Ask any fitness enthusiast and they’d probably agree that leggings can make or break a workout.
Just like how ill-fitting clothes make you feel unattractive all day, performance leggings that fail to shape and hug all the right curves can be discouraging and distracting during a workout. A pair that fits well will not only hype you up for your workout, but also give you the extra support you need — quite literally — to push through those final treadmill sprints or goblet squats.
High-waisted leggings, in particular, have our vote for being able to keep all the jiggly bits in (no more muffin tops!) while accentuating your waist and lending the illusion of longer legs. They’re also flattering on any body shape, and feature wide waistbands that don’t dig into the skin after every burpee or while holding a yoga pose.
To get you back into the mood for the gym again, here are some of the best high-waisted leggings to buy this year.
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A black pair of tights can go a long way in your wardrobe, both in and out of the gym. Lorna Jane’s Confidence tights is a dream to move in thanks to its LJ Excel Fabric, which besides flexibility is also high on the support front. The high-rise tights also sees a soft waistband for comfort, so you’re primed to take on morning bootcamps, yoga sessions, or even grocery runs without worry.
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Of the gazillion leggings available at Lululemon, we picked the Wunder Under Hi-Rise 7/8 tights for both its versatility and its second-skin fit. The Full-On Luxtreme material fabric used is not only pleasantly smooth to the touch, but also incredibly supportive while being naturally breathable. Its no-dig waistband also means that you’ll never have to worry about discomfort, whether you’re doing your morning stretches or sweating it out at the gym.
If you’ve always wanted to incorporate a bit of colour to your gym routine but hate the neon-hued offerings out there, Gymshark’s ombre Adapt Seamless leggings is a high-rise pair that features a subtle dip-dye design. Besides a light grey marl and shell pink combination that’ll stand out from your existing monochromatic collection, the tights by the popular workout brand is also made of a seamless knit fabric that hugs your curves in all the right places.
Nike knows that even the slightest distractions are detrimental to your practice, and so has created the perfect high-rise tights that are soft, breathable and stretchy enough so you can fully focus on your flow. Besides Nike’s famous Dri-Fit Technology, the back waist and sides of the legs also sport a more breathable knit construction to let out heat, especially during those sweltering hot yoga sessions.
Here’s a pair that’ll do some of the work for you at the gym. Under Armour’s UA Rush material is a mineral-infused fabric that absorbs the energy you give off when you work and reflects it back into your muscles, increasing blood flow and helping you work harder for longer. The wide waistband sits high for comfort, and won’t cause chafing and pressure points from seams, even though it’s designed to be worn ultra tight.
Adidas too wants you to stretch, bend, and twist your way into inner peace with its Warp Knit tights. Designed with a compression fit, the seamless tights offer plenty of support even in the most challenging of poses. The high-rise waistband has also been designed to stay put throughout the session, so you won’t have deal with the uncomfortable situation of yours riding up or sliding down.
Launched as part of the Tokyo collection — which celebrates the brand’s proud Japanese heritage — these tights feature asymmetrical colour-blocked side panels that add a bright pop of colour to your workout ensemble. They’re also a sustainable option, having been fashioned out of recycled polyester. A back pocket has been integrated into the high-waisted band so you can keep your valuables close all day.
There’s a reason why these leggings have been spotted on It girls like Gigi Hadid and Hailey Bieber. These practice-to-brunch pair feature Moto-inspired pin tucks and mesh cutouts that lend an edgy touch to the fitnesswear staple, and are made from the brand’s signature Airbrush fabric which — as its name suggests — lifts, fits, and contours your best curves.
If it’s a firm hug you’re looking for, Instagram-friendly Outdoor Voices has a pair that’ll smoothen over curves in the most comfortable of ways. The go-to pair for high-intensity workouts is made in the brand’s lightweight TechSweat fabric, with a structured Core Band that promises to stay put. The 3/4 length will hit just above the ankle for most, but taller folks should shop the 7/8 version for a similar look.