What Do I Wear To Row, On The Rowing Machine?

Athletic rowers ought to wear tight fitting vestures that doesn’t impede on the moving components of a erg rowing machine.

Proper athletic fitting apparel ought to be an extreme no brainer, or one would suppose. Whenever you are going back to exercise at any athletic facility or gym, some particular style of athletic garb is the most appropriate; trainers, shorts alongside shirts make a perfect ensemble that forever works well, and doesn’t attract an excessive amount of attention or ridicule.

Here are a very small list of things that you ought to wear and what you should not be seen wearing at the athletic facility or your favorite local gym (majority of these materials, I have had the opportunity in person of using them or witnessed it been used over the years).

Lower body

What to wear

Shorts are quite the obvious and cozy selection for me, one that I persistently cherish. Some folks find it way much better to wear longer pants (for instance, the track pants, or the very common black athletic pants for most ladies – a la LuLu Lemon style).

What to not wear


Not the first choice piece of clothing. Sure certain exercises, like squats or lunges have notably been very troublesome to execute with it. Also, simply just in case this didn’t seem very obvious, combining walk-up jeans with a relatively exposed thong string could be a very interesting way to earn yourself some (thoroughly deserved) ridicule.


While being the standard clothing among female volleyball players, it should draw certainly draw some unwarranted attention from the men. If you’re out to get their attention this may be very cool for you, especially if it makes your workouts more interesting for you being the centerpiece of attention – then choose it! However, a typical athletic training facility may be somewhat of a meat-market, that is it really may not matter what you wearing – folks are still going to stare at you. While on the contrary, if you’re a male, making use of short-shorts that are often very loose, in a weird combo of very thin or little or no underclothing, isn’t the most appropriate apparel for several exercises – lunges, deadlifts, squats come back to my mind. During scenarios like this, the ergometer could well be a very bad choice. An exercise instructor in college, once had to deal with a situation on the rowing machine, when he was left fully exposed below, to all the students in his charge. It was quite an embarrassing ordeal to deal with.

Upper Body

What to wear

T-shirts may just be the sure fire way to go, particularly if they were made of a dry-fit or wet wicking material, which will keep you feeling nice and dry, even when you are sweating. Some folks like shortened sleeves, people like myself included or basketball jerseys, and a lot of females prefer to wear athletic tank tops – all of them feel just right for the occasion.

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What to not wear

Layered shirts

Quite a number of males you meet at the gym, understandably feel insecure about their body size and shape and have been known to wear lot of pieces of underwears, just to appear larger than they usual are. Trust me this is very far from comfortable for them, and they usually insist that they need to save their faces (please, if you know anyone in this category, tell them they need not be ashamed of their body) and to impress the ladies they meet at the gym. Sadly, everyone has already noticed them, with their unusually thick and large number of undergarments.

Sports bras alone

Wearing a sports bra alone without a shirt or a tank top above it, may not be the brightest of ideas. But, trust me on this one, I have seen many a lady, who have worn this countless numbers of time at the gym, only to get  stared open-mouthed upon by lot of dudes, who were mesmerized by the unsolicited view (supposed goodies) on display. Though, it may seem like a trend some men are craving for at the gym, for the majority it certainly is not the best sight to behold when in the company of their girlfriends (or wives), when they can’t help it but stare. But, if as a female, your goal to pickup the attention of men at the gym (or to find your lover boy or man), then good luck to you, on the conquest.

Dress shirts

There’s a time and place for a crisp buttoned shirt – sort of a interview. Alas, the athletic facility isn’t that place.

On a few occasions, I have been to the gym where I saw some men and ladies who had their crisp button shirts on. It was quite a funny sight seeing some of them (rolling up their sleeves), sitting and tugging on the row machines (as well as other cardio exercise equipments). Let it be known, that there are ethical boundaries where putting on such clothing, feels right and is well acceptable e.g. at the office or at an interview, there is definitely no place for that at the gym.

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What to wear

Any style or brand of athletic shoe (excluding football game cleats, golf shoes, etc.) can do – no matter you discover comfy. If taking part in squash or basketball, you’ll get special court shoes, however otherwise a decent all around shoe do the trick, for many activities.

Any style or brand of athletic shoe (this definitely does not include football cleats, nor golf boots)

What to not wear


If you like to distinguish yourself as an improper fellow (reminiscent of an idiot), then fine you may like to wear such. But if you don’t want to be seen as been just plain stupid, especially when you are at the gym. Where you have lots of very heavy equipments been carried and tossed away like they are nothing (lightweights like paper, they often make it seem to be). Considering there are many people at the gym, who have poor gym practices. Then, protecting your feet should definitely be a priority for you, should you value them to take you through the years still ahead. Do not be seen putting on sandals or flip-flops.


Sounds like the ones we just mentioned earlier, but most likely it takes a really crazy soul to do this (trust me I will be marvelled by you, till you break your feet someday, then laugh my head off). In order words it is a no go area for anyone, to attempt to pull off at a standard gyming facility.


Here is another classic character you will rarely find at the gym, but they do exist. Such people are often way too concerned (although their fears are not misplaced, but they are taking it way too far), about protecting their feets. Some of them go as far as wearing their steel-toe work boots (at the gym the boots, look like very funny heavy shoes), to the gymnasium. Such people should be commended on their safety concerns – the use of workboots are restricted to work areas, but are not in anyway encouraged at the gym (or an athletic arena and gathering). It gives you the impression, you are seeing a clown on a pair of short knickers and steel-toe boots.

Head gear

What to wear

Basically nothing. The choice of a sporting headband for the majority of females with very long hair. That should just be it!

What to not wear


Except you are expecting christmas (snow) in May, or you go to a gym where the operators feel the outside air, is too hot and decide to chill away the whole building with cold air. There is no need to put on a toque to keep your head warm. Lest, everyone think the gym people have decided to spice up their arena with an imported clown (or is it Santa Claus in your case).

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Hey, you tough guy or lady, we can tell you own the hood, or you are part of a gang squad. Prolly, it is better to forget your bandanna on your to the gym or simply leave it at home. Except you plan on taking over the gym, or you want to dominate and show off your skills and techniques at the squat rack.

Baseball caps

The use of the baseball cap, is not a bad idea in and of itself. But if you most times feel yourself sweat (often very profusely), and you want something i.e. in the case, a cap to absorb the sweat. But ask yourself, if you really need need a hat for absorbing sweat, that may make you feel uncomfortable, from the feeling that your head is swelling.


The use of goggles is not of much importance in the gym, except you are a diagnosed unfit to walk by yourself without the use of a pair of glasses. Then consider your healthcare provider, recommending what you should use (health oriented sporting eyewear) at such events. For the bicep curls, such use is of no significant importance. If  however, you are in a pair playing squash or doing sometime in the pool, with your friends covering some laps, please make use of the appropriate sporting goggles for your needs.


What to wear

Nothing so important here. A towel may be a good choice, especially for those who may suffer from hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Some folks in addition, like to make use of weight-lifting gloves to prevent the build up of callus in excess on their hands. For most situations, the use of most accessories aren’t necessary.

What to not wear

All other things, that you may be thinking of.

Having gone through all that with you, hope you have picked up a thing or two on what the appropriate wear for a gym attire should be. Guess I have not left you confused, but sought to enlighten you on which of your wardrobe is a good fit for the gym.

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