Pros and Cons of Different Training Leotard Back Styles

When you start shopping for gymnastics leotards, the first thing you'll notice is that there are a lot of different options. You can buy long-sleeve leotards, short-sleeve leotards, some with thick fabric and others with thin fabric. The list goes on! One feature with a lot of variations to consider is the leotard's back. Here's a look at some of the most common leotard back options, along with their pros and cons.


A racerback leotard has one central strap that comes partway up the back, which then divides into two separate shoulder straps just beneath the back of the neck. This style leaves the backs of the shoulders more exposed, which some gymnasts feel gives them more range of motion. Overall, it's a style that takes the pressure off the shoulders. The downside to a racerback is that if it's not sized just right, the fabric can rub on and irritate the neck. So, it's important to try on a racerback leotard before buying it.

Cami Straps

Leotards with thin, cami straps are one of the least-coverage options. If you want your instructor to be able to clearly see your shoulders as you train, this style is a good choice. The two thin straps hold the leotard up, but they don't get in the way. Most leotards with cami straps have adjustable straps, so you can shorten or lengthen them, as needed, to get a proper fit. The downside to cami strap leotards is that you can have trouble finding a suitable bra to wear with them. Most sports bras won't work; you'll have to also buy cami sports bras.


If you like more coverage from your leotard, a style with a keyhole back may be ideal. the leotard has full fabric on the back, but with a keyhole-like cut-out in the middle. The keyhole allows for more movement in the fabric than you would get with a solid back. However, it does not show much skin at all. The downside to this style is that your trainer won't be able to see your shoulders under the fabric, so they may not be able to offer certain coaching tips in that regard.

At the end of the day, the best leotard is the one you feel most comfortable wearing. This might be a keyhole back, a cami back, or a racerback. Try on a few styles, and see what you prefer.