Picking the right sports bra means more than just clicking a couple times online or visiting a big box store and choosing the first one that looks like it’s your size. Before you fork over the cash for your next sports bra, take a minute to learn about the different kinds and how to choose the right one for you.
Three Types of Sports Bras
The three different types of sports bras are encapsulation, compression and combination. Even if you don’t know what these terms mean, you likely have one or more different kinds in your current workout gear. The three types are:
- Encapsulation – this style has two separate cups that surrounds and supports each breast individually. These usually have hooks, zippers or other types of enclosures.
- Compression – this is a band of firm fabric that compresses the breasts against the body.
- Combination – this is a merger of an encapsulation and a compression bra. This one has two different cups and is more supportive than a typical compression.
Choosing The Right Style For Your Body…And Your Sport
The right style for you depends on your body type and what type of exercise you typically participate in. Sports bras are definitely not one size or style fits all so what works for your running partner or gym friends might not be the best choice for you.
If your exercise routine includes high-impact activities like running, or aerobics, or your breasts are on the larger side, you need the extra support that an encapsulation bra provides. One with underwire can help keep your breasts well supported and in place.
Women with B or C cup sizes or those who like medium impact sports like tennis or golf usually prefer a combination style. This provides more support than a regular compression bra, yet isn’t as restrictive as an encapsulation.
If you’re on the smaller side, or you like low impact exercise like walking, weight training or yoga, a compression bra is ideal for you.
Try On The Bra To Make Sure You Have The Right Fit
Try it on. This is so important that it needs to be repeated — try it on. You can’t depend on the tag to tell you if you’re wearing the right size. One company’s 36C could be another company’s 34B so try three different sizes in each style. Get the size you think you need and then one smaller and one larger. If you’re buying online and can’t try them on in a store (if you need a specialty size, buying online might be your best option), choose a retailer with a flexible return policy to ensure you’re not stuck with bras you can’t use.
When you try on bras, jump, move and run in place to make sure your breasts are supported. Your bra shouldn’t move, twist or ride up — these are all signs that you’re wearing the wrong size. If your bra is too small, you’ll notice yourself popping out at the top or the sides, while a too big bra will wrinkle, sag and bag (none of these terms are ones you want describing your breasts!).
You’re not at your best if you’re not wearing the right bra. Choose the style that best fits your body type and make sure you try it on before ripping off those tags. The wrong bra could wreak havoc with your exercise routine so make sure you’re wearing the right one before you hit the gym.
More Sports Bra Resources:
- 5 Ways ToPrevent Nipple Chafing In Your Sports Bra
- 3 EasyWays To Extend The Life Of Your Sports Bra
- 5 Ways ToTell That Your Sports Bra Is Dead
About the Author: Cindy Prosser is a former underwear model turned freelance wter and mommy. She’ll happily commit to wearing Enell Sports Bra so long as she’s not obligated to do any exercise. She does occasionally get out for a run with the jog stroller when she’s not busy writing for Bare Necessities.