How To Pick The Best Lycra – Which Leggings Do What

During my time as a ‘Sweaty Betty’ last summer, I learnt quite a bit. I improved on my customer service skills, how to fold a top that has 35 thin straps and still make it look neat, and how to survive a day in retail whilst being on competition prep (this involved long quiet days standing up (prep people will know that even this becomes difficult) and painfully avoiding the St Albans market from all the food stalls. But I also learnt that a girl can never have too many pairs of lycra leggings. They’re like cooking utensils – they’re all essential and necessary for different things!

As a Sweaty Betty you obviously had to be kitted out in the latest season’s uniform, but for some reason we would all still then still spend our wages on more clothes. The best thing about SB is that as I literally live in slouchy trackies or chilled clothes, but they have ranges that are for gym, for lunch, for chilling, for summer holiday, skiing… the list is endless and there is ALWAYS something to buy. Much to my bank account’s disappointment – it never agreed or understood me when it came to that.

But despite all the clothes you could possibly wish for, leggings are the most important staple of a fitness woman’s wardrobe because 1. you wear them for 90% of the year ( I say 90% because of that one week in July that the sun comes out for an hour in the UK and you might be brave enough to put shorts on) and 2. because they’ve all got different roles and are good for different things. So before I digress I’ll lay out my lycra thoughts below and you can see which pairs of lycra I stick with which activity.

Nike Leggings – Cotton: The pairs I’m talking about look like this; Nike Cotton Swoosh Leggings They’re cheap at just over £20, and they’re stretchy to fit your shape too. I wear an XS in these leggings and I would normally wear them for a weight’s session. Probably an upper body session because obvi with cotton your sweat shows quite a bit so they’re def not suitable for a run or HIIT or sweaty bum session unless you don’t mind looking like you’ve peed yourself a little bit.. I have done that whilst wearing grey leggings before, not a pretty sight.

Physiq Apparel Leggings: You might know that from time to time I’m a proud little model for Physiq, but without being too biased, these leggings are so good for the gym and also for the gram. With bright colours and patterns that you wouldn’t usually think to put with gym leggings, they make sure you stand out and I LOVE the matching sets. Again I wouldn’t run in these but for a weight session with a good tan they look fab!

Nike Pro Training Tights: These are one of my oldest and favourite pairs of leggings and a type that I would always recommend investing in. They’re thin enough with sweat wicking material so you can get a long run / hard HIIT session in, but also squat proof if you want to hit the weights. I love that they come in the sickest patterns too!

This brings me on to my favourite SB’s…

The Powers: My ultimate favourite legging. Slightly thicker in material so completely opaque and warm, but sweat wicking. They come in 7/8 length so for all the short-asses like myself they come to the perfect length! SB have just so kindly sent me a pair of their new season patriotic power leggings as pictured below. Another beaut design making me feel proud strut round in my gym leggings and kick ass in every workout. I recently wore them with my Lee Jeans cap that has the statement ‘Strong’ on it. I’m not usually one for clothes that have text on but I think it was very fitting, especially soon after International Woman’s Day!

Zero Gravity’s: These leggings are some of my mummy’s faves. If you don’t already know, my mum is an absolute power house. She’s a tiny PT that runs and runs and runs. marathons, races, track club and inspires me to push my fitness goals every single day. She loves to run in the Zero Gravity’s because they’re literally SO light weight that you question if you’ve put anything on that morning..

So there are my favourite brands and legging types at the moment but I am a sucker for leggings so I’m sure I will have an updated list fairly soon! Whether it’s lycra for running, lycra for the gym, or lycra for lunch because you’re (like me) about to eat for England and need the room and a stretchy waistline for the expanding belly, I got ya covered!

Let me know your fave brands of leggings (don’t shout at me, I still haven’t tried Lulu’s!) and make sure you check out my workouts on my YouTube channel and let me know if you try them!

L x

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