Tee shirts and long sleeves are fine for working out or jogging around the block, but when it’s time to hit the yoga studio, nothing is better than a tank top.
Tanks aren’t just for the muscle-bound bodybuilders or surfers at the beach – there are so many styles and categories that you should consider adding to your activewear wardrobe.
Today we’re taking a closer look at yoga tank tops – fits, fabrics, and more - so that you can make the best pick and enjoy yoga to the fullest.
What Are the Different Styles of Tank Tops?
Turtlenecks, racerbacks, halters, and cut-outs… there are more tank top styles available than ever before, so where do you begin?
First, keep in mind that many of these tank styles exist in a grey area between categories, and it’s sometimes tricky to explain exactly where they fit.
Your best bet is to simply try on a lot of different tanks, identify key features, and see which ones provide you with the most comfort and performance.
With that said, let’s look into the two most prominent categories of yoga tank tops out there right now: athletic and muscle.
Athletic Tank Tops
Also known as workout tanks or activewear tanks, these are sleeveless garments that fit close to the body and offer a fair amount of coverage on the front and back.
Look around any modern yoga studio, and you’ll see plenty of athletic tank tops on full display. They tend to run a bit long, ensuring that you don’t have to constantly readjust your top during difficult poses. They also often feature a crew neck and scalloped bottom hem.
Things get more complicated when you start looking into different subcategories of athletic tanks. You’ll find a wide range of different lengths, shapes, cuts, straps, and layered styles that suit your every fitness need.
Start simple with a classic athletic tank top (in a few different colors, of course), and then check out the fun and unique variants on the market.
Muscle Tank Tops
While most modern athletic tanks feature slim straps and interesting back cut-outs, muscle tanks are beefier, more durable, and emphasize your strong physique in the yoga studio or gym.
The key to a great muscle tank is a strong stay-in-place collar and exaggerated dropped armholes, plus a very relaxed fit that promotes a massive range of movement.
Versatility is also an important feature of a muscle tank. You should feel comfortable wearing one to yoga class, but also for a game of pickup basketball or just a casual hike along a trail.
Muscle tanks aren’t just for the guys. Remember – anyone can wear them with confidence as long as the fit is right and comfort comes first.
What Should I Look For in a Yoga Tank Top?
Not all yoga tops are built the same, and we need to know what sets apart the best from the rest. Here is an easy checklist of features to look for when shopping for your next tank.
Yoga can get sweaty, especially when instructors crank up the heat in the studio. Hot yoga is the big thing right now, and your tank top needs to be up to the challenge with moisture-wicking capabilities.
When you start to sweat, you don’t want that moisture trapped between your skin and the fabric of your tank. Wicking materials are engineered to draw that moisture up to the surface of the fabric, leaving you cool and dry from beginning to end.
Feeling light and limber is the essence of yoga itself, and your tank top should not weigh you down to any degree.
The best tanks are so light that you barely notice them on your back, allowing you to focus fully on your breath and the flow of the class.
If you haven’t yet tried yoga in the park or on the beach, you’re missing out. The sun is shining, the vibes are good, and you can really get in touch with nature throughout the experience.
There’s just one issue – those UV rays can leave you with a burn if you aren’t careful, and they can even blast through the fabric of your tank top.
UPF 50+ certified clothing is the answer to this problem, so find a tank that protects you from the sun before venturing outdoors.
Breathing is the life force that powers our entire yoga practice, but it’s not just about getting oxygen to the lungs and muscles.
Your skin needs to breathe too, so be sure to find a tank top made from true breathable material. Avoid fabrics like 100% poly or cotton, and opt for a blend that allows you to breathe deep.
The yoga lifestyle goes beyond the studio. You want to pick clothes that are not only good for your body and mind, but for the health of the earth and the economy as well.
Try to steer clear of mass-produced clothes made from cheap fabrics and support manufacturers that use sustainable practices and eco-friendly materials like bamboo viscose and organic cotton.
The world’s greatest yogis are basically human pretzels who can contort themselves into any shape on the mat.
Maybe you’re not quite at that elite level yet, but your tank top needs to be 100% flexible with a 4-way stretch to help you get there.
What Else Do I Need for Yoga?
With a rotation of high-quality yoga tank tops at the ready, you’re already ahead of the pack.
Still, you need a few other key items to get the most out of your experience in class and in your personal practice at home.
Yoga Leggings, Pants, or Shorts
Complete your athletic look with bottoms that complement your sleek new yoga tank top.
Leggings tend to be thinner and more sheer, while true yoga pants are built with a bit more bulk and compression effect to keep that blood flowing.
Some folks like to wear a simple pair of gym shorts during yoga, but be careful not to get too sweaty and slip on the mat.
To keep everything in place under your tank, you’ll want a comfy and supportive sports bra. Make sure your bra is made from similar, high-quality materials as your tanks and pants.
The yoga mat is the key item that will make your break your yoga practice, so choose wisely! It’s worth investing a bit more in a durable, portable mat instead of using the ones at the studio.
A Yoga Block
To achieve a deeper stretch and more stability, make sure to pick up a yoga block in your preferred size and color. This will help take your poses to the next level and flow with the best of them.
While some yoga classes are low-key and relaxing, others are all-out athletic experiences. You’ll want a clean and fluffy mini-towel to keep nearby for when you break a sweat.
A Water Bottle
Hydration is vital to overall health, especially when you’re dripping with sweat during a hot yoga class or heavy cardio session at the gym.
Don’t be that person who refills a crumpled plastic bottle each day – find a quality steel bottle that keeps your water fresh and cool.
With these tips and suggestions for yoga tops and other items, you’ve got everything you need to be a yoga superstar at your next class.