How What You Wear to the Gym Can Improve Your Workout

workout apparel benefits


Looking and feeling great is the primary reason why people regularly work out. There is no denying the many benefits that a healthy lifestyle brings to the table.

That being said, you may be surprised to learn that many don’t ever consider just how important their workout clothing is going to be to help them achieve a successful workout.

In fact, the clothing you wear to the gym can greatly improve your workouts. This is true whether you’ve just started a new exercise regimen or happen to be a longtime fitness enthusiast.

But whether you’re a newbie or a fitness guru, check out these awesome tips about selecting the right clothes for the gym.

Comfort is Key

At work, we have to wear a certain attire that may not be comfortable throughout the work day.  But at the gym, you have the option to dress to your maximum comfort level. Take advantage of clothing that enables you to move without restraint. It also helps if your attire is flattering for your body shape. When you feel good in your clothes, you become more confident, and this powers up your workout from the inside out.

Say No to Cotton

Cotton is comfortable to wear.  But it’s not the greatest choice for workouts. Cotton absorbs moisture, and it stretches and wrinkles easily. The last thing you want to do is wear a sweat-soaked, wrinkled shirt at the gym. It’s not what you want to see in the mirror between sets.

Select clothing made of synthetic fibers such as:

    • Acrylic
    • Nylon
    • Polypropylene (polyester)

Opt for fitted tee-shirts, tank tops, pants, gym shorts in those materials, or even a blend. Consider what type of workout you’re about to perform. Make sure you are able to bend and stretch in your workout clothing. Check that the cut of the apparel isn’t restricting any of your movements

Wear Breathable Tops

A tank top is fine, but if you’d like to cover up more, wear a fitted tee-shirt in the right size. Oversized tees tend to look sloppy, and shirts that are too small restrain the body. This can interrupt your workout. One of the best ways to stay as cool as possible while sweating it out at the gym is to wear breathable tops in your correct size.

Many gym enthusiasts enjoy wearing printed tees to the gym. Whether you wear brand name t-shirts or stylish designs like Iron Sharpens Iron tees, make sure the print is light and the shirt is breathable.

Wear Bottoms That Flex

Focus on the types of bottoms that allow you to stretch. They should offer a wide range of motion so that you can have an non-restrictive workout session at the gym. Shorts no longer than one inch beyond the knee may work well for you.

Any longer, and they’ll restrict your range of motion. Short-shorts won’t offer enough coverage as you bench press, use the leg press, or do sit-ups. View yourself in the mirror, checking your front and backside to be aware of how you look from all angles.

Elastic-waist yoga pants, track pants, and sweat pants are great alternatives to shorts. Perform a few leg kicks and stretches to test the elasticity of your bottoms. For men, what’s trending are jogging shorts paired with compression tights in black or gray.

Wear Lightweight Socks

Pick socks from acrylic material. It can be a blend as well. Steer clear of all cotton and wool socks while working out because they retain moisture. Your feet will be uncomfortable in cotton socks. Also make sure your socks fit. If they’re too loose, you’ll get distracted by having to pull them up often. If you have issues with lower leg pain or swelling, try compression socks during workouts.

Wear Quality Gym Shoes

I learned about low-quality shoes during Army basic training many years ago. Quality shoes go a long way. It took 3 weeks of shin splints during and after runs before I invested in a solid pair of footwear.

Wear your workout socks when you shop for shoes. Luckily, there’s a variety of gym shoes available. For example, there are running shoes specifically designed for working out on a treadmill or elliptical machine. Cross-trainers are popular too.

Select the one designed for the activity you’ll be participating in at the gym. Try on a few pairs and pace the floor. Test out the sole support by performing half a minute of stationary running. And if you’re weight lifting, purchase shoes that support the arches, heels, and ankles for added stability.

Waist Belts: Not Just for Squats

I wear a waist belt during every workout. Yes, they are great for leg and back day, and provide extra support for heavy lifts. But they are also great for walking or running laps in an indoor gym, cross training, and other activities.

The Copper Fit Live Limitless waist belt is an inexpensive option that is easily adjustable for any waist size. Don’t wait until you have lower back pain to wear a waist belt. You can support your spine and optimize your workouts even if you are a young pro.

The Takeaway

It’s true, you can look great and feel confident when you go to the gym. Selecting appropriate apparel is the beginning of improving your workout.

Let’s be honest, when we look good, we feel good. If your clothing is comfortable, you can concentrate on enjoying your time at the gym, and enjoying an amazing workout.

There are so many gym apparel options to choose from these days, so any fitness enthusiast can be stylish and comfortable for every workout. That’s truly the best of both worlds. Enjoy yours!

About Theresa Duncan

Originally from Detroit, MI, Theresa has been offering health and fitness advice for the last 30 years while working as an engineer. She decided to turn her passion into a profession, and finds nothing more satisfying than helping others reach their health and fitness goals.

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