For most of us, “workout underwear” is whatever we grab while packing a gym bag or whatever undies we were rocking during the day. There’s already so much other gym gear that you seemingly need to work out, so butt-huggers are usually not top of mind.
But hear us out: Have you ever went on a run and chafed so much you had to cut it short? Or taken a cycling class and was left with a sweat-soaked crotch? Or had to stop doing burpees because your thing was swingin' everywhere? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you may want to consider getting workout-specific undies.
Workout underwear can make exercising much more comfortable because it’s often made from smooth, stretchy fabrics that wick away sweat and moisture. That’s important from a health standpoint, too; bacteria loves hanging around warm, wet environments, so wearing butt-huggers that can manage moisture can help prevent the dreaded jock itch and other bacterial infections.
Convinced you need some new pantaloons? Great-- we can help! Read on to learn everything you need to look for in workout undies, including fabric, style, and fit.
But First, Why Not Just Go Commando?
There are really only a few feelings that rival a fresh breeze blowing through your balls. Hence why it’s so easy to see why you’d want to ditch your undies at the gym to keep your boys liberated. However, freeballing can create more issues than it solves.
Here are a few reasons why going commando is a no-no.
No Underwear, No Hygiene
Your man bits carry a lot of germs. It's true. Whether it’s a dribble of pee or 'mud' residue, it’s better to have that stuff absorbed by a solid pair of undies that you wear once rather than festering in a pair of gym shorts that you wear multiple times before throwing them in the wash.
Left unattended, a buildup of bacteria in your pants can lead to jock itch, chafing, and swamp ass, which no one wants to deal with when pumping iron at the gym.
Prints and Sweat Stains
Without an extra layer of fabric from your butt-huggers between your package and your pants, onlookers have a front-row seat to see what’s going on below your belt.
For starters, nobody wants to see your *ahem* print -- especially at the gym. There’s also the infamous butt-crack sweat spot, which is especially visible on tight clothing or lighter fabric colors.
Gentlemen -- do you fellow humans a favor and wear underwear until you get home. Then, do whatever the heck you want.
Whether you’re running or pumping iron at the gym, it’s quite the hassle when your junk is flying all over the place. Going commando during a workout can also offer you the wrong kind of burn if you don’t have a quality layer of protection between your gym shorts and your skin.
So, should you go commando when you’re working out? Not unless you want to deal with your third leg flopping all over the place, chafing, jock itch, swamp ass, and confusing looks from that cute girl you’ve been eyeing all month.
Things to Consider in Choosing Workout Underwear
Now that we’re all on the same page of underwear being essential when working out, let’s dive into a few factors to consider in buying the best ones:
Workout underwear needs to be light, breathable, and comfortable. In fact, comfort should be the number one priority. Think about it: if your butt-huggers are huggin’ a little too tight, chances are your focus will be on how uncomfortable your undies are and not proper form. Worse is it may result in a gym injury.
Breathable, soft fabric undies with an elastic waistband like the ones from Culprit will be a game-changer.
Briefs, Boxers, or Boxer Briefs?
Ah, the big underwear debate: briefs, boxers, or boxer briefs. For your gym workout, briefs usually offer fewer materials and fabrics, which will allow your legs to move more freely as it leaves the legs and things more exposed. This undie provides excellent support, especially compared to other undies.
Meanwhile, boxers are more loose-fitting, which means more breathability. Boxer briefs, on the other hand, are a combo of both briefs and boxers but only tighter and lighter. It provides full coverage and support without bunching -- something we can all get behind!
At the end of the day, choosing your type of underwear really boils down to your own personal choice, but when it comes to style, we’re all about the boxer brief.
Secure Your Assets
It’s probably safe to say that we’ve all experienced that awkward moment when our franks and beans go airborne at the gym (jumping jacks, burpees, etc.) It’s embarrassing when we have to stop in the middle of a workout to put the boys back in place. Thankfully, this can easily be avoided with a solid pair of undies with a front pouch to properly secure the goods.
While it’s definitely necessary to assure the protection of your noodle, it’s also important to give enough breathing room to your meatballs. Reach for gym undies that are not too tight or not too loose as comfortability should be the number one priority.
Say No To Stank
When it comes to underwear, there are a ton of different fabrics to pick from. And while cotton is usually the top pick, the truth is that it doesn’t dry fast, meaning you’ll sit in wet gym clothes throughout your entire workout as sweat pools around your nuts. Oh, and if you were wondering, this can lead to jock itch, swamp ass, and stank -- no, thank you!
When it comes to workout underwear, here are the best fabrics to look for:
Nylon: By far the most popular fiber for athletic apparel, nylon often originates from a source such as petroleum or coal and is quickly finding a lot of competition from fabrics that can be more eco-conscious.
Polyester: Another plastic-based fabric, polyester is lightweight, durable, and breathable and tends to stay much drier than a lot of other natural fabrics. However, it doesn’t have the antibacterial qualities of natural fibers.
Spandex: Almost always mixed with another synthetic fiber, spandex can stretch and expand to offer unrestricted movement while retaining its shape over time. However, on its own, spandex can be a rough and uncomfortable material -- hence why it’s often mixed with other fibers.
Micromodal: Micromodal is a specialized type of modal rayon that is loved for its incredible softness and resistance to shrinkage. It’s moisture-wicking and will help to keep you cool where it matters most -- your balls. The stong fibers are high-absorbing and have antibacterial properties as well.
Bamboo: Bamboo is a super-soft, sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to synthetic fibers. It’s naturally antibacterial and sweat-wicking.
Wool: We know what you’re thinking: wool is itchy. But believe it or not, merino wool specifically is soft and ideal for both cold and hot weather as it’s temperature regulating, sweat-wicking, and antibacterial. So on those particularly chilly mornings when you’re looking to get a run in before heading to the office, wool undies just might be your best bet.
Nothing is worse than having to cut your workout short due to wearing lousy underwear. Seriously! Bad underwear can lead to swamp ass, jock itch, and butt-crack sweat -- just to name a few. Additionally, unsupportive underwear gives our twigs and berries the freedom to fly all over the place, causing us to awkwardly reposition our junk in between reps. Yeah, there’s a time and place to play with ourselves -- the gym is not it.
So, where does one find the best workout underwear, you ask?
At Culprit, of course!
Culprit comes in one cut-- the perfect form-fitting boxer brief. Using the highest quality micro-modal fabric, made in the beautiful U.S.A, eco-friendly, Culprit is your lucky pair engineered for everyday use -- including the gym.
The ultra-breathable micromodal will help to wick away moisture to keep sweat (and stank) at bay, and the 5% Lycra will help with stretch for superior comfort and unparalleled durability.
A great workout starts with great underpants -- check out Culprit today and see the difference quality undies can make.
Jock itch - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic
7 Tips to Stop Chafing from Happening Now and Forever | Healthline
How to Do a Burpee: Step-by-Step Guide, Benefits, Variations | Healthline