Sports bra issues suck
For women, the most essential piece of fitness equipment might just the sports bra. Sure you want something you think looks good. But if the fit isn’t right, it’s tough to focus on your game. Your bra can can make or break a workout. But how can you be sure that you are choosing something that is right for you? Fit Specialist Olivia Leroux of Anita Canada gives us the info on the most common sports bra issues women have, and how you can avoid these mistakes before you leave the fitting room. Plus, we have the best picks for sports bras on the market right now.
Mistake #1: Your band size is too loose
This might be the most common of all the sports bra issues we list. And this is the case when buying any bra – band too loose, cup too small. Nobody wants to deal with a sports bra that is so tight that it is chafing. Not fun. But if the band is riding up in the back, that’s a major clue that it’s too loose.
Get the right bra: Always check the fit of the band before you buy. According to Leroux, “you need tension but should still be able to insert a finger under the elastic band without feeling uncomfortable.” It will likely be easier to achieve this if you go for a sports bra that is bra-sized (example, 32, 34, 36 etc.) as opposed to just small, medium, large. If you go into the fitting room knowing that the support should come from the band, that will help.
Available in band sizes 30 to 46 and seamlessly shaped cups from A to H, this sports bra has the options you need to ensure the proper fit for any sport. Padded straps and moisture wicking fabric will help you go the extra distance.
Anita Momentum Sports Bra, $150 at Anita retailers.
Mistake #2: Cups that runneth over (or under, for that matter)
Uniboob, double-boob, and other such bra mishaps happen all the time. In this case, it’s all about having the right amount of room for your cup size.
Get the right bra: Lean forward and scoop your breasts into the cup to ensure they are sitting right when you are testing the fit. Leroux says to make sure that your breasts are completely encompassed, and that the cups aren’t too small and digging-in at the front for the dreaded double boob (or four boob) effect. Extra fabric below the cup? This means that the cup size is too big.
This sports bra is a great choice for C to E cup sizes, with molded wire-free cups that reduce bounce and a U-back design with hook and eye closure and adjustable straps. Available in back sizes 30 to 38.
Nike Pro Hero Bra, $95 at nike.com.
Mistake #3: Not enough support for your sport (and then not enough support for your boobs)
If you are running, playing a fast-pasted game, doing HIIT or anything else that involves a fair bit of air time, you’re going to need something a little more serious in the support department. Light support isn’t going to be your friend.
Get the right bra: Test things out in the fitting room to avoid any future sports bra issues. Run in place, jump up and down, even do a burpee or two if there’s enough space. You’re buying clothing to move in, so make sure it moves with you (or in this case, doesn’t move with you) the way you need it too. If you’re ever unsure, it’s always better to go with more support than less, especially if you have a bigger cup size.
This sports bra with its seamless underwire shape provides firm support and plenty of breathability so all you need to worry about is jumping higher and running faster. Sizes come in 28 to 40 and up to an H cup.
Freya Active Sonic Bra, $88 at Freya retailers.
Mistake #4: Straps that dig in or droop
The main support of your bra does come from the band. But – if the straps don’t sit properly, you’ll be missing out on the right fit.
Get the right bra: An adjustable strap might be your best bet. Once you ensure that the band is the right size and the cups are in place, adjust your straps accordingly. Straps shouldn’t dig in or slip off your shoulders (racerbacks can often be a good fix for that), and if they do that’s an indication that it’s the wrong bra for you.
This racerback, adjustable strap and back closure means that this sports bra will stay in place through a full range of motion.
Adidas CMMTTD Marble Chill Bra, $90 at adidas.ca.
Mistake #5: Thinking you have the perfect (irreplaceable) sports bra
Buying one bra and wearing it over and over again for years isn’t a great strategy – especially if you don’t treat it right.
Get the right bra: If you work out regularly, you need at least two to three bras on rotation to avoid any sports bra issues. You can expect a lifetime of about eight to 18 months out of your sports bra, depending on how often you use them.
“Sports bra care is also important for the bra longevity,” says Leroux. “Make sure to wash after each use.” Either hand washing or in a mesh bag in the machine is best. And seriously – don’t put your bra in the dryer. Hanging to dry is the only option that will protect your investment.
Built to last with added Lycra for stretch and shape retention, this sports bra will go the distance for you if you treat it right. A no-distraction underband in sizes 32 to 38 and built-in cups in A to E ensures comfort and support.
Lululemon Enlite Bra, $98 at lululemon.ca.