The Purpose of a Gymnastics Outfit & the Main Pieces It Includes

Is your child interested in participating in gymnastic? Whether they want to take gymnastic classes for fun or have the goal to eventually take part in competitions, it’s important to select the right attire for them to wear.

You may have thought that your child could wear any type of sports clothing like tracksuits or leggings to perform gymnastics, but things don’t work this way. It’s important that you get your child special gymnastics outfits for practice, as well as for any competitions they may participate in. Gymnastics clothing is specifically designed to allow gymnasts to stay comfortable while practising a routine or competing.

Reasons to invest in the right attire include:

  • Gymnasts need to wear outfits that are lightweight and that allow them to move their body easily as they perform a routine;
  • Gymnasts should NOT wear loose outfits that might get in the way while completing a move and increase the risk of making a mistake;
  • Some gymnastic routines call for difficult moves and the inappropriate clothing may cause them to get too hot while performing. Gymnastics outfits are made from breathable materials, which means they don’t stick to your child’s body while performing;
  • Gymnastic clothing is often required by studios to be worn during practice;
    The type of outfit your child wears during a completion can affect their scores and how much the judges like their routine.;
  • Safety is another reason. Gymnastics clothing is required to prevent the child from tripping over loose garments or losing their balance which can increase the risk of injuries.

How Gymnastic Outfits Differ From Regular Clothing?

Gymnastic clothing is made out of lycra or, in some cases, spandex. These fabrics help enhance performance while allowing the gymnast to be as comfortable as possible. The fabric combined with the design of gymnasticwear helps with aerodynamics. And because these garments stick to the body, they allow coaches and judges to see how the gymnast is moving.

What Gymnastic Attire Does Your Child Need?



Leotards or Singlets

Leotards can be short or long-sleeved and cut at the groin area much like a bikini. If the child doesn’t like this cut, you can opt for a singlet, which is a leotard cut in the shape of shorts at the bottom instead of a bikini. Many gymnastic choose to wear singlets in training. However, gymnasts are required to wear leotards in competition. Whatever style you choose to buy, make sure it doesn’t have any hanging adornments, such as straps, frills and strings because these can get caught and increase the risk of falls and injuries.


Shorts are not allowed at competitions but they can be worn while training. Shorts can be paired with leotards or a t-shirt. Avoid shorts with pockets, strings, buttons, snaps or zippers. These things can get in your child’s way when performing movements and cause injury. Moreover, shorts should be tight-fitting so that the instructor can observe the child’s movements, but loose enough for optimum comfort and to avoid movement restriction.


For male gymnasts, a T-shirt and a pair of shorts are usually the most comfortable outfit in class. Like shorts, T-shirts are not allowed in competition and must not have any adornments such as pockets, strings, snaps or buttons. T-shirts must be loose enough so they provide maxim comfort and don’t restrict the range of movement. However, it’s important that they fit properly so they don’t get in the gymnast’s eyes while performing a routine. For increased safety, the T-shirt must also be tucked into the shorts.


Unlike shorts, pants can be worn during training and competition. However, for competitions pants must be accompanied with a leotard instead of a T-shirt. While they provide coverage, pants still allow the coach and the judges to see your child’s body line when performing their routine. Pants are often used to perform routines on the high bar or parallel bar as the extra layer helps protect the skin from chafing.


Although gymnasts generally prefer practising or performing barefoot, some opt for slippers. This type of footwear is allowed in training and competition as it prevents the gymnast from slipping or falling when running or when using the beam. Slippers for gymnastics should have nonslip soles and fit the feet well.


Gymnasts often don’t wear underwear with leotards because these outfits act much like a bathing suit does. But this doesn’t mean your child shouldn’t wear underwear at all. If your child is a girl, the underwear should be skin-coloured and cut just like a leotard so that panty lines don’t show. If your child is a boy, the underwear should be tight fitting. Bras can also be worn under leotards as long as they aren’t visible, including the straps. In training, your child can wear any type of underwear he/she wants.