Your Guide to Gymnastics Attire
Is your child just starting gymnastics? If so, you should know about gymnastics attire. Here's what to wear to gymnastics class and information about leotards.
Having your child attend gymnastics class is a fantastic way to introduce them to a competitive sport and teach them discipline. In fact, it can even play a role in their psychological development.
For first-timers, though, it's not always obvious exactly what they should be wearing to class.
Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let's take a look at everything you need to know about gymnastics attire.
How Old Are They?
Your child’s age will directly impact what type of clothing is appropriate for them during gymnastics practice. So, you want to make sure that you get them the right attire before they start attending.
Having the wrong type of clothing may result in a less enjoyable experience for them, which can lead to an eventual disinterest in gymnastics that stems from discomfort.
Let’s explore the most suitable outfits for each age group.
In general, toddlers who are enrolling in a gymnastics program will be best suited to wearing a unitard, which is a combination of shorts and a traditional leotard. This will notably increase their level of comfort if they are still wearing diapers.
If your toddler has reached an age where they have begun to wear traditional underwear, though, a traditional leotard will be sufficient.
Of course, this isn’t a definitive rule— some children in this age group are more comfortable wearing either a leotard or unitard despite how old they are. So, it’s important to be willing to accommodate them to ensure their gymnastics experience is as enjoyable as possible.
When it comes to design, toddlers generally prefer flashy and colorful gymnastics clothing. This will help them enjoy their practice more and facilitates their interest in the sport.
As children age toward their teen years, their bodies begin to develop quite rapidly. A traditional leotard is often the most comfortable for this age group.
However, compression shorts are a viable alternative for those who aren’t comfortable wearing only a leotard.
Girls at this age are also more likely to be wearing jewelry, which is likely to impose a safety risk for gymnasts. It's essential to remove anything except stud earrings to prevent any complications from arising.
Preteens may begin to shy away from overly eye-catching leotard designs and gravitate more toward a simple aesthetic. Keep this in mind when shopping for them.
Older gymnasts may require different wardrobe accommodations depending on their body type and personal preferences.
For example, some girls are more comfortable with the extra support of a sports bra as opposed to wearing the leotard. Similarly, many teenage gymnasts wear shorts over their leotard to prevent any discomfort from their underwear shifting during movement, an unintended wardrobe malfunction, etc.
As with preteen gymnasts, teenage gymnasts should also avoid wearing any type of jewelry that could get caught on their hair or equipment.
Generally, teenage gymnasts tend to prefer less flashy designs for their leotards. Solid, dark colors tend to be the most common choices.
What About Male Gymnasts?
Although gymnastics is a heavily female-dominant sport, there are plenty of male gymnasts out there.
Younger gymnasts will want to wear comfortable shorts and a T-shirt for their gymnastics session. As they get older, male gymnasts often switch from a T-shirt to a tight tank top.
In general, compression shorts, athletic shorts, and sweatpants are all viable options when it comes to clothing for the lower body. However, tighter clothing options are often more conducive to training.
If they plan on competing, it’s worth noting that male gymnasts will eventually wear a leotard paired with either shorts or pants while in a competition. So, teenage male gymnasts may want to wear a leotard and shorts to practice in order to get used to how it feels before a competition.
As with female gymnasts, no jewelry should be worn unless it’s small stud earrings.
No matter their age, anyone who attends a gymnastics class should be barefoot for the duration of the session. Wearing socks could result in slippage, which serves as a hazard that could lead to injury.
Long hair should be tied back into a ponytail, braid, or bun. Since longer hair can easily fall in front of the face and impair vision, it can lead to slips or falls that result in injury.
For those who like to add a bit of personality to their outfit, headbands are common accessories that many gymnasts wear during practice since they're a particularly nice way to complement a leotard.
It’s also important not to neglect warm-up gymnastics apparel. Jackets and pants that can easily slip on over the clothing they wear to practice will make the warm-up process far more efficient and help your child stay limber.
Since they'll need to remove their shoes before practicing, it’s best for them to wear slip-on shoes to the facility to make it as easy as possible to put them on and take them off. This is especially true for younger children.
Choosing The Right Gymnastics Attire Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn't have to be.
With the above information about gymnastics attire in mind, you'll be well on your way toward making the decision that's most appropriate for your child.
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