The Perfect Sports Bra

by Rona Berg

Finding a great sports bra isn’t easy, but it is important. It can be as important—and satisfying—as it is to find a natural deodorant that really works. (But that’s an entirely different story!) According to Nora Minno, Daily Burn Trainer and 

Registered Dietitian, the top two considerations in a sports bra are support and comfort. 

“Your sports bra is the last thing you should be thinking about during your workout,” says Minno. “If you’re constantly pulling on your straps, pulling up the chest, or feeling any discomfort in your breasts when you are doing higher-impact moves, you may want to look into a different sports bra.” Also consider fabric thickness or padding. “Some prefer a thicker fabric for a more supportive feel and others might prefer a thinner fabric to allow for more breathability,” she says.

Nora Minno, Daily Burn Trainer and Registered Dietitian, in a Lululemon sports bra

There is a lot of confusion about how tightly a sports bra should fit. If yours fits like a compression bandage and you think it’s supposed to be that way, think again. “A sports bra should fit snugly enough so you can get adequate support during your workout but should also be comfortable so that it doesn’t dig into your ribs or shoulders,” says Minno, who offers these tips: 

If you find that you have deep lines in your shoulders or around the top of the rib cage after a workout, you may need to size up, loosen the straps or find a different style that works for you. Look for a sports bra with different width straps, an adjustable back or a different size band around the bottom. There are lots of different style sports bras that you can adjust to make the fit just right for your body. You should also be able to get the sports bra on and off without having to battle it too much. “You don’t need the idea of putting on a sports bra getting in between you and your workouts,” she says. 

With no shortage of options these days—zip front, padded, adjustable straps, adjustable backs, thick or thin material; light, medium, high levels of support—it’s easy to find the perfect sports bra for you. It just may take a bit of trying. According to Minno: “Take a few jumps around in the fitting room to test out the level of support. If you have tight shoulders or prefer a tighter sports bra for support, look for a sports bra that unclasps in the back or front to make it easier to get on and off.” 

Most important: “If something feels uncomfortable or really tight right away, it probably won’t get more comfortable, so keep looking until you find that Cinderella moment with your sports bra.” 

Here are a few of our favorite sports bras:

Falke USA Versatility Maximum Support Sport-Bra

Ideal for medium to large cup sizes and a high level of activity. Front-fastening, fast-drying with a seamless finish. falke-usa.com

Under Armour Infinity Bra 

The brand worked with a breast health expert to create this innovative design with flexible cups engineered to offset impact across all levels and naturally mold to the female body as it moves. underarmour.com

Patagonia Wild Trails Sports Bra

A racerback design offers support as well as freedom of movement for a range of activities, with power mesh lining to keep you cool and adjustable elastic band for additional support. patagonia.com

Nike Swoosh Long Line Bra

Because it hits lower on the rib cage, it offers extra support, and is long enough to wear as a top with high-waisted pants. nike.com

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