Gym Underthings

Ooooh la la….

Lulu thong

One of the frequently-asked questions when I post workout pics or a video:

How do you avoid panty lines?

So the secret, friends, is the picture above! Feel free to sing that Sisqo song, even though I was, like, 5 when that came out. 

The answer is thong underwear. If you’re not a fan, you might not be wearing the right type or size, but for workouts, I tend to stay away from the pure cotton or lacy variety and have two drawers: one fancy/nice and the other for workout/comfy. I used to keep them mixed together but after the great silly-bow-sticking-outta-my-pants incident of 2008 (it was a gift, it was also 2007), I realized that some things in life are not multipurpose.

Here are some faves for workouts:

The lululemon Light as Air thong (above). At $16, they’re kind of pricey for what they are (as is everything at lulu) but the quality is great and like the name suggests, feels like you’re wearing nothing at all

 VS No Show Sport Panty ($12.50 or 3 for $33). For the comfort and fabric, these are a great deal. Bonus: they come in cute colors, too.

Favorite sports bras:

Flow y

lululemon Flow Y bra ($42). This is my favorite “everything” bra. Perfect for weights, yoga, light/moderate cardio, teaching, lounging, sleeping, everything. It’s seamless with stretchy, comfy fabric. It also manages to escape the uniboob look that many sports bras create so beautifully.

Sports bra

Champion Smoothie Bra ($38). This is now my go-to sprinting and race bra. The straps are so comfy and can easily be switched to a racerback, the cups are soft and SUPER supportive- keeps the girls in place. 

So spill, friends: what do you wear under your workout gear? Any faves? Thongs or nay?

I’m excited to read your answers!



Gifts to buy yourself this season:

-My friend Lacey Stone (she trained me once, and killed me) launched her fitness app.

-The lovely MizFit (a mom and fitness inspiration to me) came out with an eBook!

-and the long-awaited Pop Pilates DVD is out <3 Lots of awesome stuff.



In the style of 26 random acts of kindness, congrats to Avery G. (check your email, lovely!) – I’ll be sending a custom batch of macaroons next week as a little way to say thank you for reading. This is random act #1, in memory of Charlotte Bacon, 6 years old. Join the revolution here <3

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  1. Christine @ BookishlyB on December 19, 2012 at 10:19 am

    I wear whatever’s on sale at Target, honestly. Lulu is super, super cute but I can’t justify spending that kind of money on workout wear- I rather put it towards actual clothes. I don’t need crazy support, though, so the Champion sports bras work totally fine. But I’m with ya on the thongs- regular undies feel horrible when you’re in yoga or running!

  2. Kath on December 19, 2012 at 10:31 am

    OMG, I feel so old considering I was in HIGH SCHOOL when that song came out 🙁 and I don’t even have a baby yet!! I really enjoy the VSX sports bra’s at Victoria’s secret, but they are pretty pricey as well. I am definitely going to look into the Campion bra you mentioned as well as lulu’s undies. Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

      I was in high school too! Totally joking about the 5 thing

  3. Abby on December 19, 2012 at 10:35 am

    VS came out with a new “yoga thong” that I’ve been loving. They are pretty similar to the one you pictured except 5 for $26!

    • Emily on December 19, 2012 at 11:18 am

      Do you mind sharing a link for those? I just went on the VS website and searched, but could only find ones that were 3/$33. They do come in cute colors though!

      • Katherine on December 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm

        not the OP but I believe that VS has some noshow type workout panties under their PINK line.

      • Abby on December 19, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        I couldn’t find them on the website either but I swear I just bought some the other day, they are part of the PINK line. Maybe they’re available in stores only?

  4. Kerry @ Totes My Oats on December 19, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I definitely wear thongs for workouts. Panty lines really bother me!

  5. Sara on December 19, 2012 at 10:36 am

    I don’t wear any bottoms under my capris or shorts:) Sports bras – Moving Comfort is the only one that comes close to my size.

  6. Suzi @ Confessions of a Fitness Instructor on December 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Don’t do that to me Gina, The Thong Song came out the year I graduated from High School (2000), I thought I was going to have to check myself into a retirement home there for a second!

    I agree, in and luon/spandex I’m in a thong, in Zumba cargos I wear whateva I want!

    • Roselyn on December 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      Augh! I graduated COLLEGE when that song came out. I’m an old lady.

  7. Colleen on December 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Hi Gina,

    I read your blog ALL the time, and have been for about two years now (Liv is beautiful!)… and I’m shy and don’t tend to comment on a lot of blogs, so go figure, this is the post I choose to finally comment on (this is not to say that I haven’t felt compelled to comment on other great posts of yours!).

    Who. Cares. ?. No seriously, I do hate panty lines because that’s the aesthetic I grew up with, but still–who cares? The fact of the matter is, with or without the pantyline, my ass is gonna look great because I’m fit, healthy, and I consistently do workouts to target such an area! Furthermore, even in my days when I wasn’t as fit, it didn’t matter–at least I got my ass up outta bed and put something on to go workout in! That said, I don’t particularly like to wear thongs in general, because it’s hard to find comfy ones that are just the right size. I’ll usually opt for any cheap panty that boasts no pantylines and is also breathable. Lulu is great but pricey (as we all have said) and if I’m going to spend money there, it’s going to be on something that people see (or that more than a few see ;-P). Champion is great–durable workout clothing for a decent price, but even so, I’m not going to spend too much just so that people will think I’m not wearing underwear (if they care to think about it that much).

    Except, now I kinda wanna try the Lulu thongs…


    • Neiry on December 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      I ditto this. I give myself brownie points for gettin’ my bum to the gym in the first place 🙂 I won’t be looking at my panty lines, I’ll be looking at my form (and if someone has a problem with my panty lines, they can just go stare at another gal’s butt) 😛

      • MelissaH on December 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm

        I have to agree with this. I’m disappointed that you would write a post suggesting that women worry about such a small thing like panty lines at the gym or any part of their appearance for that matter. Women have enough pressure on them to look perfect in their lives. The gym should be one place where they can workout without having to look perfect or “cute”.

        • Fitnessista on December 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm

          i didn’t say anything about looking cute or perfect in the post- i just got enough requests that i thought it would would be a fun discussion topic.
          i always like to make it clear that i’m proud of anyone for taking care of their body and working out- i could care less about what anyone else is wearing. but for me, i feel more comfortable, and get in a better workout, when i have functional clothes on, including what’s underneath.

          • Anonymous on December 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm

            Yep, butt out.

      • Margaret on December 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm

        There is no reason to attack Gina for writing this post. Like she said, she was simply responding to a frequently asked question… I’m thrilled that she wrote this post because I have wondered the same thing myself! It disappoints me that readers would feel compelled to write discouraging negative comments, especially about something they claim not to care about. I understand the underlying messing that you were trying to get across, that as long as you are in the gym that it shouldn’t matter what you look like, but your post certainly comes off as a backhanded remark.

        • MelissaH on December 20, 2012 at 4:09 am

          No one “attacked” Gina. We expressed our opinion. These weren’t negative comments.

  8. Sarah @ Yogi in Action on December 19, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I always work out with thong underwear- and I agree, super comfy!

    Thanks for the tips for sports bra’s! I am definitely in the market for a new one, so this is a useful guide

  9. Carrie on December 19, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Ugh… thongs… LoL.

    If my workout pants are tight enough to create a panty-line, I won’t wear any. I figure that liner in all yoga pants means going commando is A-OK! 🙂

    I second Champion sports bras! And it has to have some padding. Between thin, wicking shirts and the air cranked on high in the gym, I need the modesty padded sports bras provide.

  10. Michelle on December 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Patagonia active briefs are great for workout and daily wear! (And don’t be fooled by the word “briefs.” They run a little above my bikini line.) They are super comfy and were recommended by my derm dr.

    Gina, an idea for an upcoming post…many people will be traveling for the holidays and staying in hotels. Maybe a post reminding your readers about workouts you have posted that can be done in a hotel gym (which has limited space) or a hotel room. Just a suggestion–thanks!

  11. Meg on December 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Soma Intimates has the best regular underwear with vanishing sides – no panty lines ever! And I teach Spin and TRX in them and have run long distances without them budging. They go on sale 5 for $25

  12. Jenbug on December 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

    As much as I enjoyed learning about workout underwear, I really need to know about the chocolatey macaroons you’ve got going on, there. =)

  13. Lucie on December 19, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I love the lululemon stuff, too bad I can not get it here in Switzerland. We have ‘Sloggi’-underwear here, they are seamless works perfectly!!

  14. Erin L. on December 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I think the “Thong Song” came out while I was in high school also but I have never been a fan at all. I’ll take a booty short over a thong any day! Maybe I need to try a different size or type of thong but I think my body type just isn’t meant for a thong.

    When I’m working out I usually go with a “hipster” type underwear from VS or the Gilligan & O’Malley line from Target. I’m also a fan of the Champion bras and I’ve had some I like from Aerie but they don’t seem to consistently carry sports bras and right now it seems like most of the ones they do carry aren’t very supportive.

    I keep saying I want to go to Lululemon. I would hate to spend that kind of money without trying something on first. The closest one is a little over an hour away. I think I’ll have to make a trip as a reward once I meet my next fitness goal :).

  15. Kristen on December 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Wearing a thong to exercise sounds like torture! I never (EVER) wear anything under my gym pants/capris. Shorts might be a different story, but I rarely wear them. I just buy good quality capris that have a built in liner and call it good!

    • April on December 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Same here, i don’t wear underwear under my workout pants either….the lulu thong looks like the commando brand:=

      I like the lulu bra top, going to check it out! Great ideas Gina!

  16. Emily on December 19, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I’m with Sara above, I just don’t wear anything under my bottoms. All my running shorts have built-in undies anyway, and with pants/capris…there is just nothing worse than a wedgie during a run! I’m lucky b/c the girls are pretty small, so I can get away with pretty much whatever as far as sports bras, but lately I’m LOVING the Nike Pro Essentials:,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-665702/pgid-282969 One of the most comfortable sports bras I’ve ever run in, AND the arm holes come up high enough to cover that annoying armpit/boob fat 😉

  17. erin on December 19, 2012 at 11:47 am

    i don’t even wear underwear with my workout gear. i hate panty lines!

  18. ErikaMC on December 19, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I need to get me some comfortable thongs (ha – sounds like an oxymoron). As much as I hate panty line I am a victim of it. I know this is awful and I hate admitting it but I get my sports bras at WalMart (please don’t hate me!) – I like the Danskin brand and they are pretty cheap but have held up well for me.

  19. Emily @ Have Your Cake And on December 19, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I never wear anything BUT thongs during workouts! I cant stand normal undies bunching up when I’m jumping around! Hah I love this post, I honestly didn’t know they made thongs specifically for exercise, now I’m intrigued

  20. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on December 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Aww that is such a sweet random act of kindness! I dont like thongs but have found some great seamless underwear for working out without panty lines!

  21. mountain girl heidi on December 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I wear the CW-X Xtra Support bra. I’m a 36D/34DD, and I wear the 36D with this bra. It has transformed my workout/running life. I used to wear multiple bras until I saw the advertisement for this company in a Runner’s World magazine several years ago. The girl was wearing 20 different bras, and I immediately searched for this brand. I’m still wearing some of the original CW-X bras I bought back in 2008 — they last a long time if you take care of them. (Cold water, hang dry, powder detergent.) They are super supportive, comfortable, and they fit me so well. Moving Comfort has some great bras too, but despite my best efforts for getting them to work and fit, they just don’t.

  22. HS on December 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Posts like these leave me shaking my head. I wish you wouldn’t perpetuate the idea that women need to look “seksi” all the time, even when they are getting gross and sweaty while working out.

    It’s one thing (as others said) to not like regular underwear because they creep up under tight pants. But to wear a thong just to “avoid panty lines”? Come on. Why do you need to avoid panty lines while working out? So that your ass looks perfect? Because god forbid you not look seksi at the gym. So that others can’t see you are wearing underwear? News flash, a) everyone wears underwear and b) no one cares about others’ underwear.

    • Shaina Anderson on December 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      From the comments posted, it looks like a lot of women don’t like panty lines (gym or no gym). I don’t think its just Gina’s idea to look sexy at the gym…she’s obviously been getting a lot of questions about it so felt the need to post her opinions. That’s exactly what a blog is…the thoughts & opinions of the writer.

      • Erin L on December 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm

        I think she even said people were asking after viewing videos she posted.

        I know a lot of people wear things all the time and are uncomfortable in anything else.

    • Dena on December 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Oh course you should look sexy at the gym! Not really, my workout t’s mainly consist of shirts that are no longer decent to wear as normal clothes, but that doesn’t mean I’m ok with panty lines. Panty lines are so easy to avoid: thongs, commando, looser/thicker pants, why not do it. I avoid panty lines not because I am trying to make my ass look sexy, but because I think panty lines, along with having itis, looks trashy and draws attention to that area.

      That being said, of course I don’t go to the gym and judge all the people with panty lines. Mostly I just think they didn’t realizes, as I am sure I have done numerous times, but more importantly, I just think it is great that they are at the gym at all.

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      i just wrote this post because quite a few people have asked about it. it has nothing to do with looking cute or “seksi” (i think it’s been a couple of years since i’ve typed that)- it’s about function and feeling comfortable to get in a good workout.

  23. Jackie on December 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I just don’t know if I could wear a thong while working out….

    with that being said, the thong song came out while I was in high school. ugh, I feel old.

  24. Lauren on December 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I may be in the minority here and will probably regret saying this, but If I’m wearing spandex to workout, I usually don’t wear underwear. Is that weird? 🙂 LoL

  25. Alexis on December 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Commando is the only way to go! 🙂 All my running shorts have the liner built in, so no need to wear anything extra with those, and capris are just farrrr more comfortable without anything else. Plus it cuts back on laundry, so going commando is practically going green;)

    • Alexis on December 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      On that note, for everything else outside of exercise, I ONLY wear Hanky Panky thongs. Nothing better!

      • Fitnessista on December 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm

        hanky panky is awesome!

  26. Shaina Anderson on December 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I have to wear thongs when working out, or let’s be honest, all the time since I spend 99% of my time in bottoms made by lululemon. I love their seamless thong and I also like the lacey thong by VS. My go to bras are the Flow Y (or Power Y tank) for yoga or walking, but anything more intense than that calls for a lululemon Scoop Bra or All Sport Bra (neither of which they make anymore!!! ugh!!). These bf-ing boobies need support haha.

    I’ll have to try that Champion Bra next time I need to add a high support one. I don’t love any of the running bras lululemon has right now…sad face.

  27. Nikki on December 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    LOL, I didn’t know people wore THONGS under their workout wear! I go commando, and I thought those w/o pantylines were doing the same!

    Hey, if there’s a crotch liner in the pants… you can go w/o, amiright?


    • Shaina Anderson on December 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      absolutely! the crotch in lululemon pants is there for that exact reason! 🙂

    • Sonia the Mexigarian on December 20, 2012 at 11:16 am

      this might be a stupid question, but how do you know if there is a crotch liner?

  28. Victoria @ Reluctantly Skinny on December 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Definitely just emailed your post to my fiancee – I asked for good workout underwear for christmas. I really like the VSX line. I have one of their sport’s bras – great for us smaller boobed girls!

  29. Melissa on December 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I also go commando under workout pants. I couldn’t stand to have anything riding up or wear a thong then! It woudl drive me nuts!

    For sports bra, I MUST have underwire so I’m supported and not bouncing all over the place. The one I like the best if from Champion is this one:–1/underwire-bras/champion-shape-scoopback-full-figure-underwire-sports-bra

  30. Herbivore Triathlete on December 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Honestly, I don’t wear underwear under spandex. As a cyclist we’re taught not to wear any and that kind of carried over to running shorts/pants for me as well. If I am wearing gym shorts to run and not spandex, I wear regular panties.

  31. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles on December 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    I always wear a thong for my workouts…but seeing so many women commenting about going commando, now i’m intrigued to see if I like that better.

  32. Nicole on December 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Gillian O’Malley brand of undies and thongs from Target are awesome!

    For me it depends on what I’m doing. If I’m doing a Crossfit workout, then I usually wear cotton as to not have rashy problems later.

    If it’s a workout where I won’t sweat as much or need minimal coverage (I teach pole dancing) then I go with the Gillian’s.

  33. J on December 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Those macaroons look so delicious! I’m trying to think of a good treat I can have nightly that won’t halt my weight loss efforts. Do you think these would be a good Also, do you have a treat nightly our just sometimes?

    On another note, commando is the way to go. I hate thinking about readjusting and riding up issues so less is more!

  34. Mary on December 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I either wear shorts with built in underwear or capris and yoga pants with nothing. That way you avoid all chances of getting a wedgie. I would never waste my money on gym underwear when it’s more uncomfortable without it

  35. LisaG on December 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    VPL (visible panty lines) bother me when working out in public because usually I’m going to run errands and spend more time in capris than just the hour exercising. And I can’t stand the way regular undies feel under fitted pants!

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      same here! they feel like way too much fabric

  36. jillian on December 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I definitely don’t wear anything under my workout bottoms! EVER! the idea of it just sounds uncomfortable! and on top, a lulu Y bra 🙂

  37. rose on December 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    It seems kind of icky to me to wear a thong while working out….as does going commando. I usually wear comfortable cotton and my shorts aren’t fitted enough for anyone to know. There are two pairs of bottoms that I wear that I have underwear lines without a thong, but the thought of how nasty either my pants or a thong would be means that I’ll take the lesser of two evils. I also don’t wear make-up to the gym, as I’m really not there to draw attention and I don’t want to waste my expensive make-up by just sweating it all off. At the end of the day, I just can’t justify other people’s opinions on my butt make me uncomfortable during a work-out.

  38. Priscilla P on December 19, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I wear thongs regularly so it just feels natural for me to wear them to the gym. I think it’s just become a force of habit! 🙂
    My favorite sports bra is the racerback sports bra from VS – comfy with some support! Regular sports bras usually flatten out my chest completely – and while I’m not looking to attract anyone at the gym, it bothers me when I look like a boy 😛 haha!

  39. Melodie on December 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    i really just keep popping in to see the new do. what’s the hold up. 😉

    • Fitnessista on December 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      haven’t taken a pic yet! maybe tonight 🙂

  40. Sara @ fitcupcaker on December 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I love lululemon so much, its just so expensive! Cute bras!

  41. Rachel Boller - Busy Mama on December 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Loooove the Lululemon energy bra, though sometimes it does create a bit of uniboob action. I just love the criss-crossy back and it looks awesome under razorback workout tanks. In terms of thong or no thong, no thong. I tend to go with shorts that have undies built in or with running tights, I’ll wear the VS Pink yoga panties. If they create panty lines, my husband has done a great job of lying to me (I always ask him to check).

  42. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run on December 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I <3 the Smoothie Bra – it's one of my favorite sports bras. I think I may need it in that cute pink color.

  43. Kristen on December 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I pretty much live in thongs so they don’t bother me to workout.
    My only exception is if I’m on a bike. I have learned the hard way that, for me, no panties are the best way to go! I’ve tried different brands and types. All left me with burns/rashes in very inappropriate places. That is NOT a good time.

    What did you end up doing with your hair?!

  44. Katie @ A Full Plate on December 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I actually always go sans underwear when working out. No matter the fabric or cut I don’t think I’d ever be comfortable wearing underwear under workout clothes…too much moving around!

  45. Angela on December 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    What a fun topic! I like my regular bikini underwear for working out. I can’t do boyshorts though, too much fabric.

    I love Champion from Target for sports bras. I’m small on top so it’s easy to find bras that work well for me. Blessings come in all sizes!

  46. Liz @SouthernCharm on December 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    The freely be lulu bra is my absolute fave!! I could live in it … oh wait, sometimes I do under my dresses at work 😉 Sorry, but I’m so not sorry!

  47. Nikki on December 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I love the 26 acts of kindness, I started mine yesterday 🙂

  48. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy on December 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I don’t like wearing thongs, especially when working out, but I might have to check out the ones at VS! Honestly (and this is probably bad), I don’t care if I have panty lines. It bugs me, but we’re not supposed to look cute when we’re working out anyway :).

  49. sara on December 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I agree with Alexis, Hanky Pankys all the way! They usually have them on sale at Nordstrom Rack, but make sure to buy the LOW RISE.

    This may sound silly, but I find I look forward to my workouts even more when I’m excited about my running clothes. I feel even stronger when I like how I look. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference between “run” day and “read PerezHilton all afternoon” day.

  50. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on December 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I have this old Nike sports bra that I love – it’s so comfy! It probably needs to be thrown out soon, but I really don’t want to part with it haha. 😛

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