One of the most important items of gym clothing is, of course, the sports bra. Feeling comfortable and well supported is a must if you want to train as hard and as productively as you can, so it’s advisable to really take the time to find the right bra for you, based on your body type and the kind of physical activity you have in mind.
As you research your options, you’ll find that there are different sports bras that all offer different levels of support, designed to provide you with exactly what you need based on what you’re doing and the kind of impact your body will need to absorb as you train.
Low impact activities include the likes of yoga and pilates, as well as any kind of strength training that doesn’t involve jumping. If you’re going to be doing anything like this, then you can go for a low support sports bra quite happily, putting comfort above all else.
More moderate impact activities would be sports like rowing and cycling, as well as dancing. Here, you’re likely to want a bit more support so look out for something that helps hold you in place as you move.
As for high impact sports, this is anything like HIIT, skipping, tennis, running, mountain biking and so on. For these, you’ll need a sports bra that offers you the highest level of support possible, or else you may find it uncomfortable and unenjoyable to train.
Once you’ve worked out what sort of support you need based on your chosen activity, you now need to think about size and cut. It’s advisable to measure your chest size before you buy so you can be assured that you’re getting the right fit. You need the back of the bra to be snug against your body and check that the fabric isn’t wrinkling or cutting into your chest.
Another factor to consider is your range of movement. You don’t want to be constricted and you want to be able to train as hard as you like and, for this, a racerback bra is particularly useful. It can be irritating if straps drop off your shoulders as you exercise, so this is something else to bear in mind as well.
When trying your bra on, make sure that the underwire (if there is any) lies flat against your ribcage and just below the breast tissue, without pinching or digging in. It can also be very helpful to jump around and do some exercises you might do when you’re actually training to see how the bra holds up. If it feels uncomfortable, it’s probably not your best option.
As with a lot of these things, it comes down to trial and error… but with a bit of perseverance, you’re sure to find the right bra for you.
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