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How tight should gym leggings be?

How tight should gym leggings be? This is a question that every woman should ask themselves before they buy a pair of leggings. We've put together some tips to help you to 'optimise' your gym legging tightness!

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Gym leggings – too tight and the leggings will be uncomfortable, too loose and they will be baggy, look silly and even worse, maybe even slip down, no one wants that! Coupled with the look and feel factor of leggings, getting the wrong size can also affect your performance in the gym. So how should you leggings fit.

How leggings should fit

Leggings are one of the most popular items of clothing to be worn to the gym and to maximize your physical performance and comfort, it is crucial that you have a pair that fits your body.

If you are trying on leggings, here is a little rule of thumb guide that you can use to ensure a good fit to work out in:

  • The seams of the leggings shouldn’t leave marks on your skin (ignore if your leggings are seamless). If they do then they are too tight.
  • Check out your belly just above the waistband, if you are getting a muffin top (this is where the leggings cause your skin to wrinkle), then they are too tight and you need to move up a size or two.
  • The leggings shouldn’t give you extra bulges, but also fit comfortably and support your body at the same time.
  • Do an ass to grass squat; can you see your underwear? If so then the leggings are too small. Even if you’re purchasing squat proof leggings, they may still show your underwear if you’re opting for light pastel gym leggings for example.
  • You should not be able to see your skin, this usually means that they are too tight, however, sometimes it is because the leggings are low quality.
  • Your leggings should not be baggy, they should be tight to your legs and peach. The only exception to this is if you’re looking to purchase scrunch bum leggings, you’ll want to allow for a little bit of extra room as if they’re too tight, the scrunch effect may be flattened out.
  • If your leggings are slipping down and you find yourself pulling them up or lifting your legs, you need to move down a size.

It’s not an exact science

After ticking all the boxes we have outlined above you should be left with a pair of leggings that fit well, are comfortable and are fit to work out in and do not restrict your performance.

Having said that, the tightness of your leggings is not an exact science and you really need to test this yourself by trying some on and working out.

Try some on at the shop, if you think they are ok then buy them and go for a workout. If you still find them comfortable, you feel good in them and they don’t limit your performance, then they are probably the right size. If they don’t fit you then you can always take them back.

What fabric should I choose?

If you were purchasing a pair of leggings to wear out and about or at home then I would recommend cotton, simply because cotton is soft and very comfortable to wear. However, when buying leggings for the gym I would recommend something more durable and stretchy like nylon or polyester.

These kinds of material will give you better support when working out and will also mold to your form better. These types of material also tend to absorb moisture better which will be beneficial if you are sweating a lot.

So, how tight should leggings be?

It should be very apparent by now that getting a pair of leggings that fit you is very important not only for the comfort side but also due to the fact that they can significantly affect your workout performance.

I have outlined some things to look out for as a rule of thumb when selecting your workout leggings and which materials I think are the best, however, as I’ve said, it is not an exact science and it is really down to personal preference which leggings you choose, as you should always pick the ones which work best for you.


I’m Chloe – a body confidence writer here at House of Peach! I help women to feel fabulous in the body they’re in and feel amazing in gym wear – regardless of their body shape and type. Unleash Your Peach.

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