Could These Leggings Make You Work Out Better?

Photo: Courtesy of We:eX.
Forget a personal trainer or ultra hands-on yoga teacher — now, there’s workout garb to help correct your form. Behold, the Nadi legging, “smart fitness and lifestyle tights” intended to fix your form during yoga (and beyond).

The pair you didn’t know your sweat-centric wardrobe was missing was created by Sydney-based wearable tech company Wearable Experiments (We:eX), which has been tinkering with tech-addled apparel designs for the past three years. “I am never 100% sure if and when I am doing my yoga poses correctly; I wanted these pants to be able to help with this problem,” We:eX cofounder and CEO Billie Whitehouse told Refinery29.

The sleek white-and-black, mesh-accented leggings take data from six points on the body, and haptic vibrations are emitted whenever the wearer's alignment is askew. “As the technology gets smaller and more sophisticated, we’ve been experimenting with how it can go beyond quantified devices and into clothing that can be empathetic towards the wearer,” Whitehouse says of how We:eX came up with the Nadi.

The Nadi leggings are also aimed at people who aren’t exactly down with downward dog: They’re also being billed as a “lifestyle product,” to be worn during everyday activities to, say, remind you to uncross your legs during a long workday, Whitehouse explains.

And, unlike some fashion-tech experiments out there, these leggings manage the sought-after combination of smarts and style. “We believe technology should empower the human experience, not overtake it,” says We:eX co­founder Ben Moir. “With Nadi, the sleek design allows technology to seamlessly integrate with the tights, allowing the beauty and design to take center stage.”

You’ll have to wait until later in the year to get your legs in a pair, though; the exact launch date and price point aren’t yet released. The leggings are currently only Android-compatible, but once an iOS app is finalized sometime in 2016, they’ll become available. They’ll be sold online, directly from We:eX, and also at select retailers.
Photo: Courtesy of We:eX.
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But in the meantime, there’s already a pair of data-measuring, reality-check-inducing workout pants on the market: $149 capris by Athos, which monitor your body’s movements via sensors (For these, you also have to buy a $199 “Athos Core” device, which uses Bluetooth to communicate with your smart phone.). Then, notifications in a corresponding app reveal which muscles you’re really using for each squat or push-up — and which you’re actually not, despite feeling the burn. The brand also makes shorts and a top equipped with the same technology.

So, there’s certainly a heftier price tag to be expected with intuitive, workout-improving gear (though designer athleisure brands’ leggings, whether at chains like Lululemon or Sweaty Betty, are already in the $200-plus stratosphere). But it’s also a question of whether you want to have your form chastized — err, improved — by a pair of smart leggings. But if you do need some help, technologically tricked-out leggings could be a cheaper alternative to a personal trainer.
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