Listen up ladies: when you exercise, your boobs move two to three inches in each direction with every movement—bad news if you’re fighting sag! Get a good sports bra so you can fight the effects of gravity, aging, and the movements you make when you exercise. This can cut the amount of inches your perky pair travels as you sweat—after all, many workout routines mean you’ll be jumping up and down along with your boobs. Here’s what you should consider when choosing one:
Sports bras usually come in three different types, depending on the impact or intensity of your workout. Pick the bra that corresponds to your workout of choice.
High impact bras for workouts that involve a lot more bouncing in the breast area—trust us, you’ll want as much support as you can get! Think running, plyometrics, aerobics, and Muay Thai.
Medium impact bras for routines that entail moving for long periods of time with less jostling. These include lower-intensity cardio activities like power walking or using the elliptical machine, where most of your body’s motion is in the lower body.
Low impact bras for exercises that have little to no bouncing, because the core stays stationary. Think yoga, Pilates, and weight training, where a lot of core work is involved, and where your body doesn’t move around as much.
Compression bras are those you pull on over your head. Brands like Adidas, Nike, and Under Armour carry them and they’re best suited for women with A and B cup sizes. Sizing is usually general (XS to XL).
Encapsulation bras are sized and shaped like regular bras, and each breast has an individual cup. This style is best for women with a C cup or larger, because it has more panels for support.
Racerback straps give more support because they cinch the weight of the breasts to the upper back’s center.
Wide, bra-like straps are more likely to be adjustable and distribute weight throughout the upper body.
When in doubt, always go for the bra that best fits your body and that gives you the most support. Make sure the band fits tight enough that it doesn’t move up and down, but check that the cups leave ample room for your breasts to be held in place. When trying them on at the store, do a couple of jumping jacks in the dressing room to test the support it gives. Invest in good, breathable material for when you sweat, and go for a brand that’s known for its quality. Professional coaches and trainers suggest investing in a good sports bra and saving on the workout wear like tanks and shorts—a good one that’s right for your body and workout can make all the difference in your fitness.