Expert advice on how to choose the best bra for working out.
No matter what kind of workouts you’re into, from hatha yoga to hardcore HIIT classes, a good sports bra is essential for keeping everything in place while you’re exercising.
But while we all know our band and cup size for everyday bras, when it comes to activewear, we have to go by our dress size or, worse, choosing from small, medium or large.
That’s bad news for our boobs, according to Clare Robertson, head of innovation at Panache, which is why the lingerie brand has launched its #MYSIZE campaign to encourage customers to forget the ‘one size fits all’ myth and opt for a cup sized sports bra instead.
Here, the underwear expert explains why, and offers five top tips to help you find the perfect sports bra.
1. Get a bra fitting
“First, know what your true size is by being fitted by a professional bra fitter,” says Robertson. Breast size can fluctuate for a variety of reasons, include weight loss or gain and hormones, so it’s recommended that you get measured at least once a year.
“Selecting a cup sized sports bra will allow you to get a perfect fit,” she adds, rather than relying on your dress size.
2. Choose a supportive style
While you may be tempted by all the strappy and skimpy activewear in the shops, these garments can be a case of style over substance.
“Find a style which encapsulates the breasts to ensure they retain a natural shape,” says Robertson. “The bra should be smooth against your skin and the under-band should be firm around the body.”
3. Racer back is best
Similarly, the back of a sports bra is all-important when it comes to finding a style that will stay put, no matter how strenuous your workout.
“Opt for a style with a racer back for additional support and prevent the straps from slipping off the shoulders,” says Robertson. “The straps should be fairly rigid and be wide enough to sit comfortably on the shoulders.”
4. Comfort is key
“Look for maximum comfort,” adds Robertson. “The bra needs to feature absorbent fabric with soft, lined wings, cushioned hook and eye, and straps.
“Look out for cups which are seam free on the inside to prevent chafing and irritation.”
5. Do the bounce test
“When trying on the style, a quick jog on the spot will reveal how supportive the bra really is,” notes Robertson.
How can you tell if it’s adequately supporting your assets? “A good sports bra will drastically reduce bounce, therefore preventing any damage to the breast tissue.”