A good workout bra is more than just a piece of fabric. It’s a marvelous piece of technology that will support your breasts so you don’t have to worry about strain and sagging while you’re moving your body. “Our breasts are made up glandular tissue, connective tissue, fat, and they’re held up by ligaments,” says Jennifer Klein, bra-fitting specialist and owner of the Toronto lingerie boutique, Secrets From Your Sister. “If our breasts aren’t supported for activity, those ligaments stretch and pull and eventually break.” That’s when women lose a lot of the firmness and height in their bosom, adds Klein. While damage is irreparable, it’s never too late to prevent more.
Good-quality workout bras can be divided into two categories: compression and encapsulation. Both types reduce movement, but in slightly different ways: Compression bras squish the bosom to the torso, while encapsulation bras separate each breast and provide 360-degree support.
Women with a fuller bosom should look for a lot of seams and heavier materials, which provide structure. Smaller-breasted women don’t need as much depth in the cup, so an ideal bra is low in the centre but has had a firm hold around the bust, to reduce movement. “Give it a jump test, or a jog test – as much movement as you’ll be doing while working out,” says Dana Partridge, owner of Sports Bras Etc., a specialty boutique in Edmonton, Alberta. “Everything should move with you.”
Look for a soft lining on the inside of the bra that will absorb moisture away from the body and prevent chafing. A wide comfort strap along the torso is essential for lift, as most sports bras do not have an underwire. And ideally, with an adjustable bra, you’ll want the bra to fit on the last hook, so if you lose weight quickly, or as the bra wears out, you won’t have to invest in a new one, says Partridge.
Sizes A – B
Anita – (fits B-G)
The Anita bra’s mesh back keeps you cool, while the seamless lining lets you break a sweat without chaffing.
Shock Absorber Pump B4246
Shock Absorber Pump
With its sporty racer-back and hooks along the side, the Shock Absorber Pump is a favourite among personal trainers and is ideal for floor exercises.
Sizes C – D
Enell Sports Bra
Enell Sports Bra
The heavy-duty Enell compression bra hooks in the front and has a thick elastic on the sides leaving zero chance for dreaded bounce.
Moving Comfort Cara
The Moving Comfort Cara has underwires that give definition, but the wires are fully enclosed in fabric so they won’t dig into the chest.
Freya Super Active
The ergonomic Freya Super Active encapsulator has flat seams and a strong band – perfect for super active, super curvy women.
Individual cups on the inside of the Shock Absorber bra separate and divide the breasts, while the adjustable keyhole-back make this a best-seller.