6 of the Best Leggings for Exercising Indoors
Fitness experts share what to look for in a pair of leggings for every at-home workout format to meet your fitness goals.
Leggings for indoor workouts
Stay-at-home orders have led many gyms and fitness studios throughout the country to close their doors during Covid-19. This means more people are bringing their workout indoors, seeking out online fitness classes, and stocking their spare bedrooms and basements with exercise equipment to stay active during social distancing. And according to experts, the right workout apparel can play a key role in continuing to meet and surpass your fitness goals.
“Workout clothing that fits properly and looks great puts you in a positive frame of mind, generates energy, and sets you up for success,” says fitness expert Andrea Marcellus, author of The Way In and CEO of the AND/Life app for fitness. (It is also one of the most effective ways to relieve stress.) This is especially true when you’re working out at home, away from the motivation of a group fitness setting, or the support of a friend on the treadmill next to you.
When it comes to style and material, Marcellus suggests avoiding leggings with a too-tight waistband or oddly placed seams. “Flat belly panel, high-waisted leggings in a lightweight, breathable material that provides some compression tends to be best for everyone,” she says.
To get the most out of your at-home workout and be comfortable, we spoke with fitness experts who reveal the best leggings for indoor workouts. But first, we’re sharing our favourite budget-friendly pick.
Zella Studio Lite High Waist Print 78 Leggings
Because we’re spending more time in our yoga pants than ever before (putting them on well before a workout and taking them off well after), we have a few nonnegotiable requirements for them: They must, obviously, be comfortable, and they must wash well and wear well. Nordstrom’s Zella high waist leggings are super wearable and washable, making them a top editor’s pick. They don’t look worn even if you’ve lived in them for a week straight (don’t ask us how we know).
Sweaty Betty High Shine High Waisted Workout Leggings
$88 USD, sweatybetty.com
This UK-based brand is a favorite of renowned health and fitness expert Jillian Michaels, creator of the Jillian Michaels Fitness App, when she chooses to wear leggings for workouts. With an adjustable drawcord at the waist, perfectly placed seams, and a lustrous fabric that will make you feel like a rock star (even if no one is watching). These leggings are perfect for any style of exercise, from boot camp to barre. Order in your go-to size and you’ll get a soft, comfortable fit, or go one size down for additional compression and support.
(Here’s what to look for when shopping for yoga pants.)
Alo Yoga Women’s High Waist Airbrush Legging
$53-$82 USD, aloyoga.com
Both Michaels and Marcellus recommend Alo, a yoga brand committed to spreading good through yoga. “Full-length leggings are useful to help speed warming of the muscles if your body runs cold, like mine,” says Marcellus, of why it’s smart to choose long leggings for lower intensity workouts, like yoga. These leggings have no seams on the sides of the legs, allowing maximum comfort in every pose and posture, and the soft, thin fabric is ideal for indoor practice.
Varley Swathmore Legging – High Rise Full Length
$77 USD, varley.com
These full-length color block leggings rest comfortably at the waist and the fabric is gathered at the ankle, allowing you to pull them down over your heel during yoga, Pilates, or a barre workout. A favorite of Marcellus, Varley’s leggings are designed to be modern and timeless—they’ll give you the motivation to conquer your at-home workout and the confidence to achieve your goals.
Doing yoga or pilates at home? Check out the best yoga mats on Amazon.
Beyond Yoga Spacedye Biker Short
$68 USD, beyondyoga.com
“Feeling too warm is the enemy of energy,” says Marcellus, who counts Beyond Yoga as one of her favorite brands. “If you’re too warm, it can lead to sluggishness that prevents you from getting the most out of your workout.” So if you’re preparing to sweat it out with a long treadmill session, stationary bike ride, or dance cardio class, fitted shorts like these from Beyond Yoga are the perfect pick. Plus, the mid-thigh length ensures they won’t roll or bunch as you squat, spin, or shake.
Athleta Ultra High Rise Elation Tight
$59-$89 USD, gap.com
These high rise leggings from Athleta boast an impressive average rating of 4.8 out of 5 from 1,324 customer reviews. The reason: They’re soft, wash well, and are thick enough to wear from your indoor yoga or Pilates workout out to the grocery store and back again. With 16 different sizes available among regular, tall, and petite styles, women of every size and shape will find a pair that’s sure to fit perfectly.
Next, check out the best streaming workouts for women.