Think of your underwear drawer — you likely have every shape and color of cotton, lace and spandex, but what about underwear for working out?
Now that most of us live a greater portion of life in leggings and sweats, we’re grateful to discover that one of our favorite women in the lifestyle biz, Leland Drummond is out ahead of us and has already created a solution. Leland and business partner, Michele Thomas are the co-founders of AZIONE here in L.A. and in NYC and have just launched the new LDMA, a brand of high-performance, compression underwear that you need to get your hands on.
To celebrate the launch, we asked these wellness-loving women all about their own habits, favorite things and — of course, all about the right underwear for working out. Their responses run deep and will inspire you to workout this weekend!
our names: Leland Drummond + Michele Thomas, co-founders of AZIONE and LDMA
My wellness philosophy in brief:
LD: Hold yourself accountable to becoming the best version of yourself, while also practicing being gentle and kind with yourself. Be open, explore, research, try new things and remember — one size does not fit all, so do what works for you.
MT: Wellness is personal. Do what works for you, first and foremost. Don’t compare yourself to anybody else, because your roadmap is singular.
I love the analogy of racehorses wearing blinders. They don’t worry about what’s going on. They’re not concerned with the competition. Instead, they’re able to focus on the task ahead. As we’re bombarded with a deluge of options, focus on yourself and pave your own wellness path.
Favorite fitness uniform:
LD: Every outfit starts with LDMA and for workouts, I wear the High Sculpt Thong. These are literally the perfect pair of underwear for fitness, because they stay put, are sweat/moisture wicking, odor resistant, and insanely comfortable (also completely invisible!) under any leggings. I like to match high waisted leggings and sports bras and I enjoy a bold color. Bandier has the best variety and fabrics, I love Year of Ours and Alo is amazing for someone tall like me. Hoka makes the most comfortable sneakers on the planet if I’m doing cardio–otherwise, I’m typically in pilates socks because that’s my go-to workout and Lusso slippers.
MT: It’s extremely difficult for me to find underwear that doesn’t ride or bunch, especially while sweating and moving. LDMA holds its form. It moves with you so seamlessly you don’t even realize you’re wearing it. My running shoes are always HOKA. My personal favorite is the Carbon X 2. I love my HOKA sports bra as well, which is perfect for no chaffing — very hard to find in sports bras for any intense workout. I’m a fan of a very tight legging for running with a pocket to hold my phone. I’ve got a few brands I alternate. That’s my fitness uniform.
Why I workout:
LD: Mental health – above all, fitness is the one regular activity I do that allows me to quiet my mind, ignore distractions and feel good. Even when I don’t feel up to it, I always feel so much happier and clearer once I’ve done even 10 or 15 minutes of movement.
MT: I workout in order to remind myself I can. I’ve always felt working out is a privilege our bodies allow us to do. When I lace up and hit the road, I’m reminded of what I’m capable of and how strong I really am. It’s as mental as it is physical.
Go-to workout studios:
LD: Reformer Pilates. I go to Forma Pilates in LA and Ekam in OC, plus HIIT and LIIT workouts.
MT: I used to hit the treadmill a lot at my local gym, and I’d go to Core Power Yoga pre-Covid.
Go-to workouts at home:
LD: Amanda Kloots in App and on Zoom, the Forma Pilates app, Ashley Eckhoff on Zoom, Melissa Wood (my Sunday Service) and Peloton.
MT:Running! I follow Hal Higdon’s running programs to stay on course. All you need is a pair of shoes and a good song. It’s easy.
I first got into fitness…
LD: I started playing soccer at age 6 and played through high school. I started snowboarding as well and by age 15 I was competing in freestyle big air and slope style competitions. I had a healthy obsession with that until I tore my ACL in college.
MT: I was always playing sports as a kid, and I was on multiple teams in high school. I ran track and played soccer, tennis, and golf. I really got into tennis in high school and ended up on the San Francisco State tennis team. At that point, working out took on a whole new meaning. When I ended my tennis career, I chose running, because it gave me the best workout without requiring any gear.
Fave pre/post workout fuel:
LD: Kroma Wellness’ Beauty Matcha Latte is my every morning energizer, sometimes I’ll have fruit. I am also obsessed with Kroma’s porridge and cookie butter – especially after a hard workout if I’m doing cardio. I love Made Of protein with frozen blueberries and I have a cold brew in the afternoon that I just can’t quit.
I try not to have protein 1-2 hours before or after a workout because I build muscle really easily. I love Sakara Life and typically do some version of their meals and programs every few weeks. Oh, and H20 – lots of it.
MT: My favorite is a protein shake with almond milk and banana. I use energy gels on long runs at the eight-mile mark. I also love Sunwink Turmeric Recover Tonic, it is great for recovery and circulation support.
What I think is happening in wellness now:
LD: Permission to practice patience and not kill yourself to achieve unrealistic goals. Community: it has grown so exponentially through social media and has become a lifeline and bright spot for so many–especially during the isolation of the pandemic. The connections and joy that people find through digital fitness is really incredible. I also think the world of psychedelics is the next big thing.
MT: I think wellness is becoming more diverse. I love that. It’s become more inclusive, and it’s more exciting than ever. There is no wellness mold to fit into anymore. It’s also entered the 21st century. You can download apps, attend online classes, find tips on YouTube, or watch Insta reels.
LD: Kirsty Godso, Melissa Wood, Ally Courtnall, Jesse Israel, Tasha Franken, Max Lugavere, Light Watkins, Liana Levi and Chelse Delay of Forma Pilates, LDMA, Sakara Life and Kroma Wellness.
MT: Aliphine Tuliamark, Tommy Rivs , HOKA, LDMA and Oiselle
Best wellness advice you’ve ever been given:
LD:Until you stop judging yourself by what you see and really listen to how you feel, you’ll never achieve the ultimate goal of being well. Also, drink water.
MT: My high-school tennis coach used to say, “Everyone puts their bloomers on the same way…one foot at a time.” We all start the same way, so there’s no reason to be intimidated. I loved this phrase, because we used to naturally psych ourselves out. You get nervous and think, “This other girl is way better than me”. When you break it down, we all have strengths, so focus on yours.