What Not to Wear at the Gym

What you wear at the gym is much more than just how you look in Lycra. The wrong clothes or footwear can actually affect your performance and may even lead to injuries. Here are some essential items not to include in your gym kit.


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Cotton clothing might be breathable but it will let you down if you start to sweat. Essentially, cotton fabric absorbs sweat, which will stick to your skin, leaving your clothes feeling wet and heavy. This can even irritate the skin, cause chafing or fungal infections. Leave cotton at home, and instead opt for moisture-wicking polyester or Dri-FIT options when the gym starts calling.



Another fabric type that is a no-no as far as working out at the gym is concerned is denim. Denim jeans might be a wardrobe staple, but they’ll only leave you feeling sweaty, heavy and uncomfortable if you exercise in them.


Baggy clothes

If you’re new to the gym, you might want to hide your bulges in baggy clothes, but this isn’t a wise idea. Baggy clothing can get caught up in gym equipment, or if you perform certain exercises where you need to see how you hold a pose or posture, this is hard to achieve when your frame is swaddled in fabric.


Tight clothes

On the other hand, wearing clothes to the gym that are too tight may restrict your movements, as well as your blood circulation. This might make you feel uncomfortable, and could even cause pain. Clothes that are too tight will also trap sweat leaving you feeling clammy, which could increase the risk of fungal or yeast infections.


Footwear that isn’t trainers

If you’ve forgotten to put your trainers in your gym bag, you wouldn’t be the first person to attempt a workout in ordinary shoes, sandals, boots, finger shoes or even flip-flops. But, there’s never a time or place for any of these at the gym, as they simply don’t provide the support your feet and body need to exercise.

The only footwear that should make it past the gym doors are trainers, but even these should be fit for purpose. A pair of trainers usually needs replacing after you’ve put them through 300 miles, but if the design tread has worn out or there are any holes in the footwear, then don’t wait until then.

Always choose trainers that are supportive, and have adequate shock absorption and cushioning properties.


Regular bra

Female gym goers who wear regular bras when exercising will find that they could develop neck, breast, shoulder and back pain. Therefore, a decent sports bra is a worthwhile investment for ladies, as it will offer the vital support, protection and cushioning that your breasts require.



The gym isn’t the place to be showing off your new watch or diamond ring. Not only do you risk getting it damaged or scratched if it rubs against equipment, but loose jewellery could get caught up in machines, putting your own health and safety in jeopardy.

Sweat can also discolour precious metals, and may even cause an allergic reaction to your skin. Wearing a ring while you lift weights can interfere with your grip, and the weight’s pressure on the band may leave marks on your skin or even break the skin’s surface.

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