If you’re a women who regularly runs, jumps, peddles, lifts or stretches you’ll know you can’t do it alone. You need a sports bra to support you. Not only does securing your boobs with a great sports bra mean you can work out in comfort, it will save yourself from premature sag in the years to come.
Our breasts are mostly composed of a fatty tissue called adipose and they’re not supported by underlying chest muscles. Basically, they’re made to move. When you exercise the amount they move increases. If you’re a runner with A cup-sized breasts it’s likely that they will travel about an inch and a half up, down and side-to-side with each stride. If you’re a D cup they could bounce three inches in each direction. Movement like this in an ill-fitting sports bra can not only be painful, it will result in long-term sagging – something we all want to avoid!
Want to find the perfect fit but not sure where to start? Follow these simple steps.
Know what you’re dealing with
Anything above a C cup is considered a larger chest size. If this is you adjustability and supportive straps are key, and you should steer clear of too much stretch. If you have a smaller chest (an A or B cup) choose comfort over support and go for stretchy, light fabrics that allow for movement.
Evaluate the options
Encapsulation versus compression: Having individual cups that encapsulate each breast is ideal if your chest is on the larger side. Encapsulation sports bras keep the breasts separated and help eliminate chaffing and bounce. Compression style shelf bras are ideal for those with a smaller chest (an A or B cup) and are particularly well-suited to low or moderate-impact workouts.
Tank versus back clasp: Tank style sports bras are pulled over the head and typically provide more back coverage than other styles, which is great if you’re wearing the bra beneath a baggy singlet. The all-over stretch means these tank bras are very comfortable, however, those with a larger chest can find they lack rigidity and support. Sports bras with a back clasp are perfect for those with a larger chest, as you can easily tighten the band, and it’s the band that provides 70 per cent of the bra’s support.
Racer back versus shoulder straps: A racer back sports bra supports the chest by pulling the breasts in close to the body. Skinny shoulder straps allow for a great range of motion whereas a sports bra with wider shoulder straps can help distribute the weight more evenly, which is helpful if you have a larger cup size. Wider shoulder straps are also more likely to be adjustable, so it’s easier to get the perfect fit.
Fabric: Fabrics such as polyester elastane provide a light, smooth and flexible feel. Mesh is great for ventilation as it quickly helps to wick sweat.
Find your fit
When it comes to sports bras, one size, and one style, certainly doesn’t fit all. You can test the fit of your existing sports bras by sliding a finger under the band between your breasts. If you can pull the bra’s band away from your chest by more than an inch you should invest in a new sports bra and go down a size. If the band shifts up when you raise your arms above your head then you also need to go down a size.
If you’re after some bra inspiration check out the range of Reebok sports bras here. And if you’re still not sure about the best bra for your workout talk to a professional bra fitter.
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