Finding the perfect sports bra is just as difficult as finding the perfect everyday bra, or the perfect sexy night out bra. This is especially true when it comes to girls with larger breasts, who have to find bras that provide a lot of support and also manage to feel comfortable at the same time.
I hear girls complain about their sports bras all the time. I know girls who work out wearing two sports bras instead of one because they feel like it’s better (it’s not). I know girls who just buy the cheapest sports bras they can find because they assume there’s nothing better out there. I even know girls who forgo sports bras all together and work out in a regular bra. This is a terrible idea. Seriously.
If you want to find the right option for you, read on. Here are 12 things you didn’t know about finding the perfect sports bra:
Sports Bras Won't Leave You 100 Percent Pain FreeHere's some disappointing news: no matter how great your sports bra is, it probably won't leave you pain-free. One study found that even when wearing sports bras, many women still experience breast pain while working out, and that number was even higher for women with larger breasts. It seems like rigorous exercise itself just hurts boobs. However, this doesn't mean a sports bra can't still help. It definitely does! Make sure you're buying a super supportive one that fits correctly, and you will notice a difference. Source: ShutterStock
Don't Buy A Cotton OneCotton sports bras should really be a thing of the past, but you can still find them in stores. Cotton sports bras are usually pretty cheap, which makes them tempting. But don't fall for the inexpensive price! Cotton sports bras will just stretch out and soak up all of your sweat, leaving them pretty gross. The best sports bras are the ones made from speciality technical fabrics that wick away moisture. Bonus if they're made with breathable fabric that includes air holes.
You Need To Replace Them Every Six MonthsIf you've been wearing the same sports bra for two years now, it's beyond time to throw it out. Experts say sports bras last for 30 to 40 washes, or six months to a year. The elasticity in your sports bra gets ruined with each wish, and as that gets ruined, the support decreases. Other ways to tell you're ready for a new bra? If your boobs are moving around more than they used to. Source: ShutterStock
The Wrong Size Can Make Your Boobs SaggyWearing the wrong size sports bra, or opting not to wear a sports bra at all, can make your breasts get saggy pretty quickly. When you're doing high-impact exercise (like running or bouncing), your breasts move up to ten or more centimeters. This makes your boobs saggier faster. The right amount of support keeps them in place and prevents this from happening. Source: ShutterStock
Wearing The Wrong Size Can Affect More Than Just Your BoobsWhile wearing the wrong size definitely impacts your boobs, it does more than just that. Even if you don't realize it's happening, the wrong sports bra changes the way you run. When you don't have enough support, you subconsciously change up your arm swing so that you're preventing breast movement. This makes other areas of your body hurt, like your shoulders, neck, and upper back. More reasons to go for the correct size! Source: ShutterStock
It Should Fit On The First HookOne of the ways to tell if your sports bra fits correctly is to check out the hook. When you first buy the sports bra, it should fit comfortably when you hook it into the very first hook. If you have to use the second or third hook, it's too big. Sports bras stretch easily, and so eventually, you will have to tighten it. You can't tighten it if it's already at it's tightest! Source: ShutterStock
Avoid The UniboobA super tight sports bra does not equal a good, supportive sports bra. Some girls wear bras that smoosh their boobs up, leaving them with one giant uniboob, and they think this means it's supportive. I mean, sure, your boobs aren't going anywhere. But separating your breasts is really important. Doing so allows air to circulate, and gives you more support. Plus, it's just more comfortable. Source: ShutterStock
All Sports Bras Are Not Created EqualIf you do a bunch of different forms of exercise, you need to own a few different types of sports bras. You can't wear the same sports bra that works for yoga or pilates when you're running or doing a high-impact cardio class. For high-impact exercise, make sure you're buying a high-impact bra that gives you more support so your breasts don't move around. For low-impact exercise, you can go for something with light support. You can wear your high-impact sports bras for low-impact activities, but not the other way around. Source: ShutterStock
Buy What's Right For Your SizeThere are lots of different types of sports bras out there, and when picking one, it's important to look for the right one for your size. If you're an A-cup, you don't need to spend extra money on a bra that's better suited for a girl with DDs. Women with small or medium breasts (A to C cups) can go for compression bras that offer encapsulation. If you have larger breasts (anything more than a C), avoid compression bras and go for encapsulating styles that also offer some kind of underwire. Encapsulating bras separate and support your boobs much better. Source: Zappos
Encapsulating Sports Bras Are The Best OptionWhatever size sports bra you're getting, whether it's compression or not, make sure you're getting encapsulating cups. You can see what they look like here. Encapsulating cups separate your breasts, giving a lot more support. Source: Nordstrom
Most Sports Bras Being Sold Are Not Made CorrectlyOne more note on encapsulating sports bras: a lot of companies aren't making them, despite the fact that they're the best kind of sports bra you can buy. Now more companies are making them, but still - make sure you're on the lookout for them. Source: ShutterStock
It Requires Special MaintenanceJust like a regular bra, a sports bra needs to be handled carefully. You shouldn't just be throwing them in the wash with your t-shirts and pajamas. To take care of your sports bras, wash them in cold water with mild detergent, avoiding fabric softener and bleach. to dry it, line dry it or lay it flat. If you must put it in the dryer, use the cold tumble cycle because heat breaks down spandex and elasticity. Source: ShutterStock