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Nutrition & Fitness Tips

Are You Wearing the Right Sports Bra?

Are You Wearing the Right Sports Bra?

Ladies - real talk. Bounce and sag. They happen. And they can become permanent problems.

You’re working hard to lose weight and tone up. It’s not easy, but you hit the gym every week for strength training. You get in your cardio too. And you use the best weight loss supplements for women to make sure you get the optimal results.

But are you wearing the right sports bras?

Chances are — probably not. In fact, studies show that about 4 out of 5 women wear misfitted bras. And when it comes to sports bras, most women wear a cup size too small and straps too big.

How can you make sure you choose a great bra? Is it really possible to get support and comfort from a decent-looking sports bra?

Choose the Right Design

First things first - not all sports bras were created equal. For example, designers use many different fabrics. For your workout, you want material that will wick away moisture and prevent chafing. 

As for the design itself, most bras fall into one of these three categories:

  • Encapsulation Bras - This is the design of your typical, everyday bra. It has individual cups for each breast. These are better if you’ve got a big chest.
  • Compression  Bras - These are the pullover bras that jam your breasts up against your chest. Ever seen the girls at the gym suffering from the “uni-boob” look? They’re wearing compression bras. They’re generally alright for smaller chests - A or B cups - and moderate-impact workouts.
  • Combination Encapsulation/Compression Bras - The best of both worlds, at least in theory. They are the most supportive of the three, combining an adjustable strap with good compression.

Straps Matter

You want a sports bra that’s effective and comfortable. No sense in getting plenty of support if you’re also going to get pinched, poked, and prodded in the process. 

A major factor in comfort are the straps. They shouldn’t stretch much at all. Really, they’re just there to hold the cups in place. So make sure your straps are snug without digging into your skin. Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Wide, adjustable straps distribute weight best. They’re ideal for women with larger chests who need plenty of support during strenuous workouts.
  • An adjustable bra should fit on the loosest hook when brand new. As you wear it, the elastic will weaken and you’ll need to move to a tighter position. If you start on the tightest position, pretty soon you’ll need an entirely new bra.
  • Racerback and criss-cross back straps are usually best for high-impact activities. These popular, sporty looks offer more support because they keep your bra close to your body.

It’s All About the Band

Make sure you get a well fitting band. Because 70% of bra support comes from the band. 

A good method to measure: put your finger under the band between your breasts. Lift up. Can you get it more than an inch off your chest? If so, it’s too loose and you need a different bra. 

Another easy way to measure: lift your arms up. Does the band slide up? If so, it’s too lose. Again, a smaller band would be better.

Of course, don’t go too tight. You need to be able to breathe and move comfortably. A band that digs into your chest will make it impossible to get a good workout.

On Cup Size

There’s a golden rule to sports bra cup size: If the girls are trying to escape, it’s too small. Easy as that. Make sure your cups have enough room for everything.

But you don’t want wrinkled, folded cups either. That’s a sign that your bra's a size too big. The ideal fit is a cup that holds the entire breast with no spillage. 

Caring for Your Sports Bras

Wash your sports bras in cold water with mild detergent. Skip the fabric softener and don’t use bleach if you want to them to last as long as possible. 

Heat breaks down the spandex in your bra. So it’s preferred to flat or line dry your bras. If you must use the dryer, set it to the cold tumble cycle.

It can be hard to part with your favorite, best fitting, most comfortable sports bra. But letting go is important. Replace your bra once the spandex fibers start to show or if it doesn’t snap back into place. 

The Perfect Sports Bra Does Exist

It’s just not the same for everyone. Find the perfect bra for you with this easy checklist.

  • Match your bra to your activity. Strength training only requires a low support encapsulation bra in most cases. Running and aerobics - with all their jumping and jostling - demand combination bras with the most support.
  • Get the right fit. Your sports bra should fit slightly tighter than a regular bra with no chafing at the armholes, shoulder straps, or seams. Cups should hold your entire breast with no spillage or wrinkling. 
  • Choose secure, comfortable straps. No pinching. No drooping. 
  • Find a bra that minimizes breast movement. Because jiggling is pain. 

Still haven’t found the perfect sports bra? Don’t give up. You may have to try a few different styles before finding the ideal fit. But it’s worth it.

Just like you follow a solid diet and use the best weight loss supplements for women, you need a great sports bra. Use these tips to choose one that’s comfortable, supportive, and designed to fit your needs. 

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