While we’re trying to take better care of ourselves, most of the time we don’t know where to begin. With exercise, changing of diet or lifestyle, it can be extremely overwhelming. But once we do get the initial health kick, or have been practicing a healthy lifestyle in general, there are several things you need to do so. Apart from what’s in your fridge, or the gym equipment you need/ the gym membership itself if you’re going to a gym, you also need some workout attire that would even slightly motivate you to continue right? Apart from leggings and sports athleisure in general, sports bras are super important to our workout routines whether we know it or not. Without the right sports bra, we’re not really supported in our workout, literally. This is why we’re here to let you know how to pick the right sports bra according to your bust and its personal needs.
- Breast sizes, coverage and support:
With picking the right sports bra for you, you must know and understand your breast size pretty well, the shape of the breasts does not really matter at this point. Since we are mainly focusing on providing support and resilience for breast tissue to not stretch, droop or elasticize on its own, one must wear a sports bra that can fully support their breast volume and size. For smaller breasts, this means a good and thick material for the bra. For bigger chested girls, this requires more thought, thicker straps and more support and security.
There are two types of bras to consider: compression bras that pack the chest in tightly and encapsulation bras with individual cup support. The amount of support required genuinely depends on the sport or activity being done, however, it’s best to get the full support you need in general, and would be complicated and unnecessary to get different sports bras for different sports.
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- The support of the bra:
This depends on the material of the bra, how thick or thin it is can help determine the support, by support, we mean that the breasts do not bounce as much as possible. The aim of the sports bra is for correct alignment and position as much as possible (this is impossible to completely prevent or eradicate, but the breast movement may be limited with the help of sports bras, which is why we’re here.) Apart from the material, there are several other indicators of how well a sports bra will carry your bust. The straps are very important, if you need more support search for ones with thicker straps, as they will uphold the weight of your bust accordingly. While considering the material and straps of the bra, the backs of bras may also help with holding them into place and provide extra support.
Something to bear in mind: The intensity of the sport or activity you are doing, low impact supports do not require sports bras with that much support, however, high impact sports do. In other words, plan accordingly to the workouts and exercise you do.
For example :
High impact sports- such as running, aerobics, dancing
Medium impact sports- hiking, brisk walking, cycling, lifting and gym equipment activities
Low impact sports- Yoga, pilates, walking, stretching
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Types of sports bras, what's best for you?
Disclaimer: You are not limited to the recommended bra for your cup size, but what we mean is, in general, if you’re thinking about a specific style of sports bra make sure it’s the right one for you, fit wise (this is why it’s also best to not shop online)
Image credits: REI
Image credits: REI
Compression sports bras:
Image credits: pinterest
These are the most standard form of the sports bra, and are best suited for yoga, pilates, hiking or gym workouts. These are most recommended for women with big busts, as they limit movement of the breasts as much as possible. Best recommended for: D-DD cups and onwards. They provide great lifting and control of movement for the bust and do not require management or effort.
Crisscross sports bras:
Image credits: Jennifer Lopez
Provide firmer support and are a unique design to standard sports bras. These are best for running, dancing, field sports (team games) or aerobics. Best recommended for: C-D cups. Smaller cup sizes may feel they are not fully supported and there is excess skin falling out.
Encapsulation sports bras:
Image credits: Valeria Lipovetsky
These have specially designed built-in cups, and are great for high-intensity sports such as running or dancing as they provide a great amount of support. These do not, however, provide that much coverage if you do not want to bare skin. These are also for medium intensity sports such as weight lifting for example. Best recommended for: A-C cups, women with larger breasts often may feel uncomfortable in these.
Racerback sports bras:
Image credits: Kylie Jenner
Provide very good support for high-intensity workouts, like your morning run. Most popular style along with compression style, the shoulder straps join together almost in a halter neck form. Medium based coverage, you can find ones that have high coverage as well though. Best recommended for: A-D or even onwards, these due to the great amount of support they provide can be worn by all but with caution (check tips for the correct fit)
Image credits: Fabletics
These are tank tops with built-in cups and elastic lining at the bottom. Ideal for yoga and hiking as it does not provide a lot of support. Should be avoided by bigger bust women. They do not provide that much support, but they do provide coverage most of the time. Best recommended for: A-C cups, these are ideal for those with smaller chests, as they provide the support and padding needed to control movement. Should be avoided by the bigger breasted as they may find their bust to flow out of the bra, or provide the right amount of support.
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Tips for getting the correct fit for your bust
Adjust the straps: Most sports bras come with straps that you can shorten or lengthen as you need or want, if the band rides up this is a sign that the bra straps may need some adjusting.
Fitting but not too tight: If there is spillage, this is a sign that the bra may be too small. Sports bras should fit tighter than normal bras, but shouldn’t restrict the breathing of the skin. You should be able to fit.
Fabric wrinkling: The fabric should remain completely flat and unwrinkled, if there are, this may mean the bra is too big.
The jump/ movement test: Jump around or move your arms briefly in the changing room before buying the bra, if there is any spillage or indication the bra is not the right fit or support, do not buy it.