Shockabsorber @ Barrington Sports
Unsupported breasts move up to 12cm during exercise - up-down, in-out, and side-to-side. This amount of movement can result in discomfort, chafing and ultimately damage to the breasts' supportive tissue. Sports bras come in different levels of support depending on your cup size and the type of exercise you do. Low-impact sports bras, used for walking and stretch exercises, are often cut like a crop-top. High-impact bras generally use less stretchy material and include supportive seams and overlays.
The level of support required does vary according to bra size, but whatever size you are we would recommend opting for maximum support. Research suggests that a properly structured encapsulation bra - which cups each breast individually - is more likely to give good support over a compression bra. Encapsulation bras have two cups like a normal bra, but with extra support. For larger cup sizes, encapsulating sports bras are definitely recommended.
Looking after your bra is also important. Sports bras tend to have a life cycle of around 40 washes.The technical fabric of your sports bra will wear during the washing cycle, and its elasticity will diminish during use. Try not to tumble dry your bra either; the heat will destroy its fabric.
So, as you can see, a sports bra really is the most important piece of sportswear you'll ever own.
How to measure
Different sports require different levels of support, as do different breast sizes. As a general rule, the higher the impact level of activity and the larger breast size you have, the greater level of support you'll need. Here's a quick reference guide, HIGH IMPACT: running, tennis, squash, aerobics, mountain biking, hockey, horse riding. MEDIUM IMPACT: dance, skiing, cycling, spinning, martial arts.
What bra size do i need?
Stand straight - standing in front of a mirror may help. Wear a non-padded regular bra. The tape measure should be snug but not pinching or twisted. A well fitting sports bra may feel tighter than a regular bra; this is normal but it should not restrict movement or breathing at all.
1. Measure around your rib cage, pulling the measure tight. Keep elbows down and breathe out..
Inches 27-28 29-30 31-32 33-34 35-36 37-38
32 34 36 38 40 42
2. Then measure the fullest part of the bust and take the difference between this measurement and your bra size from the first table to find your cup size...
Inches -1 to 0 0 to 1 1 to 2 2 to 3 3 to 4 4 to 5 5 to 6 6 to 7
A B C D DD E F FF
See the range (click here)