DISCLAIMER: for those readers who “don’t care how they look when they work out” …good for you! No really. We are proud of you. But… this article probably isn’t up your alley.
Gym wear headaches can be bad enough as it is, balancing the need for practicality with style can be tough. Many people (particularly new comers to a gym) fail to appreciate the importance of specialist gym wear, particularly leggings. The temptation is to double up the use of any tight-fitting legging/fashion leggings or to go for a discount exercise wear option, after all its only going to get sweaty!
It must be remembered that whilst this may be okay for starting out in basic exercise like walking or jogging, it doesn’t take long in the gym to find out that this is less than ideal and that’s before you get the most dreaded of wardrobe testing exercises, the squat.
There’s the risk of visible panty line! You wouldn’t dream of walking around like this outside the gym so why put up with it when working out? Then, of course, there’s nothing worse than performing a squat to find that your leggings have stretched to the point of being see through or even ridden down to show your underwear (or worse).
The answer to this is simple, squat proof leggings. Although it’s not as simple as it sounds, finding the perfect squat proof leggings is sometimes like the gym wear equivalent of looking for the holy grail.
So, what should you be looking for in squat proof leggings? The exact style that suits you is dependent on your own personal style and body shape but there are few simple do’s and don’ts:
· Look for leggings that offer support without restricting movement
· Look for flat elastic waistbands to avoid rubbing during movement
· Look for leggings which flex with you
· Wear anything with too thin a material, a sure-fire sign will be see through
· Wear too high a waistband as this restricts movement
· Wear a waistband too low as likely to ride down and show underwear
· Wear leggings too loose in the fit, these are likely to sag down during movement
Many experienced gym goers will have their own preferences based on their own experiences and routines however as a starting point if you stick to these you shouldn’t go too far wrong in your search for the perfect squat proof leggings.
There is also anecdotal evidence that squat proof leggings may do more than make you look good, there may also be some performance benefits. A number of recent studies have indicated compression wear like squat proof leggings aid in endurance, recover and sustaining power:
· One study showed compression after bicep curls aided recovery, in theory, compression clothing like squat proof leggings could do the same.
· Another study on athletes wearing gym leggings versus not during 200m sprints showed better performance for legging wearers as compression clothing forces the correct muscles to be used meaning increased efficiency leading to better endurance.
· Another study on a female volleyball team doing vertical jumps, a similar movement to squats found they didn’t increase power but compression clothing did sustain it meaning the last jump was almost as powerful as first which was a significant improvement over sample not wearing compression clothing.
These kind of studies need much more work and are far from a guarantee that performance would increase for everyone wearing the right clothing, however, the signs are that compression clothing such as squat proof leggings may lead to benefits to your workout as well as your appearance.