When it comes to shopping for a new sports bra, there are several things you need to take into account. Between knowing your proper bra size, how much support you need, and which is the right type of sports bra for you, there’s a lot to consider. We cover all of your questions about sports bras here.

How to Buy the Right Sports Bra for You?

Choosing a sports bra is a lot like choosing an everyday bra. You want a bra that will provide comfortable support for any activities you're doing and will keep you completely covered throughout your workout. If you're exercising, you're going to need a supportive sports bra that inhibits breast movement to prevent chafing, soreness, or even breast pain. Keep reading below on how to choose the right sports bra for you.

Here are the top 3 things to consider when shopping for the perfect sports bra for you.

1) Align the Bra With the Activity You Will Do

Sports bras come in low, medium, and high impact levels of support. Depending on the type of exercise you prefer, there are different bras that offer more support or less depending on what activity you're doing and your breast size.

If you have a smaller bust size and are doing lower-impact activities, a low-impact or medium impact sports bras will do just fine. On the other hand, if you have a larger bust size, you're going to need a high impact sports bra regardless of what activity you're doing. You should always choose a sports bra based on your bust size and the exercise you intend to use it for.

2) Determine What Level of Support You Need

Most sports bras are either compression or encapsulation bras. Compression sports bras hug your breasts snugly into your chest, while encapsulation sports bras provide separation between each individual breast. Many sports bras are just compression bras, while others are encapsulation bras. A combination sports bra will offer both compression and encapsulation.

For women with large cup sizes, combination sports bras provide the extra support they need. These sports bras restrict movement and offer more support than other styles. All Glamorise sports bras offer both compression and encapsulation of the bust to prevent breast movement during exercise.

3) Find the Best Bra for You

You should always shop for a sports bra in the same size as your regular bra size. A good sports bra will have a cup size and band size, just like your regular bra. Glamorise carries a wide selection of sports bras in sizes up to 50J that provide maximum support for a range of activities.

Glamorise sports bras come in both wireless and underwire styles and are a great choice for women with large cup sizes. A well fitting sports bra should not feel too snug but should comfortably support your bust. A proper sports bra will also have adjustable straps and a hook-and-eye closure to ensure a secure fit.

See our best sports bras list to learn the bras we recommend. 

How Should a Sports Bra Fit?

Because sports bras are made to support the bust through high-impact movements, they are designed to fit more snugly than everyday bras. During high intensity workouts, say running or doing jumping jacks, your breasts move in a figure eight motion. A sports bra is designed to support and contain your breasts throughout this movement and prevent strain to your ligaments. Having ample support is crucial, so your sports bra band should feel snug and secure against your body. Since the bra band provides the majority of the support, it should fit snugly and is designed not to stretch much. That being said, a sports bra shouldn’t be uncomfortably tight. As a general guide, you should follow these 3 steps to make sure your sports bra fits:

1. Make sure the band is the right size. The band provides the majority of the bra support, so it should fit snugly against your rib cage. You should be able to fit two fingers underneath, but no more. If the band rides up in the back, it's probably too big.

2. Adjust the straps. Make sure the shoulder straps are tight enough so they won’t slip off, but not too snug that they dig in. Again, test if you can fit two fingers underneath to make sure the fit is good.

3. Check the cup size. Make sure your breasts are sitting evenly in each cup and that there is no spillage or gapping of breast tissue. If your breasts spill out, you need a bigger cup size.

When Should I Use a Sports Bra?

You should always use a sports bra during medium and high-impact activities. For any workout that requires you to jump, jog, run, or dance, a sports bra is the best option. The last thing you want is to wear a flimsy bra that can’t keep up, which can lead to breast pain and even damage to your breast tissue.

That being said, you don’t have to limit your sports bra usage to when you’re working out. If you’ve found a comfortable sports bra that fits well and highlights your natural shape, there’s no reason why you can’t wear it every day. As long as you’re comfortable, wearing a sports bra all the time isn’t bad for you.


Why Are Sports Bras So Uncomfortable?

If your sports bra is uncomfortable, it’s probably not the right size or style for you. There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ method to choosing a sports bra. Having a comfortable sports bra depends on your cup size, your breast shape, and the level of support you need for your workouts. If you find your wireless sports bra doesn’t provide enough support, switch to an underwire style. Or if the underwire sports bra you’ve worn for a while isn’t a comfortable fit anymore, try out a wireless bra.

Knowing your bra size is also crucial to having a comfortable sports bra. Like when shopping for everyday bras, you should always purchase sports bras that come in a cup size and band size. This will ensure that you’ve got the right fit and you’ll be more comfortable and supported all-around.

How Do I Choose a Sports Bra for Running?

If you’re a runner, you know the importance of having the perfect sports bra. Running is high-intensity, and the last thing you want is a flimsy sports bra that leaves your breasts unsupported.

Generally speaking, sports bras provide either compression or encapsulation, though in some cases they will do both. Compression sports bras press your breasts securely into your chest. This style prevents breasts from moving from side to side during medium impact activity, and also prevents bounce. Encapsulation sports bras are those that separate the breasts into two individual cups. For women with larger breasts, encapsulation sports bra prevents the dreaded uni-boob from forming as well as the uncomfortable chafing that can come along with it.

For running, the best sports bra is one that provides both compression and encapsulation. If you’re larger-chested, you want a sports bra that keeps your breasts securely in place while also comfortably separated. A combination compression and encapsulation sports bra will provide the most support for running, and the Glamorise High Impact Underwire Sports Bra is a great choice. This sports bra features a cushioned underwire, seamless non-stretch cups, and moisture-wicking fabrics that keep you cool.


Can Sports Bras Flatten Breasts?

Like we mentioned earlier, sports bras are designed to provide compression and/or encapsulation of your breasts during higher-impact movements. A compression sports bra might flatten out your breasts a bit while wearing it, but that’s normal and how it’s designed. A sports bra will not permanently flatten your breasts.

Are Sports Bras Good for Posture?

Yes! Having a great-fitting sports bra is good for your posture. If you have a large cup size and find yourself often hunched or dealing with back pain, a sports bra can help by redistributing the weight off your chest. A sports bra can help improve posture during exercise or if you wear one as your everyday bra style.

How To Wash Sports Bras

You should take care of your sports bras to ensure that they last a long time. The fabrics in sports bras will wear down through ample wear and washing. You should hand wash your bras in warm water or machine wash them in a lingerie bag on a delicate cycle. You should not use bleach as this can break down the delicate fibers in the fabrics, and you should avoid fabric softener as well. You should always hang your sports bras or lie them flat to dry, and never put them in the dryer. Machine drying will damage the fabrics which can change the fit of your bra. Read our guide on how to wash your sports bra.

Concluding Thoughts

Shopping for sports bras can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing your bra size and what support level you need makes it much easier to choose the perfect sports bra for you. With these few tips, you’ll find a supportive sports bra in no time.


Author: Maeve Gesualdi
Last updated on: 8/11/22


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