How To Choose The Right Sports Bra For Your Workout

Self-care and daily exercise are essential to a healthy mind and body, but your breasts can take a real beating if you aren’t wearing a proper, bra-sized sports bra to protect them. A stretchy, over the head spandex contraption is not a sports bra. These types of bras are best for sleeping or lounging around the house, not working out. Tender breast tissue will be spared discomfort with a bra specifically designed to minimize bounce and protectively encapsulate the breasts, much like a perfectly fitted pair of running shoes protect and cushion the feet. In this post, we will explain why it’s important for your comfort and breast health to determine your exact sports bra size, how to match the proper sports bra to your level of activity, and give you a list of the six most amazing bra-sized sports bras on the market today.

What is a Sports Bra and Why Does it Matter?

The goal of a well-fitted sports bra is to contain and reduce the painful and sometimes permanent damage that bouncing can cause on your breasts. Staying comfortable and solidly held in place while you focus on your fitness is essential to alleviating the awkward self-consciousness and pain that bouncing breasts can cause. This is extremely important for women of all ages, but especially for those young women just developing breasts who compete in sport and dance activities. The best sports bras are band and cup sized for your perfect, customized fit.

How to Determine Your Proper Sports Bra Size

A bra sized sports bra will hold your breasts solidly while you exercise only if the band and cup are correctly fitted to your body. The band should be firm but not too loose or too tight, and this will help alleviate uncomfortable chaffing at the band and even under the arms. Choosing your exact cup size will ensure containment of the breast tissue with no spillage or bulging, while also allowing no extra fabric in the cup which can lead to painful and damaging bounce.

To determine your proper size, and there are about 180 different sizes to choose from, it is best to consult a bra fit professional. If you are fortunate enough to live in a community with a reputable bra fitting boutique, this is the best of all possible options. If that is not possible, there are steps you may take to find your own best bra fit. Check out our article How to Measure Yourself for a Bra.

How to Choose the Right Sports Bras for Your Lifestyle

Choosing the right sports bra for your many activities is important, and there may be a variety needed, rather than just one style.  We are multifaceted, right? Think about the physical exercise activities you are involved in, whether they are exercise routines or chasing kids. We have broken down the different levels of support, below.


Running, Brisk Walking, Martial Arts, Fast-Circuit Weight Training, Soccer, Softball, Basketball, Tennis, Volleyball, Dance, or Cheer?

High Impact Sports Bras will ensure bounce control and moisture wicking properties for your best comfort. This type of sports bra is most often built with an underwire, which offers more support, and also the increased comfort of breast separation. (Think less boob sweat!) Choosing the right size is essential to comfort, and if properly fitted, the underwire itself should feel undetectable.

Weight Lifting, Brisk Walking, Yoga, or Everyday Outside Activities?

Medium Impact Sports Bras provide just the right amount of bounce and moisture control for low to moderate impact exercise.  These sports bras may or may not contain an underwire and are most effective when bra sized and perfectly fitted to your unique shape. 


The Top 6 Sports Bra Choices on the Market

Heather grey wired sports bra

Panache 5021Padded, with an underwire, the ultimate in bounce and moisture control. Strong padding to help shape and round out the bust. J-hook on back allows it to be invisible under racerback tops. Great for Mid to Full Cups up to a UK J, and for bands 28 through 38. High Impact.

                       Black unlined sports bra

Sculptresse Sport 9441 Double layered, lightweight, seamed inner cups for shaping, and outer cups for smoothness and support. Convenient J-hook racerback. Lightweight comfort with a variety of Mid to Full Cups up to a UK J, and bands 34 through Plus Size 46. High Impact.


Grey & Neon sports bra with wire
Prima Donna SweaterDouble layered luxury lightweight seamed inner cups for shaping and outer cups for stylish smoothness. Triple padded underwires offer the highest degree of comfort. Straps convert to racerback. A variety of generously deep Mid to Full Cups up to a US H cup (that’s a UK FF), bands 32 through 42. High Impact.


Beige sports bra for full bust
Elomi EnergiseSupportive, double layer seamed cups give you a great, projected shape which shows off your waistline. Makes a great Plus Size warm weather everyday bra. Convenient J-hook racerback. Lightweight comfort with a variety of Mid to Full Cups up to a UK J, and bands 34 through plus size 46. Medium to High Impact.


Black and mesh sports bra with gold trim

 Simone Perele HarmonyCool, breathable spacer cups allow for air flow with soft, brushed terry on the inside for moisture absorption. Underwired for support and very stylish with a J-hook on back. Medium to High Impact.


Animal stripe sports bra with no wire on dark background

 Anita Air PadUltra-lightweight, air-permeable net sections make this supportive wireless sports bra look like less bra. Firm patented delta pads shape the bust without wiring and along with strategic panels, keep your skin cool. Medium to High Impact.


The pace of your life is hectic and you know the importance of wearing the right gear to take care of your body, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Having perfect fitting bra-sized sports bras in your arsenal of workout gear will dramatically improve your workout focus and results. Take care of your breasts by making a personal bra fitting appointment with a professional who can guide you through the process of choosing your bra-sized sports bras. After all, you deserve to look and feel your absolute best, and you alone must take charge of your self-care. Book your personal bra fitting today.

xoxo - Jeanne "Genie" Emory, Founder of Bra Genie


How to Avoid Breast Damage When Exercising Interview with Professor Joanna Scurr

1 comment

  • Sukie

    This is a very good article. As far as I’ve read several articles. Thank you.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published