Gymnastics Attire: What Attire Does My Daughter Need for Gymnastics?
Gymnasts need very little to start their first class (learn more about gymnastics classes for kids). No special shoes or socks, no bats or gloves, or balls. Gymnasts simply need a tight fitting athletic outfit, a leotard is preferred. Read more about the essential attire, how to find the perfect fitting leotard, and where to purchase a leotard.
- Leotard – Most gymnasts choose to wear a leotard to work out in. A leotard is a close-fitting one-piece garment, made of a stretchy fabric, that covers a person's body from the shoulders to the top of the thighs. A leotard allows the gymnast to move easily. Loose fitting clothing can prevent a safety hazard as it can get caught by your hands or feet when performing different exercises/skills.
- Bare feet – The majority of gymnasts both practice and compete with bare feet. Socks can create a safety hazard as they are often slippery on the apparatus.
- Ponytail – It is essential that athletes with long hair pull their hair back. When long hair is worn down it can get in the gymnasts’ face or caught by the gymnasts’ hands or feet when performing skills.
Additional Popular Attire:
- Shorts – Many gymnasts feel more comfortable practicing with shorts over their leotard. It is recommended that gymnasts wear tight fitting shorts in order to prevent from being caught on equipment. Shorts are not permitted in competitions.
- Grips - Many of the gymnasts your daughter sees on TV will be wearing grips. Grips help the gymnast to grip and shift their hands around the bars. Grips are not recommended until later in a gymnasts’ career. Gymnasts must first learn how to grip and shift with their bare hand before adding an additional material. Many coaches prefer to wait until the gymnast has mastered the glide kip (level 4 or 5) before introducing grips.
- Jewelry – Often gymnasts want to wear jewelry at practice. However, watches, bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings (other than studs) all present a safety hazard as they could get caught on the equipment.
How can I determine the appropriate fit for my daughter’s leotard?
- Ask the gymnast – One of the most important ways to determine fit is how your daughter feels in their leotard. The gymnasts should not feel like the leotard is too tight. It also should not be baggy.
- Know the purpose of the leotard – Training leotards can be worn with a little growing room, while competition leotards should have a tight fit.
Where can I purchase a leotard for my daughter?
There are many different options for purchasing a leotard. If you are looking to purchase in store Target often carries leotards, or you can check the pro-shop at your local gymnastics club. In addition, some of the most popular online sites include:
Grab your leotard, throw up your ponytail, kick off your shoes and socks and you are ready for your first gymnastics class!