Gone are the days of boring and limited choice in the clothing women can wear to the gym. As it goes, there now might be too much in terms of options with the new trend of athleisure taking off and bright, patterned leggings in demand. But don’t be fooled, just because athleisure might be fashionable doesn’t mean it’s necessarily appropriate when sloping off for a session in the gym; you want to be as comfortable as possible!
Deanna Matulin, Owner of Box it Out, says: “The best gear to workout in is the clothes that make you feel good. If you have see-through leggings or a top that is too tight, you just end up feeling self conscious. You don’t want to be self conscious when you’re working out; you’d rather focus on what you’re doing in the gym!
“Personally, I like brands such as Under Armour which make fitting clothes without giving you that dreaded muffin top.”
However, as Melita Shirley from Mammojo Lactivewear explains, comfortable workout clothing is especially important for new mothers. She says: “At Mammojo, we design and produce core-supportive and breastfeeding friendly activewear specifically for new mothers, who are often highly motivated to return to exercise. We use luxury Italian performance fabrics for muscle support and recovery, which also represent a more environmentally sustainable option. Our yoga pants, for example, are made from the naturally regenerating Beechwood species.
“A lot of women wear traditional activewear when exercising, which is highly impractical for nursing mothers, particularly if they try to feed in it. It can lead to a range of issues, including mastitis. All garments should be breathable, comfortable, supportive and nursing-friendly. Our core support tights help to expedite the recovery of abdominal muscles and also support a weaker core and pelvis, which is very common in postnatal women.”
Did you know?
“Investing in quality workout gear that is constructed with silver thread can help prevent bacterial growth, which will minimise the odour in your clothes before you wash them.” – Mya Le, Personal Style Coach
Here is, top to toe, what you should be wearing and steering clear of in your activewear.
Need A Little Help From My Sports Bra
No matter where you sit on the bust spectrum, whether itty bitty or big busted, it’s always a good idea to lend a bit of support to your chest. Avoid straining, from your stretches to hitting it hard on the treadmill, by investing in a good sports bra. For those with larger chests, buy designs with wider straps for more support.
An alternative or addition to your sports bra is the Booband. Founded in 2016, Booband is another method of supporting women when active. Not only does it protect the ligaments in your breasts, but it also assists with posture and your overall performance. Strap those puppies down and protect your assets from harm whilst doing high-intensive workouts.
Like with day-to-day bras, it is also essential you buy the correct size to get the most support and resist chafing. Go into a store to get your own personal fitting and determine what size and style works best for you. Save by buying online using Discount Promo Codes and shop from the likes of Debenhams, Runderwear and Nike.
Top Tick List
When it comes to dressing your top half for the gym, you don’t have to worry about the difficulties of dressing for the seasons, because you’re inside. Hallelujah! The thing to remember is to try and avoid wearing tops largely made from cotton. Cotton doesn’t dry quickly, therefore you will experience the weight of your sweat and it could cause your body to cool down during exercise. Opt for polyester tops or T-shirt and vest designs with sweat-wicking fabrics that’ll help to get rid of clingy moisture.
Choose vests with low cut sleeves to stop sweat build-up and friction around your underarm area and buy tops that come in at the hem to avoid embarrassing gaping. It’s also important that you regularly clean your workout gear after every session so that bacteria doesn’t fester.
Jill Taylor from Supacore clothing and a qualified Myotherapist advises that “sportswear should do more than just look great. Prevention of injury, increases in recovery, and increases in performance are important factors in health and fitness. ”
Leggings or Shorts?
Actually, it really doesn’t matter. It all comes down to your personal preference whether you wear leggings, tracksuits or shorts to the gym, as long as they’re not too baggy or tight. This goes for both your tops and bottoms. It’s key that you find the perfect in-between. You don’t want your sportswear to be restrictive, but also don’t want to cause health and safety issues with baggy clothing risking getting caught up in machines and weights. Find a happy medium and ensure you have optimal flexibility to really push yourself when you get going.
Get off to a Good Start With the Right Footwear
If you’re planning to take to the gym and do a bit of everything, running trainers generally are fine for offering the support, movement and breathability you need to get to work on yourself. It’s worth learning a bit more about the distinct types of trainer if you like to focus your time on specific areas in the gym, though. For instance, weight training or running. Get the stability you need with thin soled trainers for lifting weights, or lightweight and flexible designs on the treadmill.
You should speak to a professional in store to determine what you need, from sizing to the individual way in which you stride. As Rhys Jenkins, of Pegasus Ultra Running said, “Shoes are a prescription, and they should come from a specialist. The amount of people who go for style over support is scary, your feet are always working to support the rest of you body!”
Time is ‘Ticking’
Nothing compares to a good stable and reliable watch when it comes to tracking and recording exercise, especially calorie counting. It’s about ‘time’ you take your training serious and invest a good quality timepiece.
Accessories To Optimise Your Gym Experience
Never underestimate the power of an ill-fitting sock. Ensuring you have socks that are comfortable in your gym shoe is critical to your performance. Make the decision between trainer socks and higher cut socks. High socks can offer the option of getting rid of sweat from your legs, however they may prove irritable if they constantly slip down during exercise.
It’s also worth noting again to avoid anything that is tight and restrictive. Keep your circulation flowing and all movement in your foot with not too tight socks.
Other accessories are optional. If you’re keen to track your progress in the gym, you can do so through fitness watch devices, or even by simply using the software built into your smartphone or via apps. A lot of gym equipment does provide slots to hold your phone as you sweat it out. If that’s not the case, you can always buy a cheap and cheerful arm band to hold your phone.
Many gyms and fitness clubs will sell accessories and workout clothing on-site, so you can ensure you don’t get caught short if you do show up to your gym without everything you need! In fact, a number of gyms (such as those that use Ashbourne Management’s Direct Debit collection, and club software) will even give you the option to purchase t-shirts, water bottles, and other accessories and workout wear at a reduced rate when you sign up for a membership.
Athleisure is all well and good, but it’s important to remember that half of its function is to look great whilst lounging – the exact opposite of what you’ll be doing hitting the gym. Ensure what you wear to the gym is well-fitting and practical so you can keep on achieving and smashing those gym goals.
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