10 best maternity gym-wear pieces
With a growing bump, you'll need extra support from your clothes in the gym, so make sure your kit is up to the job with these picks
When you’re pregnant, exercising might feel like the last thing on your mind. However, there’s no denying that the benefits for you and your bump are endless.
“Exercising during pregnancy not only helps alleviate pain but can help during labour and maintains our core unit; particularly abdominals and pelvic floor muscles, which can become weaker during pregnancy,” explains secialist pre and post natal personal trainer, Claire Gregory, from The Female Fitness Academy
While we all need to keep fit, finding the right clothing to do it in can be tricker and your regular gym gear just won’t cut it.
A growing bump needs to be supported, as do your breasts (which, for many women, grow larger and heavier as the pregnancy progresses) and back.
“Regular training clothes just don’t provide enough support for this change in your centre of gravity. Having the right support is vital to reduce lower back pain and your core muscles” adds Claire.
With that in mind, we took on the task of testing the best maternity gymwear on the market.
From sports bras with extra bounce to leggings that mould perfectly to your bump, here are 10 of the best maternity gym wear pieces to see you through every trimester...
Ultimate maternity sportswear top: £59.99, FittaMamma
FittaMamma is perfect for mums-to-be who are on the hunt for maternity gear that offers maximum support for high-intensity exercise. In fact, their ultimate maternity top is proven to better support your bump when compared to others on the market. A recent study of the University of Portsmouth found it reduce “bump bounce” by 48 per cent. With a ream of supportive features on offer, it’s not hard to see why.
It comes with an inner-bra area for extra breast support with a sturdy, extra firm band to support waist and hips. It’s got an extra back panel for posterior support and is made from breathable mesh panels to prevent over-sweating. There’s no denying this is expensive but if you’re an avid gym-goer and looking to invest, this is the piece for you.
Smoothie maternity one-piece swimsuit: £54.90, Cake Maternity
Swimming can be a great form of exercise during pregnancy but you’ll need a supportive swimsuit to feel comfortable in the water. This one-piece by Cake Maternity ticks all of the boxes. The top half perfectly secures your bust: with extra thick, wide straps and foam cups (suitable for those who are B-DD cups) while the ruched side panels provide plenty of support that continues to adapt to your growing bump. This piece didn’t budge throughout an extensive swim and kept us feeling comfortable, confident and not at all restricted.
Active tights: £25.00, Mamalicious
Specialist maternity brand Mamalicious have a whole range of maternity gym wear but these active tights get our vote. These stretchy, supportive tights feature supportive rib detailing to ensure your workout won’t be hindered but are equally just as comfortable for lounging around the house.
The two piece active kit: £69.00, Seraphine
Designer maternity label Seraphine have created the perfect activewear kit for fitness-loving mums to be. The cropped black workout pants have plenty of give and offer optimal support:the grey, over-the-bump band folding down for when you don’t need as much bump coverage (for example, during your first trimester or post birth). The accompanying grey racerback tank top is also excellent quality: with exceptionally comfortable fabric and side-ruching to tailor to each of your trimesters. Given the quality of the products, this bundle is fantastic value and all you need to get started on your maternity fitness journey.
Freedom tee: £59.99, Asquith
Ethical yogawear brand Asquith take their clothing seriously. You’re not just investing in high-end yoga tees but their principles: with all products ethically made in a family-run Turkish factory (which has organic certification). Their super-soft and slinky t-shirt is extra-flattering; the wider, long fit skimming over your bump and the loose baggy sleeves offering extra coverage. The organic, bamboo cotton material itself is extra-breathable; making it also suitable for more intense exercise and great if you’re prone to sensitive skin during pregnancy.
Emma maternity pants: £59.00, Isabella Oliver
New for 2019 is maternity specialist Isabella Oliver’s active range (which also includes a yoga top, leggings, vest and a lounge hoodie). These loose-fit, maternity pants are ideal for lower-impact forms of exercise; such as yoga, walking and pilates. The extra-silky, soft jersey material makes them more flattering and dressy than your average pair of tracksuit bottoms (meaning they could easily be worn outside of the gym too.) While the stretchy, elasticated waistband sits perfectly under your bump.
Maternity training booty short: £10.00, Asos
Who says maternity gear shouldn’t show off your figure too? These stretchy, skinny fit booty shorts are ideal for those who want to show off a little more of their pregnancy body or find themselves overheating during a workout. The front part of the shorts comes with a stretchy, expandable over-the-bump panel whilst the back offers a flattering, skinny fit that’s indistinguishable from your regular workout gear.
Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra: £34.00, Bravado
A good sports bra is even more important during pregnancy. Nursing bra specialist Bravado have come up trumps with this seamless yoga nursing bra. Don’t let the name deceive you: the product is a great all-rounder, and whilst it might not be supportive enough for high-intensity exercise, it managed to do the job perfectly for yoga, gentle exercise classes, pilates and shorter periods of running.
It can be adapted to all stages of pregnancy and beyond too: including pregnancy, nursing and post-baby (it comes with a conversion kit to convert from regular bra to nursing bra). But, most importantly, thanks to its wire free, seamless design, it was easily one of the most comfortable bras we’ve ever worn.
Women’s OOmg Low Shoe: £110.00, OOFOS
When your pregnant, everything feels more sensitive and workouts can take longer to recover from. That’s why footwear is just as vital as a good sports bra or pair of leggings. The OOmg low show is specifically designed to reduce stress on your ankles, knees, hips and lower back-all areas which are under strain during pregnancy.
We were dubious as to how much a shoe could prevent this, but as soon as we slipped them on, were taken in by the cloud-like comfort they offered (it’s like walking on memory foam). But it’s not just about comfort, they offer an impressive amount of support too and we found them perfect for everyday wear too. The classic black design goes with most outfits too.
Grey maternity sweat top: £20.00, Next
When working out in colder weather, layering is an absolute must. This slouchy, 100 per cent cotton sweat top is perfect for throwing over your gym vest after a session or during the cool-down time; with the front pocket area providing plenty of room for your bump to grow. The longer, loose fit means it is perfect when teamed with leggings; flatteringly skimming your bump and thighs. A cosy sweat top that you’ll wear both inside and outside of the gym.
Verdict: Maternity gymwear pieces
Scientifically-backed Fitta Mamma gets our top pick: their ultimate maternity sportswear top being the perfect partner for high-intensity exercise. Seraphine’s active kit also offers fantastic value for mums who love the gym, while Bravado’s yoga bra is a must-buy staple for your pregnancy and beyond.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.