Hi-Tech Workout Clothes

British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen arrives for the Australian premiere of his new film as his alter ego, Austrian fashion reporter Bruno, in Sydney, Monday, June 29, 2009. The movie, titled "Bruno," will be released on July 8. AP

A college T-shirt and sweat pants may not be the best clothing for a workout. Not only are they not flattering, but, in fact, the drenched cotton T-shirt is probably slowing down your workouts.

The Early Show's fitness contributor Minna Lessig shows the latest workout clothes that will make exercises more productive.

Workout clothes should make the wearer feel dry, comfortable, and confident. The clothes need to work as hard as the person exercising. The latest workout clothes feature various fabric blends, fiber technologies, and great construction that will keep a person cool and provide the body with the support it needs.

Everyone has been told that cotton is the most breathable fabric, but according to Mark Shapiro at Nike, that does not mean it is the best fabric for working out. Synthetic blends used in activewear, such as polyester-cotton or nylon-lycra and various performances fabrics like "CoolMax," are all wicking materials. Wicking materials draw perspiration away from the skin to the outer surface of the garment where it can evaporate more quickly.

It will not stop you from sweating, but it will help you feel cooler and make your skin drier — which makes a person exercising feel more comfortable. The cooling factor and feel of comfort will hopefully encourage people to work out longer.

Mesh is also important. It helps circulate the air between the skin and the garment for quicker drying and cooling.

Different workouts call for different clothes. It is also important to find clothes that provide the right support. Whether running or practicing yoga, the clothes should fit right.

Here are tips for buyers when purchasing clothing for working out:

  • High-Intesity Exercise (Kickboxing, Running, Spinning)

    You need an outfit that will regulate temperature and let moisture evaporate. Things in wicking material, mesh lining along the chest and back are best for this type of workout. Women would definitely want support on top; sports bras are important no matter what cup size.

  • Low-Intensity Exercise(Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi)

    An outfit that will provide support on top and the freedom of movement everywhere else is recommended. The pants should have room to do the yoga movements and will not bind at the waist. A top that will not bind or pinch makes exercising easier. Women who are a C-cup or larger will want to buy a sports bra. An outfit that will wick the moisture is also recommended.

  • Medium-Intensity Exercise (Aerobics, Biking, Weight Training)

    Pants for biking have to have "Cool-Max" or wicking material in the crotch area to keep riders comfortable. Pants should also be cropped length so the cyclist does not get snagged on a bike's pedal or chains.

  • Maternity Workout Clothes

    Pregnant women want the same things as anyone else who works out — support and dryness. Support is very important so pants and tops with panels should be used to keep a woman feeling in control and not fighting with her clothes.


The market has a large choice of workout clothes that meet a particular workout to choose from.


  • For Bikers

    Fila biker pants ($32) are great because they are the length of Capris. It helps to avoid getting tangled with the pedals or chains and the cotton-lycra blend will keep riders cool.

  • Running Shorts

    Running Shorts from Reebok ($30) are made of super-light material so they won't weigh a runner down. It has a "Micropique" material that helps it breathe and is designed with a hidden key pocket.

    Light-weight sleeveless shirt from Reebok ($22) is made from 100 percent polyester "Micropique."

  • Walkers

    Lightweight pants from Fila's Performa collection ($55) are water resistant and wind proof. It makes training outdoors a little bit more bearable. Fila's also make bright red camisole top with a shelf bra ($28).

  • Yoga And Piltaes

    Pants from Nike ($44) are made of 100 percent polyester incorporated with wicking material called Dri-Fit. Adidas makes trendy light-weight camisoles ($32).

  • Socks, Bras and Underwear

    Cool-Max underwear from L.L. Bean ($29) are great for biking and running long distance. It will keep a person cool and comfortable.

    Cup-sized bra from Nike ($24.99) provides extra support and keeps the wearer cool by wicking moisture away.

    Reebok has strappy tanks with a built-in shelf bra liner($28), great for low-intensity to medium intensity workouts.

    L.L. Bean socks ($19.50 for three pairs) are great for keeping feet nice, cool, and comfortable. The socks wick away moisture.

    Nike long-sleeve shirts with UV protection ($42) are perfect for chilly morning runs and air-conditioned gyms. Reebok has a long-sleeve shirt with Hydromax ($35), which also keeps the body cool.

    Lycra Hooded zipped jacked from L.L. Bean ($34) is ultralight so it won't weigh the exerciser down but will provide warmth. L.L. Bean's hooded Jacket ($59) is also great. L.L Bean also has Capri pants ($39) and Cool-Max Lycra top with a shelf-bra and is quick-drying ($34).

    For mothers-to-be, Liz Lange produced from Nike is great for a work out. A top ($48) has the Dri-Fit material and the Capri pants ($65) will keep pregnant women cool.


  • Rome Neal

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