Best Workout Wear for Plus Sizes

Side view portrait of a beautiful plus size women running in the morning in a sport park for losing weight.

Key Points

  • Finding the right plus-size workout gear is essential to enjoying your workout.

  • Finding the perfect plus-size workout gear is possible regardless of your size.

  • Regular exercise and proper nutrition are vital to improving your health and quality of life.

For anyone who's ever hit the gym or gone for a run, selecting the right workout gear for plus-size women is a critical aspect of a successful fitness routine. Those who are plus-size or slightly overweight find selecting workout wear a frustrating and sometimes downright demoralizing experience.

Showing up at your next strength training session without adequate clothing and accessories may leave you feeling exposed, uncomfortable, and ashamed of how you look and feel. The right workout gear for plus-size women boosts your confidence, makes you feel more comfortable and supported, and ensures a smoother workout.

The Importance of Workout Wear

Selecting the perfect outfit is essential for anyone who wants to experience comfortable and effective workouts, regardless of body type. Choosing the right pieces is particularly important for those who are overweight. 

Comfort

When you carry extra weight, you need workout clothes that fit properly and don't slip and slide into eventual wardrobe malfunction. Ill-fitting clothing causes chafing, irritation, and discomfort, making it harder to focus on your workout and achieve your fitness goals.

Support

The right workout wardrobe provides the support you need to perform exercises safely and effectively. For example, a good quality sports bra reduces breast movement and prevents discomfort and pain during higher-impact activities. Compression leggings improve blood flow and reduce muscle fatigue that could cause you to give up on your workout prematurely.

Confidence

Wearing the right workout clothing gives you a burst of confidence. If you look good, you feel good! Feeling confident about your body is essential for maintaining a positive attitude and staying highly motivated during workouts.

Injury Prevention

Proper gear, such as quality footwear, provides the necessary support and cushioning for your feet and ankles, reducing your risk of strains, sprains, and other injuries. 

Factors To Consider When Choosing Workout Clothing

Activewear exists to offer both comfort and practicality, making it an ideal choice for workout days or when the occasion calls for casual. Gone are the days of ratted-out sweatpants and stained T-shirts. With sportswear designed for every fashion taste, preference, and body type, there are no excuses for not looking your best when stepping out to sweat. 

For plus-size women, athleisure clothing often incorporates the science of moisture-wicking material. Moisture evaporation prevents your garments from feeling heavy and uncomfortable. This is particularly important for full figures, as sweat tends to make clothes clingy and unflattering. Here are some things to look for as you shop for perfect workout fashions.

Plus size model works out on stairs

Supportive Material and Construction

Find apparel that adequately supports your physique for a successful and enjoyable workout experience. Consider sports bras with built-in support, bottoms with high waistbands, and other features that add to your comfort and security. 

Compression technology in plus-size activewear provides a secure, tight fit by bolstering your muscles and preventing injuries like sprains and tears. Compression wear also reduces post-workout muscle fatigue and soreness.

Flattering Design

Activewear doesn't always have to be tight-fitting and unflattering for full figures. Numerous stylish, flattering options abound. When shopping for your perfect fit, search for items designed with the feminine form in mind, and choose colors and hues that you feel good in. 

Leggings and shorts with high waistlines have a slimming effect on the belly and sides, resulting in a leaner look. Bras with longline styles also tuck in at the sides, simultaneously zipping up your figure and boosting your confidence. 

Stretchy Fabric

Prioritize items that have ample stretch in the fabric. They move more efficiently and accommodate nearly any activity you do. Four-way stretch material maintains its form and provides a comforting fit, no matter how far you take your workout efforts. Feel free to engage in ambitious yoga poses without fear of looking like a wrinkly elephant.

Moisture-Wicking Abilities

Sweat-wicking fabric expels sweat and moisture to the surface, quickly evaporating so you don’t feel sticky, weighed down, or hot. Pieces like these may be more expensive upfront, but you can't put a price tag on not worrying about butt sweat stains on your leggings during or after your run. Other details, such as mesh panels on sports bras and underarm fabric, keep you cool and reduce uncomfortable chafing.

Avoid Like the Plague

Just as you'd look for certain qualities and attributes when shopping for quality activewear, there are also some things to avoid. Steer clear of poorly made pieces and ensembles sporting these unfavorable characteristics.

Plus size athlete crouches down to pick-up medicine ball

Non-Breathable Fabrics

Exercising for plus-size individuals is hard enough. There's no need to add extra heat and excess sweat to the mix. Avoid non-breathable fabrics such as polyester and other synthetic materials; they trap moisture against the skin, leading to overheating and heat rashes. 

Poor Quality Seams

The last thing you want to deal with at the gym or in public is a ripped seam or blown-out pair of leggings or shorts. Look for pieces with solid and dependable seams; they also function as an additional grip for your skin to keep your outfit firmly in place while exercising. 

Women's Workout Wear Options

Now more than ever, you have many options when considering cut, color, size, and style. Mix and match separates, or go for a fully-coordinated fashion statement. Pick up these pieces as you get started on your journey.

Sports Bras

Full-figured gals have full-figured chests — there's no getting around that. If you carry extra weight, you may have larger breasts that require extra support during workouts. No one wants to deal with pain caused by bouncing and swaying breasts that aren't adequately supported. This not only interferes with your training but also causes damage to breast tissue and results in sagging.

Enter the sports bra, your new best friend. A well-fitting sports bra provides comfort and support while still allowing you to breathe easily. Choose the bra that meets your activity needs. Low-impact activities such as yoga and weight training don't require the fabric tension that running and cardio kickboxing do. For every exercise activity, find a sports bra that rises to the challenge.

Plus size athlete stretches

Bottoms

Choose bottoms that make you feel comfortable and confident while working out. Many options exist, such as leggings, shorts, or jogging pants. Yoga pants offer more give and flow; the breathable fabric keeps you cool from salutation to namaste.

Capris come in every size, shape, and color combination, with a shorter leg ideal for various exercise types. Pair them with moisture-wicking socks and a good shoe to hit the gym or any fitness class in style.

Shorts are not for the faint of heart, but they're an excellent option for those who struggle to stay cool during physical activity. Be mindful of short length for your comfort and propriety; you don't want to worry about showing too much skin in the middle of a spin class. Focusing on your workout is much easier if you don't have to fret over embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions.

Tops

It all comes down to your preference when choosing the right top for your workout. If you tend to overheat during exercise, steer clear of long sleeves. On the other hand, those who are self-conscious about their upper arms should opt for T-shirts over tank tops.

Loose-fitting fabrics offer ventilation, while tighter fabrics have sweat-wicking properties. As long as you choose high-quality materials, you'll get the desired results from your workout.

Shoes

You need proper foot support during your workouts if you're carrying a few extra pounds. Good shoes provide stability, cushioning, and arch support to reduce the impact on your joints. 

Ensure your shoes fit well and have enough room for your feet to move comfortably. Choose appropriate shoes for the workout you plan to do, and consider getting fitted by a professional who can find the perfect shoe for your needs.

Best Pieces for Your Fitness Goals

The Kardashian clan opts for premier workout wear like their SKIMS brand and other high-octane options for their gut-blasting, bootylicious routines, but your budget may not be as forgiving. 

Not to worry! Plenty of workout wear choices fit the bill without breaking your piggy bank. Here are some full-figured favorites that deliver on their promises and amp up your workout efforts.

Best Sports Bra Brand: VFUS

This high-impact sports bra moves with your body during intense exercise while providing solid support. It features an adjustable lower band with five rows of hooks, adjustable shoulder strap length, and a combination zipper/hook front closure. The advanced design has even the most high-impact workout covered.

VFUS High-Impact Sports Bra 

Photo source: Amazon.com

Best Yoga Capri Pants: Champion

Champion women's cotton capris are perfect for the studio, running, doing errands, and providing all-day comfort. Made from a comfortable cotton/polyester blend, this four-way stretch fabric stays put no matter what activities await you. 

Best Tops: Aeuui Racerback Athletic Top

The Aeuui Racerback Athletic Top is made from 95 percent polyester and 5 percent spandex, sporting a machine-washable pull-on design. With superior moisture-wicking capabilities, this lightweight, second-skin workout design makes nearly every workout more comfortable.

Perfect when paired with your favorite sports bra and workout bottoms, the racerback design looks just as good on the gym floor as it does when having coffee with friends. Grab more than one color to add vibrance to your workout wardrobe.

Best Shoes: Nike Air Max 270 Trainers

The Nike Air Max 270 shoe combines features from the 180 and 93 models, boasting the largest heel air unit in the Nike shoe series. Its inner structure provides flexibility and breathability, with full and mech zones for proper construction and ventilation. Featuring dual-density foam and a large Max Air unit in the heel, this shoe delivers comfortable cushioning and a stylish look suitable for everyday use.

Nike Air Max 270 TrainersPhoto source: Amazon.com

Most Popular Clothing Brands

While there are many options for activewear, some tried and true brands continue to rise to the top. They cater to people of all shapes and sizes, celebrating body positivity and promoting healthy lifestyle choices.

Some of these companies include:

  • Nike

  • Skirt Sports

  • Rsport

  • DAY/WON

  • SuperFit Hero

  • K-DEER

  • Athleta

  • Fabletics

  • SKIMS

  • Girlfriend Collective

These companies provide quality products that fit all figures, not just those already sporting athletic physiques. 

What To Wear?

Starting on a fitness journey is a daunting experience. It's easy to feel like everyone's judging your every move and that you're the least fit person in the room. However, most gym enthusiasts are so focused on their workouts that they have little time to judge others. Many simply enjoy the social aspects of working out and being around like-minded people.

If you're self-conscious about your weight, know you're not alone. Even the hottest fitness professional has doubts and insecurities.

Don't let your negative self-talk get in the way of creating new dreams and goals for yourself. Refuse to engage in destructive comparison to others, and focus on your own strategies for success. By taking that first step and showing up, you already command respect from others. Don't be afraid to give it your all. 

Your Choice, Your Workout, Your Results

As you ponder which workout wear choices are best for you and your body, know that the right clothing enhances your performance, reduces your risk of injury, and improves your confidence.

Former Olympic athlete and track star Jim Ryun knows the value of making the most of your workout sessions and using the right equipment to improve all aspects of life: "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."

Making fitness a priority significantly impacts and improves all other aspects of life. Take your time when selecting those perfect pieces that fit well, support your body, and make you feel comfortable in all your activities. With the right equipment and gear, you're well on your way to achieving your fitness goals in no time!

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