Trying on workout clothes isn't like trying on other clothes. Trying on other clothes usually just means, throwing it on, having a look at both sides, maybe consulting a friend or the sales staff that that's about it. Workout clothes require a closer look into functionality.
hit up some fitness pros to find out what they do and look for when trying on workout gear. So, if you're sick of wasting money on completely unwearable gym clothes, check out these tips to the perfect fit:
First, avoid cotton at all costs. It will hold moisture and take forever to dry which may lead to some uncomfortable chaffing. Synthetic fibers like lycra or spandex are much better choices. Now you're ready for the moves!
The Toe Touch:
Beth Weinstein, founder of running clothes company OnlyAtoms
, suggests you bend over in front of a full length mirror, then peek through your legs. You are checking to make sure the material doesn't become transparent when stretched and that the waistline stays put. You can even check the hemline on your shirt to make sure it isn't riding up. No one needs the plumber look.
The Twist Test:
Try doing a deep lunge or a split squat. “Both exercises require the biggest movement in pants, so it'll test the fabric for sure,” says Steven Mack, owner and trainer of Simple Solutions Fitness
. If the dressing room is a smaller size, just a regular body squat will do. Watch the seams, waistband and fabric. If it is annoying or irritating in the dressing room, you can bet it will be even more so during a sweat session. “Also note how everything feels around your joints—shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, armpits, knees, ankles,” suggests certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist Shane Allen, of Personal Trainer Food
. “If something feels too tight or irritating, go for a larger size or different design.”
The Jump Start:
“Jumping jacks are another great way to see if the fabric is stretching in the right places and keeping you on lockdown where you need extra security,” adds Cave CrossFit's Allison Hagendorf
, a health and lifestyle coach. “Raising your arms overhead is a must to check on chafing too.” Also, try running in place for 15 seconds. Make sure you really move your arms and get your knees up as high as you can. This is a really great way to see what stays where when you're moving. Don't forget to rub your elbows against your waist band and rub your thighs together. These are the top spots for chaffing so best to make sure before you buy that you are free from irritation and that everything moves smoothly.
The Breathe Easy:
Now is the time to check in with your temperature. You should be a little warmer after these moves. If you find yourself feeling too heated, you might want to opt for a thinner, more breathable fabric.
The Finishing Touch:
“Remember how tired your muscles are after a workout, and don't buy pieces that are hard to get on and off,” notes certified personal trainer Trinity Perkins, founder of Train With Trin, LLC.
“If you're struggling to pull that racerback bra over your head in the dressing room, trying to get it off after a shoulder workout will be almost impossible!”
The Selfie Screening:
“Lastly, of course, ask yourself the most important question of all,” says Weinstein. “How will I look in my post-race selfie? Kidding... Kind of.”
There you go. 6 tips that hopefully make buying workout gear that much easier. Worst case scenario: something slips through the cracks and gives you trouble at the gym, remember that many company stand behind their workout clothes so return the item and seek a credit. Can't hurt right?
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How do you test your workout clothes?