If you've got big boobs, chances are your workout has been ruined by a poorly fitting sports bra. Surprisingly, studies have shown that most women either don't wear a sports bra, or struggle through workouts with bras that don't do their job. Unsupported breasts have serious bounce, with D cups moving 2-3" in each direction. The larger your cup size, the greater the bounce.
A poor fitting sports bra not only makes working out uncomfortable, but it also changes our workout behavior. It's hard to get excited about exercising when breasts get in the way. Weak support impacts women of all sizes, but those with large breasts are especially at risk. But there's good news! As the full bust bra market continues to expand, so do the options for well-fitting and stylish full bust sports bras.
There are two types of sports bras, compression, and compression with encapsulation. Bras that only feature compression are usually pullover styles and don't offer a customized fit. They work by compression breasts against the chest wall, limiting in and out movement only. They also are the cause of the dreaded "uni-boob" look that we all want to avoid. Sports bras with encapsulation and compression provide the greatest support to full busts. These bras enclose the breast in a cup and limit total breast movement (both in and out and up and down). They also lift and separate each breast giving both superior support and an attractive silhouette.
Getting a great fitting sports bra starts with knowing more than your bra size. If it's been awhile since your last fitting, definitely start there. These tips will help you finesse your fit so you end up with a sports bra that can keep up with you and your girls:
1. It should fit snug, tighter than your regular bra but not so tight that you can’t take deep breaths with ease. Raise your hands above your head. If your band rides up, it’s too loose.
2. The band provides the majority of the support. The wider the band, the more support. The band should be level all the way around your body.
3. Full coverage encapsulated cups provide good cup separation. Breasts squished together aren't only not well supported, they're sweaty!
4. Cups should be smooth and enclose all of your breast tissue. If there is any wrinkling or puckering, the bra is too big. Breasts won't stay in place with saggy cups.
5. The architecture keeps you centered. Side slings keep breasts forward while inner U slings assist with support.
6. Elasticized top edges cup breasts for a customized fit.
7. Flexible underwires give you the full range of motion.
9. Shoulder straps should not hold your bra up (the band does all the heavy lifting). They should have minimal stretch to reduce up and down movement. There should be no binding or digging in any way (and ideally there should be the ability to adjust if needed).
10. Padded straps provide comfortable and even weight distribution. A leotard back helps to ensure they won't slip off shoulders.
11. Breathable fabrics will help you breathe easy. Look for moisture-wicking fabrics, and open weaves on the center panel, side wings, and band.
12. Don’t tolerate chafing around the armholes, straps, or band. Seams should be comfortably flat
Now that you know all about full bust sports bra fit, it's time to find some new favorites. While these options are a bit pricier than the less sturdy bras you've worn in the past, with proper care they should last a long time. Even better? You'll perform better, get a better workout, and look fantastic while breaking a sweat!Chantelle High Impact Sports Bra Available in band sizes 30-42 with U.K. cup sizes C-H Via HerRoom Elomi Energize Underwire Sports Bra with J Hook Available in band sizes 34-46 with cup sizes D-J Via HerRoom Freya Active Underwire Sports Bra Available in band sizes 28-38 with cup sizes D-H Via HerRoom Panache Full Busted Underwire Sports Bra Available in band sizes 28-40 with cup sizes C-H Via HerRoom Wacoal Maximum Control Sports Bra Available in band sizes 32-42 with cup sizes C-H Via Bare Necessities Anita Maximum Control Wire-Free Sports Bra Available in band sizes 30-46 with cup sizes C-H Via Bare Necessities Glamorise Maximum Control Wire-Free Sports Bra Available in band sizes 34-46 with cup sizes B-H Via Bare Necessities Shock Absorber Ultimate Gym Sports Bra Available in band sizes 30-38 with cup sizes A-H Via HerRoom Enell High Impact Sports Bra Available in sizes S-XL and 1X-6X Fitting band sizes 32-52, and cup sizes C-DDD via HerRoom
Has a poor fitting sports bra negatively impacted your performance or discouraged you from working out? What do you think of these styles? Would you invest in a well-fitting sports bra customized for your full bust?