Why Do Athletes Wear Leggings?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Many famous athletes swear by leggings, compression shorts, socks, tights, and similar clothing. They have become everyday wear for athletes in different sports. Given the popularity of this particular product, many people ask themselves: why do athletes wear leggings?

Why Do Athletes Wear Leggings?

Most athletes wear leggings, compression shorts, and other similar clothing because they hold muscles firmly in place, improve blood flow to the muscles, and boost their overall athletic r performance. Athletes also wear leggings for reduced muscle inflammation, pain, and damage during their recovery.

In a recent study that evaluated 55 athletes in different sports, researchers found that wearing leggings, compression shorts or tights while playing aids in increasing an athlete’s performance by increasing their recovery time. This study also highlighted that athletes who wear these leggings during intense workouts also benefit from improved lactate elimination.

Basketball athlete wearing leggings during a game

What Are the Benefits of Wearing Leggings for an Athlete?

Strain preventionFewer injuries and sore muscles
Muscle compressionBetter recovery time
Better blood flowImproved mobility

Some of the benefits of wearing leggings for an athlete include:

  • Strain Prevention: Wearing leggings helps in reducing an athlete’s risk of strain by aiding in strain recovery. This benefit makes them an excellent solution for athletes who are prone to sports-related injuries.
  • Better Muscle Oxygenation: Your muscles require oxygen to function. Compression leggings increase the pressure and support your muscles receive. This, in turn, increases the oxygen amount your muscles receive. With more oxygen, you can comfortably enhance your performance and speed up your recovery time.
  • Reduced Risk of Muscle Soreness: Every athlete experiences sore muscles especially after rigorous training sessions. By using leggings, you can reduce your discomfort.

Why Do Some Basketball Players Wear Leggings?

Over the years, leggings have become part of a fashion statement in the Basketball world. However, very few people know why basketball players wear leggings. Here are some reasons why:

Prevent Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Every athlete, especially basketball players, experiences delayed onset muscle soreness. Basketball players endure intense levels of exercise and physical training before and during a game.

Basketball athletes trying to shoot the ball near the net while wearing leggings

Once the exercise is over, the muscles experience micro-tears that can keep players from performing at their best. However, with the use of compression leggings or tights, basket players can reduce the soreness stay at the top of their game for a longer time.

Prevent Muscle Tightening

In almost every sport, including basketball, athletes can experience muscle tightening. This can keep even the most expert players from giving their best during the game. With compression tights, your muscles remain constantly warm, and this prevents the muscles from tightening.

Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is a medical condition that causes the blood to clot in your lower thighs and legs. This condition causes the affected area to have an increase in temperature, and this ends up causing much discomfort. Leggings improve blood flow in the legs, and this helps prevent deep vein thrombosis.

What Leggings Do NBA Players Wear?

The type of leggings NBA players varies depending on the preference of each team. However, the most common type of compression shorts or leggings NBA players wear are full-length tights made from a material that is stretchable and tight. These give the legs enough support and keeps the muscles steady.

Other factors NBA players consider when purchasing the leggings they wear include its sweat absorption ability, quality, and odor resistance. Each of these factors contributes not only to the support each player receives but also the durability of each legging.

Do Leggings Help in Basketball?

Yes, leggings do help in basketball. They can help relieve the discomfort basketball players experience from all the movements during a game. Additionally, compression shorts can help protect a player’s knees, thighs, or glutes from falls or injuries while on the court.

Additional ways to help your body are to utilize the best knee sleeves for basketball while on the court.

Basketball athlete trying to pass the ball while others are waiting to steal it

Sweating is part of any basketball game. Apart from breaks, basketball players rarely get the chance to wipe off the sweat during the game. Compression leggings can absorb that moisture and allow it to evaporate. This, in turn, keeps the players going for long durations, without having to carry lots of sweat around.

Why Do Guys Wear Leggings Under Gym Shorts?

Compression leggings save men from the trouble of having too much sweat on their legs. These leggings absorb most of the sweat, and this makes it easier for guys to be more comfortable training at the gym.

Shorts and leggings also provide more support and security, compared to clothing items like Spanx, as they are prone to rolling. This, in turn, also helps men perform better at certain types of exercises.

What Sports Do You Wear Leggings For?

The sports you wear leggings should be ones that require you to utilize all your energy. Some of these sports include running, cycling, wrestling, volleyball, and basketball. 

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about leggings.

Is It Ok for Male Athletes to Wear Leggings?

Yes, there are no rules against male athletes wearing leggings. In fact, they are a piece of clothing that enhances the mobility and even the blood flow of players. Therefore, it is okay for everyone to use.

What Are Guy Leggings Called?

Although leggings are considered to be unisex, some people call male leggings ”meggings”. However, these have no difference from a normal set of leggings, just the name.

Are Leggings Good for Circulation?

Yes, if the leggings have a compression feature, they are good for blood circulation. However, not all leggings have this feature, therefore, you need to be conscious of that before choosing a pair.


The benefits these leggings provide make it easy for athletes to give their peak performance during every game. It also gives the endurance they require to train longer and improve their skill.

Despite becoming a fashion statement for most sports across the world, leggings have proved to be an athlete’s best friend on and off the field.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.