. Soft and breathable, running shorts are also lightweight so they are ideal as activewear.
- Leggings. Gym leggings are primarily worn on leg day or lower body training sessions. Designed to sit close to the skin, leggings, yoga leggings, or gym leggings also allow you to see your exercise form better in the mirror. They also make you look more athletic.
- Hoodies. Hoodies are normally worn at the gym when you want to sweat. Most women wearing hoodies or sweatshirts actively seek to break a sweat, typically in a weight loss effort.
- Gym shoes. Gym shoes such as running shoes or squat shoes are ideal for training. Reduced weight and higher breathability are just a couple of their benefits for training.
How to Choose the Best Fitness Clothing?
So how do you find gym wear that you feel comfortable in, fits all the benefits above and leaves you excited and ready for your workouts? Several fantastic brands will give you premium comfort and quality for a reasonable price. Make sure you choose sizes that aren’t tight and leave you feeling restricted – it is essential to feel like you can move freely and perform every exercise well. The biggest thing is finding clothing you feel confident and comfortable wearing. There are no trends that you need to follow when exercising. Just get your sweat on!
Here are a few characteristics to consider when buying fitness clothing if you’re still unsure what’s most important for these clothes.
Performance fabrics or elastic fabrics
Fitness clothing manufacturers often call their garments ‘performance clothes’. These are sports clothes made to wick moisture effectively, typically made with polyester, spandex, elastane, or a combination of these fabrics.
Consider trying seamless fabrics!
Seamless fabrics are used to create gym wear without any sewing. Gym wear and fitness clothing are the prime categories of seamless fabrics use. These fabrics are known for offering a better range of motion. It’s the traditional seams that were the areas of gym clothes with the least amount of elasticity.
Focus on fit and comfort.
Most gym clothes should fit properly. Fitness clothes shouldn’t compress the muscles too much, but they shouldn’t be too loose either. The benefits of fitted fitness clothes include.
- Seeing what you’re doing better (a bit harder with loose clothes)
- Not getting caught up in the fitness machines
- It makes you look better and more athletic
Adapt gym wear to training conditions
Prioritising gym wear depending on your style of training is crucial. Here are a few examples of how you can do this for your style of training.
- Bodybuilding – clothes for bodybuilding are typical gym clothes. Breathability, fit, and comfort are ideal for these clothes.
- Cross-training – clothes for cross-training is used both for cardiovascular exercises and for resistance training. They are typically designed for all types of physical exercises.
- HIIT– clothes for HIIT or cardiovascular training are made with maximum breathability to sustain sweating, specific for high cardiovascular rate training.
BUT there are certain clothing types you should avoid!
- Some apparel like jeans and restrictive fabrics make exercising difficult and uncomfortable for you and your body.
- Make sure you always wear supportive shoes that align with the exercise you are performing.
- Ensure that your clothes are not too baggy and won’t get caught in weight and cardio machines.
What Not to Wear at the Gym?
Certain clothes are simply not made for the gym. Here are the clothes most problematic when it comes to exercising and feeling comfortable.
- Cotton shirts – considerably more expensive than polyester shirts, cotton shirts are bad at wicking moisture. Sweating excessively can be a real issue when wearing cotton shirts to the gym.
- Dress socks – dress socks or casual wear socks aren’t made for the gym. They aren’t breathable and they can make your feet feel uncomfortable even after a short sprint on the treadmill.
- Baggy clothes – baggy clothes can get caught up in the fitness machines easily. It’s best to avoid them when possible.
2 Common Gym Clothing Mistakes
Beginners are prone to making various gym clothes mistakes. Here are some of the most common mistakes seen with fitness clothing.
- Not washing gym wear after each use
Fitness clothes need to be washed after each use. You need to wash clothes even if you haven’t sweated heavily during your gym session to avoid bad odours and bacteria build-up.
- Choosing close that are too small
Compression clothes are fine but wearing fitness clothes that are too small for your size is a recipe for discomfort and restricted movement.
So Why is Specialised Gym Wear so Important?
1. Range of Movement + Comfort
Gym and Fitness wear can allow for a greater range of movement, support and comfort.
Wearing gym wear that will give you room to move is essential – some people prefer
form-fitting clothing, whereas others will opt for an outfit with more space. It is easy to find your preference, take a stroll to your favourite gym wear brand and see what works for you! Exercising in clothing like your work clothes, jeans, or the dress you wore to your friend’s wedding will interfere with your workout and your abilities.
Let your skin breathe! A key benefit of most gym wear brands is the use of sweat-wicking fabric. These fabrics are comfortable while exercising due to the quick-dry effects. They wick away sweat and allow your skin to breathe, leaving you cool and dry. Most brands use these fabrics in tops, shorts, and leggings, which are great alternatives to standard cotton, polyesters, and more.
Even though gym and fitness clothing can often seem expensive, these clothes will last you a long time if you treat them right. Many brands are generally very durable and will hold up against the workouts you put them through. Even though some price tags may shock you, they often last a lot longer than what you may find on the sale rack at a discount store. However, it is vital to look after each piece by avoiding common mistakes like throwing them in the dryer. Rule of thumb: cold wash, air dry.
4. Correct layering for the conditions
Do you recall how it feels when you wrap yourself in one too many blankets? When exercising, it is essential to avoid that hot, muggy, and suffocating feeling by ensuring you are wearing and layering the right gear. Quality gym wear and fitness clothing will give you options for all weather conditions, from hot and sunny, to windy and raining. The breathable fabric means you can layer effectively and ensure your body can regulate temperature to push you through your workout.
Breathable fitness clothes such as polyester and spandex t-shirts, running shorts, and sports shoes are ideal for the gym. These are considered performance clothes and both beginner and athlete-level gym-goers can wear them.
Associated benefits include enhanced breathability to reduced excessive sweating, unrestricted freedom of movement, support for a full range of motion, and even making you look more attractive as fitted fitness clothes help you show off your muscles and toned physique.