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How to Find a Good Sports Bra

Regular exercise can transform both your mind and your body. Finding an activity that you enjoy is an essential first step. From there though motivation becomes critical. This incentive can take many forms; it may be a workout partner, an upcoming event, or something as simple, yet powerful, like a new exercise outfit. Today, I want to help you know How to Find a Good Sports Bra so that you get the most out of every workout.

A good sports bra can go a long way toward helping you get and stay motivated with your fitness goals. And unfortunately, the opposite is also true. A poorly fitting sports bra can cause you to feel frustrated and uncomfortable, ultimately leading to you possibly giving up.

While comfort is an important factor, there are also physical dangers from which a good sports bra can help protect you. Let me explain. Particular ligaments in your chest, called Coopers Ligaments, have the important job of supporting your breast tissue by holding up your breasts. If your breasts are not held up by properly supportive bras, these ligaments can, over time, stretch out leading to sagging breasts.

Which Sports Bra is Right for Me?

All sports bras are not created equal, which is why it’s important for you to know how to find a good sports bra. So the first question you need to consider is what activity you are doing so that you select a sports bra with the correct level of support.

There are three sports bra support levels to choose from Low, Medium, and High Impact.

Common sports for Low Impact Sports Bras include walking, yoga, and pilates. Mainly any activity that won’t have your chest jiggling too much. This type of bra can also be quite comfortable when you are doing housework. Click here to shop LOW IMPACT sports bras on

Medium Impact Sports Bras are best for activities including spinning, cycling, power walking, hiking, or using an elliptical for example. Be sure to look for bras made in breathable fabrics that will also wick away moisture since you are sure to be working up a sweat at this level of activity. Click here to shop MEDIUM IMPACT sports bras on

High Impact Sports Bras are for those activities like running, aerobics, dance workouts, boot camp style classes, horseback riding, tennis, or anything else that involves a lot of up and down and side to side motion.

As with the medium impact bras, pay particular attention to the fabrics used to be sure that they are going to help carry sweat away from your body during workouts. Click here to shop HIGH IMPACT sports bras on

Once you have decided which level of activity you are going to be performing, let’s find the best fit for you.

There are three common types of sports bra styles: Compression, Encapsulation, or a combination of the two.

How does a compression sports bra work?

The goal of a compression style sports bra is to squeeze your breasts to your body restricting movement, much like an ace bandage.

This type of bra tends to be most popular with women who are an A or B cup size. The squeezing effect can be uncomfortable for women with larger cup sizes.

How does an encapsulation sports bra work?

The encapsulation style of sports bra is typically a more flattering style because it focuses on supporting each breast individually. It is designed to contain versus compress each breast which is not only more comfortable but also helps you avoid the dreaded uni-boob silhouette.

There are a variety of ways that encapsulation bras are designed and some offer more support than others, so again, make sure the bra you select is appropriate for the level of activity you will be performing.

On we make it very easy for you to identify the type of sports bras we have. Just look underneath the price listed, and you will see the kind of support the bra provides plus which level of impact it is designed to handle.

How does a compression AND encapsulation sports bra work?

This bra combines the efforts of both styles into one – there is a certain amount of squeezing and containment built into it.

How to Find a Good Sports Bra & what makes a sports bra comfortable?

There are many elements that go into helping your sports bra feel comfortable both when you are putting it on and while you are working out.

After you have determined the type of bra that is best for your activity, let’s explore a few more important options to make sure the bra you select will give you the fit and comfort you desire.

What size sports bra do I need?

There are sports bras sold in S, M, L, XL sizes, but just like your everyday bra, we recommend that you tailor the size of your sports bra to your actual bra size. Exercising can be one of the most physically stressful and active events you can do and protecting your breasts is extremely important, plus the right size will feel infinitely more comfortable. So, start with your everyday bra size and adjust slightly if necessary.

How should the cups fit in a sports bra?

Just as with traditional bras, it is important that your breasts fit well in the cup area. You do not want any spillage over the front or side edges of the cup. Your breasts should feel very comfortable and supported.

Should sports bras have hook closures?

For many years sports bras were designed as pullovers which could be awkward to get both on and off. Today you can still find pullover styles, but thankfully there are also zipper and hook closures as well. These are infinitely more simple to get on which can, in even a small way, encourage you to get moving.

Do the Shoulder Straps Matter on a Sports Bra?

Yes, they do, for a number of reasons. First, if you have a larger chest and are wishing for extra support, look for straps that are spaced more widely apart, this style may be preferable.

Second, pay attention also to how the straps feel on your shoulders. Look for straps that are not too narrow and that have some padding for extra comfort.

Third, when you are wearing your sports bra, make sure the straps don’t slip off during movement, this is an indication that you may not be wearing the correct size or that they need to be adjusted.

Conversely, if you have strap marks on your shoulders when you take your bra off, this may be evidence that you are wearing the wrong size bra. 

Remember, the band provides most of the support in a properly fitting bra so it shouldn’t hurt your shoulders. The band should lie flat and be snug but not uncomfortable.

Do Sports Bras Have Underwires?

Some encapsulated styles of sports bras do have underwires which can increase the level of support they provide, especially for larger cup sizes.

Are there Sports Bras with Padding?

Yes, some sports bras do offer light padding for modesty while exercising, which can be quite nice if you prefer to not wear anything extra like a tank top over your sports bra.

How often should I replace my sports bra?

Depending on how often you are wearing it for workouts and how you are caring for it when you wash it can affect the lifespan of your sports bra. A good rule of thumb is, at a minimum, replace your sports bra everytime you get new running shoes. For some, this may be every three months. Again, it depends on the wear and tear your sports bra is getting, so pay attention to the fit everytime you put your bra on and adjust as necessary.

Check out this lookbook for a snapshot guide to finding a good sports bra:


Here’s a quick summary to help you as you are shopping for your new sports bra:

How do I pick the right sports bra for me?

  1. Determine your activity (different sports require different levels of support).

  2. Know your band and cup size. Note: if you are an A or B cup, look to a compression style first. If you are a C cup or larger, consider an encapsulation style sports bra.

  3. Select the right impact level (low, medium or high) for your sport within the hold style that you prefer (compression/encapsulation).

  4. Visit to find the best styles of Sports Bras for you.

  5. Try a few to find your favorites.

How to Find the Right Sports Bra Video

Want to become a sports bra pro? In this video, I show you even more tips and details about how to find a good sports bra. Click here to watch.

I hope this information helps you find your new favorite sports bras and that you will be able to get out and rock your fitness goals!

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