What: There are two variations, one being a pair of shorts with a flap across the front, giving it the appearance of a skirt and the other a full skirt with shorts underneath. These are typically worn by tennis, field hockey and golf players.
How: This garment was originally designed as some women’s sports associations mandate that skorts are to be part of the official uniform. The skirt portion actually has no added functionality aside from aesthetics and providing more modesty when compared to wearing just a pair of shorts.
Tip: There are usually three types of cut available, A-line, straight and pleated. Depending on your sport, pick the cut that is most suited. A-line cuts tend to cling to legs and are better for sports like golf, where straight cut and pleated skorts allow for a greater freedom of movement.
What: Gloves used in sports can be very different, depending on the kind of sport! They can range from thick, full coverage fleece-lined gloves for skiing to fingerless, lightly padded options for lifting weights at the gym or biking.
How: Sports gloves are designed to protect your hands from the elements and from the equipment you used to prevent calluses, abrasions or cuts. They also help to absorb sweat, affording you a better grip on the dumbbells at the gym (here’s a list of female-friendly gyms in Singapore) or the side of the mountain you are scaling.
Tip: Always buy the appropriate gloves for the activity you are participating in (don’t use gym gloves for skiing, for example), and be sure to try them on in person to ensure a good fit. We’re all for online shopping but unless you are familiar with the brand’s size and cut, don’t buy until you try.
What: Shoes designed specifically for different exercise, giving you proper arch support, flexibility and cushioning.
How: Running shoes (lightweight with extra cushioning) for short jogs to marathons; cross trainers (increased stability, heavier and less flexibility) for exercises that require lateral movement such CrossFit and dance; yoga wrap shoes (better grip plus sole protection) for barre, Pilates and yoga; basketball shoes (ankle support and extra cushioning); golf shoes (added cleats or molded grip bottoms to keep your feet planted during your swing and prevent slipping during wet conditions); soccer boots (cleats on the sole to provide traction on the field and tennis shoes (sturdier sides to support the constant lateral movement). Want to buy? Here are seven best places to buy cheap running shoes in Singapore.
Tip: Always choose the appropriate shoes for sports as they are also designed to protect your feet and absorb the impact that could potentially hurt your joints and back.
What: Sometimes called spats or biking shorts, these knee-length and skin tight pants are designed to improve comfort and efficiency. Some styles even feature padding to provide extra comfort on longer rides. They are usually made of a sweat-wicking material too.
How: Most cycling shorts have no waist band, so you don’t experience any discomfort during your ride. These shorts are usually also made with high-compression material to provide muscle support and prevent fatigue. If you prefer, you can get cycling bibs too, which are shorts that have two straps attached to them, ensuring your pants don’t move at all.
Tip: When choosing your shorts, ensure they fit snugly but aren’t too tight or binding (you still want to be able to move your legs). When you stand straight up, the material should be just a little baggy in the butt area and longer at the back – this is to compensate from when you lean forward during cycling.
What: Shorts designed for running to facilitate comfort and free movement. Running shorts typically include an inner lining that acts as underwear so you don’t need to wear separate, and an elasticated waist band for comfort. Some styles include short leggings under for compression and modesty. If you’re a keen runner, here are the best picks of comfortable running shoes for 2018.
How: With their wide leg openings, hemlines that end high up your thigh and breathable fabric, running shorts allow your legs to move freely, whether you’re doing sprints or going for a light jog.
Tip: If you like running at night, choose a pair that has reflective panels especially if you live in the city, so as to ensure you don’t become a traffic fatality. Most shorts also include a small inner pocket so you can keep your eyes. Make sure the waist band fits snugly to ensure the shorts don’t ride up during your run.
What: Long strips of cloth that are meant to be wound around the hand to protect the wrist, delicate finger joints and bones during combat sports like boxing or Muay Thai. They are fastened by Velcro. Never tried Muay Thai or boxing? Here are eight reasons you need to pick up a fighting sport.
How: Used as a form of compression, hand wraps are very long so as to allow for a thicker layer of protection. The wrappings keep the bones and hand tissues compressed, allowing boxers to hit harder and feel less pain. Shorter lengths are also available to accommodate the fingerless grappling gloves commonly used by mixed martial arts practitioners.
Tip: Every sports person has their preferred method of wrapping, so you should experiment with them before settling on the one that offers you the most protection and comfort. As a general rule of thumb, the wrap goes several times around the wrist and around each knuckle and finger.
What: The first ever wristbands (or sweatbands) were first invented by sportswear legend, Fred Perry. He invented them to absorb sweat from his hands and face while on the tennis court, and is still used for that purpose today.
How: Made of a similarly absorbent material as headbands (typically terry cloth), these bands are worn around both wrists and the user simply wipes sweat of her face with them.
Tip: At the gym, this is a great alternative to wearing a towel around your neck, which can be cumbersome and make you feel warmer the longer you work out. Wristbands are available in many styles, so you can even think of them as accessories to complement your gym outfit.
What: A one-piece that usually comes with a built-in sports bra, and can come with full, capri or short-length legs. The original designs were inspired by dance and ballet outfits.
How: Once you find one that fits perfectly, you’ll never have to tug at your sports bra or leggings ever again. The preferred choice for yoga and Pilates, jumpsuits also ensure you don’t expose anything during certain poses, and allow for even more movement than separates.
Tip: This is not the most flattering of workout apparel as it highlights even the slightest of bulges. We recommend wearing a t-shirt or a pair of shorts over your jumpsuit for a touch more modesty. When choosing one, ensure everything (especially the bra portion) fits perfectly, and don’t be afraid to move around the changing room to test it out!
What: Think of them as a looser-fit variation to sports leggings. These pants are designed for yoga and feature a wide waistband and flare out gently from the knee to ankle.
How: Usually made of a soft, jersey material, yoga pants are kind of like the modern day version of sweat pants. They are designed to stay put and allow ease of movement without being as form fitting as leggings.
Tip: As with leggings, choose a pair made from a breathable fabric, especially if hot yoga is your thing. The waist band wrap comfortably around your lower belly and not be too tight. As yoga requires you to hold poses, you’ll want to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible (just try adjusting your pants during Crow pose).
What: A cap that has no crown, relying on only the visor to keep the sun out of your eyes. They fasten with either Velcro, traditional button-snap closures or a stretch fabric.
How: It acts like a normal cap, keeping the glare out of your eyes while keep your head cool, and in some cases, acts like a headband to keep your hair away from your face. This is a great compromise for outdoor sports like golf where having the sun in your eyes could seriously affect your game, but doesn’t cause your head to overheat.
Tip: Try to limit wearing visor caps on days where it isn’t particularly sunny, as the lack of protection on your crown area could damage your hair and your scalp.
What: Also called a sweatband, these bands are meant to be worn around the forehead during sports to absorb sweat and prevent it from getting into your eyes.
How: Sweatbands are usually made of a terrycloth, or a similarly absorbent fabric. The width of the band can vary from thin to extra wide, with the latter also used similar like a bandana to keep hair away from the face as well.
Tip: Always try it on before buying as one size does not fit all! Most headbands come in a fabric that wicks sweat away, but look out for this just in case. You can even find reflective ones to increase your safety and visibility in low-light settings.
What: Tight-fitting pants that are typically used for exercise (or lazy days at home). They are available in capri length (ending mid-calf) and full-length (ending at the ankles), with some full-length variants coming with a strap that you loop around your foot.
How: Sports leggings are usually made of a high-stretch fabric that allows ease of movement, and come in various compression levels and fabrics, depending on the activity you’re participating in. Leggings are also available in a myriad of trendy designs that feature cut-outs, paneling and mesh inserts. They also come in high and low waist options.
Tip: For sports that involve a lot of jumping and bouncing (cardio, dance, running, HIIT, crossfit), opts for a pair of medium-high compression leggings for added muscle support. For sports like yoga, Pilates and barre, you’ll want a lighter compression to allow for more movement. In all cases, we prefer a non-slip, wide waist band so we don’t have to constantly tug our pants! Most materials these days help to wick away sweat and are breathable, to help regulate your body temperature. You’ll also want a pair that has pockets, so you have somewhere to stash your phone #justsaying.
What: A bra designed specifically for exercise. Comes in many variants such as racerback, compression, front-fastening, padded, underwire, non-wired, high impact, low impact and even mastectomy.
How: If you’ve ever tried to do a high-impact HIIT workout in just your regular bra, then you know how it can be literal pain. Sports bras are designed to provide extra support for the girls as they are sturdier and tighter so as to minimise breast movement. Continuous movement can result in soreness, pain and sagging over prolonged periods of time, so invest in a few good sports bras! Try these 10 pretty sports bras that give you support during your workout.
Tip: Pick one that feels tighter than your regular bra, but you should still be able to breathe deeply and comfortably. Always try on a sports bra before purchase, and try moving around (jumping jacks, downward dogs etc) in them to test them out and ensure nothing chafes or bulges.
What: Serving a similar function as regular jackets, sports jackets are used for layering when exercising outdoors colder climates, or at gyms where the central air-conditioning is always on full blast. They are available in both pull-over and full-zip closure styles, and can have hoodies. Sleeveless options allow you to keep only your core warm.
How: Sports jackets are available in either lightweight fabric that can be fully waterproof, or fleece-lined to keep you warm if you work out in the snow. If you are a night runner, you’ll want one that has reflective material to ensure drivers can spot you easily.
Tip: While jackets aren’t really necessary in tropical climates, if you are planning to exercise while on vacation in a cold country, make sure your jacket has a hoodie to keep your head warm. The material should also help keep your body heat in, while wicking sweat away so it doesn’t cool too quickly against your skin.
What: Tops designed for working out as they are made from sweat-wicking, anti-bacterial and lightweight fabrics. They are available in tank, t-shirt and long-sleeved variations. In colder countries, you can find materials that hold in body heat should you choose to workout outdoors.
How: Depending on the type of exercise and the weather, these tops can help to enhance your workout. For example, sleeveless tops are great for workouts like yoga, Pilates and Barre where your arms require a larger freedom of movement compared to say, running. T-shirts are good for outdoor sports as they help to protect your shoulders from the sun, where long-sleeved tops are good for cold gyms and mat work to prevent chafing on your elbows and forearms.
Tip: Always opt for antibacterial material to prevent pimples on your back! If you exercise outdoors more, look for tops that have SPF protection too.
What: Loose-fitting, full-length pants usually worn during sports like weight-lifting, jogging or dance. They are available in several fabrics, from soft jersey to polyester and usually come with pockets.
How: Joggers are a great alternative to form-fitting leggings if you are more conscious, with some designs offering comparable a freedom of movement. They typically come with elasticated waist bands and ankle cuffs to ensure they stay in place while you move. For eco-friendly versions, try out H&M’s new activewear range made from sustainable fabrics.
Tip: Thanks to the atheleisure trend, a pair of joggers will easily take you from the gym to brunch while giving you major street style cred. For such purposes, choose a lightweight pair with a sweat-wicking, bacteria-resistant pair so it doesn’t smell after your workout.
What: Short-shorts used for workouts like crossfit, weight lifting or even running. These are usually made of the same material as leggings, but are less restrictive and are perhaps more suited for our warmer weather.
How: With its wide, comfortable waist band and leg openings that hug the thighs, booty shorts allow for natural movement. As there is less fabric compared to sweatpants or leggings, there is a lower chance of the material getting caught in equipment by accident.
Tip: While these shorts are meant to be short, it shouldn’t be so short that half your butt is fall out. Make sure your assets are properly covered and don’t forget to try them out in the changing room to ensure you don’t wardrobe-malfunction during certain movements. To shop for these and after workout pieces, here’s a guide on where to shop activewear in Singapore if on a budget.
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