All About Sports Bras

Essential gymwear now offers both support and style

Sports bras come in different styles.

We all know that when doing physical activity we want our breasts to stay in one place as we bounce up and down. While an everyday bra is designed for support and lift, a sports bra concentrates on compression and mega support!

Why do we need a special kind of bra for physical activity? It is a common misconception that our breasts contain muscle. Even women with perfectly toned bodies have fat in their breasts that requires support. Ligaments, which attach breasts to our bodies, are not strong enough on their own for prolonged support; therefore, women will turn to sport-specific bras.

Besides, women don’t want to get their pretty, lacey bras all sweaty when working out, so we purchase sports bras. Without one, gravity and constant bouncing will have a noticeable impact on our breast positioning.

There are two main styles of sports bras designed for two main body types:

  • If you have smaller breasts, women are recommended to wear compression-style bras. These will flatten the breasts and prevent movement by placing them as close to the body as possible.

  • If you have larger breasts, anywhere from C cup and larger, it is recommended that you stick to a bra that will hold each breast separately, rather than the compression style designed for smaller breasts. These bras will provide much more support where needed. If you separate each breast, it is easier to hold it close to the body and prevent bounce.

Sports bras come in different types of fabrics. When purchasing your sports bra, look for a fabric which will suit your specific sporting needs. Cotton bras often get heavy with body perspiration if you are doing high-impact aerobic activity. Moisture-wicking fabrics will stay drier longer, as they are designed for heavy perspiration activities. For activities with low impact – for example, yoga – a cotton bra is a wise investment.

If your sports bra has zippers or clasps, make sure there is fabric between the bra and your body to avoid irritation when perspiring. Make sure you purchase bras with flat and soft inner seams.

Replacing sports bras every six to 12 months is recommended as elastic will stretch overtime and will not support as much as unworn elastic. The replacement time will vary depending on how often you are wearing your sports bra. If you can feel the elastic wearing and compression shrinking, it’s time to toss that bra!

Ignore the common belief that women do not necessarily need to try sports bras on. When you are in the change room, not only should you try the bra on, but make sure you jump up and down as well as move your arms in all directions. No worries of looking silly, as you’ll be in the change room by yourself! It is important to simulate your activities in the gym so you can avoid uncomfortable fit.

If you have any of the following problems with your sports bra, try another size or style:

  • If you feel any uncomfortable rubbing anywhere on the bra.
  • If you have problems with straps falling about or they are too tight/loose.
  • If your breasts are physically falling out of the bra either on top or through the sides.
  • If the elastic under the bust line is moving up, down, right or left.

Sports bras today are becoming more stylish than ever before. Manufacturers are coming to the conclusion that many women want support in their sports bras, but at the same time they don’t want a bra that is going to compress and flatten their breasts. Women never know who they may run into at the gym, so it’s nice to have balance of both support and style!