How to Choose the Perfect Sports Bra : Did you know that up to 75% of women wear the wrong bra size? Ouch! Now, you might get away with this in your everyday bra but not in your sports bra!
Did you also know that 1 in 5 women avoid exercise because of their breasts? Wow!
And finally, did you know that if unsupported your breasts can move up to 19cm when you exercise? That is a whole lot of jiggle!
These statistics really show the importance of finding the perfect sports bra for you. The right sports bra will hold your girls in place allowing you to focus on your workout.
Follow my expert tips and feel confident in knowing that the next time you head out for a run the only thing you will need to concentrate on is the path ahead.
Size is Everything
I bet you are thinking ‘that’s something a man would say’. And I have to say, in this case they are right. The foundation of the perfect sports bra is finding the right fit. If it does not fit well it won’t perform well.
So, where do we start? Easy, it all starts with a simple measure. All you need is a soft tape measure and a mirror and you are away.
The two measurements you need to find your correct sports bra size is your under bust and your over bust. Your under bust measurement will give your band size and your over bust your cup size. Put the two together and hey presto – your bra size!
To measure your under bust simply pass your tape measure around your chest and measure horizontally around your rib cage where your bra band would normally sit. Make sure the tape isn’t too tight. A rule of thumb is you should be able to fit two fingers under it.
To find your over bust slide the tape up and do the same around the fullest part of your breasts (usually across your nipples). It is best to take this measurement while wearing a non padded everyday bra. For the most accurate results enlist the services of a bra buddy to help you with the tape.
You have your measurements, what next? Easy, a quick online search for bra size calculators will offer a myriad of options for you to find your size. Alternately most sports bra websites have a dedicated online fitting room where you can easily find your size from your measurements.
Get the Right Support
OK, so you have found your size. What’s next? Next, it is all about getting the right support. You do not want to run a marathon in a stringy fashion crop!
Different sports bras offer different levels of support, called impact levels. As a rule, there are three impact levels. Low, medium, and high. That said, some brands have started using ‘extreme’ for their bras that offer the absolute best in support.
Quite simple you need to pair the impact level with the activity you intend to do. Yoga = low impact. Golf = medium impact. Running = high impact. You get the picture.
If you are not sure or have a bit more up top it is best to err on the side of caution and go up an impact level. It is safer support wise to wear a running bra to your golf game than it is to wear a yoga bra running!
It Has to be Comfortable
This final tip is arguably the most important. There is no point finding the perfect fit and right support if your sports bra isn’t comfortable. Nothing is going to make you banish your bra to the back of your drawer quicker than poor comfort.
So, what do we need to check for to ensure our new sports bra passes the comfort test? Try the sports bra on and check the following.
Check for potential rub points. Move around in as many different directions as you can. Swing your arms. Twist. You should feel no points that could potentially rub. Also, the bra itself should not move. If it does it could rub over a long exercise session.
Check the straps. Once adjusted to the correct length you should be able to fit two fingers under each strap. If they are too tight, they may dig in. If they are too loose, they may slip.
Check the band. You should be able to breathe deeply and comfortably. Once again do the two-finger test under the band. Just remember that 80% of the support of your sports bra comes from the band so expect it to be tighter than your everyday bra.
Check the cups. Your breasts should be fully contained by the cups. If your cup overflows, they may be too small. If there are wrinkles in the cup, they may be too big.
Finally, do the bounce test. The best way to check the support of the bra is to jump up and down. Your breasts should feel supported and secure. If there is too much movement look for a higher impact style.
Beware of size denial. I for one am guilty of this. I measure myself and find I have changed to a 14D (my holiday was that good!). Surely the tape measure is lying, and I try to shoehorn myself into my existing 12C’s. We women are masters of this. Accept what your measurements tell you and get the right size for you. In the same essence your bra band size can be totally different to your clothing size, often bigger, as its more about the size of your ribcage and diaphragm.
Read, read, read. Sounds boring I know but the more you know the better your chance of success. The internet is full of information but in your search make sure you focus on reputable websites that specialise in sports bras. Sites like Sports Bras Direct are full of information and to compliment this, they offer a wide range of styles and sizes to help every woman find the perfect sports bra.
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