Whatever your breast size, a supportive and comfortable sports bra is essential for exercise, especially aerobics or running. When you jog or run, your boobs actually move in a figure-of-eight, not just up and down, so a regular bra just isn’t going to give you the support you need.
You don’t need to go all out on a high-tech sports bra – but you do need to put a bit of care into buying the right one for your body shape. Here are a few tips…
1. Buy the right size
Some shops only offer sports bras in basic sizes like small, medium and large. If possible, try to find one in your actual bra size, so that you’re getting a more exact fit. It’s recommended to try on more than one size however. The cups should cover each breast entirely- if there is any excess bulging, switch to the next size up.
2. Choose the best type for you
There are two main varieties of sports bra on the market: compression bras which cover both breasts together, and encapsulation bras, which have separate ‘capsules’ for each breast. Women with bigger breast sizes (C and up) should go for the latter.
3. Move around in it!
You’re not just going to be sitting around relaxing in your sports bra, so get moving in the changing room to see if it’s a comfortable fit. Jump up and down or jog on the spot to check you’re not bouncing around too much or slipping out of the bra. You shouldn’t feel any pain or pressure when moving either – if you do, the bra is not giving you enough support.
4. Look out for pesky seams
Check that there’s no seams or hooks poking into your back and sides. An irritating seam mightn’t be a problem in the shop, but you’ll be cursing your purchase when it’s chafing under your arms on a 10k run.
5. Buy more than one
Ideally, a sports bra should only be used once before being washed. We’re not all super-organised laundry queens, so if you can afford it, buy more than one and alternate them between washes. Sports bras should be washed on a cool setting or hand washed in cold water, if possible.