The primary function of fitness leggings is to keep you comfortable while doing sports. This means that they should be able to wick away sweat easily. Polyester leggings are the best when it comes to doing cardio fitness. “Unlike Pilates, where leggings can be made from cotton, fitness leggings must be made from hyper-breathable polyester. We’ve mapped the body in order to work out which areas experienced the most intensive temperature increases during physical activity," explains Sabrina Delaoutre, DOMYOS Products manager. “The most affected are the backs of the knees and the base of the back. For even greater breathability, our leggings use mesh, an even more ventilated fabric, in these places.” When choosing your leggings, make sure you choose the right material that will keep you cool when training.
To be always comfortable when exercise, your leggings should never obstruct your movement. “During any fitness activity, the body needs to be able to do a 360° movements. Leg lifts, jumps, splits, etc. The fabric components should be nicely stretchy to give you the freedom of movement in any direction you desire." Leggings are also designed to minimise irritations caused by the skin rubbing against the fabric. Some models are made using flat seams, while others feature a seamless construction process, such as heatnbond seams (you learn something new every day, right?).
A good pair of leggings doesn’t let anything show through. “When doing cardio, you can end up doing a lot of jump squats and have to rely on your leggings not being see-through,” continues Sabrina. “Even when it’s being stretched to the limit, the fabric shouldn't become transparent and show your underwear. It’s absolutely vital if you want to be perfectly relaxed when exercising, and this is also the aim we set ourselves when making all our leggings. People should be able to do any movement they want without worrying that they'll be showing everyone their knickers!”
Aside from these three key criteria - breathability, stretch and opacity – choosing a pair of leggings is a matter of taste and how they feel. Some will opt for a waist below the belly button, while others will prefer to feel more supported and choose a high waisted model. “Support is also important: the wearer shouldn’t be spending their whole session pulling up their leggings. They shouldn’t move without over tightening the waistband,” explains Sabrina. In terms of size, leggings should fit like a second skin, without feeling too tight. Other more flexible ones deliver greater comfort, while others will give you more support and a reshaping effect. It’s up to you!
And then, because it’s actually quite useful, some leggings include a small pocket for keeping a key, a bank card or a mobile phone. It’s a tiny detail but one that could prove its worth in a gym or sports hall where you have to use a locker. “Some people also like taking their phone with them so they can watch specific exercises or cardio fitness videos. Being able to keep these accessories on your person is a real bonus.”
Lastly, after all these observations, I would advise you first and foremost to make sure you actually like the look of the leggings you're buying! Whether plain or patterned, feel free to play about with colours and invest in sportswear that will make you feel attractive when exercising. “We’ve all got those basic black leggings in our wardrobe, but patterned or print leggings are really popular and match well with plain vests and bra tops," says the product manager. “Don’t forget, your choice of outfit also has an effect on how much you enjoy yourself!" Well said!
So, which type of leggings did you go for? Plain? Print? With a pocket? We’d love to hear what you think of them, and your tips for making training enjoyable and comfortable!