Last updated on February 11th, 2023 at 04:09 pm
Hands up, I admit it, this trend of guys wearing leggings under their shorts really winds me up.
I’m not sure why, and I know I shouldn’t let it affect me, but sadly, it does.
I have a “gym friend”, someone I’ve known, and even trained with, over the past 10 years, who has this “superhero” clothing for their legs.
Do you know that’s what I thought it originally was, guys wanting to look like Superman, LOL.
However, as it turns out there’s a bit more to the shorts over leggings phenomenon, and I’ll explain these now.
Guys will wear shorts over their leggings in order to protect their modesty. Leggings or compression pants are obviously very tight and figure-hugging. And unfortunately, as a guy, this means that it feels as though your genitals/penis/junk (whatever you wish to call it) is on display for the whole world to see.
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The Only Real Benefits to Wearing Shorts Over Leggings
In all honesty, there are only a few real benefits to wearing shorts over your leggings.
However, as I’ve mentioned above, the vast majority of the time this is to protect your modesty.
Basically, leggings, pants, and compression tights are extremely figure-hugging
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m sure we’ve all at one time or another been impressed by a guy or girl’s physique, while they’re wearing tight bottoms.
Nevertheless, as a guy, wearing extremely tight leggings will put your junk on display for the entire world to see.
There’s no two ways about it, it’s pretty much impossible to hide.
And the vast majority of time most of us prefer to be suitably clothed when we’re at the gym.
That said, I’m sure that there are some extremely well-endowed gentlemen who prefer to be completely “on show”.
And that, of course, is their prerogative, although I’d prefer not to see it please.
The only other real benefit to wearing your shorts on top is to protect from the cold.
This potentially isn’t such an issue at the gym, unless of course you train in a freezing-cold gym, or it takes you a while to warm up.
But, training outdoors, maybe going for a run, during the colder months of the year, while wearing leggings can be very uncomfortable.
Basically, your junk is going to get very cold, and all guys know that if it’s “on display”, the last thing you want is the cold to “impact on size” (if you get my meaning).
Why Wear Leggings or Compression Pants/Tights At All?
I guess from what I’ve said so far, this begs the question, why would guys wear leggings at all?
I mean if there’s an issue with being “on-display”, why bother?
Plus, just because I’m not a fan doesn’t mean there aren’t certain advantages.
So, here they are:
Increased Blood Flow
Wearing tight leggings or compression pants means that your clothing is extremely tight to your body.
This in itself will mean that you automatically increase blood flow to your lower body.
So, this will actually make getting warmed up for your workout easier.
Plus, the increased blood flow will also go straight to your muscles, meaning that they are primed and ready to be worked.
Cold muscles will typically tighten, which means that your muscles are not at their most efficient.
In fact, cold and tight muscles can be a precursor for injury while working out.
Furthermore, staying in your leggings for a while after your workout can actually help to improve recovery.
This again comes down to blood flow and the fact that essential nutrients are being transported to your muscles.
I wouldn’t suggest sitting in your sweaty leggings for the entire day.
But, even during a 30-minute journey home post-workout, you have a better chance of warding off muscle soreness, simply due to the increased blood flow.
Leggings are Comfortable
I guess this is a matter of personal opinion, as from a personal perspective I know I wouldn’t find tight leggings or compression pants particularly comfortable.
However, I simply don’t like anything tight hugging my skin, and I even struggle with wearing boxer briefs.
That said, this is just me, and I know that many, many guys will attest to the fact that they find leggings extremely comfortable.
You must do what feels best for YOU.
So, if you find leggings comfortable then go for it.
They Keep Put the Cold
I know this may come across as slightly hypocritical.
The reason I say this is that I have already mentioned that many guys wear shorts over their leggings in order to ward off the cold from their “bits”.
However, as above, the tightness of the clothing will also increase blood flow in the body.
And this will make you feel warmer.
In truth, the reason for wearing shorts on top to “keep out the cold” is more specifically geared to those who train outdoors.
It’s just an additional layer of protection, but specifically geared more to keeping just one “body part” warm.
But, training indoors while wearing leggings you’ll find that your muscles warm up quicker and will stay that way.
Oh yes, there’s no doubt about it, chafing is REAL.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been for a run, or performed a high-intense squat workout, only to feel extremely sore down below.
Then again, anyone who runs long distances regularly will be familiar with nipple-chafing, although that’s a completely different story!
This simply occurs because your ”loose” clothing is rubbing against your skin.
And this can be made worse as your clothes become wetter and heavier through sweat.
But, as leggings are “skin-tight”, chafing is not an issue.
This is actually something I spoke of in a recent article about why people workout in sweatpants and hoodies.
Basically, I am a profuse sweater.
So, I typically always wear sweatpants, or long pants at least, while I’m at the gym.
I sweat so much that if I wasn’t “covered up” I’d spend most of my workout spraying and wiping down equipment.
Well, leggings or compression tights work in exactly the same way.
Your sweat has nowhere to go, and so you won’t be dripping all over the place.
This probably sounds a little weird after what I’ve just said, but wearing tight clothing will also increase your sweat levels.
This is especially true if you’re being physically active.
I’ve already spoken of how tight clothing increases blood flow, which in turn makes your muscles and your body warmer.
So, the longer you workout, the more you’re going to sweat.
And in the same vein, the tighter your clothes are while working out, you can expect to sweat even more.
I actually think this principle is somewhat misguided, as some people may believe they are burning more calories by sweating more.
Then again, there are those who believe that their workout is better because they are sweating more profusely.
However, this is far from the truth.
Sweating much more can help to reduce water weight, but it doesn’t really do much in terms of burning body fat or building muscle.
So, you can wear leggings to make you sweat more if you want, but in reality it’s not doing as much for your physique goals as you think.
Should You Wear Shorts Over the Top of Your Leggings?
So, it comes down to whether you should or should not wear leggings under your shorts.
I’ll keep this short and to the point.
Personally, I’m not a fan.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should avoid doing so.
For me, if wearing shorts on top of your leggings makes you feel more comfortable, then go for it.
As I’ve mentioned, there are only really a few benefits to doing so.
Therefore, I leave the choice entirely up to you.
So, as you can see, the main benefit to wearing shorts over your leggings is to “protect your modesty”.
Basically, leggings, tights, or compression pants are extremely figure-hugging
Therefore, as a guy, you can feel exposed to the world.
There are various benefits to wearing leggings while working out, but the addition of shorts is usually nothing more than “covering up”.
Hi, I’m Partha, owner and founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I am a Level 3 Personal Trainer and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the Register of Exercise Professionals, United Kingdom. I have been a regular gym-goer since 2000 and coaching clients since 2012. My aim is to help you achieve your body composition goals.