Finding the perfect workout leggings can be tough, I know I've bought my fair share of cool-looking leggings, that fall down, go see through and even fall apart, eep! Here are my top 5 mistakes, that I know I've made in the past and how to avoid them when purchasing new items.
"Not all leggings are created equal."
1. Are they SEE-THROUGH?
The last thing you need when you're about to work out, is the realisation that actually your new favourite gym leggings are giving everyone a peep show of your undies. Especially if you aren't even exercising yet.
The squat test is a MUST.
Whether you purchased them online, or in a shop, get yourself in front of a mirror, assume the squat position and check out your tushie.
If the first test is inconclusive, head to another location in your house/shop; try a few more stretches and lunges in different lighting, whilst drawing as little attention to yourself as possible....
(only if you're in a shop though, if your at home, go all out, HA)
2. Do they hide the inevitable, SWEATY CROTCH?
Yep, I said it sweaty crotch. We all sweat, it's quite normal, but if it makes you feel uncomfortable, having leggings that emphasize it can't quite frankly ruin your workout.
After several years of dancing in leggings that were NOT made for sporting activities, I
can happily tell you that cheap and cheerful black leggings may make your derriere look fantastic, but they are not flattering once you work up a sweat.
To avoid the uncomfortable 'I look like I've wet myself' look, opt for a moisture wicking material with four-way stretch.
Some of the most popular fabric combinations you'll see are;
- Polyester & Lycra/Spandex
- Nylon & Lycra/Spandex
- Lycra/Spandex & Rayon
3. Are they SPORT SPECIFIC?
Not all workout wear is created for the same purpose, especially when it comes to leggings, understanding the fancy technologies and brands can be a task, so here's a few broken down.
- Running tights have been created with runners in mind (a shocking revelation, I know right!) and are not usually so squat proof. They are designed to be light weight, with minimal friction and allow maximal speed for the wearer. So if your planning on deadlifting, or squatting, they're probably not the one for you, no matter how cool the pattern.
- Yoga pants are usually colourful, patterned, form fitting, with plenty of flexibility to allow you to get into every flow and pose. BUT yoga also tends to be slower moving, so if you're planning on wearing them to test your 5k run time, you could end up spending more time pulling them up, than hitting those personal bests.
- Compression tights are specifically designed for intense resistance training, to promote circulation in the body, some even have muscle mapping/stamping that is intricately designed to support muscles, tendons, ligaments, reduce muscle fatigue and soreness post-workout...WOW. However this may all be a little too restrictive for Yoga and Pilates.
If you really want the best for your training, a little research will get you in the best training wear, specifically for you and your activity of choice.
4. Don't get hung up on SIZING
Sizing names and numbers vary brand to brand, so don't rely on that alone. Go for the finer details, what are the exact measurements?
Most companies will have a sizing chart for their products, so you can get a more accurate idea of which size you'll need to order, instead of relying on a sizing 'name'. Which leads me to the title of this tip 'don't get hung up on sizing' just because you're a size 'S' in a majority of clothes, doesn't mean that when you come across a brand and you're a size 'L' that you've piled on the pounds. No, no, no. It's JUST a letter, if you love the item, they fit and are FUNCTIONAL... THAT is all that really matters.
Don't let a size affect your positive mindset.
5. CHEAP isn't always so cheerful.
We all LOVE a bargain, but are those cheaper leggings actually a bargain, if they wear out after a few washes?
I know in my personal experience, I have been lured into a buying less expensive leggings, whipped the tags off after a quick try on and once I actually got them in the gym, they were falling down, going see through, letting everyone know how sweaty I am and quite frankly useless!
Sometimes it's better to dig a little deeper into why some brands are more expensive. Are you simply buying into their name? Or are they backed by a high quality product, that is worth a few extra pounds of your hard earned cash?
If there's one brand of activewear you can rely on to be squat proof, sweat proof and fuss free? It's Octavia Activewear SHOP NOW
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