NEW YORK (CBS 2) — What if your clothes could give you a work out? Some athletic companies are marketing new apparel that promise to give your body the burn.
So can you really wear your workout? Kristine Johnson got some answers.
The toning trend started with footwear — sneakers and flip flops that promise to shape and sculpt. Now, there’s hosiery that claims to burn calories — even toe sox to give your feet a workout.
“You can actually feel the fabric exerting some force against your muscle. So if you’re walking in them you have to move your leg a little bit harder in order to move it forward,” said Jennifer Estabrook of Fila.
Estabrook says their clothing line increases muscle exercise by as much as 50 percent. And you don’t have to be a tri-athlete to reap the benefits.
“The effect is that whatever you’re doing in the pant you expend a little bit more energy and a little bit more workout while you’re wearing them,” Estabrook said.
Reebok’s new Easy Tone clothing has built-in resistance bands that target problem areas.
“It smoothes your back — no more ugly bra bulge. The resistance bands are built right in so you are burning more calories as you work out,” Meghan Murphy said.
Andrea Jackson-Williams, 34, said wearing Fila’s toning pants helped her finish the New York City Marathon last month.
“I feel my thighs, my inner thighs and my glutes, compressing when I wear them and I’m held in. So I don’t feel my thighs moving around. I have pretty thick thighs but I don’t feel them moving around. And when I wear the top as well everything is held in the same spot,” Jackson-Williams said.
Physical therapist Sonja Mains said you need resistance to make muscles work, but she’s not convinced about the benefits of wearing toning clothing.
“If you just have tightened clothing it might make you look and feel better, but I haven’t seen any research that actually makes the muscle work harder when there’s just restrictive or tight clothing around it,” Mains said.
But she said these clothes may give you a psychological edge.
“If you wear something that makes you look and feel better you might be more apt to work out a little harder,” Mains said.
The key is to get moving.
“This shirt isn’t going to do bicep curls. These pants aren’t going to do squats for you,” Murphy said.
“If you just put them on and sit on the couch you’re not going to get a workout. If you put on these pants, whatever you’re doing they make it more efficient. They make you work harder,” Estabrook added.
This spring, a sleek new swimwear line will be launched to help women look great in the pool.