A good sports bra is as an essential piece of kit as trainers. Here's how to find the right one for you.
FIT FOR LIFE
Did you know that during a relatively short 1,000 metre run your bust can move up and down up to 90 metres. Ouch. And that you have no muscles in your breasts so allowing them to bounce around can lead to sag. Crikey. But there's a safe and comfy way to exercise and it's all about wearing the right sports bra. Here you'll find everything you need to know about choosing the right one for you.
Why You Need
A SPORTS BRA
You wouldn’t do an exercise class or go for a run in your day shoes would you? A good sports bra is as essential piece of kit as trainers.DISCOVER MORE
The Impact Levels
The choice of sport generally sets the intensity level bra you will need, with horse riding and running requiring more support than, say, yoga or weight training. Intensity levels are grouped into ‘impact’ levels with low, medium and high impact. When choosing your sports bra check that it’s appropriate for your activity.
YOUR BRA NEED: MAXIMUM SUPPORT
Extra strong but comfortable support.
Today maximum support doesn't need to be uncomfortably restrictive; for example Shock Absorber's Ultimate Fly bra combines maximum support with lightness, allowing you to forget you are wearing a bra and concentrate on your performance.
Specialist bras are now available finely tuned to the sport in question. Running, for example, generates a specific breast movement that is catered for in sports bras designed specially for the serious runner.
YOUR BRA NEED: FIRM SUPPORT
Most medium impact sports bras are wire free – although underwired styles are available if that’s your preference.
They often boast the same features as high impact bras but are generally made from strong but less restrictive fabrics.
Crop top ‘compression’ styles are often offered for medium impact activity and can be worn by smaller cup sizes but if you want more support and shape we recommend cup sized encapsulation styles. Why? ‘Compression’ sports styles flatten your breasts against the chest and don’t have separate cups. This only actually restricts in and out movement. Breasts, however, move in a figure of eight during most exercise. Encapsulation bras have two separate cups, more like a normal bra, and limit this movement.
YOUR BRA NEED: MINIMUM SUPPORT
Low impact sports bras are light and breathable and are often crop top styles.
If your low impact activity involves floor work you may want to look for a flat back for comfort.
As low impact styles do not provide a lot of support, if you are a D plus you may want to go for a medium or high impact style even if your activity is low impact.
Anatomy of a Sports Bra
The Science Bit
When sizing up which bra to buy you are likely to come across the rather off-putting sounding terms ‘compression’ and ‘encapsulation’. Here’s what they mean. And also, is it ok to wear an underwire?
The early sports bras used compression. Most are crop top styles and are generally worn by smaller cup sizes and for medium impact activity...READ MORE
A seperate cup encapsulates each breast, looking more like a normal bra but with more coverage, providing both shape and support...READ MORE
It is safe to wear underwires for exercising as long as it’s a sports bra and not everyday bra and many sports styles now contain underwires...READ MORE
Many of us have daughters or nieces in their teens. It’s a time when girls undergo a series of pressures which all combine to turn them away from physical exercise.
Women in Sport is doing great work to not only counter this but to empower women and girls through sport. You can support them here: www.womeninsport.org
We can all do our individual bit to encourage our younger relatives and ensure they are kitted out properly. Figleaves included. That's why we sponsor our local North London Fame UK Allstars.
If you are more an in the pool rather than by the pool sort of girl, you’ll need a swimsuit you can go to great lengths with. That means high performance fabrics that are chlorine resistant, support that’s not movement restricting and, of course, great style.SHOP SPORTS SWIM
BIKES, BRAS AND BARS
SPORTS BRAS, THE ULTIMATE TESTVIEW
YOUR FAVOURITE SPORTS BRASVIEW
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN