As it is arguably the most important item of your fitness wardrobe, everyone really should be armed with tips for choosing a sports bra before making the actual purchase. This is one of the few times where function is far more important than fashion. Fit, form and support are much greater considerations than how pretty it is and the color. Here are my tips for choosing a sports bra that will fit right, be comfortable and supportive – no matter how strenuously you work out.
1. Snug around the Band
If you want to keep everything tucked in when you are doing sports activities then listen up to this first one of the tips for choosing a sports bra. The band around the bottom of your sports bra needs to sit straight and snug just on your ribs. You don’t want the bra to leave indent marks, however you should keep in mind that your bra will loosen up after a couple of washes so allow for this when you try on.
2. Try Adjustable Styles
A common problem with sports bras is that they ride up at the back. Find an adjustable sports bra which can be clipped in different positions to fit your shape and size. If you find that the riding up problem carries on even with the adjustments then you might want to consider getting a larger size.
3. What is Your Sport?
Another of the key tips for choosing a sports bra is to consider your activity. Are you going jogging, spinning or attending a yoga class? The main types of activity you are doing should determine what bra you chose. If you are planning on getting super sweaty during a spin class then you might want to opt for a compression bra with stretch fabric. You’ll probably want one without hooks; they’ll chafe and dig in - not what you want when you’re working out.
4. Avoid the Dreaded Muffin Top
If you are a little bigger up top then don’t try and squeeze into a smaller size. If you have a little bit of spillage over the top of your sports bra then you should get a size up. You’ll feel much more supported and comfortable with a bra which fits properly. Plus, you’ll be able to concentrate on your workout rather than constantly hitching your bra up and fiddling with it.
5. Fabric over Fashion
When you’re taking part in body pump classes and other sweaty exercises, you’ll want to choose the fabric over fashion. Find a fabric which has moisture control (known as wicking) to avoid it rubbing while you get a little sweaty. You can even get sports bras with ventilation to keep you cool during your workout.
6. Wrinkly Cups
Wrinkly cups are one to avoid. Not only do they look funny, it also gets pretty uncomfortable as you will experience chafing and will have no support. If you have wrinkles on your cups then you should definitely get a smaller size.
7. Take It for a Ride
When you are thinking about how to pick the right sports bra you will need to remember to try before you buy. When you are in the changing rooms do a few moves - a couple of squats, burpies and a little jog on the spot. You will soon get a feel as to whether it is rubbing, too loose or too tight.
8. Showing Too Much?
When you are in the changing room make sure you do a little cleavage check. Last thing you want is to be flashing your yoga instructor, or giving everyone an eye full when you’re in the gym. At the end of the day, you’re not down the club dancing, you’re in workout mode. If you’re looking a little chesty in the sports bra you are trying on then have a look at other styles that don’t resemble a Wonderbra.
9. Is It Supportive?
A good sports bra should hold you in and support you. You shouldn’t spill out the sides, or find that it is too baggy and causes chafing. Finding a sports bra that is right for your shape and size is important. You’ll probably even find that when you have a supportive bra you feel more encouraged to get out there and exercise.
Knowing how to pick the right sports bra is probably even more problematic than making sure you buy a regular bra that fits well. Who knew underwear could be so complicated?