Trendy, functional pieces to supercharge your workout

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Crush your goals while feeling comfy and cute.

You don’t know if you’ll make it, but you push yourself further. Sweat drips down your face as your muscles strain from the task at hand. No, you aren't in the middle of a workout. In fact, you haven't even started yet. This level of exertion actually comes from struggling to slide into your brand new, already-too-tight leggings. Unfortunately for women who are trying to be fit and healthy, most activewear brands are, quite literally, not supportive of our goals. 

Women's workout clothes tend to run too tight, too short and too revealing. They’re simply impractical. So instead of focusing on lengthening their strides, breathing deeply and engaging their cores, women are busy pulling up their leggings, pulling down their shirts and adjusting their sports bras⎯all while holding their keys and phone in one hand. This year, choose functional, trendy pieces that will help you meet your New Year's fitness goals comfortably, and ditch the clothes that will physically hinder your progress. Below you'll find a few of our favorites! 

Supportive Sports Bras

Despite what the producers of Baywatch might think, women typically don’t enjoy it when their lady parts bounce around while running. That’s why a supportive sports bra is your first step toward a more enjoyable exercise routine.

 The Energy Bra from lululemon, $52, is made with a sweat-wicking, stretchy material that fits well while allowing you to move freely at the same time. As an added bonus, this bra comes in 12 different patterns and colors so you can always be prepared. (You can’t go wrong with the multi-colored floral or solid mint green!)

Looking for something that provides even more coverage? Go with a bra-within-a-bra design like Natori’s Gravity Contour Underwire Sports Bra from Nordstrom, $69-70. Ranging in size from a 30B to a 38DD, this surprisingly lightweight bra is designed for maximum support. It also includes memory foam straps and an elastic band under the bust for added comfort, along with mesh cutouts to keep you cool. 

Tops Made for Real Women

Although the Instagram models make crop tops look fun, in real life, some women don’t feel comfortable wearing half a shirt at the gym. So opt for a top that will make you feel as beautiful as you are! For cold days, consider this blue Under Armour Breathe Long-Sleeve Tee from Neiman Marcus, $55. This loose-fitting tee is long and flowy with a cute, strappy back cut-out.

Tank tops that aren’t skin tight are a good option as well, especially when they include inspiring words. The C9 Champion collection of tanks at Target, $16.99, feature three different sayings: “A Tights and Tee Kinda Girl,” “Be You, Do You, For You” and “Empowered.” The encouraging text, casual fit and wide size range (XS-XXL) will keep you feeling confident. Target also offers a plus-size range of activewear, so every woman can find clothes that make her feel her best. We love their lightweight JoyLab T-Shirt with a Mesh Back Panel, $18.99, in sizes 1X-4X. The triangle-shaped mesh cut-out allows air to flow freely, and the long hemline keeps even the tallest ladies completely covered. 

Practical And Stylish Bottoms

Whether you’re doing a downward dog, sumo squats or jumping jacks, you shouldn’t have to worry about your pants not fitting properly. Super tight leggings may look great under dresses or while running errands, but they can be restricting and awkward for exercise. Keep your going out leggings separate from your working out leggings by investing in a few movement-friendly pairs.

The North Face’s Women’s Motivation leggings, $75, are as useful as they are cute! With a choice of purple, floral or black, these leggings are high rise with a hidden waistband pocket, perfect for storing keys. Mesh sides will help your skin to breathe, and the deep thigh pockets will keep your phone secure no matter how intense your workout gets.

And if you don’t like leggings, don’t wear them! The North Face Women’s On the Go pants, $90, are made with a light, quick-drying material great for the outdoors or an extra-sweaty kickboxing class. The zippered pockets and adjustable waist confirm that leggings aren’t the only option for active women.

When you find the clothes that work for you, you’ll discover that fitness has never been more fun!