Options for workout attire abound, but what type of clothing is needed for what workout? Fitness enthusiast Taylor Studniski works in fashion and recommends matching workout clothing types to the fitness effort and then finding fun and flattering outfits designed to build confidence.
From big global brands to boutique fitness fashion lines, many companies rely on unique fabric blends to set their workout gear apart. Often the different labels provide a unique brand-centric name for these blends, making it more difficult to locate preferred fabrics when shopping elsewhere.
According to Taylor Studniski, the best way to plan ahead for shopping is to examine the individual fabric percentages comprising the blend and look for similar construction on the labels of alternate providers.
Synthetic fabric blends are the best for almost all workout types. They provide superior moisture wicking compared to most organic fabrics, such as cotton, and can even help improve performance when a routine includes intense strength training or will lead to serious muscle fatigue.
Taylor Studniski says most cardio workouts, like the elliptical or medium intensity treadmill sessions, and blended exercise efforts, such as high-intensity interval training or Tabata, are best accomplished in attire featuring a polyester and spandex blend fabric. Polyester blends from most workout brands are designed to pull moisture away from the skin and offer light to medium support for various impacts. Spandex provides a bit of stretch to ensure a comfortable fit and offers the flexibility needed for many workout types.
Additional points of consideration when picking gear includes examining seams and pocket placement. For repetitive motions, such as running or prolonged use of a cardio machine, a seam in the crotch area or an alternate point of skin-to-skin contact can lead to chafing. Always double-check pockets to ensure they are easily accessed and capable of holding the essentials for a workout session.
While polyester blends with more specific designs can offer a high degree of support, many high-end athletes move to compression wear. Compression wear is a nylon and spandex blend favored by many pursuing more intense workout regimens according to Taylor Studniski.
This blend provides additional structure and can help improve performance by promoting increased blood circulation. This keeps the muscles full of oxygen. Recovery times improve and muscle strain is reduced.
Injury-prone workout warriors may also prefer compression fabric for less strenuous activities in order to improve performance and minimize routine stresses.