Health & Fitness
Oct 2, 2015

6 steps to finding the perfect sports bra

By: Carli Whitwell

Getty Author: Elle Canada Credits: Getty

Health & Fitness
Oct 2, 2015

6 steps to finding the perfect sports bra

By: Carli Whitwell

Step 1: Understand that wearing a sports bra is a non-negotiable.
We get it, the uniboob is not sexy. But nowadays there are so many styles, we promise you’ll find one that’s flattering to your chest (see slideshow, below). Plus, wearing a sports bra can help prevent your breasts from sagging. It’s true. Above the breasts there are connective tissues known as Cooper’s ligaments. If you work out while wearing a regular bra, these will stretch, according to Sarah McBean from Brooks Running Canada. That equals sagging and you can’t come back from that.

Step. 2: Find the right size.
Don’t just grab the sports bra that’s the same size as your regular bra. Jenine LaFayette from Brooks Running Canada recommends bringing in three sizes into the changeroom. Fit depends on three things:

Cup size: If it’s wrinkling, it’s too small and can chafe. Make sure it sits smoothly over your breasts.

Straps: You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably under straps.

Band: "The band is like the foundation of a house,” says McBean. "It gives you the support." That means you want it to be tighter than that of your lingerie bra. Typically people tend to go down a size.

Remember, don’t despair if you have to go a size up or size down. “It ultimately comes down to how the bra feels when you put it on. You should feel comfortable and supported. You know you have the right sports bra on when you don’t think about your sports bra. It minimizes distraction so you can focus on your workout,” says Kelly Cortina, vice-president of women's product, Under Armour.

Step 3: Pick a bra to match the intensity of your workout
“When motion is minimal such as for yoga or hiking, you can look for a bra designed for lower impact activities and all-day comfort. On the other hand, when you need more support, a tighter compression material will keep everything in place,” says Cortina.

Step 4: Find the right fabric
Look for materials with some stretch to them. “This is key to ensuring that a bra keeps its shape and keeps you supported,” says Cortina. Fabric should also be sweat-wicking and antimicrobial.

Step 5: Know when it’s time to let it go.
Yes, you ran your half-marathon personal best in your favourite sports bra. But that was three years ago. Like shoes, bras wear out. (Too loose and they chafe, ouch!) Replace them every year.

Step 6: Make your bra last.
The labels say to hand wash, but unless you are Martha Stewart, most sportswear companies know you are gonna throw in your bra with the rest of your dirty laundry. Here’s a compromise: put your bras inside a lingerie bag to reduce jarring motions on the fabrics. And skip the fabric softener, which can clog the moisture-wicking pores of the bra.

Slideshow

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The best sports bras

Sports bra: Brooks

Brooks Moving Comfort FineForm A/B ($50), at brooksrunning.com.   READ MORE: Wear THIS colour to feel more confident

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of Brooks Running Credits: ELLE Canada

The best sports bras

Sports bra: Joe Fresh

Joe Fresh low impact sports bra ($14), at joefresh.com.   READ MORE: 10 celebrities who are giving us major fall hair inspo

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of joefresh.com Credits: ELLE Canada

The best sports bras

Sports bra: No Ka’ Oi

No Ka’ Oi criss cross back sports bra ($130.65), at farfetch.com.   READ MORE: How one model is redefining beauty after cancer

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of farfetch.com Credits: ELLE Canada

The best sports bras

Sports bra: Adidas by Stella McCartney

Adidas by Stella McCartney women’s studio cropped top ($70), at adidas.ca.   READ MORE: Is THIS the new thigh gap?

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of adidas.ca Credits: ELLE Canada

The best sports bras

Sports bra: Nike

Nike Pro Classic Circulo Dri-Fit Brad ($50), at thebay.com.   READ MORE: ELLE Canada takes the Apple Watch on a road trip to Chicago

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of thebay.com Credits: ELLE Canada

The best sports bras

Sports bra: Lululemon

Lululemon Ta Ta Tamer II ($58), at lululemon.com.   READ MORE: Another reason to quit drinking diet pop right now

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of lululemon.com Credits: ELLE Canada

The best sports bras

Sports bra: Live the Process

Live the Process printed stretch-supplex sports bra ($85), at net-a-porter.com.   READ MORE: Eating fat might not be as bad as you thought

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of net-a-porter.com Credits: ELLE Canada

The best sports bras

Sports bra: Anita

Anita Air Control sports bra ($99), at anita.com.   READ MORE: Eating fat might not be as bad as you thought

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of Brill Communications Credits: ELLE Canada

The best sports bras

Sports bra: H&M

Sports bra low support ($17.99), at hm.com.   READ MORE: How one ELLE Canada staffer learned to love her butt

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of hm.com Credits: ELLE Canada

The best sports bras

Sports bra: Brooks

Brooks Moving Comfort Hot Shot sports bra ($42), at brooksrunning.com.   READ MORE: 5 Canadian yoga retreats to try now

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of brooksrunnng.com Credits: ELLE Canada

The best sports bras

Sports bra: Under Armour

Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Armour Printed Sports Bra ($34.99), at underarmour.com.   READ MORE: 3 workouts Victoria's Secret models swear by

By: Carli Whitwell Source: Courtesy of underarmour.com Credits: ELLE Canada



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Health & Fitness

6 steps to finding the perfect sports bra