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how should a sports bra fit

Just like the perfect pair of pumps can make a date night feel more fabulous and the perfect boots are essential to staying warm in the winter, the perfect sports bra is key to a comfortable workout.

sports bra that fits well not only protects your breasts from damage during exercise by limiting a lot of movement, but it also can ward off any discomfort relating to sweating and chafing. Of course, we’d all love to find that sports bra that fits us flawlessly and lends adequate support and separation. But it’s not such an easy task.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled this simple three-step guide to help you find your ideal sports bra.

Step 1: Assess your size

It’s absolutely imperative that you wear the correct size sports bra to ensure that it not only stays in place but also provides enough support for your breasts. You subject your bust to a lot more movement during exercise, whether you’re spinning or dancing. As such, support is even more critical — the more strain your breasts experience from movement, the more likely the Cooper’s ligaments (which keep them looking firm and perky) are to stretch out more quickly.

So before you go on a search for your perfect sports bra, make sure to get fitted (unless you’ve already done so in the last six months). The band is responsible for offering the majority of the support, and keep in mind that it should fit very snugly on a sports bra. While it should not dig into you or compromise your ability to breathe deeply in any way, it should still be as tight as possible. When you buy a new sports bra, be sure that it feels snug on the loosest hook. That way, as it gradually stretches out due to wearing and washing it, you can simply fasten it on a tighter setting, and you’ll get more use out of the bra.

Related: Compression Sports Bras vs Encapsulation Sports Bras: What You Need To Know

Step 2: Assess your workout

You’ll definitely need to consider the type of workout you’ll be using your bra for.

Sports bras are generally broken down into three categories that line up with corresponding types of exercise: Low-impact, medium-impact, and high-impact. Low impact sports bras are designed for activities during which your feet are not making a lot of forceful contact with the ground such as yoga and Pilates. These are workouts that don’t subject your boobs to a whole lot of bouncing. As such, low-impact sports bras tend to be more lightweight, often without underwire and separated cups. High-impact sports bras, on the other hand, are constructed to work for activities like running and aerobics. In order to protect your breasts during these intense cardio workouts, high-impact sports bras usually combine encapsulation and compression technologies to both separate your boobs into individual cups while also holding them closer to the torso. These bras tend to have wider straps and underbands, mesh inserts or other features for maximum breathability, and an overall sturdy construction. Medium-impact sports bras fall somewhere in between and are great options for strength training, cycling, hiking, etc. They may or may not have wire and will be slightly less structured as a high-impact sports bra, but odds are they will have separated cups.

Step 3: Assess your priorities

Take some time to think about what’s most important to you in a sports bra. Do you expect to be sweating a lot? Then you’ll likely want to seek out a sports bra made of moisture-wicking materials. Are you concerned with how the sports bra will make your bust look? Then opt for sports bras that have some lift and shaping capabilities — underwire and molded cups will definitely come in handy here. Identify your priorities and keep them all in mind while shopping for sports bras.

Remember, however, that certain features are worth looking for no matter how large your bust is or what type of exercise you’re doing. For example, you’ll definitely want to opt for a sports bra that has adjustable straps and an adjustable band to ensure you can achieve the best fit and most support possible.

You’re now three steps closer to finding your dream sports bra. And don’t forget that comfort is inarguably the most important factor when it comes to buying this workout essential — after all, your undergarments should be making a sweat session easier, not harder.

Related: Are Wired Sports Bras More Supportive Than Wireless Sports Bras?

We Highly Recommend

Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Featured image lingerie:
Parfait Active Sports Bra P5541 in Infinity Blue and Black/White
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Published by

Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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