How to Find the Perfect Sports Bra


HOW TO FIND YOUR PERFECT SPORTS BRA

The perfect sports bra is one that keeps you running and working out in comfort and without injury. Whatever your shape and size you need good support to keep you performing at your best.


Why Do I Need a Good Sports Bra?

With any physical activity your breasts move. Unlike other sports however, your breasts move in a figure of eight motion as you run, moving up and down as much as 8 inches. This puts your Cooper’s ligaments, the thin collections of connective tissues that help support your breasts, under huge strain. Without the correct support you’re likely to cause irreversible damage and soreness.

Sports scientists from the Univerity of Portsmouth studied how breast tissue is damaged during running, in regular bras and a variety of sports bras. They found low to medium impact sports bras reduce bounce but are not effective for restricting side-to-side movement specific to running.

 

In fact, their research identified that women change the way they run depending on the type of bra worn. Not only will a good running bra keep your breasts in place and correctly supported, avoiding any damage to these crucial ligaments, but it’ll keep you running at the top of your game. 

What Level of Support Do I Need?

Sports bras offer three different levels of support; low, medium, and high impact support. The type you need depends on your cup size and the type of exercise you do. 

Running is a high impact activity, which demands a high level of support that the average bra cannot provide. A good running bra will reduce movement by up to 74% using encapsulation, specially placed seams designed to create individual cups to surround and support each breast, leaving you free to enjoy your run.

Medium impact sports include dancing, skiing, cycling, and classes at the gym. These bras are usually compression bras, designed to secure your breasts against your chest to reduce movement and bounce. 

Low impact sports bras are ideal for stretching such as yoga or pilates as well as walking, hiking, or climbing. These tops are often more like a crop top and made from thinner materials as they don’t need to offer as much support.

What Size Sports Bra Do I Need?

Finding the right size sports bra is tricky and usually requires a lot of trying on to find out the best brand, style, and size for you. 80% of women wear the wrong bra size as it fluctuates due to age, pregnancy, or weight changes. Start with your usual bra size before following these tips.

  • The fabric of the cup should be smooth and not wrinkled, and if you’re spilling out of the cup, it’s too small.
  • Choose a sports bra made from high-performance, technical fabrics designed to wick away sweat to lower your risk of chafing or rubbing.
  • Any underwire should lay flat against the rib case, below your breast tissue, and should not pinch or dig in.
  • Before buying your bra jump around and swing your arms. If the bra is poking you anywhere or slips, or you find you’re having trouble breathing it doesn’t fit properly. 

Runners Need stores offer free bra fittings; use our store locator to find your nearest store

How Long Does a Sports Bra Last?

A sports bra will last around 30-40 washes. The technical fabric will loosen and wear in each washing cycle leaving it less effective.

 

To give your bra a longer lifespan wash in cold water, avoid fabric softener and bleach, and do not tumble dry. Heat will break down the elastic causing it to loosen and age quicker. Instead dry it flat and if your sports bra starts to rub or chafe invest in a new one. 


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