What are Workout Leggings?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Workout leggings are a garment intended to be worn during exercise and fit tightly about the legs. They are most commonly worn by women. Many people who wear workout leggings during exercise also wear them as part of their casual attire. It is common for women to wear workout leggings with tunics, short dresses, and long sweaters.

Leggings fit tightly so they don't impede movement.
Leggings fit tightly so they don't impede movement.

One of the benefits of wearing workout leggings during exercise is that there is no excess fabric to bunch up, get in the way, or get caught in the gears or spokes of the exercise equipment. Bulky sweat pants, on the other hand, can be problematic to wear while using certain kinds of exercise equipment. For this reason, many women who like to use exercise bikes, especially the kind used in spinning classes, prefer to wear workout leggings instead of sweat pants.

Some leggings are ankle-length.
Some leggings are ankle-length.

While sweat pants usually come in a basic range of colors including blue, gray, and black, leggings often come in every color of the rainbow. This is because they so often double as street wear. Therefore, workout leggings are favored among fitness gurus who also care about fashion and personal style.

Many women wear workout leggings in spinning classes.
Many women wear workout leggings in spinning classes.

This kind of clothing differs from yoga pants in one key way. Yoga pants are similar in that they fit tightly about the thigh and calves. However, they usually have a flare that extends from the middle of the calf down to the ankle. Leggings, on the other hand, fit tightly against the leg all the way from the top of the hip down to the ankle.

There are many athletic apparel companies that sell workout leggings. There are also quite a number of apparel companies that specialize in urban wear and trend fashion that manufacture them. Leggings from a company focused on sports wear are more likely to be durable and stand up to the kind of wear and tear put on a garment during exercise. While leggings from a company focused on trend or urban styles might also be worn in the gym, they may not last as long.

Some women even like to wear exercise leggings while hiking. In addition to working well with a large range of movements, leggings can protect the skin. This can be especially important when hiking in areas that are known for ticks. Covering the legs can also be important in ares where poison ivy and other rash-inducing plants grow.

Leggings are appropriate for yoga classes.
Leggings are appropriate for yoga classes.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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