Can I swim in yoga shorts? Yogigobrand yoga journal

Can Yoga Pants Be Used for Swimming?

Yoga pants are an industry of their own, with several options available for men and women. Since they’re so comfy, most people use yoga pants for various physical activities. While it’s OK to use this activewear for most athletic activities, there’s still a debate whether it’s alright to use yoga pants for swimming.

Yoga pants can be used for swimming if they are made from a suitable material that doesn’t weigh you down. You should be able to swim in yoga pants as long as they are made from nylon or spandex and you’re entering a freshwater body like a lake or river.

In this article, I’ll discuss the type of yoga pants you can swim in and where you should avoid wearing yoga pants. So, let’s dive in!

The Right Yoga Pants for Swimming

First, let’s make something clear – you can swim with any yoga pants. As long as you know how to swim and you don’t mind using your pants in this fashion, go right ahead! 

Still, depending on where you are swimming, you might notice that the pants weigh you down, and in other cases, the water may damage some of the stretchier materials in your yoga pants. 

However, particular yoga pants are an excellent substitute for swimwear. 


Yoga shorts are often made from nylon or spandex and are airy and breathable, improving your flow during yoga sessions. Most yoga shorts are designed for men, but you’re sure to find women’s shorts out there too.

You can wear yoga shorts swimming, and they are pretty comfortable to wear in water. Remember that these aren’t a replacement for swimming shorts, and some pools may not allow you to enter without authentic swimming shorts.


While this may come as a surprise, some pools mandate that their swimmers wear leggings before getting in. Leggings made from spandex or nylon are also ideal for swimming as they stick to the surface of your body and make swimming effortless.

Most yoga leggings also come with a snug fit at the waist, ensuring they stay secure even when you’re in the water. As such, leggings are a practical choice to swim in.


Yoga capris are similar to leggings in terms of fitting, and they can be pretty comfortable to wear while swimming. You want to ensure that your capris are a breathable material, though, before wearing them and entering a pool.

Tight and Semi-Tight Pants

Yoga pants are available in various styles, including shorts and leggings (as mentioned above), as well as capris, harems, and tracks.

However, if you want to gauge if a pair of yoga pants is suitable for swimming, it’s best to check the fit first. Tight and even semi-tight yoga pants are ideal for swimming as they’ll stick close to your body and reduce friction in the water.

Even if it’s comfy, loose clothing can impede your movement, making you slow and heavy as you swim.

What Yoga Pants Not To Wear While Swimming

While some yoga pants are ideal for swimming, most yoga pants are best used for yoga or other physical activities. Most of the time, it’s best to get yourself swimming gear, like a bathing suit or swim shorts.

Here are a few kinds of yoga pants you should avoid wearing when going for a swim:

Harem and Flared Yoga Pants

Many practitioners do yoga while wearing harems as they’re light and airy, and they leave plenty of room for quick adjustments during asanas. However, harems and flared pants would be uncomfortable in a swimming pool as they’d weigh you down in the water.

Aside from slowing down your movements, flared pants also make swimming less enjoyable as you feel burdened by the extra cloth.

Track Yoga Pants

While this is a no-brainer, it’s still worth mentioning here. Track pants are an absolute no-no while swimming as they can weigh you down and make underwater movements pretty uncomfortable.

Additionally, if you’re swimming in a public pool, most institutions probably won’t allow you to enter the pool with track pants as it violates the dress code.

Loose-Fitting Pants

Flared pants and tracks are two examples of loose clothing, but it’s best to avoid any type of loose yoga clothing in the pool. Loose-fitting yoga pants restrict your mobility underwater, making it more challenging to perform specific movements.

As such, if you’re planning to wear yoga pants while swimming, it’s best to put on something that makes a snug fit.

Where To Swim Wearing Yoga Pants

Now that you know the kind of yoga pants to wear while swimming, it’s crucial to figure out where to swim with them.

Sea and Saltwater Pools

You can wear yoga shorts or leggings while swimming at the beach, but be cautious because sea salt will eventually damage your clothing. 

Salt is abrasive and causes the color to wash away with regular exposure. So if you’re wearing yoga pants to the beach, it’s best to wear pants you don’t care about too much or that you don’t wear for yoga.

If you like the yoga pants you’re wearing, don’t wear them while swimming at the beach because you’ll damage them over time.

Chlorinated Swimming Pools

Here, again, if you love the yoga pants you have and wish to preserve them, it’s best to avoid wearing them in a swimming pool. 

Most swimming pools are full of chlorine and other chemicals that help keep the pool clean, and these chemicals can erode the color.

Over time, the chlorine will also cause the elasticity of your pants to deteriorate. Elastic and polyesters don’t stand up well to chemicals like chlorine, and over time, your pants will stop fitting well if you wear them in a pool too much. So, you want to avoid using yoga pants in pools.


Freshwater lakes and rivers are ideal for wearing yoga pants and swimming. These water bodies are (most likely) free of chemicals. As such, swimming here won’t damage the fabric or discolor your yoga pants.

However, if you wish to preserve your pants for longer, it’s best to avoid swimming in them too often.

Yoga Supplies For Swimming

Yoga pants aren’t the only yoga accessory you might want to bring along when you take a pool or beach day. 

yogini holding a blue yoga towel

Yoga towels are ideal for drying off after a swim, especially when you’re wearing sopping wet yoga pants. They also make fantastic lounge or beach towels for a quick rest by the water. 

There are many benefits of having a yoga towel that is not only for yoga but also for other purposes. You might want to invest in one if you don’t have it.

A yoga mat is also another essential for beach bumming since a yoga mat will protect you from sand, salt, and mud better than any towel. Bringing along a mat might also inspire you to do some light stretching, which is never a bad thing when you settle in beside the tranquil water. 

Think about a travel yoga mat in this case: it is lighter to carry, could be foldable, and in some cases – washing machine friendly.

Final Thoughts

You can use most yoga pants for swimming, as long as they’re tight and don’t restrict your movement underwater. While it’s safe to use all types of yoga pants, some may be more uncomfortable than others, and you want to avoid loose-fitting styles when entering the water.

If you want to extend the lifespan of your yoga pants, it’s best to avoid using them for swimming and save them strictly for yoga.