Whether you’re a runner, a strength trainer, or a yogi, feeling comfortable and supportive in your sports bra is of utmost importance.
However, finding the perfect sports bra for your workout routine is not that easy. As if looking for the proper support and fit isn’t challenging enough, there’s also the question of impact levels: low, medium, and high impact. If you’re wondering what’s the difference between these impact levels and how it even matters, you’ve come to the right place.
What Level of Support do I Need?
Wearing a well-fitted sports bra that minimizes the amount of bust movement is critical to prevent soreness and sagging of your bust. The level of support you need is dependent mainly on your cup size and the type of workout you do.
Low-Impact Sports Bra
Low-impact sports bras are typically designed for movements and activities with a very low degree of bouncing, such as yoga, strength training, walking, and pilates. They usually do not feature cups built in to the design and hold the bust close to the chest, but not as tightly as a high-impact sports bra. If your bust is smaller, you may find a low-impact sports bra super comfortable and supportive.
Medium-Impact Sports Bra
Medium-impact sports bras are designed for people of all cup sizes. They have a slight degree of compression with wide bands and straps and fit snugly to the body for additional support. Depending on your bust size, level of support, and lift you require, medium-impact sports bras may be your go-to for both low impact and high impact activities. These bras can be worn for weight training, yoga, hiking, cycling, jogging, or pilates. If you have a large bust, you may find them comfortable and supportive for walking or everyday gear.
High-Impact Sports Bra
High-impact sports bras are designed for vigorous activities, such as aerobics, running, Zumba, power yoga, or HIIT (high-intensity interval training), that involve a lot of bust movement and bounce.
These bras are generally made with encapsulated cups and are built with adjustable straps and wide bands. High-impact sports bras provide the most support compared to other bras. These bras are ideal for people with larger cup sizes due to the extra support. That said, people with all cup sizes can benefit from the support and comfort these bras provide, especially if they’re into heavy workouts.
Tips to Choose a Sports Bra
Choosing the correct sports bra can seem daunting at first, but with a few details, you can easily find the perfect sports bra for you. Here are some of the things that you should take into consideration:
When picking a sports bra, it is crucial to select the fabric carefully. For comfort and preventing chafing, opt for moisture-wicking fabrics, such as nylon or polyester, with minimal seams and stitching to help reduce friction during the workout.
Moisture-wicking fabrics also help to wick away moisture from your skin so that you don’t stay soaked in your sweat. Stay away from sports bras that feature primarily cotton blends because once you start sweating, they’ll stay wet.
When you shop for a sports bra, make sure its straps are comfortable and adjustable. Ideally, you should be able to place two fingers in between the straps and your shoulders. If you have a large bust, look for wide shoulder straps for extra comfort. Sports bra with adjustable straps usually last longer since you can tighten the straps as the bra stretches over time.
Band-fitting is critical to provide the right support to your bust. If the band rides up when you raise your hands over your head, it’s usually a sign that it’s too big for you. Similarly, if the band exerts too much stress on your shoulders and ribs when you reach down, it’s too tight for you.
4. Cup Size
The cup should hold your bust completely without any spillage, whether it’s compression or encapsulation style. If it doesn’t, go for larger cup size.
5. Movement Test
Before buying your sports bra, swing your arms back and forth and do a jump test. If you experience too much movement, pain, or discomfort, then opt for a different fit.
Different Types of Sports Bras
1. Compression Sports Bra
Compression sports bras are ideal for low to medium-impact activities. These bras do not have in-built cups and work by compressing the busts to prevent bouncing and movement. Typically, compression sports bras don’t have a front or back closure.
2. Encapsulation Sports Bra
Encapsulation sports bras feature a defined cup structure to support each bust separately, similar to most regular bras. They are ideal for medium to high-impact activities and medium to large cup sizes. Encapsulated sports bras provide more shaping compared to compression bras.
3. Racerback Sports Bra
Racerback sports bras offer support and comfort to women of all cup sizes, but they are ideal for large bust sizes. These bras form a Y-shape at the back that helps disperse weight across the entire back. Racerback sports bra is perfect for high-intensity activities, such as running, dancing, and cross-training.
4. Padded Sports Bra
Padded sports bras limit the movement of your bust and help reduce pain and discomfort throughout your workout session. They also provide better support and shape to your bust contours.
5. Teenage Sports Bra
Teenage sports bras are perfect for young girls and teenagers who are going through bodily changes during puberty. These bras offer comfort and full coverage to prevent excessive motion.
Now that you know how to choose a perfect sports bra for you, head to Zivame to shop from our inclusive sports bra collection.