For women with a fuller breast, finding the activewear that offers the necessary support is crucial to achieving their exercise goals.
Whether it’s running a 5k, a legs day in the gym, or attending a yoga class, choosing the right fit and style of sports bra to meet your workout needs is vital.
A comfortable and supportive sports bra can make all the difference in your training. But knowing how to choose a sports bra is key to finding the right fit, the right style and the right support that works for your workout and helps you perform at your best.
Your sports bra should have a snug fit, while allowing for flexible movement. A sports bra that doesn't fit well may chafe, not keep you in place or feel restrictive around your ribcage. How much support you need depends on your cup size and the type of activity you're doing.
Use this guide for tips on how to choose a sports bra.
Two good reasons for getting the right sports bra
Eight of out ten women wear the wrong size bra. There we’ve said it. But ladies, there are at least two very good reasons for getting a sports bra that matches your size and your actively.
Wearing a sports bra while working out offers so much more than just great comfort, it also helps prevent irreversible damage that can lead to “sagging” breast tissue. Women can help minimise this damage by investing in a great fitting, quality sports bra.
The breast is comprised of connective, fatty tissue that is attached to the chest wall by fibrous strands called Cooper’s ligaments. This band of fibrous tissue is the only real support for your breast tissue against gravity and the continuous oscillating or sideways movement caused by exercise.
When the breast is unsupported during activity the weight of the tissue, coupled with this breast movement, causes the ligament to stretch. This can cause both discomfort and permanent damage.
It’s important to note that all breasts, no matter what size, are susceptible to this type of ligament damage. The best prevention is to minimize excessive movement by ensuring your breasts are properly supported with a well-fitted sports bra.
What level of support do you need?
Sports bras offer three different levels of support: low, medium, and high impact. The type you need depends on your cup size and the type of exercise you do most often.
LOW-MEDIUM IMPACT SPORTS BRAS
Great for low impact activities like walking, yoga or strength training. They can also be good for more medium impact activities like dancing, skiing or road cycling.
Low-medium impact sports bras typically feature a cup-less design and restrict movement by compressing the breasts tightly against the chest wall.
Those with larger chests may prefer wearing a medium-support sports bra for low-impact exercise for the extra support.
HIGH IMPACT SPORTS BRAS
These are what you need for more high impact activities such as running, HIIT classes or mountain biking.
High impact bras are made with a defined cup structure – akin to regular bras – to encapsulate and support each breast. Some high impact bras will use a combination of both encapsulation and compression methods to maximise support.
Compression vs. Encapsulation Sports Bra
The terms compression and encapsulation are used to describe two different types of sports bra suitable for different activities and cup sizes.
Compression sports bras – like the name suggests- work by compressing your breasts, hugging them tightly to your chest. They are pullover sports bras made with a tight fabric intended to fit snuggly. The compression fabric holds the breasts down together to limit movement during exercise.
Encapsulation sports bras fit more like a standard bra. They have moulded cups for each breast, keeping them separated and secure during exercise. They limit breast movement from all directions, offering a high level of support for higher-impact exercise. Encapsulation sports bras are generally recommended for women with larger cup sizes (D+ cups).
JLUXE.FIT Sports Bras
Our range of high and medium impact sports bras features inner removable padding providing you extensive support for all your workouts. Whether you’re into yoga, HIIT or running our collections of sports bras are designed for maximum support and style.
What size sports bra should you buy?
There's no magic formula to finding out which bra size will fit you best. It goes without saying that a personal fitting from someone who knows what they are talking about is an ideal way to start. But, if you haven’t ever worn a sports bra before, start with your usual bra size but be open to trying on different sizes before you find the perfect fit. Like trainers, different bra styles will fit differently, so try a few before finding your perfect brand.
Use our size guide to select the right model for you
Sports Bra Straps, Cups and Bands.
When it comes to choosing a sports bra, understanding fit is vital. Support from a sports bra comes from three points: the straps, the cups and the band, including the side panels, each element should be considered when deciding on a fit.
You should be able to fit two fingers between the straps and your shoulders. The sports bra should have a snug fit but not dig in or pinch the skin. Adjusting the straps tighter can create a lifting effect.
If any of your breast spills out, it's a clear sign that the bra is too small. An encapsulation bra with moulded cups should cover both of your breasts entirely. A compression sports bra should cover the breasts from all angles, including near the armpit.
If the band rides up when you lift your hands over your head, the bra is too big. If the sports bra has a back clasp, it can be made smaller. Otherwise, size down. The band should fit flat against the ribs without feeling restrictive. Try taking a deep breath while wearing the sports bra to assess the tightness.
Zip front Sports Bras
Our new core zip-front sports bras provide both comfort and support during all workouts. The new zip front design allows the wearer to put it on and take it off a lot more easily, particularly after a strenuous work out. Plus the adjustable straps help to ensure the perfect fit. This sports bra is also designed with a longer length, so it won’t ride up when you lift your arms above your head.
What Style Speaks to You
When it comes to choosing a sports bra, remember: function and fit are paramount. If a bra feels too tight, it will restrict you. If it feels too loose, it won't work. Choose a sports bra that is suitable for the type of exercise you'll be doing. When you feel supported and secure in your sports bra, it will show in your performance.
While it's important to find a well-fitting sports bra, it's equally important to choose a style that speaks to you. It's not all about function. We know how important it is to look good and feel confident in your sports bra as well.
How long does a sports bra last?
Lastly, once you have a sports bra that suits your size and your activity, you will want to look after it! A sports bra will typically last around 30-40 washes, but the technical fabric will loosen with each cycle, making it less effective over time.
To give your bra a longer lifespan wash it in cold water, avoid fabric softener and bleach, and do not tumble dry as the associated heat will accelerate the elastic degradation. Instead, dry it flat and if your sports bra starts to rub or chafe, bite the bullet and buy a new one.