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January 12, 2021 4 min read

Next time you’re online shopping and you’re scrolling through the activewear page - you’ll be faced with an interesting dilemma. To go shorts or leggings. While you may have a default when it comes to gym fashion - you may also be surprised to learn that choice of clothes affects the quality of your workout. This prompts the question of “is it better to workout in leggings or shorts?” 

You thought choosing regular clothes was hard? Choosing the right workoutgym clothes has even more riding on it than you might think. Sure it’s nice to look the part, but which one is actually better, and why would you want to choose either way?

Stop It I Like It Luxe Bike Shorts - Moonstone (Grey)


Men gather round. It’s time to talk leggings

Indeed,women’s gym wear has largely led the charge on leggings. But this is 2021. And the men are catching up fast. While shorts have long been the staple for most people (especially you men) looking for a simple, zero-fuss workout, the trend, especially for those dominating the deadlift section is to embrace leggings as if shorts were a thing of the past. 

With extra groin support and excellent ventilation, the world of gym wear for men has practically been flipped on its head. Whether you go Men’s shorts over the top or not is a question of confidence and whether you feel comfortable stretching in those tight fabrics. Just remember to get the right size. While you may be body-proud, no one wants to seethat  much. 

Leggings: the science behind the trend 

As the benefits of wearingcompression leggings have swept the fitness industry, you’ll walk into gyms these days and see almost everyone wearing them. That’s because they’re actually changing how effective our workouts are. And it’s not just because they’re tight and supportive. In fact, compression techniques have been used for decades to increase blood flow and limit swelling and inflammation. Compression leggings are specially designed to support muscles during and after your workout. Wearing compression leggings has been linked to faster muscle recovery - especially after intense exercise. 

Squat Wolf Core Leggings - Blue


HIIT fans listen up

Recovering faster means getting back into sets quicker. For HIIT fans this is excellent news. The more high intensity your workout the better the effects too. Plus when you’re knee-deep in the most intense workout of your life - it’s nice to know they’re not going to slip off.

What do shorts have to offer?

It’s a swelteringly hot summer’s day. You’re eyeing off your tight leggings and all you can think of is slipping into some light, breezy shorts. There’s no doubt that shorts fulfil an important role in our collective workout fashion. While most compression leggings these days boast superior ventilation, nothing beats good, old fashioned skin. 

And then there’s the issue of pockets. Sure many leggings these days have them. But try squatting and feel your phone rub (ever so slightly) against your hip. Not ideal if you’re still sporting wired headphones and need your phone within arm's reach.

Should fashion influence your choice?

To all you hardcore gym buffs: relax and skim to the next bit. The simple answer is: yes, it should. While feeling comfortable is your number one priority, so is feeling confident when you step into the gym. And part of that is looking in the mirror and thinking  ‘damn’. Whatever you end up choosing - feeling confident in yourself should always be part of your motivation. Just don’t let that be youronlyreason. 

For the complete run-down on your gym fit, see our article on what to wear to the gym.

It also depends on your fitness goals

A big part of answering the question: is it better to workout in leggings or shorts, will depend on your fitness goals. If doing long runs down the coast is your jam, choose some versatile Squat Wolf primal shorts that are easy to rip off for a spontaneous beach swim and don’t mind getting salty and sandy. If your goal is to haunt the gym even on weekends and take part in every high-intensity training class available - choose something tighter. Maybe even get the best of both worlds and go for tight shorts?

Squat Wolf Warrior High-Waisted Leggings - Brave


Leg day or cardio? 

If you’re focused on strength and endurance - choosing tight-fitting compression leggings will improve blood circulation and muscle support. To make getting into these bearable on a summer's day, you’ll want to pay close attention to the fabric, and choose the right size - there’s no fun in having to awkwardly pull them up after every set. On the other hand, if you’re spending a lot of time on the treadmill, consider some loose-fitting shorts that allow good flexibility and natural ventilation. 

Pick the season

The weather always plays a role in how we dress and heading to the gym is no exception. Somehow wearing shorts in winter doesn’t only feel weird - it also can get pretty chilly - even if you’re just outside for a bit. Warmer weather might have you naturally choosing shorts over leggings, and rightfully so, sometimes no amount of fancy fabric will soak up the sweat you produce on a 30-degree day. 

Be versatile. Just like your wardrobe 

When all’s said and done, it’s your body and your workout. Whether you’re a legging convert or a shorts fanatic, being comfortable and capable in the gym or the field is the most important thing. There’s nothing wrong with letting personal preference get the best of you. Having both leggings and shorts as part of your activewear repertoire is a smart way of navigating the minefield that is fashion, weather, and comfort. 

Start your workout strong by stocking up on the latest workout shorts and leggings from Australia’s #1gym apparel and accessory store. Order online today!

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