Staying motivated during workouts can be difficult, but having the right athletic apparel can make a big difference. Graphic t-shirts are not only on-trend, but when designed for athletic performance, they can keep you comfortable, focused and feeling good during exercise.
In this blog post, we’ll review the top graphic tee styles for working out and provide tips for choosing workout tees that match your personality and training needs. We’ll also cover important factors like fabric, fit, quality construction and care to help you get the most out of your activewear.
Overview on the Rise of Graphic Tees for Fitness
It’s no secret that graphic t-shirts have become wildly popular casual wear over the last decade. From band tees to retro tv shows and funny sayings, graphic tees are everywhere you look. More recently, the popularity has spread to activewear and workout attire.
Brands like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and more have capitalized on the graphic tee trend. Combining motivational phrases, cool graphics and performance fabrics, these tee shirts are designed to keep you comfortable during physical activity.
The workout graphic tee trend combines function and fashion. Breathable, lightweight fabrics in stylish cuts allow for a full range of motion during exercise. Meanwhile, the prints, colors and designs enable you to showcase your personality and interests even at the gym.
Top 5 Workout Graphic Tees to Show Your Style
Here are some of the most popular and highest rated graphic tee styles designed specifically for training and workouts:
Nike Dri-FIT Made to Train Tee
This slim fit graphic tee from Nike is designed for high intensity training. The Dri-FIT fabric pulls sweat away from your skin and dries quickly to keep you cool. It has mesh sleeve panels for added breathability. The back neck tape and seams are designed to limit chafing and irritation during movement.
It’s made from at least 50% recycled polyester fabric as part of Nike’s sustainability initiative. The tee comes in a variety of colors with motivational phrases and graphics.
Under Armour RUSHTM Graphic Tee
This loose fit tee is ultra-soft and designed for all day comfort. The signature moisture transport fabric is quick-drying with anti-odor technology to control smells. The unique RUSHTM fabric blend has a softer feel than typical performance tees.
The cropped length flatters the figure while allowing good mobility. There are many colorful options with bold graphics to make a statement in the gym.
Adidas Own The Run Tee
Part of the Adidas Activewear collection, this relaxed fit tee has a flattering drapey silhouette. It’s made from recycled material as part of the brand’s sustainability efforts. Climalite® fabric technology sweeps sweat away from the skin to keep you dry during runs and workouts.
The cropped tee length is ideal for yoga, pilates and dancing. The eye-catching graphic print empowers you to own every mile. It’s available in women’s sizing.
Reebok Speedwick Graphic Tee
This Reebok tee is designed for high performance with Speedwick fabric to wick away sweat. It’s a lightweight pullover style with dropped hem for movement. The fabric is also antimicrobial to reduce odor after intense training sessions.
Flatlock seams help minimize irritation when exercising. An assortment of unique prints and graphics are available including camo prints, fractal designs and more. It comes in a relaxed unisex fit.
Rabbit Skills Come Fast Tee
For motivation to run faster, this graphic tee from Rabbit doesn’t skimp on style or performance. It’s made from moisture-wicking polyester with 4-way stretch for mobility and comfort. The fabric is also UPF 50+ to protect your skin during outdoor workouts.
The tee features a slim athletic cut ideal for running with thumbholes to keep sleeves in place. The futuristic pixel graphic print and motivating phrase make a bold fashion statement at the gym or on the track.
Choosing the Best Workout Graphic Tees for You
When choosing graphic tees to wear for working out and training, there are several factors to consider:
- Fit – Look for an athletic fit that is close to the body but allows full range of motion. Slim or loose fit tees in light, stretchy material work well. Cropped and sleeveless styles also provide great mobility.
- Fabric – Seek out performance fabrics like polyester or poly blends which offer breathability and moisture management. Avoid 100% cotton which can get heavy with sweat.
- Features – Mesh paneling, thumbholes and seam construction can optimize comfort and functionality during workouts. Reflective accents are great for nighttime visibility.
- Durability – Quality workout tees should maintain their shape and performance after many high intensity training sessions and washes.
- Design – Match the graphic print and style to your personality and workout mentality. Seek motivation, humor or something that resonates with you.
For high intensity training like HIIT workouts, spin classes and CrossFit, a tighter fit tee in moisture-wicking fabric is best. For Pilates, yoga, barre and low impact training, go for a drapey loose fit tee in soft material with room to move.
You’ll also want to consider the type of activity when choosing sleeves, cropped length versus full length, crew neck versus v-neck and other styling details. Match these to the movements you’ll be doing.
Workout apparel brands usually categorize their graphic tees by activity like running, yoga, dance, training and more so you can shop styles designed specifically for your workout type.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workout Graphic Tees
Q: Do graphic print tees hold up well when working out regularly?
A: Quality activewear graphic tees made from performance fabrics like polyester or poly blends are designed to hold up to regular wear and washings. Avoid graphic tees made of 100% cotton, which can fade and degrade over time with sweat exposure. Poly fabric blends will best maintain the graphic print and tee’s shape and function through many tough workouts.
Q: Are workout graphic tees moisture-wicking and breathable?
A: Yes, performance graphic tees from athletic brands use fabrics that are designed to be lightweight, moisture-wicking, quick-drying and breathable. The polyester fibers naturally wick sweat away from the body better than cotton. Mesh paneling also allows maximum breathability during activity.
Q: Can you wear graphic print tees for any type of workout?
A: While graphic tees work for most workouts, they are ideal for training styles with lots of motion like dance, aerobics, spinning and HIIT. For hot yoga, pilates and low intensity training, you may want to opt for a tank or sleeveless top instead. Avoid loose tee shirts for activities requiring lots of quick direction changes.
Q: What fabrics make the best workout graphic tees?
A: Polyester and poly blend fabrics like polyester/spandex blends are ideal for performance graphic tees. The poly fibers pull moisture away from the body while the spandex adds stretch for ease of movement. Many brands also incorporate technical features like UPF sun protection, anti-odor treatments and reflective details into the fabric.
Q: How should you wash workout graphic tees?
A: Most performance graphic tees can be machine washed in cold water on a gentle cycle. Use a mild detergent without bleach, fabric softeners or additives which can degrade moisture-wicking ability over time. Line or flat dry is best to preserve the shape and fabric integrity. Avoid high heat drying.
For vibrant prints, washing similar colors together helps prevent fading. Turn tees inside out before washing to protect graphics.
Q: Will the graphic print crack or fade with repeated washings?
A: Quality workout tees should not crack or fade substantially, especially when proper washing and drying practices are followed. Polyester fibers hold printed graphics better than cotton over time. Inevitably, some fading will occur over years of regular wear and washing. Proper care will prolong the life of the graphic print.
Q: How often should you replace workout graphic tees?
A: Every 6-12 months is a good rule of thumb for replacing activewear graphic tees that are worn frequently. Signs it’s time to replace include stretching out, thinning fabric, small holes and degradation in moisture wicking function. If you notice irritation from seams or the tee no longer adequately absorbs sweat, it’s time to swap for a fresh one.
Q: Are graphic workout tees worth the money vs just wearing old t-shirts?
A: Quality activewear graphic tees made with performance fabrics and athletic-specific cuts are worth investing in. The moisture-wicking function and range of motion simply can’t compare to an old cotton tee. Aesthetically, workout tees are designed to flatter your shape during activity. The graphics also deliver motivation and self-expression.
Q: What are the benefits of a workout-specific graphic tee?
A: Compared to regular graphic tees, workout tees feature technical fabrics that wick sweat, dry quickly and allow flexibility. They are designed to maintain shape after repetitive motions and washes. Activewear tees also utilize construction techniques like chafe-free seams to prevent irritation during exercise. The cuts flatter different body types during activity.
Q: Can you wear graphic workout tees casually outside the gym?
Absolutely! The best graphic tees for working out are also fashionable for running errands, traveling and wearing around town. Many workout tees are even stylish enough to wear to brunch with friends or out to dinner thanks to their on-trend prints and colors. Just be sure to tend to any fabric odors before wearing post-workout.
Get Your Workout Tees Ready to Break a Sweat
Hopefully this breakdown has helped identify the key factors to look for when shopping for graphic workout tees. Prioritize fabrics designed to excel during activity like sweat-wicking polyester blends. Seek out athletic fit styles that allow full movement without restriction. Match the rest of the details like length and features to your specific training needs and style preferences.
While the popularity of graphic tees continues to rise, those made specifically for performance provide both function and fashion to take your look to the next level. And they empower you to add personality and motivation to your workout wardrobe.
The tees reviewed above offer a great representation of the trendy and motivational designs available right now. Look for graphic prints that energize your mind and complement your active lifestyle. With the right tee, you’ll look as great as you feel!