Regardless of your cup size, if your sports bra doesn't show up with support and comfort during your workout, you can bet you'll end up with red spots and back pain.
However, wearing the right sports bra is more than just a cute design. The goal is to find a sports bra that works with your body, not against it, since gravity and movement already do that.
From running to box jumping, HIIT to jumping rope, the bra you choose to support your chest makes all the difference in every workout.
The job profile of a good sports bra
A sports bra serves multiple purposes: "To support your breasts during vigorous movement so they don't move too much and feel uncomfortable, and to wick away moisture so you can exercise and not get too hot and sweaty," he says Theresa Marko, board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy and CEO and owner of Marko Physical Therapy.
The right sports bra should also support your back (thoracic spine) by compressing your torso. “You need to feel comfortable and supported so that you can focus on your training and/or activity and not on how your body is uncomfortable,” says Marko. In short, a sports bra needs to: support, wick sweat, compress comfortably, and feel good on the body.
Since sports bra sizes vary between different brands, following these tips (along with trying on several different sports bras) will help you narrow down the best-fitting sports bra for you!
How to find the best sports bra for your body
- Size Matters: Finding the right size is very important. "Measure the width of your chest under the breasts to know how many centimeters that is," explains Marko. This measurement is the traditional "34, 36, 38" etc. in bra sizes. It's also helpful to know this for sports bras. Sports bras can be cup sizes like regular bras, or S, M, L, or XL sizes. "When it comes to letter size, there's generally a fit guide with inches around the chest to match the size," says Marko. However, it is best to use a tape measure to determine your true chest measurement.
- Consider activity for compression requests: Different activities require different levels of compression. "Do you want high compression (think snug when jumping and running), medium compression (think thinking about going to the gym) or low compression (think, remember relaxing at home or doing yoga). do)?” asks Markus. "Most stores like Gap, Athleta, Lululemon now have high, medium and low compression sports bras so you can choose the one that's right for you," she says
- Fabric: In For materials (besides compression) think about the feel of the fabric. "Do you want the elastic stretch, do you want the smooth, silky feel of a second skin or do you want the soft cotton feel?" asks Markus. The comfort in your bra through the material is just as important as the other professional requirements for a good sports bra.
Sweat-wicking fabric is also a bonus: if you work up a sweat, choose fabric that will show up as you work and fight moisture.
- Bracelet style: There are as many styles of straps today as there are bras, and that's a good thing. Trying on different bras with different styles of straps will help you figure out what works best for you. Choosing adjustable straps is a no-brainer because they allow you to adjust to your unique body. "Think about how the straps will feel on your neck," says Marko. Will the straps cut? "Think about your shoulder and neck health," she encourages.
Although the crossed straps feel very supportive as this type of sports bra keeps you snug, Marko warns that "One thing to note about this type of bra is that you definitely don't want it to be too tight as the straps will stretch." Your muscles in your neck (upper trapezius muscles) can cut in and feel really uncomfortable, causing pain and possibly a headache.”
- Consider shoulder health: If you have shoulder issues like impingement, or you've had trauma to your shoulders, Marko suggests that "you might need a sports bra that opens forward so you don't have to contort your shoulder in weird ways, which could make it worse." "
The same applies to larger breasts - an open-fronted bra makes it easier to put on and take off.
The easiest way to find a sports bra that best suits your body and activity level is to take the time to try a variety of brands once you know your size and are ready to buy. Move freely in it, stretch, do some jumping jacks, anything that lets you know this is for you!