Gym Shorts
Savvy Fitness

Various Types of Gym and Workout Shorts

Workout shorts, whether girls gym shorts or those for boys, are an essential component of every fitness enthusiast’s athletic wardrobe. Not only can they soak up sweat, but they can also provide you comfort in a fashionable sense. Yet, getting a pair that suits your workout style and overall preference can be a challenge — either you’re going above and beyond or giving up after a few minutes of searching. 

The different types of workout shorts available are made to cater to extensive athletic activities. You can’t just wear any type and expect to have an awesome workout experience. 

Regular ones aren’t breathable enough, will rasp and are less comfortable. So, what type should you wear then? Read on to know the different types of workout and gym shorts to choose from. This list will give you a better idea on what to buy later on. 

Compression or Spandex Shorts 

These two are largely similar. Both of them are close-fitting and contain spandex. The major difference is that compression shorts are tighter and not as stretchy as spandex shorts.

Compression shorts can help prevent muscle strains by keeping your joints from moving excessively. Since they’re a snug type of clothing, meaning they barely move around your skin, they prevent your skin from chafing. 

You can either wear compression or spandex shorts for your workout sessions. Both of them are mostly usable for your leg day where you’re exceeding your range of motion to the max. Another useful feature of compression or spandex shorts is that you can wear them under loose shorts if you have other activities. 

Also, if you sweat more, these types of workout shorts can handle it as they can absorb moisture. 

Running Shorts 

Running shorts also prevent your skin from chafing, and they are highly breathable and light. They come in different styles and lengths that cater to your preference. Running shorts for women are often shorter than those of men, although there are other available options, too. 

The two main types of running shorts are split and V-notch. 

*V-notch – a type of running shorts that suit looser than others. They are also made to cater to a large range of motion. 

*Split – made with fabric that isn’t seamed together in the middle. Rather, it has an overlapping fabric that covers you up. This type also allows you more flexibility because it’s really airy.   

Moreover, both types come with or without a liner. For running shorts with liners, they help prevent your skin from chafing, and they are made to let you run without wearing underwear. However, after a few washes, the liner starts getting uncomfortable to wear. 

The elastic part begins to chafe, and there’s a possibility the chafing gets so bad that even powder and moisturizer can no longer help. The liner’s quality depends on the brand you choose, so it’s best to go for mid-range ones. 

For running shorts without liners, it can cause more chafing, but it all depends on the brand you get. Many people choose to wear compression or spandex shorts without liners under their shorts. For them, it’s more comfortable and supportive. Men sometimes prefer jockstrap over spandex or compression shorts. 

Basketball Shorts 

These are shorts designed for playing basketball, yet you can still wear them for other activities. Basketball shorts in general are baggier and longer compared to your usual athletic shorts. This is to give you a much free range of motion because there’s no fabric to restrict movements, particularly when it comes to lateral motions. 

What’s interesting about basketball shorts is that the look isn’t entirely for function. It was in the 90s when people noticed a change; they became longer and looser due to the hip hop culture influence. The loose-fitting style can interfere with your movements, especially when running. Yet, they are amazing shorts for kickboxing, lifting barbells and playing other sports.  

Bike Shorts 

Shorts that are best for cycling are bib biking, waist biking and compression shorts. What you use depends on your preference, although serious cyclists normally opt for compression shorts. Bike shorts are preferred by recreational bikers. 

These shorts are padded in the rear part which makes it great when you’re dealing with the bike’s packsaddle. Apart from the padding, bike shorts have a built-in underwear. They also have a snug fit and are spandex-like. 

The shorts are created for you to move your body comfortably without any risk for chafing. Also, there is no baggy fabric that can entangle the mechanical parts of the bike. The waist and bib shorts are almost identical, except that the latter consists of straps that go over your shoulders to support the shorts on. 

Unlike waist bike shorts, the bib one is better because waist bike shorts tend to trample and restrict your deep breaths if worn too tightly. This can make your ride more awkward than it should be. 

All-Purpose Shorts

These are shorts that fit your body closely and are not too stiff. They can’t restrict your movements because there is no extra fabric. You can wear this type of shorts in almost all forms of workout routines. However, they are not that good when it comes to exercises with lateral movements as you may feel a bit constrained. 

All-purpose shorts are best for different activities at the gym. You can also wear compression shorts underneath them, just like with most gym shorts. 


Whenever you plan on doing workout sessions at the gym, make sure you wear gym shorts that match your preference and are ideal for whatever activity you’re doing. Now that you have a better idea on what type to choose from, shopping for gym shorts will be easier.