Exercising While Wearing Neoprene

Scientist Wallace Carothers of the DuPont company invented neoprene in April 1930 in response to a national shortage of natural rubber. Since then, it has served a variety of purposes as a component of automotive engines and chassis to wetsuits. As of 2010, some manufacturers were touting it as a weight-loss tool.

Exercising While Wearing Neoprene (Image: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)


Manufacturers market neoprene sleeves, wraps and suits as being able to elevate body temperature to promote fat-burning and to rid the body of excess water through sweating. Essentially made of synthetic rubber, these sleeves, wraps and suits are designed to be worn during exercise to increase its effectiveness.


In a study published in “The Journal of Athletic Training” in 2005, scientists found that subjects who wore neoprene suits did exhibit elevations in both skin temperature and intramuscular temperature. Their temperatures remained high even 30 minutes after they stopped exercising. However, the scientists concluded that this did not promote weight loss. They felt that the use of neoprene might potentially prevent sports injuries by keeping muscles warm during athletes’ periods of inactivity.

Caloric Expenditure

Another study by Mariana Bowman of Sweet Science Nutrition tested two women and one man wearing neoprene belly wraps during moderate physical activity. Though limited to only three subjects, Bowman's research did indicate that the use of neoprene increased calorie expenditure during exercise sessions by as much as 29 percent per minute.

Interference With Sweat Loss

The study published in “The Journal of Athletic Training” raises concerns that neoprene prevents tissue from cooling because sweat cannot effectively evaporate from the skin, taking body heat with it. The body needs to dissipate heat during workouts to get the most benefits from exercise. Your body will still perspire in neoprene, but the sweat remains trapped beneath the synthetic rubber so your body cannot cool down.


You might mistake weight loss after exercising with neoprene for fat loss, but it’s actually just water loss. The weight will come back as soon as you drink again and replenish your body fluids. Increasing your perspiration could be potentially dangerous, because the water you’re losing also carries electrolytes and sodium, things your body needs to operate efficiently. Any benefits from increased caloric expenditure during exercise with neoprene will come about more slowly if you consistently burn more calories than you consume on a daily basis. Genuine weight loss won't be apparent immediately.

Load comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.