Your Guide to Finding the Best Sports Bra

8 Nov

With each running stride, your breasts move up, down and side to side, tracing a butterfly pattern. The average A cup moves about an inch and a half in every direction, and D cup bounces 2 to 3 inches. A good sports bra helps to cut that movement in half, by almost 53 to 59 % for A and D cups sizes respectively. Experts say this is the key to sparing the support structures in your breast.

Since the breasts are made of soft tissue and not muscle, what holds them up is the surrounding skin and the internal “Cooper’s ligaments,” a web of springy coils built to rebound, until genetics, jumping, and gravity catch up with them. Permanent stretching of these can lead to sagging of the breasts. The best defense against this is to maximize your lift with sports bras.

The most common mistake women make in choosing a sports bra is wearing a smaller cup size and larger band. For the right sizing, check out the information below to see which option works best for you.

Compression or Encapsulation

Compression: This bra style works for smaller cup sizes (A and B) or for low and moderate impact exercise routines.Encapsulation: Bras with individual cups are best suited for larger breasted women as compared to compression styles.

Racerbacks or Wide Straps

Racerbacks: Since they cinch at the back, the straps secure the bra closer to the body, offering more support.

Wide straps: The shoulder straps distribute the weight better than a T-back and are likely to be padded and adjustable. A padded sports bra is very comfortable and flattering, but the pads tend to hold in moisture.

Pullover or Back Clasp

Back Clasp: The clasps help you tighten the band, providing 70 % of the bra’s support. This is particularly essential for larger breasts that place more demand on the band.

Pullover: This style usually covers the back more than clasps, but the one with an all-over stretch lacks the adjustability, rigid front straps and the support to secure large breasts.

What You Should Do Before Buying

Support on a sports bra comes from the straps, cups, and band. Here’s how you should test all three.

Straps: For straps, hold the top of one strap and the center of the corresponding cup and pull. The less stretchy the front straps are, the more motion control they will provide.

Cups: For this, repeat a similar stretch by pulling the top and bottom of the cup; the less it gives, more is the motion control. Wear the bra. Whether it is a compression or encapsulation style, the cup must hold the breast, without spillage. If it does not, select the next larger cup size. If you’re buying a sports bra for large breasts, try the front zip sports bra as it is very convenient.

Band: Slide a finger under the band between the breasts. It should not pull more than an inch from your chest. Set the clasp on the first eyelet. If you have to use the last eyelet for a snug fit, you are better off with a smaller band. Reach your arms overhead to see if the band creeps up. If it does, it’s too big. In both scenarios, pick a smaller size.

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