Our gymnastics measurement guide is designed to make you feel confident that you've got the best fit when buying a gymnastics leotard online, whether it's for practice or competitions. This how to measure guide will also help you realise when it's time to let a much loved leotard go, even if it's your gymnast's favourite. We're covered some of your key questions in this guide and tagged on our helpful steps on how to measure.
How Should a Gymnastics Leotard fit?
It's really important to ensure that you purchase a gymnastics leotard that is well-fitting. Gymnastics leotards that are ill-fitting will make the gymnast uncomfortable and distract them from learning or giving their best performance fully. Leotards that are too loose will mask the gymnast's movements, which is especially important to avoid when competing as an ill-fitting leotard will distract the judges' attention and detract from the gymnast's ability and performance. A leotard should fit a gymnast snugly to create a sharp silhouette that shows off their movements clearly. A gymnastics leotard should not be be too tight though, especially when a gymnast raises their arms. Remember to look at how the sleeves sit on a gymnast's wrists as well to ensure they're long enough. We recommend a racerback gymnastics training leotard for girls with larger busts to provide more support in comparison to a tank gymnastics leotard.
You can read our full leotard style guide here.
How does the Material of a Gymnastics Leotard Affect the Fit?
We design and quality-check our Alegra leotards in-house to ensure that they are true to size. Factors that we consider when designing include the material and how much stretch it gives; the more stretch a fabric has, the tighter we have to be on our sizings. We're sure that other gymnastics brands will do the same to ensure true to size fits, no matter what material they use. We recommend that you follow our measurement steps below and check our size guides on our website before purchasing a leotard. Remember that our shiny nylon leotards will have a lot more elasticity in them in comparison to a metallic or foil-based leotard.
How to Choose a Gymnastics Leotard When a Gymnast is Between Sizes
Some coaches may tell you differently, but we always recommend that you choose the larger of the two sizes if your measurements bring the gymnast out between sizes. For example, if a gymast measures bigger than an age 8-10 leotard but smaller than an 11-12, you should choose the age 11-12. Our priority is the gymnast's comfort, but if the gymnast is choosing a competition gymnastics leotard, then the coach may prefer a tighter fit.
How to Measure for a Girls' Gymnastics Leotard
Follow our quick steps to take down accurate body measurements before buying a gymnastics leotard. You'll need a tape measure and a notepad before you begin. Please remember not to pull the tape measure too tightly or too slackened - just let it naturally go round the body.
Step 1 - Preparing
Make sure the gymnast is standing straight wearing underwear or a tight-fitting underwear leotard to ensure exact measurements.
Step 2 - Height Measurement
Getting this measurement right is one of the most important. Place one end of the tape measure at the base of the heel and extend fully up the the highest point of the head (not including hair). This will be your total heigh measurement.
Step 3 - Chest Measurement
Take a chest circumference measurement by putting the tape measure under the armpits and wrapping it horizontally around the body. You're looking to place the tape measure over the fullest part of the chest. Remember that teen bust sizes may begin to grow and change more frequently, so you may need to buy a new leotard sooner than what you're used to. It's important to look out for any tightness or puckering across the chest and between the shoulder blades, as this will indicate that it's time to size up.
Step 4 - Waist Measurement
Get the gymnast to raise their arms, then take the tape measure and wrap it around their natural waistline (this will be midway between the base of the ribs and the top of the hip bone - approximately an inch above the belly button).
Step 5 - Hip Measurement
Make sure that feet are together. Place the tape measure on one hip and pass it around the back across the fullest part of the buttocks and back round the the starting point to get the hip circumerence measurement. Ensure that the tape measure stays level as it passes around the body.
Step 6 - Check Size Guides
So you've followed our above steps and have your body measurements. Now it's time to check the size guide on the gymnastics leotard that you're interested in buying to see how your measurements match up to your gymnastics leotards. This will then determing which age leotard you need to purchase to best suit the gymnast.
When you’ve got your measurements, take a look at the available size guides on our website to find out which size leotard would best suit the gymnast. It’s important to remember that when a gymnast raises their arms, the girth of the leotard has to allow for full upstretched movements without any restriction or comfort reduction.