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Sports Bra Style Guide


Every woman wants to be comfortable and supported when it comes to wearing sports bras, so when carrying out any sports activities or exercise, whether it's cycling, going to the gym or running, it's extremely important to have a good fitting supportive sports bra. 


What is a Sports Bra?

A sports bra is a bra that offers all the support you need when you are exercising. It 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. Lingerie brands such as Freya Active and Shock Absorber specialise in sports bras using encapsulation.  

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Why wear a Sports Bra?

Well we know that our 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 taught us 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. Plus size sports bras from brands such as Elomi and Freya Active are producing new colour ways and prints every season so you can refresh your sport bra more regularly and look fashionable at the same time.

Wearing your everyday bra whilst exercising can shorten its life dramatically. These 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.



How to Choose a Sports Bra? 

Choosing the correct sports bras or you will depend on what exercise or sports activity you will be doing. You can opt for a high impact sports bra such as the Freya Epic Moulded Sports Bra, which is perfect for running as your breasts are firmly supported. If you are doing a sports activity such as yoga, you may prefer the Shock Absorber Champion Crop Top with lighter support and no back fastening for great comfort.



Impact Levels


  • High Impact Sports Bras - High impact sports bras are designed with extremely firm fabrics for great supports around the bust and back. They will have high necklines to reduce breast movement and are available in both underwired and non-wired styles. High impact activities include running, tennis and aerobics. A high impact sports bra is generally advised to all women with fuller busts regardless of their sport activities.
  • Medium Impact Sports Bras - Medium impact sports bras might use lighter fabrics but still offer good support and high necklines for minimal movement. Medium impact activities include jogging and weight training.
  • Low Impact Sports Bras - 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.


How should a Sports Bra fit?

When getting a sports bra, it's 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 a few quick tests to check that the size and support of the sports bra is right.

  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. 


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