Workout clothes

fitness personal trainer muslim hijabi

I was recently asked on instagram, what workout clothes someone should wear if their gym is mixed. This is not something I have had to worry about myself in recent years because I only train in female only establishments. Though, there was a time when this was not always the case. It can be really tricky to find the balance between modest clothes that are comfortable enough to exercise in. This can be off putting for many sisters who opt to not exercise at all. It is a completely personal choice where you decide to workout; nevertheless, our modesty should be our concern wherever we are.

While the gym is a great place to exercise, there are many ways you can get a good workout in even at home.  This removes the issue of not feeling comfortable in gym establishments.  Alternatively, looking for classes around your area is another way to get active. Gyms are not the only places where trainers hold fitness classes so have a look around local community centres and online. Workout clothes become less of an issue in classes and gyms where it is female only.

That being said, female only gyms are not available for everyone. I have put together some tips on workout clothes for those who do decide to train in areas that may also have men.

Thin hjiab

For those who wear hijab, finding one that is thin is key. There are some one piece slip on hijabs, specially designed for sports (like this one here) that can be purchased. However, these can sometimes thick in material so opting for a light fabric may be an option. Additionally how you wrap it is also something to consider. Avoid wrapping it around your head more than once, ensuring it is loose wrapped to allow air into the area around your neck.


Oversized shirts

This is by far one of the most crucial tips. Wearing a top that is short or tight can make you feel extremely uncomfortable when exercising with men around. There are plenty of places that sell knee length shirts however these may not always have full sleeved arms. One way to overcome with is to buy a thin long sleeved top to wear underneath. Buying these items during the summer or looking through sale items, which would currently be a good bet, would be a good idea as you would find plenty with a material that is not too thick. In the worse case, buying clothing from the men section may be an idea as this would automatically be larger in size and less figure hugging.

Here are some shirts I have found:

Long plain top

Baggy Stripe top

Long sleeved baggy dress


Harem pants

When thinking about workout clothes, the bottoms you wear are just as crucial as the top you wear. Not only are they readily available in shops, they are loose and comfortable. These coupled with a long shirt would be give you a great amount of coverage. Again the material is important, as well as colour, as you do not want something so thick you feel too warm or something so thin it is see through.

Black Harem Pants

Floral Harem Pants


Aiming to go at times that the gym is less busy is another tip to bare in mind. This may not always be practical but early mornings and during the daytime are probably the best times to avoid a busy gym. This may not take away the issue if men being in the establishment but it will mean there are less around.

Utalize space

In many gyms there are small spaces that are away from the main gym hall, such as the studios. If you are allowed, try to do as much of your workout in these spaces as they are away from the views of others. This can be handy when wanting to do exercises that may extenuate areas such as the chest and buttocks.


What workout clothes do you wear? What other tips and tricks do you use in the gym to feel comfortable? Drop a comment below!

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  • Reply Raya

    Ma sha Allah those look so comfortable. I’ve recently purchased some jogging pants and boy are they hot! The fabric was so thick and uncomfortable, it certainly did not let my skin breathe. I’ll have to take your word on some harem pants!

    October 5, 2016 at 2:47 pm
  • Reply Chelsea

    Yes it can be really tricky. Alhamdulillah I’ve never had to workout in a mixed gym but I can imagine that it’s so hard to find comfortable yet modest enough clothes. I love the harem pants though especially the really baggy ones with cute flowered patterns! And great tip about gym times 😉

    October 7, 2016 at 12:44 am
  • Reply Umme Hafsa

    This a really great post for sisters in that circumstance. Honestly, I love my gym/yoga clothes so much lol that I’d rather stay home and exercise in pretty gym gear than go to a mixed gym and have to cover up. Good, matching gym clothes keeps me really motivated and excited towards training – that’s why I always go to a women’s only gym.

    October 7, 2016 at 11:40 am
    • Reply Aishah

      Yes i am pretty much the same but I think some sisters need that gym environment to get into the mode of exercising. It is a shame not everywhere has a gym that is female!

      October 25, 2016 at 10:06 pm
  • Reply lubnakarim06

    Love that floral one…..looks like time to burn some kilos by buying these awesome clothes…

    October 7, 2016 at 5:37 pm
  • Reply Muslimah92

    in my case, i think

    October 7, 2016 at 9:56 pm
  • Reply Muslimah92

    in my case, or personally, I am a fan of loose fit sweat pants. And for hijab, I wear those children small hijabs.

    October 7, 2016 at 9:59 pm
    • Reply Aishah

      Ah yes, I used to wear those but I find they make me really hot! Whatever works for you 🙂

      October 25, 2016 at 10:05 pm
  • Reply breharne

    These are great tips. Luckily for me I have womens only gyms in my area alhamdulilah.

    October 8, 2016 at 8:55 pm
    • Reply Aishah

      Alhumdullilah me too!

      October 25, 2016 at 10:05 pm
  • Reply AYEINA

    Gymming in mixed gender area would get me nowhere in exercise lol. Alhamdulillah for women only gyms and pools 😀

    October 11, 2016 at 10:23 am
  • Reply maryamkabir

    I usually were my normal sweatpants, I find these harem pants extremely uncomfortable to workout in. But I completely agree for the baggy tshirt

    October 11, 2016 at 10:40 pm
    • Reply Aishah

      Oh no I am totally the opposite

      October 22, 2016 at 6:46 pm
  • Reply

    Salam Aishah, thank you for this article ! I would suggest this under the hijab when going to the gym, you don’t need to attach your hair and they don’t go out from the hijab ! -)

    March 22, 2017 at 10:21 pm
  • Reply sofia

    assala malukum sister

    April 25, 2017 at 6:42 pm
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