If you have naturally large breasts (or if you’ve gone under the knife to make them so), the following conversation probably sounds all too familiar:
You: “It feels like sometimes my big boobs get in the way of things I want to do.”
Your average-breasted friend: “I can’t believe you’re complaining about this. You’re so lucky!”*
*Probably accompanied by a drawn-out eye roll
After all, one of the most popular bra categories is the push-up bra. Women are always buying padded bras, cookies and other accessories to increase their perceived cup size. So many of us strive to achieve that coveted feminine, full-busted silhouette. So why, if you’re already well-endowed, would you ever complain?
What many people don’t understand – and what I’m sure larger breasted women understand deeply – is that although large breasts are considered ideal and very attractive, they also come with their own set of unique challenges. To put it plainly, having large breasts isn’t always fun and games. Especially when the fun and games are sports-related and rigorous activities.
The Problem: Bigger Boobs Are a Heavy Burden
Has the size of your breasts and the lack of a supportive sports bra ever made you regret taking a trip to the gym or even tempted you to skip the gym altogether? You’re not alone. If you’re a DD cup size or larger, it can seem like there’s nothing more debilitating during a workout than feeling like your breasts aren’t being properly held into place, protected and contained as you move.
According to a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health in 2013, one in five women say their breasts keep them from participating in physical activity. Of the 249 women surveyed, researchers found that the two predominant exercise deterrents were being unable to find the right sports bra and being embarrassed by breast movement.
Breast bounce not only makes the act of exercising uncomfortable, but it can also cause pain afterwards and prolonged (even permanent) negative effects to the perkiness of your breasts. Due to their weight, larger breasts react to gravity more drastically than smaller breasts. This can cause discomfort during exercise, soreness and tenderness after the fact, and long-term damage to the Cooper’s ligaments that can cause permanent sagging of the breasts over time.
The Solution: The Right Sports Bra
The three main things women with larger breasts need from a sports bra include:
Meeting these three needs can look different for every individual. Fit, support and comfort can mean adjustable shoulder straps, encapsulation and back closures for one woman, while for another it’s a seamless, over-the-head design with compression. Once you know what your preferences are, you can start shopping some of the best and most supportive sports bras on the market.
To get you started, I’ve pulled together eight of my favorite sports bras for full-figured (DD+) women.
Panache Full-Busted Underwire Sports Bra
Reduces breast bounce by up to 83%
Contour underwire cups for shaping, lift & support
Mesh insert at front center and neckline for breathability
Padded adjustable shoulder straps with J-hook in back for racerback wear
Brooks Moving Comfort Juno Racerback High Impact Sports Bra
Wireless, contour, seamless cups with perforated interiors for breathability
Compression & encapsulation
Anita Active Momentum Seamless Underwire Sports Bra
Reduces breast bounce by up to 78%
Molded, seamless, minimizing underwire cups for shape & support
Mesh backing with hook-and-eye closure at back
Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Sports Bra
Designed specifically for running
Wireless, unpadded cups provide shaping & support
Targeted figure-8 movement control
2 closures in back (top & bottom)
Freya Core Underwire Sports Bra
Underwire multi-part cups for lift and shaping
Padded shoulder straps adjustable in back
Enell High Impact Front Close Sports Bra
Front hook-and-eye closure
Lined multi-part cups
Encapsulation & compression
Tall back features diagonally stitched lining for posture support
Wacoal Sports Underwire Bra
Encapsulation & compression
Seamless, full coverage, underwire cups for shaping & support
Lockable hook adjustments on straps
Mesh sides & back for cooling ventilation
Learn more about different sports bras here.
Find a better fit,