The importance of sports bras: are you wearing the right one?

February 22 2019

Whether you’re a seasoned sprinter, a team sports fan or a weightlifting champion, you always need to ensure you have the right kind of sports bra.

The importance of a sports bra cannot be underestimated: it’s one of the most vital pieces of exercise equipment you can have in your kit. As breasts are composed of tissue, they are mainly supported by just the skin and fragile ligaments, so they require extra support during repetitive or high impact activity.

But not all sports bras are made equal. While a marathon runner will need a bra that can provide support against repetitive movements over a long period of time,  someone doing a yoga class will need one that allows for more flexibility, which is why there are different types of sports bra for different activities.

Below, we’ll look at which sports bras you should choose for your favourite sporting activities, picking out some great products that will ensure you stay supported throughout any workout you choose.

Finding the right size

Before deciding on what sports bra is right for your activity, you need to ensure you know how to make sure your bra fits. Measurements will vary from brand to brand and your style of bra - you might even need a completely different size from your regular bra.

However, there are some key things you should look out for in each bra:

  • Band - the band of your sports bra should be firm and level around your whole body.
  • Shoulder strap - there should be about a one-inch give and the strap should not fall off your shoulders or dig in
  • Cup - your breasts should fill the whole cup with no bulging over the top
  • Support - Your sports bra should feel much tighter and more supportive than your regular bra. Try jumping when you try one on to see how much bounce there is
  • Comfort - this is the most important thing: even though your sports bra should be tight, it should also be really comfortable

We would also recommend looking out for the type of bras that have moisture wicking technology, ventilation and microfiber fabrics to keep you comfortable throughout your workout.

What bra should you wear for low-impact activity

Although you might not feel like you need to wear a sports bra for certain activities, even light impact activities done without a sports bra can lead to pain and discomfort.

Low-impact activities like yoga, hiking and pilates create less bounce than more vigorous exercise, and as such require a bra that offers a lower level of support and maximum comfort.

Women with a larger bust might choose to wear a medium-impact sports bra even for low-impact activities.

What bra should you wear for medium-impact activity?

Weightlifting, cycling and rowing are all considered medium impact-activity as they involve quite a lot of movement.

Although not as strenuous as high-impact activities, you’ll still need to choose a bra that will adequately support you, while keeping you comfortable throughout your workout.

What bra should you wear for high-impact activity?

High-impact activity includes running, plyometrics, dancing and many team sports like football or basketball. For these exercises, you’ll want a bra that focuses on offering the maximum support possible, especially for those with larger busts.

This will let you stay focused on your workouts without worrying about distractions or discomfort.

Stay supported for every workout

If your fitness routine ranges from burpees to pilates, you need a sports bra that can adapt to every situation. We recommend the Reebok Puremove bra with its intelligent Motion Sense technology.

The bra is treated with responsive shear-thickening fluid (STF) which becomes a liquid during low impact activities, but will solidify when you’re on the treadmill. This creates the perfect combination of support and comfort to make sure you’re ready to take on any fitness challenge.

To see the Puremove bra in action, take a look at our dance-inspired workout series with Reebok and Danielle Peazer

Or you can shop our full range of sports bras to find the right kit for you.

Why not put your new sports bra to the test? Head down to your local DW Fitness First gym and enjoy a free workout on us with our three-day guest pass.