Did you know that your breasts can move up to 14 to 15 centimeters when you’re exercising?
That’s what researchers from Portsmouth University found when they conducted a study on the subject in 2018. That’s due to the fact that there are no muscles within them; instead, breasts are composed of fat and tissue that are only held to the chest by fragile ligaments and skin.
Because the connective tissue that holds your breasts to your chest isn’t particularly strong, they need to be supported properly. Wearing the correct sports bra helps mitigate the amount of force they’re subjected to when you perform strenuous activities, preventing breast pain, soreness, and other irreversible long-term negative side effects, such as sagging. Here are the dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind when shopping for a sports bra:
Do know how to find your size
Contrary to popular belief, your regular bra size may not be your sports bra size. You may need to size up or down because sports bras tend to fit a little different. The perfect sports bra should have a band that fits firmly around your rib cage, with cups that can accommodate your breasts snugly, without restricting your breathing.
Furthermore, the cups should fit without any gaps or wrinkling, but not so much that you find your breasts spilling out the sides or the top.
A sports bra size calculator is the easiest way to find your perfect bra size when shopping online for them. Here at Anita, we offer an easy sports bra size calculator on our website, under the “Fitting Guide” section.
All you need to do is follow the on-screen instructions to find your size. Our quick and intuitive calculator should get you closer to your perfect sports bra size. However, keep in mind that measuring your size is not an exact science but only a starting point.
Do go for a sports bra with adjustable straps
The straps of a bra are essential to supporting your breasts and keeping the garment in place.
Ideally, they should distribute the weight of your breasts evenly across the shoulders and back, which will help prevent discomfort and pain, especially in the neck and upper back. In a sports bra, they also provide additional support and control that will keep your breasts from bouncing or excessive movement during physical activities. However, the band is the foundation of support, the straps should not carry all the weight of your breasts.
Pullover sports bras without adjustable straps can be great at the beginning, but they usually don’t provide the same level of support. You may find the elasticity of their straps is decreasing and they are coming loose after a few cycles in the washing machine.
This won’t be an issue with sports bras that are equipped with adjustable straps. Furthermore, sports bras with adjustable straps can help you achieve a more comfortable and customized fit, both of which are crucial to providing adequate support for your breasts, as well as contributing to your overall comfort.
Properly adjusted sports bra straps can help reduce pressure on your shoulders and prevent them from digging or rubbing into your skin, which can cause pain and irritation.
Do match the sports bra to the activity
When shopping for a sports bra, you’ll find them offering different levels of support. Here’s a brief overview of those support levels, as well as the matching activities:
Low to Medium Impact Sports Bras
Low to medium impact sports bras are usually alpha-sized and make use of a cup-less design. They primarily restrict movement by compressing the breasts tightly against the front wall of the chest. However, there are also medium impact sports bras that do encapsulate your breasts and come in cup and band sizes.
Low impact activities include walking, strength training, Pilates, and yoga, while medium impact activities can include cycling, hiking, power walking, skiing, and spinning.
High Impact Sports Bras
High impact sports bras typically feature a defined cup and band size structure, much like a regular bra. This encapsulates and supports each breast. Some high impact sports bras can both encapsulate and compress the breasts for maximum support. High impact activities can include aerobics, dancing, trail mountain biking, and running.
Those with larger breasts should always opt for higher levels of support and keep an eye out for sports bras that carry a label of high impact, extra high impact, or maximum support. This is because your bust naturally moves more and requires extra hold to keep your breasts in place.
Do consider the back of the sports bra, too
The way the back of a sports bra comes together can make a huge difference – and not just in terms of how it looks!
It’s up to you and mostly personal preference on the fit if you like parallel straps or straps that come together in the back, creating a racerback style.
Both can be a good option for those who need a lot of support, because it matters most that your sports bra fits accurately – then it’ll stay in place regardless of how much you move. No matter the straps, you’ll definitely want to choose sports bras that come in breathable materials and with a sweat management system, allowing you to be comfortable while working out.
For great, high-quality sports bras for every body type, trust our Anita Active collection to have what you’re looking for!