Your Guide to Choosing the Perfect Sports Bra
Nothing obstructs performance and ruins the entire workout experience more than a poor fitting sports bra. If the sports bra is loose, it won't accomplish its purpose of supporting the breast area. A sports bra that is too tight can result in chafing and may even prevent a proper breathing.
Working out can often cause breast tissue to become damaged when wearing regular bras, or not wearing a bra at all. The most proper example for this is running — when your breasts move in figure eight motion, putting your Cooper’s ligaments (the connective tissue that supports the breasts) under huge strain. Without the proper support, you are likely to experience soreness that can cause lasting damage.
The biggest reason why you should wear a proper-fitting sports bra is the comfort.
Choosing the perfect sports bra means reduced bounce and comfort while providing you with vital support.
Take a minute to appreciate your A or smaller B cup as you can probably get away with any type of sports bra, even those designed for low-impact activity. If you were lucky enough to be more gifted cleavage-wise you’ve probably heard that bouncing leads to faster sagging with age, so choosing the right sports bra size ensures support and keeping your breasts less mobile during a workout.
Wearing the wrong sports bra size can lead to tissue damage and eventually premature sagging, and you want to avoid that.
Most of the support in a well-made bra comes from its band. That’s why getting your band measurement correct is crucial.
Use a tape to measure your rib cage just below your breasts. Make sure that the measuring tape is lying flat and even around your back. Then, put on a sports bra and measure across the fullest part of your breasts. Now use the table below to determine your sports bra size:
Sports Bra Construction
Encapsulation sports bras: These bras have divided cups to support each breast separately. Encapsulation sports bras usually have an adjustable band and straps. They are often used for high-impact workouts, such as dancing and running, as they prevent movement in every direction, protecting the Cooper’s ligaments in the breasts.
Compression sports bras: They do not have cups, but rather compress the breasts firmly - holding them closer to the chest to restrict movement. Compression sports bras work best for low-impact workouts such as yoga or Pilates.
Sports Bra Strap Type
Crisscross: This is the best choice for the fashion-conscious. Their crisscross is in back with straps which are usually adjustable, so they can make an awesome stylish statement when paired with matching leggings or cute capris.
Wide straps: Shoulder straps distribute your weight better and are most likely to be padded.
Racerback: This is the best option for medium- to high-impact activities. Racerback sports bras offer excellent support and they hide wonderfully underneath a racerback tank top.
Test Your New Sports Bra
You ordered your favorite sports bra online, and now that you finally have it, it’s time to try it on.
If you bought compression sports bra make sure you aren’t able to pull the band more than one inch away from your rib cage with your fingers. If you can, you need to go down a band size. For an encapsulation bra, the band should fit snugly when it's set on the loosest clasp.
If you have a sports bra with adjustable straps ensure that they are set so you can easily fit two fingers between your shoulder and the strap.
Regarding the cups size, make sure that your breast tissue feels firmly supported, not too loose or gaping on one hand, or not painfully crushed on the other hand.
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