Getting the Right Support: Choose the Sports Bra that’s Right for You
by: Vanj Endaya
A sports bra is one of the most important sports gear a woman can have – it has a big effect on training and racing performance. If it’s too tight, you might find it hard to breathe or you could suffer from raw, chaffed skin. If it’s too loose, it doesn’t have enough support to keep your breasts from jiggling and bouncing while you move.
The only way to make sure that a sports bra fits perfectly is to actually fit one. Here are some guidelines to see if you’ve got a sports bra that’s right for you:
#1 Straps: The straps should not be too tight and dig into your shoulders. Look for straps that don’t stretch so much to keep your breasts from moving up and down. Adjustable straps are great – your breast size can change throughout the month, more so if you lose or gain weight, so it’s important that you can adjust the bra’s fit to make it comfortable.
#2 Band: The band should be flat against your ribcage. Take a deep breath to make sure the bra fits comfortably. A sports bra should have a wide band made with durable elastic to give your breasts the right support. If you see the bra ride up your back, the band is either too loose or the straps have to be adjusted.
#3 Cups: Breasts should be fully covered and not spilling out of the sides and top. The fabric should be smooth and not wrinkly.
#4 Material: Polyester fabric keeps sweat away from your skin and it dries quickly.
#5 Style: A pullover sports bra is okay for activities that have low impact on your breasts such as cycling and yoga. For running, look for a bra that has compression technology. Compression sports bras hold breasts in place by keeping them flat against your chest.
When you try on a sports bra, test it by running in place in the dressing room. You shouldn’t feel any bouncing movements or pressure against your chest wall. Try on several bras to make sure you get the right fit.
P.S.: Sports bras should not be used for more than a year. The fabric and the strength of the elastic wear out over time due to sweat, detergents, how often it’s washed, and actual use. Signs that you should replace your sports bra include wrinkled (also known as “bacon”) straps and a looser fit. Make your sports bra last longer by alternating them and by not wearing them two days in a row.
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