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  • Writer's pictureCompression Athlete

Can Men Wear Compression Tights at the Gym?

We take a look at the protocol for shorts vs no shorts over tights at the gym.

Male athlete wearing compression tights at the gym.

Nowadays, any time you walk into a gym you’re more than likely going to see women utilizing leggings and compression tights for their workouts.

But in addition to women, we’re also starting to see men jump on the compression tights bandwagon, as well.

And why not?

Compression tights can boost your workout no matter your activity or gender.

So, for those wondering if men can wear compression tights at the gym, the answer is a definite yes.

There are a number of benefits that compression tights have to offer your workout.

It’s also worth noting that while the interest in compression tights for men continues to grow in popularity, some debate has arisen around the new trend.

Specifically, this debate is centered on whether or not men should wear shorts over their compression tights while at the gym.

We’ll dig into this here while also looking at some of the factors you might want to consider when rocking your compression tights for a gym workout.

Benefits of Wearing Compression Tights at the Gym

Gearing up in compression wear is a great idea before any workout or physical activity.

There are many benefits to compression that athletes utilize for both performance and recovery.

One of the biggest adopters of compression tights has been the sport of basketball.

It’s now commonplace to see numerous players wearing compression tights under their shorts.

Even in the world of golf we see players starting to utilize compression tights, whether under shorts during a practice round or worn under pants during competition.

Lately, you may be noticing more and more men utilizing compression tights at the gym.

Man wearing compression tights at the gym using foam roller.

This is no coincidence and the rationale goes beyond any fashion trend.

Compression tights not only pump up your workout stamina through increased blood flow to your muscles, but they can also improve your pre and post workout.

For example, when you’re heading to the gym, the compressive pressure applied to your muscles from your compression helps your muscles warm up faster, reducing your risk for injury.

Once your workout out has concluded, compression has proven to be a useful tool in reducing muscle soreness and speeding up your muscle recovery.

Are There Benefits to Wearing Shorts Over Compression Tights?

With so many athletes adopting and utilizing compression wear today, it’s undeniable at this point the multitude of ways in which compression assists and improves athletic performance.

But what about when you throw a pair of shorts over the top of your compression tights?

Do the shorts add any other benefits to what’s already provided by the compression tights?

The short answer: No.

Male athlete wearing shorts over his compression tights at the gym.

Technically, the shorts are superfluous fabric.

If you’ve got a quality pair of compression tights then you’ve got everything you need: support, comfort, muscle stabilization, moisture wicking capability, and more.

There can be a few situational perks to adding shorts over your tights, however.

For example, some men prefer wearing a pair of shorts over their compression tights in colder weather for a little extra warmth.

But unless your gym keeps a frigid temperature setting, this likely isn’t a factor you have to manage.

Why Men Wear Shorts Over Their Compression Tights

So, if there aren’t really any benefits offered by wearing shorts over compression tights when working out, why add the extra layer?

This one mostly comes down to modesty for men.

Some prefer the extra layer of fabric over their compression tights due to their skin-tight fit.

They feel the shorts serve as a sort of buffer so that they don’t feel on display in the form-fitting tights.

Depending on the design and fabric of your compression tights, however, certain higher-end compression tights do a good job of concealing and compressing your lower half, eliminating this concern.

Male athlete wearing compression tights lifting weights at gym.

These compression tights tend to use a thicker, high-quality fabric and are a noticeably higher-grade of tights in both comfort and performance.

This brings us to an important point.

If you prefer wearing shorts over your compression tights and feel more comfortable doing so, by all means rock those shorts over your tights.

Even though wearing shorts over your compression tights wont add anything to your workout, they won’t take anything away from it either!

And comfort is an important factor in performing your best, whether in competition or just training on your own.

Debate: Shorts or No Shorts Over Compression Tights

As more and more men have begun to utilize compression tights for athletic activity, a difference of opinion has formed around how these tights should be worn at the gym.

Some say that shorts should be worn overtop of tights, others note that the shorts serve no purpose, so why bother?

This debate has partly arisen because it’s a relatively new trend and men are still sort of figuring their way through it.

And, of course, it should be noted that there’s technically no right or wrong answer to this question.

Male athlete wearing compression tights at the gym.

It all comes down to the personal preference of the guy wearing the compression tights.

When you’re at the gym, so long as you’re suitably clothed, wear what you’re most comfortable in and what will allow you to get the most out of your workout.

So, even if there are some people not fond of the compression tights only look, to most it really doesn’t matter one way or another.

But remember, if you feel more comfortable throwing on a pair of shorts over your compression tights—go for it!

And if you're looking for a pair of compression tights that will fit and feel great under athletic shorts, check out our top picks for the Best Compression Tights to Wear Under Shorts.


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