A HELPFUL ARTICLE
How to Pick the Right Sports Bra for your Tatas
I have an #addiction to activewear, this is no secret, but let’s be honest ladies, sports bras are a NECESSITY!! If you are like me, there has likely been a time when you walked into the women’s gym locker room to get changed and realized you forgot your sports bra. You are so irritated you decide to wing it without one, but quickly regret it after that first jump and feel like you’ve sprained your boob. To understand this a little more, we need a brief anatomy review: Breasts are mostly made up of fat and glandular tissue. They are suspended by ligaments (Cooper’s ligaments) to the chest wall, which makes them sensitive and vulnerable to motion. There are also nerves within breast tissue that when exposed to vigorous motion without support can cause discomfort or even pain, hence the need for support during exercise. Sports Bras evenly distribute the weight across your chest which lets you use postural muscles to keep you vertical. Consistently exercising without a sports bra may cause the rib-cage to be pulled forward, rounding of the back, poor posture, neck or back pain and even headaches. This is especially true for women with larger breasts.
So I am here to help you save your tatas from trauma with some easy to follow tips for picking a sports bra.
The obvious but not so obvious first step. Are you wearing the right size bra? If you have not already, try to get measured at a reputable lingerie store for an accurate breast size. This will help you with both regular and sports bras. You can then tailor your choices based on the following below.
You will need to choose a sports bra based on the type of workout you will be doing. Running, HIIT training like Insanity or P90X, Beachbody, CrossFit, OrangeTheory, Dance workouts like CIZE or Zumba, Soul Cycle, basically anything that requires bouncing or jumping, you will need a HIGH impact bra. Yoga, pilates, Barre, PiYo, Yoga-lates, you can reach for a LOW/Medium impact bra.
High vs Low:
High impact bras will typically have a thicker chest strap, thicker shoulder straps and higher T-back or racerback. Most stores will label them as high versus low impact, but some do not. Feel the chest strap, if it is thick and does not stretch, it is likely high impact. You can also put your finger on the cup and then pull the strap (see the above image). You want minimal stretch here. A good example is the Lululemon Sweat Times Bra Low impact bras will typically have thinner straps that are adjustable. The chest strap is also less tense and often softer. A good example here is the Fabletics Maeve Reversible Sports Bra
Compression vs Encapsulation:
For smaller chest sizes, anything from A cup to a smaller C-cup compression works very well. These tend to be pullover bras with racer backs that can sometimes be a workout to get out of. They keep the breasts close to the body and prevent motion. For anything above a C cup, look for an encapsulation sports bra. These come in cup sizes and provide more support not only around the breast but for the back muscles. They tend to have clip backs and T-back support which limit the pull forward on the rib-cage as well as breast movement. An example of each is the Encapsulation Bra Athleta Performance UnderWire & the Compression Bra Lululemon Time to Sweat Bra
My advice, take a bunch to the dressing room in different sizes and try them on. When you put it on, it should cover your WHOLE breast nicely, no spillage or side boob. Slide your finger under the chest strap. If you can push it forward more than an inch, its too big. Also, put your arms over your head. If the bra slides up it is too big. On the other hand if you are getting stuck in the bra or feel as though you cannot breath or extend your rib-cage, it is too small and size up. Full disclosure, I wear a 34B..if I am being honest its more of an A.5, but no matter your size, these tips will help you get the best bra for YOU and your workouts. Too see more examples check out my video on How to Pick the Best Sports Bra for your Tatas on my video page…. And if you are looking for a badass pair of leggings to go with your new bra, check out my favorites (the 5 best leggings).