WHEN heading out for a run or hitting the gym, you want to be secure in the knowledge your sports bra is up to standard to ensure you’re supported.
The best sports bra will minimise bounce and keep everything in place and comfortable whether you’re an AA or a DD cup.
There are tons of different models available out there so make sure you choose one that is appropriate to your size and your workout activity.
If you’re wearing anything above a C cup, there’s also a few things to keep in mind to avoid painful boob bouncing. For more tips you can check out our guide of the best sport bras for large-breasted women .
When it comes to the fit, bear in mind that a sports bra should feel tighter than your standard bra to keep you more supported.
Not sure which one to pick? We did the research, so you don’t have to.
1. We tested: Lululemon’s Wunder Train Long-Line Bra
- Wunder Train Long-Line Bra, £58 from Lululemon – buy here
Welcome, the new addition to Lululemon’s iconic sports bra range: the Wunder Train Long-Line Bra.
Designed for medium-impact training, this bra is cut from fast-drying Everlux fabric with Lycra® fibre, and has a high-neck for extra coverage.
We tried it out to see if it’s worth the £58 price tag. Like everything from Lululemon, the fabric was softer-than-soft with just the right amount of stretch for a comfortable and supportive sports bra.
In terms of fit, it’s definitely true to size, giving you a body-con shape that feels both flattering and non-restrictive. In fact, it’s a sports bra that you can’t feel when you’re wearing it because it’s that seamless.
The removable pads and thick underband give you lots of support, and it’s bigger than other styles on the market which means you feel secure wearing it alone with leggings for your workout.
We wore it for a 20 minute HIIT and by the end, we forgot that we were even reviewing it because we couldn’t feel it at all throughout our workout. That’s when you know you’ve got a good sports bra.
2. We tested: Le Col Women’s Pro Seamless Cycling Bra
- Women’s Pro Seamless Cycling Bra, £60 from Le Col – buy here
Being keen mountain bikers, we understand the importance of finding a supportive and comfortable sports bra.
Le Col is known for its excellent quality cycling gear, so we tested out their seamless cycling gear to see if it lived up to our expectations. It did.
We loved the seamless design, which meant it didn’t show under our jersey, and we found it was supportive enough that it kept everything in place when going over the trails, rocks, chalk and mud.
We also wore it to play golf and hiking, and it was ideal for those low impact sports. However, if you’re intending on doing any higher impact activities, we’d recommend opting for a more supportive design, such as the Panache sports bra below.
The bra offered excellent coverage, wicked away any moisture, and we found it easy to wash and care for.
We loved the colour and the softness of the fabric and we often forgot we were wearing it – which is exactly what we look for in a sports bra.
Though on the more expensive side, if you’re after a high-quality comfortable sports bra for low impact sports, we’d highly recommend Le Col’s cycling bra.
3. Best For Bigger Busts: Panaches Sports Moulded Underwired Bra
Panaches Sports Moulded Underwired Bra , £42 at SimplyBe – buy here
When you have more up top, it’s difficult to find a comfortable fit when it comes to working out. So bigger busted ladies will rejoice when they hear this bra can be selected by cup and under bust size. It even goes up to a G cup.
The back straps can be worn two ways and there’s a separate cup encapsulation to help define shape and offer comfort to reducing breast bounce during exercise.
You can choose from seven different colourways, too.
We’ve got a whole list of the best sports bras for big breasts – check it out here .
4. Best All-rounder: Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Support Bra
- Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Support Bra, £39 at John Lewis – buy here
If you’re a bit of an all-round sportswoman, you’ll need a bra that can cope with varying movements.
This sports bra by Shock Absorber provides maximum support, so it can be worn by anyone at whatever cup size.
It’s specifically designed for multi-sports use from horseriding and hockey to running and cycling – all high-impact workouts and activities that will benefit from the bra’s padded straps, breathability and ability to keep your bust from bouncing.
In fact, when the University of Portsmouth tested Shock Absorber bras, they found that they reduced bounce by up to 78%.
5. Best For Weighted Workouts: adidas Don’t Rest Alphaskin Bra
- Don’t Rest Alphaskin Bra, £22.95 from adidas – buy here
However big you are up top, you’ll be fine to use a locked-in compression bra for when you hit the weights area of the gym.
This type of bra will keep everything in place while bending and lifting weights.
You really don’t need built-in cups or anything too intense, as there is minimal bounce involved in static workouts.
This Adidas bra’s racer-back design will allow a good range of movement when trying to bench press or deadlift, while its moisture-wicking material will keep you dry when you’re working up a sweat.
6. Best For Yoga: Mindful Seamless Bamboo Yoga Bra
- Mindful Seamless Bamboo Yoga Bra, £45 from Sweaty Betty – buy here
The founder of Sweaty Betty, Tamara Hill-Norton, developed the brand because she was so uninspired by regular sportswear offerings and wanted to make it cool to sweat.
This bra encapsulates everything we know and love about the brand.
With a unique strappy back and ribbed finish, this sure will be your favourite.
It’s not just smart in terms of looks either – its lightweight fabric is sweat-wicking and the supportive under band makes it ideal for light workouts in yoga, barre or Pilates studios.
Sweaty Betty airs on the pricier side, but trust us, once you’ve tried its designs, you’ll never look back.
7. Best For Spin Class: Nike Icon Clash
- Nike Icon Clash, £34.95 at Nike – buy here
When you pluck up the courage to hop onto a spin bike, you’re going to want a decent amount of support.
When standing and sprinting in particular, you’ll need a bra that’ll minimise bounce.
This Nike Icon Clash Bra is a great option as it’s made of smooth and stretchy fabric providing you with a tight fit for a body-hugging feeling.
Its clever design points don’t stop there. Nike’s bra is designed for cardio with a breathable style and sweat-wicking technology which will attempt to keep you dry and comfy even in the hardest class.
8. Best For Running: Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Sports Bra
- Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Sports Bra, £45 at SimplyBe – buy here
Shock Absorber is a brand that’s already appeared on our list of best sports bra buys once and there’s a reason for it.
While its shaped brassieres are a little pricier than compression alternatives, Shock Absorber options are worth every penny with cups that’ll mould to your shape and sizing that ensures the perfect fit.
There are no generic small, medium and larger chested options here.
This bra has been specially designed for running, so it’s made to minimise the drastic bounce that is associated with high-impact sports.
In fact, Joanna Wakefield-Scurr, Head of Breast Health Research at the University of Portsmouth and who also works with Shock Absorber, told The Sun that during their study into breast movement, they saw movement on average of around 9cm across all breast sizes.
“In fact, we saw up to 21cm of movement in some women, so it was very significant,” she says.
This is why it is so important to get a bra that fits well and keeps your chest still.
This bra will pass the bounce test with flying colours. Plus, the wide straps and seamless linings will ensure you stay comfy in it, too.
9. Best For Smaller Busts: Beachbody Elite Ombre Bra
- Beachbody Elite Ombre Bra, £30.36 from Amazon – buy here
Beachbody’s Elite Ombre Bra is great for smaller busts. We tested the Beachbody Women’s Elite Ombre Bra in the gym and found it to be light and comfortable while doing a mix of weights and cycling.
The material is nice and thin to stop you getting too hot, and although the straps aren’t very wide, we didn’t find they dug in at all.
It’s not a particularly supportive design, so we’re not sure it would suit larger busts, but its great for smaller sizes.
We’d recommend using it for pretty much any activity and as athleisure too.
10. Best For Cold Days: Beachbody Intent Compression Bra
- Beachbody Intent Compression Bra, £18.53-£50 from Amazon – buy here
We tested Beachbody’s Intent Compression Bra both at the gym and on the run while playing sport.
This model is a bit longer than a conventional sports bra and sat further down our body, but this was comfortable and we found it provided added stability.
The material was soft and the soft tones of the available colours should easily blend in with your activewear.
However, we regret testing this one in the summer as the material is pretty thick and can get overly hot when the temperature rises.
It’s great for the gym and running around outside though, especially in the winter and if your gym likes to crank up the air-con up to 11.
11. Best For High Impact Sports: HeatGear Armour Sports Bra
Women’s HeatGear Armour High Support Sports Bra, £31.97, Under Armour – buy here
This bra from Under Armour is super supportive, yet very comfortable – the ideal model if you’re a HIIT or circuit class fan.
Its fixed foam pads provide extra coverage while its gel-coated underwire will give you extra comfort and support.
Available from sizes 32A to 38DD, users say it’s flattering enough to wear it on its own.
One fan said: “Very flattering. I use it for running, boxing, weightlifting and training sessions and can find no fault in it! So much so that I threw my other bras out!”
12. Best Design: Sweaty Betty Stamina Sports Bra
- Stamina Sports Bra, £35, Sweaty Betty – buy here
Thanks to its supportive underband, front waffle detail and seamless thick shoulder straps, the Sweaty Betty Stamina workout bra is great when it comes both to performance and design.
Available in 11 colours, it comes in sizes small, medium, large, and XL and its compression design keeps your boobs in place for spin, boxing and the gym.
A great all rounder, it keeps its elasticity and support even after multiple washes, according to users.
The catch? At £35 it’s definitely on the pricier side.
And although it offers medium support for women up to a cup C, those with largest busts didn’t recommend it for running or high impact activities.
What happens if you don’t wear a sports bra?
It’s crucial to choose the right bra for the right occasion, especially if you like to hit the gym.
Keeping everything as still as possible is important, as breast bounce can lead to back pain and even irreversible sagging; nobody wants that.
Are sports bras good for large breasts?
Sports bras are made to provide special support during exercise.
The market is now full of options for women of all shapes and sizes.
When it comes to selecting one to help prevent back pain and sagging, you will need to consider if you’re in the market for a compression bra or one with in-built cups.
Generally, if you’re smaller busted from A-C, a compression bra that pulls in your chest will be sufficient.
Any bigger up top and you’ll probably need in-built cups, which will be more comfortable and supportive and hopefully reduce the chance of chafing – especially if you run long distances.
Whatever sport it is you need your bra for, or even if you’re after a great all-rounder, check out our line up of the best sports bras offers below based on our expert opinions and user reviews.
Is it OK to wear a sports bra all the time?
If fitted properly, it’s perfectly safe to wear your sports bra for extended periods of time.
While it should sit tighter than your regular bra, it shouldn’t feel restricting or painful.
If you notice that your bra is leaving marks on your shoulders or your bust, it means that it’s too small for you.
What level of support should I look for in a sports bra?
A supportive sports bra is one of the most important pieces of gym gear a woman can buy, so it’s important to find one that feels right for your body type.
Never worn a sports bra before? It should feel a lot more close-fitting than your ordinary underwear but not uncomfortable.
The bottom band of the brad should be supporting most of the weight. It should be snug but it shouldn’t restrict your movement or feel painful
Finally, make sure the straps are not cutting into your skin or falling off your shoulders.
If you have a larger bust pick bras with wide straps that will evenly distribute weight without digging into your shoulders
What size sports bra should I get?
In most cases, your sports bra size will be the same as your regular bra.
That said, there is no magic formula and the best way to find out is to try on different sizes to find your perfect fit.
Each brand is different so it’s likely that the sports bras will fit differently depending on where you bought them from – even though it’s the same size.
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