While the entire internet is losing its mind over the Ta Ta Towel, let’s not forget that when it comes to bosoms, we have some (arguably) more important things to discuss. Today, we’re talking about our girls’ ultimate sweaty nemesis: sports bras.
Sports bras actually get a bad rep. Think of them more like frenemies: They might be the biggest pain to peel off after a sweat sesh (ugh!), but they’re actually your best friend during all activities that involve even the smallest amount of bouncing, right?
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to find the right sports bra for you, based on two things:
- your cup size
- your workout impact
Whether you’re looking for a little lift or hoping to strap ‘em down, here are the best sports bras for every shape, size, and workout so you can focus on what really matters: getting healthy and fit!
Why you need to find the right sports bra, according to science
Us ladies like to think about certain mechanics when we exercise that men don’t. Think of it like this: When you’re working out, your torso is moving in different directions at various speeds.
Your girls, on the other hand, have no muscle (they’re just masses of soft tissue). They move independently and do their own thing, but are driven by the direction the torso is going in. Sports bras swoop in to minimize that independent movement so you stay feeling supported and pain-free.
Sports bras for A-B cups
Ladies with an A-B cup size have a lot of choices when it comes to sports bras, so it’s important to think about what you’re looking to get out of your workout. Even though you may not need as much support for, say, a gentle yoga class, if you’re hitting the road for a half marathon, that’s a little different. You might prefer a racerback or other sports bra with some extra padding.
Nike Pro Indy Sports Bra
Best for: weights, yoga, Pilates, and low-impact workouts
Count on Nike to give you a basic, lightweight sports bra that will get the job done and come in a variety of fun colors so you can feel confident while you work out. No wires makes this comfortable option wearable out of the gym, too. Buy it here.
Victoria’s Secret Lace-Up Sports Bra
Best for: looking stylish before, during, and after barre and hot yoga
This one may not give you endless support if you’re out running, but for a light-support option that’s also stylish, it can’t be beat. It also comes with removable padding for coverage and extra lift. The wick-away fabric will keep you cool even through that hot yoga class. Buy it here.
Nike Classic Cooling
Best for: running, cycling, dance, and cardio
If super sweaty cardio workouts are your thing, you’ll love the cooling feel of this dri-fit sports bra. The racerback shape will offer the support you need without feeling suffocated, too. Buy it here.
Sports bras for B-C cups
For those of us who fall somewhere between and may or may not be experiencing the effects of gravity already, here are some middle-of-the-road options. They’ll hold you up come CrossFit, power walking with your BFFs, or whatever you’ve got in the works.
The Player by Victoria’s Secret
Best for: kickboxing, circuit training, or anything without a ton of bounce
Get into the action with this bra from Victoria’s Secret. It offers medium support, maximum coverage, and is perfect for activities like kickboxing or circuit training that don’t require you to bounce around a lot. It comes in a variety of colors, and reviewers say it’s a great basic bra if you’re somewhere in the middle of what you need for support. Buy it here.
Queenie Ke Medium Support Strappy Back Bra
Best for: low-, medium-, or high-impact workouts — anything goes!
Best for cups in the B/C size, this sports bra provides medium support and a crisscross lace design in the back. It’s designed to be extra durable and keep its shape even through washing. It’s antimicrobial to combat that infamous sweaty clothes smell. Buy it here.
Champion Women’s Seamless Tie-Dye Strappy Cami Sports Bra
Best for: circuits, yoga, and boot camp
Target has your back, — in this case, literally, with a crisscross tie-dye bra that offers medium support and seamless design. This bra will get you through a heavy-duty workout and has Duo Dry technology to help dry the fabric even faster after you sweat it out. Buy it here.
Sports bras for C-D cups
If you’re full-figured, you’re probably all too familiar with wearing two sports bras on top of each other to get the support you need. These solid choices will mean that’s not necessary anymore. Bottom line: You want a bra that can hold you up, but never hold you back.
Lynx Cross Back Bra
Best for: triathlon training, hot yoga, or any exercise that requires a fast dry off
Listen: Your shoulders can only do so much when it comes to holding up the girls, am I right? You can’t ask them to do all of the work, which is why the Lynx aims to take some of the pressure off of your shoulders with supportive side panels. There are rave reviews from larger-breasted women who not only appreciate the support from this bra, but are glad to have the chance to “free their shoulders.” Buy it here.
Skirt Sports Kelly B-DD Bra
Best for: any and all workouts
Available in sizes up to 40DD, the Kelly B-DD Bra features separate molded cups to support each breast, along with support panels to curb the inevitable bouncing. One of this bra’s best benefits is that it offers either cross or traditional straps and mesh panels to really give your girls extra air to breathe. Ahhhh... Buy it here.
CW-X Conditioning Wear Bra
Best for: running, cardio, and other high-impact activities
If you’ve avoided running or high-impact activity in the past because of your breast size, this bra — built specifically for stability — may help change your mind about hitting the road. It offers extra coverage and a wide band to stabilize your chest while moving.
“This is the ONLY sports bra that has ever worked for me,” wrote one happy customer in her review. “I hated running until I found this bra. I ordered another one immediately! This is the only time in my life I haven’t had to wear two bras at the same time!” she continued. What an endorsement — we’re sold. Buy it here.
Chaunie Brusie, BSN, is a registered nurse in labor and delivery, critical care, and long-term care nursing. She lives in Michigan with her husband and four young children. She’s the author of the book “Tiny Blue Lines.”