Your boobs can bounce up to 14cm during a workout, according to research by the University of Portsmouth. That sounds like a good reason to bin those 10-year-old sports bras you’ve been working out in and opt for something more supportive. These best activewear picks, for every chest size, come tried and tested by the Strong Women team.
Wearing the right sports bra is an important and often overlooked aspect of exercising.
Yes, we workout to help our bodies and minds get stronger. But let’s be honest, sometimes all you’re looking for from a workout is an hour of peace and quiet. When you’re plugged in and ready to go the last thing you need is a distraction, especially in the painful form of your boobs bouncing around.
Having a good sports bra is important no matter what exercise you’re doing. But now that many of us have been opting for more cardio-based home workouts, such as HIIT and running, finding a bra that stops the bounce is more important than ever.
A well-fitting sports bra can impact your performance by as much as four per cent, because even a small amount of breast movement during running can shorten your stride length, increase the energy cost of movement and affect breathing mechanics. But still, 80 per cent of women are not in the right fitting bra.
While finding a good one shouldn’t be as much of a challenge as it is, good sports bras are counted on to provide quite a lot. It needs to keep you supported while you run, jump and squat, as well as wick sweat, keep you cool and stay comfy.
Shock Absorber Active Bra, £39
Ayesha Sandhu, events assistant, says:
“The mesh back makes this bra so breathable, but the main thing I love is just how supportive it is. I often struggle with finding a bra that fits both my waist and my boobs, but this perfect. I honestly think this is the best sports bra I have ever worn.”
Athleta Race Cinch Bra, £59
Fitness writer Chloe Gray says:
“While this doesn’t look very supportive, the internal cups and adjustable straps made me feel really secure during training. The ruching and cut-outs give it a really unique style, and the material is buttery soft and it fits true to size – I’d really recommend it.”
Royce Impact Free Bra, £32
Rebecca Denne, Strong Women contributor, says:
“This is really comfy and really structured. I did a circuit training session in this, with lots of burpees and star jumps, and I still felt so supported which is rare. I like the fact that it’s designed like a normal bra with a clasp, too. It’s a big thumbs up from me.”
Sweaty Betty All Train Sports Bra, £60
Meriam Ahari, Strong Women editor, says:
“This bra did the job even through a trampoline class, it’s that supportive! It’s a really smooth fabric that lays really nicely against my body. To be honest, it’s one of the most comfortable bras I have ever worn!”
Tala Iris Bra, £26
Strong Women contributor Eva Pineda says:
“The straps on this bra are thick and the cross over makes a nice little keyhole that’s good for breathability. The material is thick so I keep it for the low impact weight sessions rather than the ones that I get sweaty in, but it means that I felt really secure and held in. I like that Tala is a sustainable brand, and think this is a great, versatile piece for working out in.”
TCA Relentless Bra, £28
Megan Glynn, designer, says:
“This bra gave really great support. It’s longer than normal, coming down towards the belly button, so it also felt supportive around the stomach which was nice. The mesh back meant no chaffing or rubbing on the shoulders when I was lying down to workout, and the removable cups are a great to modify the amount of support you want. I think it’s such good value for £28.”
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Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).