Let’s Get Personal: Should You Wear Underwear with Gym Leggings?

Deciding to wear underwear (or not) when you workout is a question for the ages.

Rear view of a woman stretching her leg on a pierWestend61/Getty Images

When it comes to working out, there are a few basics that every woman knows to grab, namely: a sports bra and running shoes. The biggest question comes from choosing what to wear below the waist and under your pants. That is to say, is it better to go commando than it is to wear underwear? Here, doctors weigh in on both sides.

Yes, You Should

Rupal Juran, MD, a gynecologist in Indiana and practitioner with Maven Clinic, says that her patients ask this very question a lot. Dr. Juran is among those whom recommend going with. There is a lot of friction between your body and clothes and underwear can help to provide protection from ingrown hairs and infections, she says. Although she acknowledges that some people can wear thongs and have no problems, for most people it is best to stick with basic cotton briefs, because thongs can traumatize the delicate skin in the region. (It’s a good idea to change your underwear when you finish your workout, though.)

No, You Shouldn’t

On the other hand, if you prefer to go commando, Donna Bell, MD, also with Maven Clinic is all for it. She feels that some degree of ventilation is needed for the genitals since they rarely see the light of day. “Yeast like dark, moist, sweet areas,” she says. If you do opt to wear underwear when exercising, Dr. Bell recommends against thongs as they can impede airflow to the delicate region.

Whatever You Decide…

Both doctors advocate that with or without underwear, keeping things clean is essential. Take a shower as soon as you’re done working out to get rid of the sweat that can cause infections and make sure to wash your workout clothes frequently.

Above all Dr. Juran says, women must remember to “be kind to our vaginas.” So whether you wear underwear or opt to go without, make sure you do so wisely. Here are 13 things your vagina would like you to know.

Popular Videos

Carly Zinderman
Carly Zinderman is a freelance writer, based just outside of Los Angeles, CA. Since graduating from Occidental College with a degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies, she has written on a variety of topics for books, magazines, and online publications.She focuses on lifestyle topics including travel, food, fashion, shopping, beauty, home decor, entertainment, health, fitness and wellness and green living.