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

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 is a good fit:

1. Make sure the band is the right size. You should be able to fit 2 fingers underneath, but no more.

2. Adjust the straps. Make sure the straps are tight enough so they won’t slip off your shoulders. Again, use the 2-finger rule to make sure the fit is good.

3. Check the cups. Make sure your breasts are sitting evenly in each cup and that there is no spillage or gapping.

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, there’s no reason why you can’t wear it as your everyday bra. 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 bra 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 band and cup sizes. 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. A compression sports bra presses your breasts securely into your chest. This style prevents breasts from moving from side to side during medium impact activity, and prevents bounce. An encapsulation sports bra is one that separates the breasts into two individual cups. For women with larger breasts, an encapsulation bra prevents a uni-boob from forming as well as uncomfortable chafing.

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 Seamless 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 large breasts and find yourself often hunched or dealing with back pain, a sports bra can help by redistributing the weight of 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 sports bras in warm water or machine wash them on a delicate cycle. You should not use bleach as this can break down the delicate fibers in the fabrics. 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.

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 make the process much easier. With these few tips, you’ll find your perfect sports bra in no time.


Author: Maeve Gesualdi
Last updated on: 1/31/22
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