sportswear for the Muslim gymnast

Ahiida® is an Australian owned company that designs and produces quality swim and sportswear.

Our garments are designed with the respect of Islamic values and aimed to enhance the lifestyle of the active Muslim female.

Ahiida – home page


This company produces some interesting garments including the Burqini®™ Swimsuits. (It’s not easy to combine a burqa with a bikini, as you can imagine.) …

The dress expectations for Muslim women vary widely, of course, in different parts of the world. When I coached in Sri Lanka the Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist girls all dressed in “normal” leotards and bike shorts for work-out. The problem there, in the late-1990s, was that the families were reluctant to have the girls compete in public in competitive leotards. Somehow modesty was compromised in a public venue, but not in the training gym.

(Sri Lanka eventually competed in the 2003 World Championships, fan favourites at that meet.)

I would argue that competitive leotards are not “provocative”. But perhaps in some countries, they are.

This is a problem.

As a coach I feel Artistic gymnasts need wear tight fitting clothing in training and in competition. This is for both safety and artistry.

If you arrive for workout in baggy skateboard clothes or a burqa, I’ll send you back to the locker room to change.

Perhaps the best solution for Muslim women who want to train acrobatic sports safely is to book the gym exclusively and hire female coaches. Then lock the gym doors to outsiders.

Leave a comment if you have any other positive suggestions for Muslim women who wish to do acrobatics.

UPDATE: Note that very few Islamic societies in history have ever required women dress in a certain way as part of the sharia (law). The abuses of sharia in Iran and Afghanistan have been widely publicized, but most Muslim women around the world will laugh if you assume how their dress has been imposed on them by law.

Related story: Female artists back on stage in Pakistan – Times of India.

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

One thought on “sportswear for the Muslim gymnast”

  1. Personally I feel that there needs to be more balance between wearing tighter clothes for safety in sports like gymnastics, swimming, etc, and showing more skin than is necessary. Modern day dance and gymnastics (and even figure skating) outfits are absolutely provocative. You can literally see gymnasts butts sticking out! I love these sports and when I do gymnastics or skating or dance I wear a normal short sleeved leotard that isn’t see through or too low cut, capri yoga pants and a skirt or dress over top. I can do all my moves just as well, and on top of that I’m more comfortable and modest! 🙂

    Just to clarify, I’m not Muslim but I do have strong spiritual beliefs about how we should dress and prevent ourselves, especially in public. I hope I was able to offer some insight in this area.


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