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How to Find the Perfect Support Sports Bra.

It’s a question that gets asked a lot: what kind of support sports bra do I need? The answer isn’t as simple as you might think.

Those of you who follow my blogs know that I am all about supporting women figuratively and literally. After all, you are out there trying to better yourself through exercise! That’s why I want to make sure that you have the best possible breast comfort and support while you do.

In this article, I will try to answer this question as best as I can. From bra sizing to bra styles, we discuss what women truly need in their bras so they can move and function comfortably whatever it is they do. Whether you’re doing low impact walking to high intensity interval workouts, I guide you through the basics of finding the perfect sports bra for you!

Why Do You Need the Right Support Sports Bra?

The short answer: you need a proper sports bra for comfort and support.

If you’ve ever tried exercising without a sports bra before, you would know just how difficult it was to move and maybe even breathe. This is especially true for women with bigger chest measurements. That’s because a woman’s breast isn’t connected to any particular muscle on the body. It’s only supported by skin and a ligament called the Cooper’s ligament.

Because of this, the breast tends to move independently and freely from the body. It’s a good explanation for why breasts tend to “bounce”, so to speak. When you’re exercising, this independent movement can be extremely annoying and uncomfortable especially if you’re doing high intensity workouts!

The proper support sports bra will prevent excessive movement and bouncing, provide extra support, and will make you feel extra confident. Think of it as wearing the proper gear: if you don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing, then you can focus on making sure that what you’re doing is correct. A perfectly fitted sports bra lets you concentrate on your movements, rather than feeling conscious about yourself.

How to Find the Perfect Fit?

Now that you know why it’s important to have a good support sports bra, it’s time to find the perfect support sports bra for you.

When looking for a sports bra, there are a ton of things you should consider! The most important, however, is their size, compression, and how they fare vs your activity levels. Keeping in mind that each body is different, it’s important to not feel bad when that pretty stylish bra doesn’t fit like you thought it would.

So, how do you find the right bra that gives you just the right comfort and support? Here’s how:

Remember, Size Matters!

When it comes to finding the right sports bra, your breasts and support size really do matter. That’s because bigger breasts weigh a bit more! And remember what happens when we exercise? They move…a lot. A correctly sized sports bra should be able to minimise that movement.

Now, when it comes to bras in general, sizing can be tricky. You have AAs to JJs, but how do these actually play out?

It should seem like common sense, right? G cup breasts should weigh a whole lot more than B cup breasts. But imagine how confusing it got when I was told that 24D cup breasts are considerably bigger than 12D breasts. At that point, I could only sigh “Why oh, why is everything ‘bra’ so confusing!”

Now that I’ve gotten wiser about bras, let me break it down for you.

The first statement is obvious: a 12G sports bra will definitely fit larger breasts and should be larger than a 12B. The logic here is obviously more clear: larger breasts = heavier breasts, therefore you will need more support.

The second statement is a bit more confusing. How can 24D be that much bigger than 12D when they are both the same cup size? Well, it all boils down to the volume. Both 24D and 12D breasts have the same cup size, however the 12D cup is much smaller than the 24D cup in terms of volume. Following the logic above, 24D = larger breasts = heavier breasts that need more support.

I hate to say it, but if you have a bigger chest, then gravity just might be your biggest enemy when working out. While you can’t halt gravity, the right sports bra can help you resist it. That’s why it’s important to have a perfect fit when buying sports bras. The proper support sports bra gives you the perfect compression, allowing you to move as much and as fast as you want.

What Support Sports Bra Do I Need_01

It’s All About Impact Levels

Aside from bra size, another measurement for support sports bra is impact. Perhaps not so surprisingly, this is considered an anomaly of the sports bra world. So why and how do you measure the support level with bras?

Let’s answer the why part first. Of course, we want the right support sports bra for our activity. So, knowing what kind of activity you’ll be doing is essential for choosing the right bra.

Now, how do sports bras get measured for activity levels? This is a really good question. You’ve probably seen the term “Impact” bras, and that’s really all it boils down to. Impact, in this context, means activity. I guess it all comes down to marketing. ‘High Impact’ is a much stronger phase than ‘High Support’. And that sells more sports bras!

OK, back on point. Sports bra impact levels are measured as low, medium, high and sometimes extreme. But what do they mean?

Low Impact

These bras offer the lowest level of support and are perfect for activities that generate minimal breast bounce. Activities such as Pilates, yoga and slow walking fit the low impact bill.

As mentioned above, if you have a bit more up top consider going up an impact level to get the support you need. As a rule, a low impact bra best suits an A-D cup. Any larger consider medium impact.

Medium Impact

The next level up offers ‘mid’ level support. These bras offer a little more structure and support. Perfect for golf, hiking and karate.

High Impact

Until recently this was the pinnacle of sports bra support (how about that marketing!) A high support sports bra for high impact activities such as netball, running and crossfit.

Extreme Impact

The new pinnacle of sports bra support. Just like 6-star resorts now eclipse the old 5-star ones. Extreme impact sports bras offer the absolute best in support. If you are into your high impact sports and want the best support possible then an extreme impact sports bra is for you.

Remember you can always wear your sports bra down an impact level, but you should never wear it up. If you have a bit more up top, you should consider a higher impact bra to help keep the girls under control. If you are a 12B and play golf a low/medium impact bra may get you around 18 holes in comfort. A 12G might need a medium/high impact bra to make it to the 19th hole in comfort. Same for a 12D versus a 24D.

My Final Thoughts

Whatever you do, you deserve the very best support sports bra. And with the information above you should now know what support level to look for based on your size and activity. After all, you’d want comfort and support all the way whether you’re walking, running, or doing high intensity training.

Remember, if you are unsure, always err on the side of caution and go up a support level. Your breasts will thank you.

Yours in support,

Amy x

Amy Jaffers

Amy is the face behind Sports Bras Direct, Australia’s largest sports bra website. She's a mother of two, outdoors lover and sports bra expert. Her life mission is to help active women get the support they need as well as assisting women in need through her charitable donations.

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