If you've been performing any variation of the squat (with a full range of motion, of course), you probably noticed that the exercise itself will put some strain on whatever pants or shorts you're wearing. You may soon realize that your favorite pair of workout shorts are not designed for the repetitive stretching from squatting, especially if you’re squatting with a wide stance going as low as you can possibly go. Doing this consistently over time, you’ll be stronger, and your butt and legs will get larger, doing no favors for your beloved shorts.
Sooner or later you’ll end up with something like this:
I’ve encountered the problem with ripped shorts from squatting on more than one occasion, and since then I’ve been looking for the ultimate squat shorts that can tolerate the stress of a wide-stanced, below parallel squat (along with a narrower, ass-to-ankles squats).
Something that is stretchy, won’t rip, and looks good.
I’ve wore compression shorts before, but I’m not going to be wearing it by itself in a large public gym anytime soon.
I’ve tried Under Armour shorts as well. They’re stretchy, but you can see through the fabric if you look carefully.
I purchased board shorts in the past, and I remember the material being very stiff and not designed for any serious leg-spreading movements like the squat. However, I came across some “Flex” board shorts made by Better Bodies which have a stretchy piece of fabric in the crotch. The stretchy fabric in the crotch of these shorts seemed like it would be the solution to my problems, so I picked up a pair to test them out.
Flex Board Shorts
Here’s what they look like:
Close Up Of The Back
Slits in the side of the shorts to allow for greater freedom of movement.
How These Board Shorts Hold Up In Real World Tests
I tested these shorts out with 3 squat variations: Front squat, high bar squat and low bar squat.
When I squat, I tend to go as low as my stance permits me to. This usually means an ass-to-uncut-grass squat.
Here they are below:
High Bar Squat
Again, no problems.
Low Bar Squat
For a low bar squat, I use a very wide stance which can be very stressful on the shorts, especially at the crotch.
The back of the shorts are subject to a lot of stress as well, so I figured I'd go for an ass-view on the low bar squat, to capture any potential ripping of the shorts at the bottom of the movement. Fortunately for me and everyone else, this did not happen. These Flex board shorts held up pretty well.
And the best part is, this squat was a 1 rep max!
The shorts were comfortable and did not restrict movement. The stretchy fabric at the crotch removes the risk of ripping your shorts at the bottom of the squat (at least, in the crotch).
Lastly, these shorts were not susceptible to squat wedgies.
Functional for squatting. Won’t rip in the crotch.
They’re too damn long for my tastes. Personally, I would rather have shorter shorts for more freedom of movement, and to show off my quads. I’m not a men’s physique competitor, so I don’t need to hide my legs.
Also, even though there’s stretchy fabric in the crotch, the “ass” part of the shorts are not stretchy. Even though it didn’t rip in the back during my tests, I’m not sure how it would hold up in the future. Only time will tell.
Overall, I would recommend these shorts to anyone who wants to avoid the distraction and despair of ripping their shorts in the middle of a squat workout.