Have you ever embarked on a long run or fitness class and realized for a few minutes that you were going to spend the entire workout thinking about the loose straps or wobbly cups of your sports bra that aren’t supporting you? ? If so, you know your sports bra can really make (or break) your workout. In an ideal scenario, the best sports bra can be your best tool to help you think less about bouncing-induced breast pain and instead focus on running your best mile yet. But what makes the ultimate sports bra? We’ve enlisted the pros for tips, tricks, and answers to all your questions when it comes to finding the best sports bra.
What is the difference between a high, medium and low impact sports bra?
Nikka Saadat, personal trainer and certified fitness coach, says Seventeen that it is important to determine the level of impact you need, and the best way to determine which one you need is to ask yourself how much “bounce” (i.e. breast movement) you try to thwart.
“High-rebound movements like jumping, sprinting, basketball or volleyball mean that a high-impact sports bra will be your best bet for adequate support. Cycling, hiking or dancing can be medium-rebound, medium-impact activities, while activities like weightlifting, yoga, or walking require low-impact bras because there might be little or no rebound.
What is a compression or encapsulation sports bra?
When looking for your perfect sports bra, you need to consider whether you’re looking for compression, encapsulation, or both. Paige Perez, Lead Designer of Activewear at Adore Me, explained to Seventeen that compression bras do exactly what it sounds like they do – they compress the breasts through a pullover style bra ideal for low to medium intensity activities. Encapsulation bras, on the other hand, are typically sized by cup size to shape your bust without the “uni-boob” look even for high-impact workouts. “There are also bras that combine both compression and encapsulation,” says Perez. “These sports bras typically go over your head, but have individual cups for each breast and provide great support and comfort.”
How do I check if my sports bra fits properly?
Not sure if your current sports bras are up to snuff? First, you’ll want to make sure they fit properly. “A rule of thumb is to check if you can fit two fingers between the band and your chest, same for the straps. The back band should be level all the way around. If it goes up, the support the bra is too big,” says Perez.We recommend doing a trial test to see if it’s time to replace some of your old sports bras that may have become a little too loose.
And if you’ve been using your sports bra regularly for more than 6 months, that could be another indicator that it’s time to replace it. According to Kelli Dugan, Chief Merchandising and Design Officer at Fabletics, “If you’re starting to see the straps or elastic in your sports bra stretching, it’s time for a refresh.” She continues, “If your bust or bra size changes, you should get new sports bras that best fit your current body. Our bodies are constantly changing and we need to update our sports bras to support that.”
So whether your goal is to channel some lovely athleisure vibes on your way to low impact Pilates or go all out She-Hulk while you train and run, we have the best sports bras for you.