From fit and fabric to comfort and colour, buying a sports bra can be a minefield. The experts from MyAesthetics share their top tips for finding the right one.
Things to remember before buying a sports bra
Sports bras have recently become somewhat of a fashion accessory but they still play an essential role in providing comfort and protecting health during your fitness routine. A sports bra that fits incorrectly can ruin a workout and affect your health. We spoke to Hagen Schumacher, expert consultant cosmetic surgeon at MyAesthetics for the five things you need to consider before buying one.
Are you being measured and fitted correctly?
Any kind of exercise, particularly high-impact fitness like HIIT or running, places tension on the supporting muscles of your breasts, so it’s important to have a professional fitting. Get measured around the smallest part of your lower bust, where the band sits and then the fullest part of your bust. Go up or down a letter for each inch of difference and you’ve found your cup size.
How do you know when you’ve found the right fit?
The band of your sports bra should sit firmly around your chest at an even level and the shoulder straps should provide support without leaving marks. You should be able to set the hooks on the loosest setting when you first begin wearing your bra, so you can tighten it as it begins to naturally lose elasticity. When it comes to augmented breasts, it’s important to invest in a supportive sports bra rather than one with a compression fit. Compression bras may squeeze implants unnecessarily, but a supportive sports bra will take the burden off the connective tissues, keeping the breasts in position.
What’s wrong with your sports bra?
Tell-tale signs your sports bra is the wrong fit:
• The band rides up the back, or you’re using the tightest hook
• The straps dig into your skin
• There’s spillage when you bend over
Select your sports bra by activity
Low-support bras are best for low-impact activities like walking and yoga, medium-support is suitable for brisk walking and cycling and high-support is designed for sports like running and aerobics. Compression style bras do not have cups and are usually worn by pulling them over your head. They compress the breasts against the body to limit movement. Encapsulation designs have individual cups. There are now sports bras offering a combination of compression and encapsulation. They offer the most sturdy support for women of any breast size.
Know when it is time to upgrade
Just like all bras, sports bras stretch over time. It is recommended that you replace it every four to six months, depending on the frequency of wear and quality of care.