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Friday Q&A: What is the Proper Way to Wear a Sports Bra?


Have you ever looked around at other women wearing sports bra tops while exercising and asked yourself what’s the proper way to wear a sport bra? Today’s Friday Q&A is all about common sport bra issues, and how to wear them the “right” way!

Question from Jess:

What is the proper way to wear a sports bra? If I want to go to the gym in just a sports bra how do I wear it? Like do I wear the sports bra and the sports bra alone? My boobs (C cup, not huge, but still) jiggle around too much and it hurts. OR do I wear a regular bra underneath my sports bra. I never see anyone do that, but it’s the only way I’m comfortable running.”

There’s a lot there, Jess, but I can relate!

First up: if you want to go the gym in just a sports bra, there are some great sports bra tops that work well as stand-alone workout wear. A few of our favorite sports bras that work well as sports bra tops include:

If you take a look at these bras, you’ll see that they share some commonalities in styling and cut. Sports bras to wear as stand-alone tops tend to have a bit more coverage, and look less like a “normal bra.” The styling is such that it’s meant to be seen. Compare this to something like the Elomi Energise Underwire Sports Bra, which looks a lot like a normal bra in terms of shape and styling – this is the type of bra that’s intended to be worn under a workout shirt or other sport garment. So take your clues from the styling and cut.

Regarding the jiggling around – that means you’ve either got a problem with bra fit, or you’re using the wrong sport bra for the type of exercise you’re doing.

Problems with Fit
As many as 80% to 85% of women wear the wrong bra size – that means that 4 out of 5 of us are wearing the wrong size! A properly fitted bra will provide the support you need, while a bra that doesn’t fit properly has no chance of supporting your bust. We’ve got a ton of info about fit and why it’s so important, so check out our Bra Fit Guide to help walk you through finding the right fit.

The most common fit problem is wearing a band size that’s too large with a cup size that’s too small, which means you’re trying to get too much support from the straps and undersized cup, when the band itself should be providing support but is probably riding up, stretching and doing all kinds of bad things! You’re probably not a C cup at all, Jess – you’re probably a D or larger – so get fitted to find out what you should be wearing!

The Right Sport Bra for the Job
The other thing that could be causing your bounce problem is using the wrong type of sports bra for the exercise you want to do. Sports bras aren’t like regular bras – they’re designed differently for different activities. Things like running involve a lot of bounce, so you need a more supportive, restrictive bra design to keep your bust from bouncing and “jiggling.” For running, you need a high impact sport bra – something like the Shock Absorber Level 4 D Plus Max Sports Bra Top.

With the right high-impact bra – in the right size – you should never need to wear a second bra under your sports bra. You just need to shop around a bit to find the right style and size for you!

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