Sports bras have come a long way in recent years and are not only supportive but also comfortable. The Cherry Blossom Intimates sports bra guide will tell you how to find your true size, how to choose the right sport bra for you and how to take care of your breasts when working out.

What are the features of a Sports Bra?

A sports bra will have wider side panels and possibly more hooks and eyes at the back for better support. The wider cushioned shoulder straps help distribute the weight when exercising, so nothing digs in. All sports bras are created with high performance fabrics that are moisture-wicking and breathable to keep you comfortable when doing sports activities. They are available with underwires or without. Both bra styles are extremely popular.

There are two main types of sports bras - Encapsulation and Compression.

Compression sports bras support the breasts by compressing the breast tissue together against the body, which gives an almost mono-boob look. This provides minimal movement and maximum support.

Encapsulation sports bras use a unique cup structure to encapsulate your breasts and keep them separate. You get maximum support with a more natural feminine shape.

Why wear a Sports Bra?

Breasts are made up of fibrous tissue. They do not contain any muscles but are supported by Coopers ligaments. These ligaments, once stretched, will not fall back into place. By wearing a good fitting sports bra, you are protecting your breasts by taking pressure off supporting muscles which can also enhance your breathing capacity. Think of a sports bra like a great pair of running shoes.

Research has shown that when exercising our breasts don't move up and down, they move more in a figure-8 pattern. Sports bras are able to adapt to this, they support and contain you in a unique way as well as keeping you cool and dry so you can get the most out of your exercise. Unlike many years ago, sports bras are now available in most bra sizes. 

If you wear your everyday bra whilst exercising, you can shorten its life dramatically. Sports bras are specifically designed to deal with the extreme movement and pressure of exercise. Everyday bras are not built for action, especially from the strain of running, yoga or playing tennis. If the delicate fabrics are exposed to heavy perspiration and friction, the materials elasticity can break down and will no longer give you the support you need.

Impact Levels

  • High Impact - High impact sports bras are designed with extremely firm fabrics for great support around the bust and back. They will have high necklines to reduce breast movement and are available in both underwired and soft cup styles. High impact activities include running, tennis and aerobics. A high impact sports bra is generally advised to all women with fuller figures regardless of their sports activities.
  • Medium Impact - Medium impact sports bras might use lighter fabrics but still still offer good support and high necklines for minimal movement. Medium impact activities include jogging and weight training. 
  • Low impact - Low impact sports bras are ideal for cup sizes ranging from A - DD. They are usually designed like a crop top bra with extra support for low impact exercises such as cycling, brisk walking and yoga.

Why is exercise important?

Our bodies crave movement and exercise. Exercising daily or every other day helps your physical fitness and good health including improving your heart health, muscle strength, overall mood and stamina. You don't have to spend hours at the gym or take up strenuous sports activities to be physically active, it could be brisk walking, a yoga class or swimming a lap in the pool. These all help our health and fitness levels besides just losing weight. 

The Sports Bra Test

When trying on a sports bra, its important to check the fit is correct before starting any sports activities. Most women will buy the same size sports bra as their previous bra. This is a good starting point, but we advise doing some tests to check the size and support of the sports bra is correct.

  1. Stand in front of a mirror with the sports bra on.
  2. Lift your arms and move them around making sure the sports bra stays in place.
  3. Try a gentle jog or jump on the spot and check your breasts are not moving or starting to bulge anywhere. Check the back of the bra is sitting straight and not riding up.
  4. A sports bra should fit the same way a normal bra does. The back should sit parallel to the front and the cups should cover the breasts without any creasing or cleavage on show. You may find you need to try a bigger cup size in a sports bra to make sure you get the height in the cup and the neckline. The back needs to be comfortable but firm. If the under-band is too big, it could cause friction when exercising.