The Gym Leggings You Need to Wear for HIIT Workouts

Finding the perfect pair of leggings for your workout can be just as important as the workout itself. You know how it is: When you don’t have the right fit, you’re pulling at the waistline, doing extra sumo squats to get your legs comfortable, and still hoping they last through your final set of sprints. And it’s even worse if you’re doing high-intensity workouts that require full-body movements.

If you’re looking for your ideal fit, here are the ones gym-goers swear by (especially for those who participate in HIIT).

Lululemon Fast & Free Crop II

Lululemon Fast & Free Tights

Lululemon Fast & Free Tights | Lululemon via Instagram

Price: $118

Touted as one of their best-sellers, the Fast & Free Crop II is lightweight, sweat-wicking, and the perfect fit for your most intense workouts. The high waist ensures your pants won’t be falling down while you’re exercising, and the material makes the pants mold to you like a second skin (the company calls this their “Naked Sensation”). There’s also an interior drawcord for extra customizable fit, and side pockets.

As with most Lululemon clothing, the price is steep at $118. But you’re also getting quality and fit with that price — and the five-star reviews say it’s worth it.

Alala Captain Crop Tight

Price: $105

These Captain Crop Tights also have resounding five-star reviews from purchasers in the past. Not only do they provide a perfect fit, but they also feature sheer mesh panels across the backs of the knees for ventilation. For those participating in HIIT, you know any extra airflow is best. Additionally, there’s power mesh in the waistband, which is high-performance material that offers compression. And the anti-chafe flat seams and quick-dry fabric are also perfect for HIIT.

Girlfriend Collective Smoke Compressive High-Rise Legging

Girlfriend Collective workout wear

Girlfriend Collective workout wear | Girlfriend Collective via Instagram

Price: $68

If you haven’t taken a look at what Girlfriend Collective has to offer, this brand is growing in popularity thanks to their awesome products. The Smoke Compressive High-Rise Leggings are flattering, ultra comfortable, and perfect for workouts ranging in intensity. The fabric (which is actually made from recycled water bottles) contains four-way stretch and compression so the leggings mold perfectly to your body. And the high-rise waist means you won’t be pulling them up, either. At $68, these are a steal.

Joylab Premium 7/8 Shine and Mesh Pieced High-Waisted Leggings

Price: $39.99

If you haven’t stepped into a Target recently, you’ll want to head right over to their Joylab workout clothing collection. These Shine and Mesh Pieced High-Waisted Leggings are made of premium, sweat-wicking fabric (and of course, the mesh helps with ventilation, too). Additionally, they’re high-waisted with an elastic waistband for comfort, and there’s a front inner pocket. Kathryn Manigross, a personal trainer and TRX instructor, recommended them to More for HIIT workings in particular.

What to look for in the perfect HIIT and cardio leggings

Woman push-ups

Woman doing push-ups | iStock.com/tolstnev

While the four choices above are tried-and-true, you can also seek out the ideal legging for yourself using these guidelines. Here’s what to consider:

Fit in the waist:

There’s nothing worse than having to pull at your waistband while you’re in the middle of an intense session of jump squats. High-waisted pants are a favorite for many since you never have to worry about them falling too far below the waistline during high-impact moves. Additionally, they’re ultra flattering — and they help to keep your midsection compressed during the entire workout.

Breathable fabrics: 

HIIT means you’re in for a serious sweat-session. And Everyday Health recommends picking “workhorse” fabrics for this reason. Fabric containing polypropylene is great for sweat-wicking, and any fabrics made from rubber or plastic are the worst bet. As far as cotton is concerned, it tends to absorb moisture instead of wicking it away, and this can leave you feeling heavy and drenched by the end of your exercise.

Think compression:

If you’re into yoga and barre, compression leggings might not be your best bet. But if you’re looking for leggings that will support your body through dynamic movements, go for ones that advertise compression as a benefit. Not only are they sure to stay put during HIIT, but they can also feel great for your muscles while you’re working hard.

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