Is it Better to Wear Tight or Baggy Clothes When Working Out?

Workout tights
Photo by Katerina May on Unsplash

When going to work out, one of the first questions is always, “what should I wear?” Though there are lots of good options and in general anything comfortable and temperature-appropriate will do, folks who take their workouts very seriously will want to make sure they wear exactly the right clothes for maximum performance. Which begs the question: baggy or tight? Here’s our advice.

Range of Motion

Baggy running shorts specifically tend to be very short. That means they give a super wide range of motion and won’t block you from doing anything. Longer baggy shorts, too, are very unrestrictive, but they are a little heavy because of the extra material. Tights or tight shorts, as long as they fit properly, generally won’t restrict your motion either. However, if they’re made of thicker material, they may add some weight, making it harder to move.


Few things are more uncomfortable than chafing. The nice thing about tight mid-length shorts or leggings is that they will stay in place and keep your thighs from irritating each other. On the other hand, baggy shorts tend to ride up leaving your thighs exposed to chafing.


Finally, if you work out outside, leggings are more likely to keep you warm on cold days. That being said, baggy shorts give your skin room to breathe as you heat up from working out, so it’s best to check the weather before you get dressed.