10 Essential Things to Look for When Buying a Sports Bra

Ladies I can’t stress the importance of wearing the right sports bra when you are working out. One thing that I have learned over the years of playing soccer and working out, it is important to trump fashion over comfort. The wrong type of sports bra can leave your girls unsupported or leave you feeling uncomfortable during your workout. Did you know that you can cause permanent damage to your breasts when you exercise?

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Your breasts are made up of fatty tissue and mammary glands and are held up by Cooper’s ligament. As you workout, your breasts are going to move and if they aren’t supported you will cause the Cooper’s ligament to stretch out. Once the Cooper’s ligament is stretched out, you will be left with saggy boobs. To avoid saggy boobs you must find a good sports bra to protect the girls. When you exercise, your breasts are going to move up and down, in and out, and side to side. All of these motions can put a ton of strain on your breasts and can cause pain too!

Use the following 10 essential things to look for when buying a sports bra.

Fitness Level

Not all sports bras are created equally. Depending on your fitness level, you might end up needing several different types of sports bras for each activity you do. Here are the three different types of fitness levels for sports bras:

  • Low Impact – This sports bra is made for walking, road cycling, weight training, and yoga.
  • Medium Impact – This sports bra is made for moderate hiking, skiing, and inline skating.
  • High Impact – This sports bra is made for running, aerobics, soccer, and mountain biking.


The band of your bra should fit fairly snug compared to a lingerie bra since a sports bra is designed to help minimize breast movement during exercise. Find a bra with a good band since this is the foundation of a sports bra. The wider the band the better support. You want the bra to be fairly snug especially if the sports bra has hooks or fasteners. If your bra has hooks, move it to the middle row of hooks and try the bra on. You should still be able to take a deep breath in comfortably on the middle set of hooks. If not, try a different size.

Shoulder Straps

The straps on your sports bra shouldn’t be too tight or dig into your shoulder. Look for straps that are adjustable so that you can adjust the straps as needed. The shoulder straps shouldn’t be your main support. A shoulder strap should only be holding the cups in place. Make sure that the shoulder straps aren’t too stretchy to help reduce the amount of up and down breast movement. Also, the wider the shoulder strap the bra has the better support you will have.


Just like a lingerie bra, sports bras also can come with underwire. You want the underwire to lay flat against your skin and should help provide shape to the bra. Make sure that you choose a sports bra with underwire that is designed to move with your body so that you are protected from injury. If you aren’t comfortable wearing underwire while playing sports, opt for a sports bra without it.


The cups on your sports bra should adequately cover your breasts. Make sure that you try on the sports bra, if possible, before buying it so that you can make sure that it fits you properly. Allow your breasts to sink into the cups after you put it on. Then you need to put the bra to the test. Run in place, move side to side, jump up and down, so that you can see how well that the sports bra supports your breasts. Make sure that the fabric doesn’t bunch up either on the cups. If the material bunches up, you need to go down a cup size.


Pick a fabric that is moisture wicking so that it drys quickly. This will help keep the moisture away from your body too. This will help keep you comfortable while you are working out.

Minimize Breast Movement

Buying the Right Sports Bra

Photo Credit: Pixabay

The goal of a sports bra is to help minimize breast movement while you are working out. There are several types of approaches that sports bras utilize:

Compression bra – This type of sports bra is best for women who have size A or B cups. The goal of the bra is to compress the breasts against your chest to restrict movement. There are two types of bras that offer compression: scoop-back style and racer-back styles.

Compression/encapsulation bra- This type of sports bra offers a combination of protection for women who have size C and D cups. It is designed to offer support rather than compression.

Encapsulation bra – This type of sports bra is offers individual cups for each breast so that each breast is fully supported individually. It is best for women who have size D or DD cups. This type of bra doesn’t offer any type of compression and is there to provide support for your breasts.

Extra Tips

  • You want to look for a bra that won’t cause chaffing around the arm holes, shoulder straps, or seams.
  • If you are buying a bra that has hooks or snaps, you might want to test them prior to a race in case they cause chaffing.
  • The best way to determine if you have the right fitting bra, you should put your hands over your head. If the band moves up any, you either need a smaller bra or the straps need to be adjusted for a better fit.

It is very important that you choose a bra that fits you properly. If you don’t know what size sports bra to buy, it is best to have a professional bra measurements done.

You should replace your sports bra every 6 to 12 months depending on how often you use it.  If you want your bra to last longer, you should hand wash it even though most of the sports bras on the market are designed to be washed in the washing machine. Also, avoid drying it in the dryer. It is best to air dry it.

I hope that the following 10 essential things to look for when buying a sports bra was helpful and made finding one easier. Just remember that you might have to try on several sports bras before you find the right one. Looking for a sports bra, try shopping a wide variety of sports bras from Reebok.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Do you wear a sports bra while you are working out?