Why is a sports bra so important?
During exercise, your breasts can bounce up to 14cm when unsupported, so a bra that minimizes movement is essential for both comfort and breast health. Left inadequately supported, the delicate Cooper’s ligaments in your breasts can stretch irreversibly, leading to sagging.
What makes a good sports bra?
A good sports bra depends on your breast size and workout choice, but there are three key underlying factors.
Shoulder straps that you’re able to tighten help ensure the most supportive fit possible. While the straps shouldn’t dig in, you should also not be able to stretch them more than 5cm from your shoulder either. A hook-and-eye fastening at the back is a plus for high-intensity workouts – start on the loosest hook so you can go tighter later as the fabric relaxes.
Sports bras with a moulded fit over individual breasts will offer the most movement prevention. They are best suited to high-intensity activities like HIIT and running, during which breast bounce occurs most often, but also work well for low-impact activities if you have a larger bust.
While the material of your sports bra should minimise movement, it should also be flexible enough to move with your body to avoid chafing. Try some star jumps inside the changing room to check this – if the bra starts to ride up, it’s probably not the right fit. Breathability is worth considering too: sweat-wicking fabric will help keep you dry and comfortable.
Should you wear a different sports bra depending on your activity?
It’s important to wear a supportive, well-fitting bra for every workout. That might mean changing bra to suit the different demands of different activities. You may find more delicate, bralet styles are suited to low-impact activities like yoga and pilates – just ensure the bra doesn’t dig in and is stretchy enough for every pose. If you have a larger bust, stick to styles with a higher neckline to minimise movement. For high-impact training, look for encapsulation-fit cups, plus wide straps and a thick underband for maximum support whatever your cup size.
Does your breast size affect what style you should choose?
Smaller breasts bounce less than larger cup sizes, but all shapes need a supportive bra. If you have a bigger bust, you may benefit from features like underwiring, encapsulation and thick, adjustable straps for every workout. If in doubt, seek out a professional sports bra fitter for advice.
THE BRANDS TO SHOP
Best For Variety Of Sizes: M&S
Best For Chic Design: Lululemon
Best On A Budget: H&M
Best For Technical Fabric: Nike