Fitness Blog

Is It Better to Work Out in Tight or Loose Gym Clothing?

We all have our own preferences when it comes to fashion or style, whether in the gym or out and about. Often our style goes with our shape and body confidence, with slimmer people often preferring cropped tops and fitted clothing. Often warmer weather can increase the want for flowy, loose fitted clothing, or skimpier items, and cooler months can make over-sized clothing seem more appealing. Does the same apply to the gym, with workout wear changing with the seasons and body shapes, or is there more of a one size fits all approach?

Obviously, the most important thing when choosing your clothing, whether for working out, or otherwise, is that you are comfortable. When choosing gym clothing, there are many other aspects to take into consideration too, such as the breathability, sweat wicking, compression and flexibility qualities of the materials used. The quality of the material is important too, to ensure a good, comfortable fit, without the risk of items going see-through or not staying in place.

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It could be argued that looser fitting clothes could be more comfortable and breathable, but that tight fitting clothes are more supportive. However, is there a way to combine all of the positive aspects in one style of gym wear?

Tight fitting clothing can have all of the sweat wicking materials of looser items, helping to keep you cool and to prevent chaffing when working out. The tighter fitting clothing also has compression qualities, which helps to increase your circulation, making it a better option for working out. In addition to this, it prevents the likelihood of catching your clothes on gym equipment and causing injury or damage to you or your clothes, and can often make you look leaner too. Looser fitting or baggy clothes can cause a trip hazard. It can also make it trickier for your trainer to be able to see your movements: angles of your knees, etc.

However, that said, tighter fitting does not mean that your clothing should be too tight. You need to still be able to move freely, without it cutting into you. Your waist, hips and stomach need to feel comfortable. It should feel like a second skin, not like a suffocation. To ensure your gym clothing isn’t too tight, ensure you have full range of motion when moving and stretching; you want to feel snug, without limitations.

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If forced to choose, tight fitting is likely the preferred option for gym wear, with compression clothing offering many benefits to your muscles and joints. However, ensure it fits correctly and isn’t too tight. Muscle fatigue and injury can both be reduced by these items of gym wear. However, a looser top over fitted gym leggings and sports bras, to make you feel more comfortable is a great choice, but ensure your top isn’t so baggy that it will be getting in your way.

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