Best Workout Leggings for Petites For All Activities

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Best Workout Leggings for Petites for All Activities

First of all, all leggings are not created equal. You will always find several different brands and types of leggings in my workout bottoms drawer. Some leggings are more appropriate for yoga/pilates days. While others are more appropriate for days that I am lifting weights or doing cardio circuits. Finding leggings for petites for all activities that really fit and are functional is not the easiest task. I have been searching for years and have narrowed it down for my body type.

For those of you who are new to my posts, I live a healthy lifestyle and typically move my body five to six days a week. I mix up the types of workouts all of the time. Thus, the need to find great leggings for petites that fit my body and work well for how I am moving my body is real. I am also pretty particular about my workout bras. I love a bra that has great support and keeps the girls in place regardless of the activity. You can read about my favorite bras here.

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Bra | Leggings

Leggings for Petites: Sizing and Fit

Just to clarify. I am 5′ 1/2″ and weigh in at just over 100 pounds. I usually wear an XS. When it comes to the length of the leggings I am usually ok with a 7/8 legging hitting me right at the ankle. Yes, that makes them a full length legging for me. The issue that I usually have is the rise. Now that high rise and ultra high rise leggings are the “in” thing, that is where I have to be careful.

Knowing how to measure for your inseam and rise is super important when you are ordering. Most descriptions will have this information. To figure out how to measure your inseam click here and your rise here.

My Biggest Fit Pet Peeves

The crotch. The thing that I am pickiest about when buying leggings is the fit of the crotch. Having a crotch that is too baggy is not comfortable. The other issue is a crotch that is uncomfortable because of the way the fabric is sewn. You have to make sure that you don’t have a “camel toe”. Not a good look either.

The rise. Yes, the high rise and ultra high rise waists are a thing right now. Not a good thing for most petites because they are made for women with much longer torsos. Many times I feel like the top of the legging is right up under my chest. That is neither comfortable or a good look.

What I have discovered over the years trying various brands is that when they say they have petite sizing it usually just means that the length is shortened. It does not take into account the rise. So I have realized that I am not going to have many 7/8 gym leggings. My 7/8 leggings with a rise that works are just going to be full length leggings on me and any other members of the short girls club.


This is why I have different brands and styles for different workouts. I prefer LOTS of compression when I am lifting weights (especially leg day) or doing any type of circuit work. My favorite leggings for these types of workouts are Spanx and Athleta. The Spanx booty boost does make the back side look great. The only thing that I will say is that the struggle to get in and out of them is real. Once they are on, it is worth it. The view from the back side is definitely boosted. I am wearing the Spanx booty boost in the main photo when you clicked on this post.

The Reebok leggings are ok if I am not lifting heavy. They have more of a medium compression. Here are some of my favorites that have great compression. These would also be great if you like to do group fitness classes that utilize weights or aerobic dance classes.

If I am going for a power walk, taking a pilates or yoga class, then I prefer less compression so that I can move more freely. Sweaty Betty Everyday leggings and Zella Studio lite 7/8 leggings are great for this.

Another legging that is great for cold weather walk, run, or outdoor training is this fleece lined tight from Athleta. Always get those at the beginning of the season when you don’t quite need them because they always sell out.


As always thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet. Hopefully I have helped guide you to some great leggings for petites to try. Even if you are not petite most of these would work for you as well as 7/8 gym leggings. I have learned that you just have to try different brands to find what works best for your body so that you feel good in them while you are working out. If we look good and feel good in our activewear, then hopefully it encourages you to move your body on a regular basis.

Remember to always have a little SASs in your day!


The text that is underlined and shows up in a different color is usually a link to another blog post that I have written, another site, or a product.  The links to a product are affiliate links.  What that means is that if you click on a link to a product and make a purchase, Sassy for Short (a.k.a Beth) gets a small commission at no extra cost to you.  The same goes if you click on any of the pictures to get more information about a product. Also, some items may be gifted to me, but opinions about the products are always my own. I really appreciate you supporting the brands that make it possible for me to keep this blog going!

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  1. Love this info! I think I’d live the fleece tights for Canadian weather- would be great for my walking in the cold. Thanks Beth!

    1. Lucy,
      You would love them. I turned a friend of mine onto them a few years ago that lives in NC on a lake and walks here dog early in the am. She won’t go out without them. She learned the hard way not to wait until you need them to get them. She now has a few pair.

  2. jodie filogomo says:

    It’s sad that the petite leggings aren’t true petites then, because it’s supposed to shorten in the crotch area too.
    I have been a huge fan of the ruching in the rear ever since I found a pair. I can’t tell you how amazing it makes your behind look. Try it and you’ll see!!

    1. I know. The crotch area of leggings is one of my biggest pet peeves. You don’t want them saggy and you don’t want them too tight. Neither is comfortable or a good look. I just haven’t gone there yet with the ruching. I still live by the motto of my beloved coach Herb that trained me for years. The booty can never be too high or too tight. I work it all of the time.

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