How to Choose the Right Sports Bra


A poorly fitted sports bra can mean the difference between a successful workout and one that’s plagued with discomfort and unproductivity. Whether you’re working out at the gym, or getting in a few laps on the treadmill at home, it’s important that your workout gear be the correct size.

If you’re confused about how to choose the right sports bra, then you’re not alone. Studies have shown that women often make the mistake of choosing a sports bra based on the size of their regular bra. Here are a few tips on getting the right fit every time.

Activity Level

The first thing to consider when you’re choosing a sports bra is the level of activity that you’re going to be engaged in. This includes low impact, medium impact, or high impact exercises.

If you’re doing low impact exercises like walking, strength training, or yoga, then you won’t need a sports bra with maximum support, as your movements are limited with these activities.

With medium impact exercises, like skiing, road cycling, and hiking, you will need a bra with medium support. High impact exercises include running, aerobics, and mountain biking. These are the activities that require maximum support from a sports bra.

Measuring Properly

In order to get a proper fitting sports bra, you have to make sure that you have the proper measurements. It’s best to go into a shop and let the professionals help you, but if you’re going to do it alone then this is the best way to go about it.

  1. The first thing you’ll need to do is measure the band size. Take your shirt off, but keep your bra on and measure the space around your rib cage. The tape measure doesn’t have to hug your ribcage, but it should fit snugly. Once you get a number, add 5 inches to get your band size.
  2. The next thing you need to do is measure your bust size, or the area around your breasts. Make sure that the tape measure goes across your back and doesn’t get twisted around. If you end up with a half size, be sure to just round up to the nearest whole number.
  3. Once you have the bust and band size, you can easily calculate your cup size. Subtract your band size from the number that you got from your bust measurement. That number determines your cup size. 1 inch represents an A cup, 2 inches represents a B cup, 3 inches represents a C cup, 4 inches represents a D cup, and 5 inches represents DD.

The Right Style/Strap

Sports bras can generally be broken down into three styles according to the straps. These include the tank top, racerback, and crisscross straps. Deciding which one is best for you, again, depends on your activity level and your comfort level.

The crisscross strap provides support for low to medium impact exercises. It’s a popular style, and one that also works well for women with small to medium bust sizes.

The tank top strap is kind of like an everyday bra, and works well with low impact exercises. You can adjust the straps and add additional support if needed, but this is typically not recommended for high intensity aerobic exercises, unless you have a small bust.

The racerback strap provides excellent support, but you have to be careful with this one. The straps aren’t adjustable, so this means that you’ll have to ensure that you have the right size when you purchase it. These are great for high-impact exercises and can support large busts during high-intensity workouts.

Choosing the right sports bra is not a science, but there’s definitely some thought that needs to go into it. These tips can help you get started with the right fit, and keep you comfortable and supported while you engage in any activity level.


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