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What are the Different Types of Workout Pants?

B. Miller
B. Miller

There are a few different types of workout pants to suit different needs. Running pants, yoga pants, and workout leggings are all different types of workout pants that are each designed for a specific purpose. When selecting clothes to wear while exercising, it is important to keep a few factors in mind, such as comfort, breathability, and safety, among others. There are workout pants available in men's, women's, and children's styles.

Running pants are among of the most popular types of workout pants. These typically come in short or long versions, and are often tight and fitted to the legs. This can help to make running easier by preventing any wind resistance, and can also prevent the runner from tripping on his or her pants and potentially causing an injury. This type of workout pant is quite similar to leggings, though running pants are often made of materials that wick sweat away to keep the wearer cool, while providing breathability.

Tights or leggings are often worn by women who run, power walk, or jog.
Tights or leggings are often worn by women who run, power walk, or jog.

There are different types of running pants for different seasons; for the summer, one might choose a lighter pair of workout pants, while cold-weather runs might necessitate a more insulated pair of pants. This is largely a matter of personal preference. Some choose to wear two pairs of running pants during a run; one tight pair, such as leggings, underneath a slightly looser and warmer pair, similar to sweatpants. In the summer, runners often wear a pair of shorts over running leggings for comfort.

Some leggings come in shorter varieties.
Some leggings come in shorter varieties.

Of course, running pants are not the only type of workout pants available. Yoga pants, which are often worn for yoga and Pilates, are generally fairly form-fitting pants, but are not as tight on the legs as running leggings. These are designed to stretch easily, and to not ride up during different postures. When doing Pilates, it is especially important to avoid wearing loose, flowing pants, because they could easily become caught in various Pilates machines.

General workout leggings or fitness leggings are a type of workout pants that are often worn during classes in gyms, such as aerobics or kickboxing classes. These are also fairly tight and allow one to move freely without becoming overheated. Though some people prefer to wear loose, baggy pants while exercising, in order to hide any flaws on the body, this is generally not a great idea because it is easy to trip on pants that are too lose, and it is difficult for an instructor to determine if the wearer is using proper form during an exercise.

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Discussion Comments


There are many black pant models for various people who do fitness. There are several types of black fitness pants made for different body types.


Tenaga Sports produces an interesting pant. They have one that functions like tights, but *without* the speedo effect.


There are all different kinds and styles of workout pants. But remember that cotton is one of the lightest and most breathable fabrics there is and will probably makes the best material for any pair of workout pants you buy.

I remember my wife used to have a pair of ladies polyester workout pants. They were ridiculously tight and they did not breather at all. She would end up getting so hot that it would cut her workout short.


I have a pair of spandex workout pants that I always wear to the gym. They are very a particularly tight pair of workout pants and I often get looks when I am in the gym. Some people would be bothered but not me.

I think that part of the experience of going to the gym is being seen. There are no walls, there are mirrors everywhere, and everyone is tying to look good. I think there is a role for fit people to play by showing off their bodies a little. It motivates others.


There are all different kinds of womens workout pants. But for us guys it is usually just shorts or a pair of sweat pants. It seems like there is kind of a whole in the market for guys who would like to wear pants to the gym but maybe want something a little more stylish and functional than your average pair of sweat pants.

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    • Tights or leggings are often worn by women who run, power walk, or jog.
      By: Syda Productions
      Tights or leggings are often worn by women who run, power walk, or jog.
    • Some leggings come in shorter varieties.
      By: Dash
      Some leggings come in shorter varieties.