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Wearing yoga pants while exercising may make a workout more comfortable and therefore more enjoyable. It may also prevent overheating. That said, it also carries some health risks.

This article discusses the health benefits and risks of wearing yoga pants, what to look for, some of the best options available to buy online, and alternative gym clothing to consider.

Yoga pants describe a variety of different styles of pants, from formfitting leggings to looser trousers. However, nearly all yoga pants have some stretch to them due to the materials that they contain.

Many yoga pants contain materials that wick moisture from the body and promote airflow. The moisture-wicking technology prevents overheating by keeping body temperature stable during exercise, while ventilating fabrics increase airflow.

A 2014 study found that synthetic polyester was more beneficial than a 100% cotton T-shirt in terms of both breathability and moisture-wicking.

This may suggest that yoga pants made of synthetic material, such as polyester and elastane, may prevent overheating and promote airflow. This in turn may make workouts more comfortable, especially in warm or hot environments.

The stretchy material in yoga pants should not feel too tight or limit movement, as restrictive clothes can contribute toward musculoskeletal disorders.

For example, a 2016 study found that males wearing tight pants are at a greater risk of musculoskeletal disorders, because they cause abnormal movement and posture in the lumbar spine and pelvis.

While this study focused on males and restrictive clothing, especially around the waist, it suggests that wearing flexible and comfortable clothing may decrease the risk of abnormal movement and posture.

Wearing tight or formfitting yoga pants may also lead to other conditions:

Yeast infection

Some people may develop a vaginal yeast infection. Certain clothes, such as those that are too tight or use synthetic materials, are factors in people developing this infection.

Tight clothes and sweating allow the yeast that naturally occurs in the vagina to thrive, which leads to inflammation.

Learn more about yeast infections here.

Tinea cruris

Another condition that people may develop while wearing yoga pants is tinea cruris, or jock itch. Excessive sweating, restrictive clothing, and not showering properly after exercise are risk factors for developing this condition.

People wearing tight yoga pants that do not have moisture-wicking or breathable fabrics may be at risk of jock itch.

Learn more about jock itch risk factors and prevention here.

Intertrigo

People wearing yoga pants may also develop intertrigo. This condition is an inflammation that appears in skin folds. Risk factors for intertrigo include warm temperatures, sweating, friction, and poor ventilation.

Wearing yoga pants that do not have breathable and moisture-wicking materials may contribute to this condition.

Learn more about intertrigo here.

There are many yoga pants available to buy. However, people should look for yoga pants that are:

  • nonrestrictive
  • breathable
  • moisture wicking

Below, we present a selection of the top yoga pants available on the market.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

Leonisa ActiveLife Mid-Rise Shaper Legging

These leggings contain moderate compression fabric that flattens the stomach and shapes the waist and legs. Shaper clothing does not offer fitness benefits.

The leggings also feature mesh cutouts around the knees that promote extra airflow and breathability. The fabric in the leggings wicks moisture, preventing overheating.

The company recommend these leggings for people doing high impact exercise, such as agility, strength, and resistance training.

These leggings are available in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes.

Leonisa ActiveLife Mid-Rise Shaper Leggings are available for purchase online.

KÜHL FREEFLEX Pant

These pants are lightweight, moisture wicking, and quick drying. They do not contain spandex, but they prevent sagging or bagging with FREEFLEX fabric.

They also feature a wide pull-on waistband, four pockets, and a gusseted crotch for freedom of movement. Additionally, they have a water-repellent finish.

The company recommend these pants for people who work out in the gym and outdoors.

These pants are available in small, medium, large, extra-large, and double extra-large sizes, with a variety of inseam options.

KÜHL FREEFLEX Pants are available for purchase online.

Beyond Yoga Spacedye Love the Bump Capri Maternity Legging

These polyester and lycra pants have a capri length and an over-the-belly waistband that a person can wear up or fold down, depending on their needs. These leggings feature a four-way stretch and UV protection. They also absorb moisture.

The company recommend these for both a workout and general use. Additionally, the leggings are suitable throughout pregnancy.

They come in the following sizes: extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large.

Beyond Yoga Spacedye Love the Bump Capri Maternity Leggings are available for purchase online.

prAna Men’s Vaha Pant

These yoga pants have a wide leg and contain sustainable hemp and recycled polyester. They feature a natural quick-dry and odor-reducing fabric called UPG 50+, knit elastic waistband and drawcord, and pockets.

The company recommend these pants for working out and as leisurewear.

These yoga pants come in extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large, and double extra-large sizes, with a variety of inseams.

prAna Men’s Vaha Pants are available for purchase online.

Baleaf Women’s High Rise Tapered Joggers

These pants are ankle length with tapered legs and contain nylon and spandex. They feature lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking fabric, an elastic waistband with a drawstring, two rear pockets, and two side pockets.

The company suggest people allow for a few centimeters’ variation in sizes due to manual measurements.

These pants come in extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large, and double extra-large sizes.

Baleaf Women’s High Rise Tapered Joggers are available for purchase online.

If a person is looking for an alternative to yoga pants, there are various other types of activewear available.

Shorts and sweatpants are the main alternative to yoga pants and may benefit people prone to developing yeast infections. Both shorts and sweatpants are frequently available in 100% cotton.

Others may prefer compression pants or shorts. Compression wear may be beneficial for performance recovery and delayed onset muscle soreness, as the extra support may help reduce microtrauma and muscular damage.

As with all clothing, people can try different types to find out what feels most comfortable and which type benefits their activity most.

Yoga pants may be beneficial to wear during exercise thanks to their breathability and moisture-wicking properties.

However, wearing restrictive or nonbreathable yoga pants may increase the risk of yeast infections, jock itch, and intertrigo. Some people may find that wearing other types of activewear is more beneficial for them.

When choosing the best yoga pants, it may help to look at reviews from multiple sources to determine the pros and cons of each product before making a purchase.