When you exercise, your whole body is stressed including your breasts. Which is the reason women need a bra that’s not only made for their body type but also their sport. With that in mind, here are some tips for choosing the right sports bra.
Why do I need a sports bra?
Our breasts are mostly made of fat. When you exercise your breasts are unable to contract to protect themselves, which means they are subjected to unusual amounts of shock and friction. Not only is this uncomfortable while you exercise, but this repetitive bouncing can also cause deep pain, and in the long term, sagging breasts. That’s why it’s so important to have plenty of support especially for high-impact activities like running, hiking and mountain biking. Unlike classic bras, sports bras are designed to provide additional support while also allowing freedom of movement. A sports bra adapts to your body shape so that your breasts become one with your chest. In addition, the absence of underwires and fasteners, as well as strategic seam placement, eliminates pressure points and injuries. Wearing a bra that’s designed specifically for your breast size and your sport is therefore highly recommended for maximum comfort and freedom.
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How much support do I need?
Depending on the model, there are three basic levels of support: light, medium and high. And when deciding on how much support you need you should take into account two criteria: your body type and your sport.
For low-impact activities like yoga or Pilates, a lightly supportive bra might be the most appropriate, and thanks to its incredibly light weight you’ll soon forget your wearing it. A light support bra is also suitable for small breasts and small cups.
For medium-impact outdoor activities like climbing, hiking or paragliding, we recommend a bra with a moderate amount of support. On the other hand, if you have large breasts, you might find that you prefer a bra with even more support for these activities.
Regardless of the activity, if your bra size is bigger than 34C (Europe 75C, France 90C) we recommend a bra with high support. High support is also recommended for women with smaller cup sizes who do high-impact sports like trail running and running, mountain biking and even skiing and snowboarding.
How do I find the right size?
Four out of five women do not know their true bra size! The advantage with sports bras is that most models come in standard sizes: XS, S, M, L and XL or numerical sizes. The good news is that there are size charts that show the relationship between different sizes to help you find the right size. It’s important to note that your bra size is not necessarily the same as your clothing size and the same size can vary from one brand to another. We recommend trying on a few bras before making your choice and don’t hesitate to make movements that imitate the sports you’ll be doing to test the support and freedom of movement. Buying online? Refer to the size guide that most brands and retailers provide.
Cuts and materials
Sports bras are designed with technical materials, ergonomic cuts, fabric combinations and seams to provide maximum comfort and freedom of movement. The greater the support, the more the bra will encapsulate your breasts. High support bras are often thermoformed or designed with tighter weaves. They can also feature removable pads with an adjustment system in the elastic under the chest as well as straps. The materials will feature more or less stretch depending on the degree of support provided. Most sports bras are also designed to deal with perspiration by using breathable fabrics like mesh or merino.
The type of straps can also be a factor in your bra choice. Wider, thicker straps will provide more support and added comfort for larger breasts or for more dynamic activities. Thinner, more discreet straps are better suited for low-impact sports and women with small cup sizes. Straps can be straight, crisscrossed in the back, split, or gathered for a “racer-back” style as well as providing different levels of support. Because in the end, it’s also a question of looks and how your bra fits beneath your top.
Feeling good is an important part of any sport you play, and feeling beautiful and free is a big part of this. Today there are many models of bras and they’re now so attractive that we no longer need to hide them beneath our clothes. On the contrary, they’re made to be more and more visible and can be worn alone. It’s all about being yourself and feeling comfortable with it.