When it comes to buying activewear women have an extra piece that they should always grab: a sports bra. While a lot of ladies think about sports bras with dread thanks to their reputation for being uncomfortable and not very flattering, the benefits of sports bras and their new updated designs can’t be ignored. There are different styles available and every woman, no matter their bust size, can find a great sports bra and reap all of the benefits that come with it.

What to Look for in a Sports Bra

When you’re buying a sports bra, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all model. In fact, most women will benefit from a professional fitting in the same fashion that normal bras are fitted but you should at least try the sports bras on before buying them. When you buy bras off the rack without getting properly fitted, you can end up with a sports bra that is too big or too small either in the cups or in the band. This can make you uncomfortable and can even do physical damage.  As you try on different sports bras in the store, there are certain things that you should note. If you have a larger bust, read our sports bra guide for larger breasts.

First, the straps on the bra should fit properly. They shouldn’t dig into your shoulders or feel too tight. They also shouldn’t be providing your breasts with all of the support. If any of this is the case, you need to try a different size. You should find a sports bra with straps that have a minimal amount of stretch and are adjustable. The lack of stretch will minimize bouncing and the adjustable straps make the bra customizable to your body.

Next, look at the band of the sports bra. It should lie flat on your ribcage with a snug fit (tighter than a normal bra). The band should also be wide and made of elastic, so it supports you and moves as you breathe. When you try the bra on, take a few deep breaths to make sure that the band is comfortable. Make sure that the band doesn’t ride up or roll as you move. If it does ride up your back, it’s probably because the band is too loose for your body shape or that you need to adjust the straps.

woman in sports bra

Finally, pay attention to the cup size of the sports bra. The cups should cover your breasts completely. You shouldn’t be popping out of the tops or sides of the cups. Furthermore, the cups should be smooth without any ripples in the material. When you put the sports bra on, adjust your breasts so they settle in the cups properly. Leave the bra on for a minute or two so your breasts adjust and sit normally. You should then move around the dressing room and see if your breasts stay in the cups properly.

When trying on different bras, be sure to test it out as best as possible in the dressing room area. Move around by jumping, running in place, bending and stretching, or performing any typical exercises that you’ll be doing when wearing the bra. This will help you see if the sports bra in question is right for you.
Once you find the best sports bras for your body type and activity level, you’ll be able to reap all of the benefits that sports bras can provide. Here are some of the benefits that these bras can offer you.

Stay Comfortable While Working Out

The biggest benefit to a properly fitting sports bra is that you’ll be comfortable as you work out. It’ll offer your breasts the support they need as you move around. These bras are specifically made to handle up and down movement as well as side-to-side shaking, unlike regular bras that can’t hold your breasts firmly in place. When you feel that your breasts are properly supported, you’ll feel more comfortable moving around and performing your workouts to the fullest of your ability.

Modern sports bras are also designed with fabrics that are able to wick away sweat and keep you feeling cool as you exercise. Sports bras usually feature lightweight material that lets air circulate to prevent sweat from building up. These materials can also help prevent chaffing and itching that can occur as you sweat. You will be comfortable as you exercise which can help you stay motivated and stop you from cutting your workout short because you’re too uncomfortable.

Eliminate Post-Exercise Breast Pain

Just like you can experience pains in other muscles and ligaments after a workout, you can also get pains and soreness in your breasts. This is because there are muscle ligaments in your chest that move and stretch as you exercise. When you do a lot, they can become sore just like muscles in your core, legs, or arms. However, when you wear a good sports bra, your breasts will be held in place firmly and won’t move around as much as they normally would. This restricted movement means that the muscle ligaments in your breasts won’t suffer as much wear and tear as you exercise so you won’t experience pain or soreness after your workout.

Minimize Movement and Avoid Unwanted Attention

No matter the size of your breasts, they’ll move around as you run or jump during a workout. However, if you have bigger breasts, all that movement can be bothersome and attract unwanted attention from others. A sports bra will hold your breasts in place so you won’t jiggle, shake, or bounce too much as you move.
If you’ve exercised without a sports bra or with a poorly made one, you may have noticed people glancing at you as your workout thanks to the noticeable movement of your breasts. While this says more about the people in question than it does about you, it’s still annoying and embarrassing. A properly made sports bra will help keep those stares to a minimum thanks to their support and firm fit.

woman on beach

Maintain Breast Shape

As stated before, your breasts have muscle ligaments that can stretch out and lose shape. This can lead to sagging, drooping, and a deflated look. Tears to the ligaments are sometimes irreversible and can lead to premature shape issues in younger women. Sports bras give you support and stability that can keep these problems at bay by maintaining your breasts’ shape as you exercise. Determine your average activity level and get a sports bra that will give you the best support. Wearing that bra will help minimize the damage done to the ligaments and will prevent premature sagging.

With all of the great benefits that a good sports bra can offer, there really is no reason to not wear one for exercise. If you get one from a good manufacturer, try a few different styles and select what is right for your activity, you will find a sports bra that you love.