Not Sure Whether To Wear Underwear Or Not While Working Out? We Are Here To Help!

By Ismana Webster
May 13 2024

Not Sure Whether To Wear Underwear Or Not While Working Out? We Are Here To Help!

Ahh underwear. A never-ending topic of conversation amongst women. Thongs? Some people swear by them, others don’t like their underwear up that close and personal. How about big granny pants? Great for that time of the month, or that extra bit of coverage, but the wrong pair can ride up and be uncomfortable anyway. So how about while working out? Is there a design that works best, or should you be trying….no underwear at all?! A Recent post on the Barbell Beauties Facebook group has sparked debate about whether you should ditch underwear altogether for your next training session.

Going commando…

Interestingly, opinion was largely in favor of hitting the gym while going commando. One member, Teresa, said she’d been “…completely commando since 2020 when I couldn’t go to the store to buy undies because of the shutdown”. Guess some people tried baking during lockdown and some people tried changing their entire clothing lifestyle.

Nicole is firmly on ‘Team Commando’, saying “I can’t imagine the amount of wedgies you’d get from working out” (ok she isn’t wrong if you pick the wrong pair).

Some ladies’ reasons for going commando or not are more fashion-related than others…Louisa said she goes commando to avoid panty lines, and a couple of other women stated that they only wear underwear if they’re wearing a short dress or skirt.

Try to avoid a fashion faux pax though…some of the comments supporting wearing underwear at the gym highlighted some potential issues with being commando, including the good old ‘see-through leggings’ problem (ladies, please squat-check your leggings in the mirror, or buy quality like these beauties here). Dawn didn’t mince words; “As long as nobody has to see your privates at the gym”, but Steph won ‘comment of the day’ for me, with “..please make sure your pants aren’t sheer in the rear”.

 Then Kate highlighted another potential issue, which I unfortunately have first-hand experience with; “ Commando! Although one time it backfired when I ripped my leggings in the crotch’’.

Or CommanNO…

Some of the other women in the thread who were in ‘Team Underwear’, pointed out some potential hygiene issues, for both ourselves and other gym-goers.

Kim said “I would prefer commando. I usually do but in the gym when I lift heavy or jump rope or do sit-ups I leak!”

Karly agreed and commented “I wear panties AND a pad if I’m working out!! Even if I’m not bleeding or leaking – I’ll definitely be sweating. I don’t want to hold back because I’m worried about it.”

Robyn pointed out that ‘’sweating inside only synthetic materials is not good for and upsets the PH balance of those environments. While we’re on the topic of environments, back to inside the gym, a couple of ladies pointed out that if you are going commando you’re more likely to leave a ‘snail trail’. Totally natural of course, but Kassandra rightly pointed out ‘’the only thing that matters is you wipe your equipment down after you’re done. And most people don’t.”

What do the experts say?

We’ve heard the voice of opinion. Now let’s see what science has to say about wearing underwear to work out.

One study shows that if you are going to wear underwear, the material choice may matter. While cotton is best in daily life for hygiene, synthetic material wicks moisture better and was found to provide better temperature regulation and more comfort, so is overall better for a workout (If you’ve ever exercised in a cotton t-shirt you’ll know how disgusting that feels when it’s soaking wet. Just…imagine).

Dr. Raquel-b-dardik states that after a sweaty workout, whatever is ‘down there’, be it underwear or leggings will be wet, and a potential breeding ground for bacteria and yeast infections. However, she says there is no more risk of that when wearing no underwear compared to when wearing underwear, so it’s safe to assume you can mitigate any risk by washing your leggings afterward and showering.

What about underwear type? While some professionals argue that thongs transfer bacteria around easily and could cause E-coli or yeast infections, another study found that actually, wearing a thong more than 50% of the time did not lead to increased infection rates.

So Who Wins?

Honestly, it looks like this one’s a draw. Wearing underwear at the gym won’t harm you, and neither will not wearing underwear (except maybe your dignity if your leggings split and you flash your derriere).

This one is really down to personal preference in terms of how you want to look and feel. It may even be down to how you feel on a particular day, in a particular gym outfit. Some leggings have a horrible gusset down there that rubs, and some leggings are buttery soft and make you feel free with no underwear on. Some running shorts have underwear built in which is designed to be comfy for activity.

The general consensus is that no matter what you wear, you should be washing it after each workout.

So what works for you might not work for other people, but it gives us something to talk about! Oh and please DO remember to squat-check and wipe down your benches, underwear or not.

Our Amazon Picks

Keen to upgrade your gym underwear? Check out some of our Amazon picks…

Seamless Thongs On A Budget

These Seamless no-show thongs get overall good reviews, with users saying they are comfortable for running and surprisingly good. They are synthetic fabric, breathable and won’t feel gross after you’ve been sweating.

Cotton Gusset Thongs For Comfort And Peace Of Mind

The Grankee seamless thong has a cotton gusset, which some argue is healthier than all synthetic products, meaning you get the best of both worlds. I can personally attest to these being worth the spend, they are a go-to as the gusset is also wide so you can be confident everything will stay where it should be!

No-Show Hipster Briefs

These no-show hipster briefs by Reebok are seamless, synthetic, and have tons of reviews attesting to their comfort and ability to stay put during a workout and daily life.

Breathable, Full Coverage

Fruit Of The Loom are a solid brand that have stood the test of time. Their micro-mesh briefs are breathable and moisture wicking, and come in a variety of colours and styles. Linked are some fuller coverage pairs.

The Bikini Cut

Balance Tech bikini briefs are a little higher in price but are quick dry, moisture wicking, odor resistant, and seamless.

Boy Shorts

Finally, these seamless boy shorts offer full coverage and a soft, seamless fit.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top