Bras and exercise – choosing your perfect sports bra

As every woman knows, it’s really important to wear a comfy, supportive and well-fitting bra every day. But, if you are a sporty girl, it’s crucial to wear a proper sports bra for your workout.

Your sports bra is the most important piece of your workout kit. It’ll not only make your workouts more comfortable, it’ll also make you look better, by reducing the dreaded visual bounce!

Did you know that your breasts contain no muscles? They are made up of fatty tissues and are supported by the Coopers ligament. If the breasts are not well supported, this ligament can become stretched, leading to sagging or drooping.

The bra size you wear doesn’t matter – smaller breasts can move just as much as larger breasts – and can be just as prone to sagging. And not wearing a decent bra during exercise can also lead to neck and back pain, as well as painful, uncomfortable breasts.

According to research carried out by the University of Portsmouth, running with no bra at all can cause your breasts to move by 8.5cm: not just up and down but from side to side and even in and out. Wearing a regular bra for exercise can reduce movement by up to 32%. But going one step further and investing in a proper sports bra will lessen the movement by around another 20%.

There are many different brands offering sports bras as part of their lingerie collection. These range from supermarket or chain store own brands priced from around £6 to specialist designer sports bras which can cost from £40 upwards.

Sports bras can be non-wired or underwired – until quite recently it was recommended that women wear a non-wired bra for sporting activities but as long as the bra fits properly a specialist underwired bra is fine (lots have special flexi-wires that move with your body as you exercise).

Most brands offer a comprehensive range of sports bras for different impact levels, so you can choose the right bra to suit the support you need for your particular sport, as well as your bra size.

There are two main types of sports bra:

When it comes to fitting your sports bra, the rules remain more or less the same as for fitting a regular bra. The underband needs to be snug in order to offer the support you need for your workout. It’s really important to try on a sports bra to make sure it fits well – and if you can, jump up and down or run on the spot to try before you buy!

We recommend Panache Sports Bra, Enell Sports Bra and Nike Pro Sports Bra.

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