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A Guide To Gymnastics Leotards For Parents

by Amanda Phillips

Every sport that your child decides to participate in has its own set of specific clothing and gear. Gymnastics and dance are no exceptions. Gymnastics leotards, or 'leos' as they are sometimes called, come in various styles, colors, and cuts. Here's what you need to know.

How many leotards should a gymnast have?

How many leotards your child should have depends on how often they are headed to the gym. One leotard should suffice if you are signed up for a once-a-week gymnastics lesson. However, if your child is in competitive dance or gymnastics, they will need multiple leotards to make it through a week of practices and lessons.

Do you wear undergarments with a leotard?

Leotards are meant to be form-fitting, like a bathing suit. Neither underwear nor a bra is needed underneath. However, there are leotards with built-in bras if your child feels they need additional support. While this may seem unusual to the uninitiated parent, undergarments create unsightly lines in leotards that would distract from the performance.

Do tights go under the leotard?

Yes, if you are wearing tights, the tights are worn underneath the leotard. Tights are typically used for dance classes. Gymnastics students do not wear tights.

Why are gymnastics leotards so high cut?

The high cut of leotards allows for a full range of motion while your child is flipping and tumbling. Additionally, a high-cut leotard visually lengthens the wearer's leg, which is desirable in competition and during performances.

How do female gymnasts keep their leotards in place?

While everyone has inadvertently had to adjust an uncomfortable bathing suit or leotard at least once in their life, no one wants to do so with a crowd watching. During a competition, many gymnasts use a body adhesive — amusingly called 'butt glue' — to hold their leotard firmly in place.

Why do gymnasts wear long-sleeved leotards?

Gymnasts often wear long-sleeved leotards to keep their skin from getting scraped up during routines. The long sleeves also help to create a more polished look during performances. That said, gymnasts wear short-sleeved leotards, sleeveless leotards, and unitards, one-piece garments extending to shorts, during practice.

How do you care for a leotard?

Because they are form-fitting, you will want to take care when washing and drying your child's leotards. Hand wash in cold water and lay flat to dry. Do not use hot water or put leotards in the dryer, as this will cause them to shrink.

As you can see, there are a few things you need to know when buying gymnastics leotards for your child. Make sure you have the right size and style and understand how to care for them properly. For more information on gymnastic leotards, contact a company near you.