Did you know an unsupported A-cup breast bounces up to an inch and a half when running? Exercise can be painful for women, and tearing of the breast tissue (caused by bouncing) can speed up the inevitable work of gravity and cause our breasts to sag. A sports bra can halve the movement of your breasts during exercise and should therefore be at the top of every woman’s sportswear shopping list.
To achieve the best support, a professional bra-fitting is vital, but for those who may be shy or need a refresher course, here are some handy tips to find the best-fitting sports bra. Three main factors contribute to a quality sports bra: cups, straps and band.
There are two types of cup support in sports bras: compression and encapsulation. Compression bras will press your breasts against your chest and commonly come in small/medium/large sizing and a pull-over style. They are better for small breasts and low-impact workouts. On the other hand, encapsulation bras have individual cups and are better for larger breasts and higher-impact activities, like running. However, regardless of your cup size, every woman should have an encapsulation bra for maximum support.
While there are some trendy sports bras on the market, aesthetics should not be the primary consideration when shopping for a sports bra. Racerback or T-back straps offer better support as they secure the bra (and breasts) closer to the body. Wider straps are preferable to thin straps, and adjustable straps that will help you achieve the best fit and allow you to alter the bra if your body changes shape.
The band, including the side panels, should be firm, but not too tight. One finger should fit underneath the band, but you shouldn’t be able to stretch it more than an inch from your body. Sports bras with adjustable back clasps are often preferable to pullover designs, especially for larger breasts and more vigorous exercise. When fitting the bra, you should secure it using the first clasp. If you have to use the last clasp, it is often advised to purchase a smaller size to account for a bit of stretching over time.
Image via Pinnacle Health Group